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Season 1

    Episode 1 - "The Vulcan Hello" 
  • This show is supposed to be in the same continuity as the previous Star Trek TV series, yet the Klingons look completely different. How does that make sense?
    • How does it not make sense? It is not as if someone in a prior series or film held up a picture of the new Klingons and said "these are not Klingons."
    • Of course, this wouldn't be the first time the Klingons had a radical redesign. Broad Strokes is presumably in play.
    • Yes, but that earlier redesign was eventually given an in-universe explanation (and it was hardly as radical as this one, just the addition of some bone ridges to the head). Are we to presume an accidental mutating virus which changed the Klingon appearance happened twice?
      • What, a virus that mutated once can't do it again? And it's possible that the Klingons cured the original form of the virus, but someone (Section 31 maybe?) might modify it and reintroduce it in the future. And furthermore, the Klingons seen in TOS might have only been a portion of the race that was still afflicted by the virus, and the bulk of their society could have been getting along just fine (for Klingons, anyways) offscreen. Like the other poster said above, the Klingons have been radically changed from existing Trek canon before. Maybe the Klingon aristocrats got priority for the cure, and T'Kuvma obtained it for his House by some means, but frontline warriors haven't received it yet. Or maybe a Canon Discontinuity now exists whereby the virus, and the Klingons' ridgeless phase, never happened at all (kind of like the entire episode "Threshold" from Voyager) and the Klingons' TOS appearance is now solely confined to Early Installment Weirdness.
      • Canon Discontinuity is highly unlikely. Also, it's worth mentioning that there was a gap of about 25 real-world years between the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (which gave the Klingons their first redesign) and the final season of Enterprise (which explained said redesign). Sometimes creators just don't care about filling in plot holes.
      • Note the Klingons aren't the only ones this happened to. The Romulans gained brow-ridges from TNG on and Star Trek: Enterprise Enterprise retconned this as having been their appearance in the past as well.
      • According to Word of God; Yes, all Klingons look like that now, and no, there's no explanation they just change the look because they think it looks cool.
      • Six episodes in and you're already writing off that there is not and never will be any explanation for the difference? Enterprise took three and a half seasons to bother explaining and reconciling their initial use of TNG-era-looking Klingons. Impatient much? Or just looking for reasons to say They Changed It, Now It Sucks!?
    • In fifty years of Star Trek, we've really only seen two types of Klingons. Who's to say what kind of morphology/ethnic diversity may truly exist among the Klingon people? For a franchise that purports to embrace "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations", Star Trek has the unfortunate tendency to like its' aliens races/cultures to be ridiculously homogenized.
    • The same can be said of the Klingon ships. Klingons have had a very clear design lineage for their warships between the Star Trek: Enterprise era, and the Star Trek: The Next Generation era. Even though Enterprise was set centuries earlier than the TNG era, the show's battlecruisers were still recognizable as Klingon battlecruisers, and its Birds-of-Prey were identifiable as Klingon Birds-of-Prey. None of the ships that take part in the battle, however, actually look like Klingon ships. What happened?
      • Some of the Klingon dialogue suggests that their population is very fragmented into tribes, and has been for many centuries. It's possible that the various tribes' technologies have developed along extremely different aesthetic lines, explaining the radical departure in ship design, armor, and perhaps even head-ridges if some of those are a product of ritual scarification rather than genetics. T'Kumva is also an extremist about "remaining Klingon", so perhaps the factions he's attracting to his cause are traditionalists who pattern their ships' "look" on the baroque style of vessels that their people used in the distant past, before they encountered races like the Vulcans, humans and Romulans who have a less-ornate aesthetic.
      • It's entirely possible that the war which erupted resulted not only in Klingon unity (as the Empire seemed much more unified in later series, albeit still with some internal fighting), but also changes in Klingon concepts of ship design as they pick up ideas from Starfleet in how ships "should" look. This isn't historically unknown: on Earth, the longer two sides are at war after an extended period of peace, the more everything from weapons to vehicles to uniforms/armour start resembling each other due to dumping the things that don't work/aren't useful and incorporating things that are, even if the enemy came up with them.
      • The starship design thing bugged me too, but at least some of the Klingon ships at least appear to have that "bird of prey" aesthetic generally that the Klingons have typically shared with the Romulans. Hopefully we see their starship design evolve more along these lines, even if they keep the stylistic baroque look, because let's be honest, it's interesting.
      • That actually wouldn't be entirely unprecedented. When the K't'inga-class battlecruiser's model was used for Qo'noS One, it was given somewhat baroque details to distinguish it from all the other battlecruisers we'd seen before. Maybe some important Klingons just like to travel in style.
  • So the USS Shenzhou is definitely confirmed to be a Prime timeline ship even though it is clearly Kelvin timeline in look, design, technology and feel, correct? Fifty years of special effects improvement is a valid excuse for the visuals, although Star Trek Enterprise did a great job of merging old and new, but what about the holo-communicators which are established late 24th century tech? What about the phasers that act nothing like Prime Timeline weapons? The bridge window? The fact that it can land and take-off? These are totally Kelvin and not Prime Universe traits. I want to enjoy this show, but these questions are really hurting my Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
    • Basically, this show makes a great deal more sense if you accept that, regardless of what the producers claim, it is not actually set in the Prime Timeline. It's a total reboot of Star Trek.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise already gives an answer for why special effects are different between TOS and the new timeline. People were mucking around the timeline with the Suliban and Xindi War. Since the Xindi War never happened in the original timeline, this Starfleet had to militarize much sooner and press forward much faster. We can use that to explain any number of more rapid advances in the timeline.
    • What about the phasers? They can put holes in things. This was seen in The Original Series and TNG where not every shot resulted in disintegration. The bridge window is a simple design choice, and the Shenzhou didn't land, it entered the atmosphere and left again. In TOS episode "Tomorrow is Yesterday" when the Enterprise finds itself thrown back in time it ends up in Earth's atmosphere, and it's not seen as anything particularly hazardous in itself to the ship. Given their control over forcefields and antigravity tech, there's no good reason why starships couldn't land on planets (and they do: Voyager, Klingon Birds of Prey, and the Defiant on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had blueprints showing landing gear, even if the ship itself didn't land). There's just no good reason to much of the time, what with shuttles and transporters, and most Starfleet designs would be awkward on the ground (explaining by the alternate-Enterprise concealed itself in water). Out of universe, story and special-effects reasons would explain why it wasn't shown more often.
    • Whats wrong with the phasers? They are rapid-fire, 22nd, 23rd and 24th century Prime Timeline phasers weren't with the exception of a single rifle design in Nemesis. And if we go by The Cage (which is canon) they shouldn't even be using phasers yet, they should be on phase pistols or laser weapons. The window is a design choice? Except for the fact that 22nd, 23rd and 24th century Prime Timeline ships had viewscreens with the exception of the Kelvin which is just as huge a Continuity Snarl as this one. And that still doesn't explain the holograms which were new tech in the 24th century, or the uniforms using the 1701 arrowhead, which was only adopted universally after The Original Series. Before that, it denoted the 1701, which is why everyone in TOS has different emblems on their shirts.
    • If we're talking about the starship phasers, they were depicted as being rapid-fire weapons in the Kirk-era films, which take place only a few decades after this show. Presumably Enterprise's phasers were "always" rapid-fire, but they simply lacked the capability to depict that in the 1960s.
    • OK then. TNG came out in the mid 80's. They had the technology (sort of) to do it then, and they had considerably larger a budget than TOS did. Even Enterprise (2001-2005) was made in a era where they had the production technology to do it. The only reason WHY they didn't is that the show depicts phaser weapons as being beam weapons. That was always part of the science. If you can see a pulsed laser, it is not a laser (or a Phaser for that matter). Lasers travel at the speed of light, which is why even a pulsed on doesn't fire rapidly. In one of the very first Star Trek technical manuals (and actually in a episode of the show (which I cannot remember the name of)), phasers are stated as 'being incapable of being fired at warp speed'. The reason??? Phasers fire their beams at the speed of light. They are a sustained particle weapon, and therefore have similar characteristics to a laser.

      JJ Abrams didn't want the scenes of his 2009 movie to be as static as the TV show. Therefore, he made it a little more 'dramatic' by showing the phasers as burst weapons, like much of present Sci-Fi. He missed the point that Star Trek (even when the notoriously scientific-advisor-ignoring Gene Roddenberry was a major part of the production and writing) that Trek tries to stay as close to established science as possible (even when the said science (Alcubierre Drive) was inspired by said show). Trek has never been a action franchise. It's been a human interest franchise with ties to real-world scientific inquiry. So don't use those god-awful movies as an example. They've had the capability before, they just haven't done it because they don't want to screw with the canon the way this dumpster fire of a show has. I know that I only represent one side of the discussion (the side that want's the show to be erased from history by the Krenim and replaced with a decent show made by Brian Fuller and with a coherent and episodic storyline which fits established canon), but that's my answer to why the phasers aren't supposed to be a rapid-fire weapon.
    • The starship phasers were depicted as being pulse-fire as far back as The Wrath of Khan (itself rather an Actionized Sequel), back in the 1980s well before Abrams was making Trek films. While TNG depicted them as solid beams, DS9 would go on to depict them as being both ways (the Defiant in fact has been shown using both pulse and beam phasers in her armament). So the short answer seems to be that both types of phasers are canon. At the very least, it's disingenuous to accuse this show (or JJ Abrams) of introducing something that has been part of the franchise for over 30 years.
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    Episode 2 - "Battle At The Binary Stars" 
  • All the Klingon ships all arrive at the same time to the binary star, and a bit later all the Starfleet ships arrive at the same time too, as if they'd all traveled the same distance. But it was made clear no one was expecting Shenzhou's distress call, nor the signal sent by T'Kuvma, so shouldn't those ships have traveled there from different parts of space, and hence arrived at different times?
    • Presumably both groups of ships met at nearby rallying points and then warped in together. Europa started farther away, so Admiral Anderson may have ordered the Starfleet ships to go on without waiting for them with the arrival of the Klingon flotilla.
    • That works, and indeed makes sense, for Starfleet. After all dropping in one at a time to a potentially dangerous situation would make easy pickings for any enemy fleet. However, for the Klingons, it doesn't. The beacon is the rallying point and as the Klingons are a fractious bunch it seems unlikely they would set up a meeting point prior to going to the meeting point
      • Solid point. Maybe the Klingon lords agreed on the way to make a big entrance given the importance of the beacon, or just because T'Kuvma is considered a bit of an outsider compared to the High Council's noble houses. Or maybe, by contrived coincidence, they happened to all be the same distance in travel time away from the beacon when it went off.
  • The Klingons are typically portrayed as a Proud Warrior Race, yes, but the way the leaders of the 24 Houses act makes them look more childish than ever before. T'Kuvma, a spaceship captain that none of the other leaders seem to rate very high, tells them that they should start a war against the powerful Federation, pretty much for the sole reason that he doesn't like humans. The House leaders don't seem to be particularly convinced, but then T'Kuvma fires his weapons at Shenzhou, provoking a shooting match between the Klingon and Federation ships. Somehow this random and pointless act makes the other Klingon leaders suddenly think T'Kuvma was right, and at the end of the episode they're chanting his name as if he's some kind of Messiah, even though he still doesn't provide any better justification for war than his personal antipathy towards the Federation. So are we supposed to think the leaders of the Houses are like little kids, willing to wage a war against an interplanetary coalition because another kid dares them to do so?
    • He did spend some time convincing them that the Federation was an enemy looming on their borders rather than peaceful explorers. Presumably, he and the others saw the Federation's all-inclusive nature to be something more like an Assimilation Plot. He played on existing fears/prejudices and the Starfleet officers, not understanding the key cultural differences at play, proceeded to say exactly the wrong things and set the Klingons off. The Klingons evidently take "We Come In Peace" to be an insultingly arrogant lie, rather than something to be taken at face value.
    • For a race like the Klingons that prides themselves on warfare, wouldn't peace be the ultimate antithesis of their entire culture?
    • There's also the point that T'Kuvma and his followers are of the opinion the Empire is coming apart, that they're losing their culture and traditional way of life to an expansionist Federation that seems to espouse hostile values and seeks to wipe out what makes them Klingons. The fact that the Federation has no interest in doing this doesn't matter, what's important is that T'Kuvma thinks it does and that there are enough Klingons who share similar opinions that can be swayed to believe in his vision. In essence, T'Kuvma is a populist rabble-rouser who wants to Make Klingons Great Again and arrives at just the right time to give his message resonance with just enough people to count.
    • This is not only consistent with established Klingon behavior, but it's actually happened before. First, consider the sentiment: It's been repeatedly shown that there is a resentment among some Klingons that the Federation makes the Empire weak, and any association with it whatsoever is enough to makes Klingons less "Klingon" (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,TNG: "Heart of Glory," "The Drumhead," "The Mind's Eye"). Now, remember that General Chang tried to start a war with the Federation because he thought the Empire would die if he didn't. He managed to get numerous high-ranking Klingon officers to join his cause (with the help of some of Starfleet's top brass, ironically enough). Later, on DS9, Gowron launched an unnecessary war with the Cardassian Union largely because a lot of Klingons felt that extended alliance Federation and the era of peace that resulted from it had caused the Empire to grow stagnant. This set off a series of events that resulted in the Khitomer Accords being dissolved, and a de facto state of war with the Federation. Taking into account how enthusiastically most Klingons threw themselves into both conflicts, it's not really surprising that the Great Houses would fall in line behind T'Kuvma if it meant getting a chance to fight the Federation.
  • If Vulcans can use their telepathy to communicate over interstellar distances, why haven't we seen Spock or T'Pol or anyone else do it before? This ability would've been incredibly useful in the episodes where the protagonists are stranded on some random planet and their communications won't work.
    • Sarek describes sharing a part of his katra with Burnham when he mind-melded with her to save her life when she was a child. Given that, in the flashback, she seemed unresponsive and possibly dead when Sarek found her, he may well have gone far deeper with the mind-meld than any other seen on-screen in Trek series and movies so far in order to preserve her life. Furthermore, Sarek describes the long-distance telepathy as taking unusually large amounts of effort to maintain, making it a Dangerous Forbidden Technique that could probably kill someone with a lesser degree of mental control. (There is also the possibility, however unlikely, that it could have been just a vision on Burnham's part.)
    • And it has been shown previously that Vulcan telepathy can span interstellar distances in specific circumstances: Spock sensed the destruction of the USS Intrepid and the death of its Vulcan crew from an unknown but clearly very long distance away.
    • Spock also made telepathic contact with V'ger from roughly the same distance (between Vulcan and the edge of Klingon space).
    • Okay, maybe there are some earlier examples of long-distance Vulcan telepathy, but the question still remains, why hasn't anyone used it like they do in this episode, to ask for help in an emergency? For example, in season 4 of Enterprise, when Archer and T'Pol are stranded on Vulcan and the baddies are chasing them, why doesn't T'Pol try to contact Tucker, or Soval try to contact T'Pol, so the Enterprise could find them?
      • Sarek himself just explicitly described the technique onscreen as taking a serious physical toll on him to even attempt in the first place. It may also be a practice that is known only to the most carefully skilled of Vulcans, much like the Kolinahr discipline, and isn't like a cell phone you can pick up and call someone with. T'Pol was relatively young for a Vulcan during the events of Enterprise and may never have learned the technique, and even if she did, her neural damage from both Trellium-D exposure and the "mind-meld STD" earlier in the series may have ruled it out as an option for her. As to why Tuvok didn't attempt the same with his family in the Alpha Quadrant, remember that Vulcans are mortal humanoids with limitations. Sarek also went on to explain that he shared part of his katra with Burnham when he saved her life as a child, something that has only ever been done once before onscreen (Spock transferring his katra to McCoy at the end of The Wrath of Khan), which may be a prerequisite for being able to commune telepathically over a long distance, instead of a "typical" mind-meld.
    • In the case of T'Pol she has been shown to have interstellar telepathy, as she and Trip were sharing dreams when he was assigned to Columbia. Their telepathic bond was due to them having mated. So the telepathic bond required is at minimum that between husband and wife or parent and child. The only actual outlier is Tuvok in Voyager, but that was also the greatest distance on record, so it apparently does not stretch across the entire galaxy.
      • At what point did T'Pol ever exert willing control over this telepathy? Because if she cannot control when and how it happens, then it would be useless as a means of immediate or time-sensitive interstellar communication.
  • T'Kuvma insists on gathering the bodies of the dead for a proper burial. Don't the Klingons believe that dead bodies are merely shells, after the souls has departed to Sto-vo-kor (or Gre'thor)? In the first TNG episode, where they have Klingons do the death scream, they treat the body itself as garbage to be disposed of. Is it just something T'Kuvma's house does? Also, according to Saru, some of the coffins on the hull of T'Kuvma's ship are several thousand years old. How would that make sense, given that Klingons haven't even been to space before the 14th century (as a result of the Hur'q invasion) and haven't developed warp drive until 1947?
    • The burial may very well be specific to T'Kuvma's house as none of the other ships remain to pick up their dead. Also, the coffins that are thousands of years old could be honoured dead exhumed from the homeworld or wherever and attached to the ship as part of T'Kuvma's crusade.
  • Ships can't have their shields up while cloaked, so shouldn't the ramming ship have splattered against the ship it rammed like a bug on a windshield?
    • The Klingon ship that rammed the Europa was much larger than the Starfleet vessel, and it had an axe-like prow that concentrated all the force at one point, overwhelming the shields, the hull, and then the structural integrity system. Mind you, the crew of the Europa immediately pulled a Taking You with Me by self-destructing the ship in close proximity to the Klingon vessel, so nobody really lived to brag about it. Or maybe it did have its shields up, given T'Kuvma's mastery of cloaking technology:
      Montgomery Scott: No way, sir! A bird-of-prey canna' fire while she's cloaked.
      Spock: All things being equal, Mr. Scott, I would agree. However, things are not equal. This one can.
  • In a flashback, it's mentioned that the Shenzhou uses "lateral vector transporters" that were phased out on Vulcan and in Starfleet for drawing too much power. Later on, Burnham and Georgiou beam aboard T'Kuvma's flagship alone, even though the Shenzhou is running low on power.

    Episode 3 - "Context Is For Kings" 
  • Captain Lorca tells Burnham that the "accident" which brought her aboard Discovery was actually arranged by him. However, said accident involved the death of the prison ship's pilot... So, did Lorca kill the pilot just to get Burnham there, or was it all a ruse and the pilot never died? If it's the latter, how did he ensure the pilot and everyone else involved wouldn't spill their beans, since arranging for a convict to join his crew like that is clearly illegal?
    • The pilot looks clearly bored when she walks and egresses the shuttle for what is supposed to be a life-endangering problem. I think she's in on it. I also thought she was the "Ensign Cheifowitz" who had to report to Sickbay just after the shuttle lands. There's no other reason for that announcement to be there.
      • I tend to agree, if for no other reason than we've never seen a shuttle pilot wearing a full EVA suit for a routine flight before. And Starfleet security might suck, but only assigning one person to transport four prisoners over an extended distance with no support would be insane. First off, a garment designed to keep you alive in space is only going to hinder you if you have to deal with one or more unruly prisoners. Secondly, a lone guard is going to have a hard time keeping an eye on her prisoners if she has a ship to fly and navigate—and as we saw, she had to leave her prisoners completely unsupervised while she dealt with the parasites. Most likely, she cut her own tether at a prearranged time, and and the Discovery beamed her aboard shortly thereafter. The alternative is that Starfleet Security is bafflingly incompetent.
      • Given the timing shown (it's only 20 seconds between the alert the umbilical disconnected and the tractor beam), the Discovery had to be essentially hanging overhead already when the pilot "fell off".
    • There's also nothing saying the pilot was killed to begin with: all the prisoners see is her drifting past. Given the demonstrated capacities of Starfleet EVA suits if it was a matter of her being knocked off the hull of the shuttle, she'd probably have hours of life support, and from their point of view, it doesn't matter if she's alive or dead; without her to repair the shuttle, either due to death or having simply drifted away from it, they're doomed either way. When the pilot goes flying by the shuttle, the suit is clearly still powered (the lights were on).
    • Also, don't forget Starfleet lets their captains do insane, crazy shit on their authority *all the time* that wouldn't be allowed today. All valid back in the 18th century when a Captain could literally declare war on behalf of his Sovereign, hire whomever he wanted and basically engage in whatever he felt like short of outright treason. Lorca probably told Starfleet his test of Burnham wouldn't be legit if she knew what she was being tested for and arranged for the "accident" accordingly.
    • I almost hate to bring this up, but based on everything that we've just discussed, doesn't it seem likely that the USS Discovery is working directly for Section 31?
    • Occam's razor applies here. The pilot did die and Lorca didn't care. He's Section 31, they are supposed to be ruthless and willing to do anything, no matter how unethical, in order to save the Federation. Ends justify the means for them. I'm pretty sure the death of a random pilot is not a big deal for him.
      • What? Occam's razor insists the opposite is true. A pilot who is complicit and acting on a prearranged plan is a far simpler explanation than Lorca setting up a trap and hoping that the shuttle stumbles into it. On every level, actually. Pulling off that kind of plan with a non-complicit pilot requires that the shuttle just happens to be on-schedule, that the pilot not decide to simply navigate around the hazardous space instead of flying through it, and someone being able to sabotage the pilot's safety equipment in a way that nobody would notice until it was too late. And a covert agency does not kill someone unless there is no other choice—it draws too much attention. When someone dies—especially during a routine operation like a prisoner transfer—people will want to know what happened, and an investigation is the very last thing Section 31 would want. They might be unethical, but being unethical does not mean that they're stupid or impractical, and a needless murder and the resulting coverup would be far more trouble than its worth. The pilot being a knowing part of the plan is, by far, the simplest explanation under the circumstances.
    • Considering that "Vaulting Ambitions" reveals Lorca is from the Mirror Universe and has no moral qualms with murdering people when it suits him, it seems most likely the pilot did indeed die.
      • Except Lorca is genuinely nice to his crew (provided you are human) and seems to value loyalty. He wouldn't waste a loyal man or woman unless it was necessary, and having the pilot in on the deception is both the least wasteful option and the most obvious solution.
  • Why isn't Burnham briefed on why they're headed to the USS Glenn? I can understand Landry and the Red Shirt not being told everything (other than "guard the weird science guy, he has point") but, prisoner or not, Burnham surely ought to be properly briefed on why she's on the mission team and what she's supposed to be doing because she's a mission specialist. It's *very* unStarfleet.
    • The away team was another test for Burnham on the part of Lorca. He knew Stamets wouldn't tell her anything out of sheer spite, Landry and the redshirt wouldn't because she hadn't been cleared to know anything, and Tilly warned of the same thing. Lorca was seeing if she was mentally broken so that she wouldn't display inquisitiveness or initiative or attempt to figure out what was happening. Granted, he didn't know about the monster which provided a situation where she clearly demonstrated her ridiculous competence and that her only mental issue was her feeling of guilt. Had it not come along, they probably would have used other excuses to keep the prisoners on board so she could continue to be tested until he was satisfied.
  • Why didn't Voyager use a variation of the spore-slipstream system? Unless it was discovered to be dangerous, or Section 31 covered it up, they would have known about it and used it.
    • Even more, the Warp drive or Alcubierre Drive is the most realistic way for possible FTL travel in fiction, other shows use things like wormholes and hyperspace which we still don't know if they exist. In any case, the most likely explanation for the lack of future use of the Pixie Dust is that requires a sentient being to be in terrible pain. Other than the Section 31 no one is going to use it.
    • The Glenn botched it and they all died horribly. That aside, one imagines that somewhere down the line Discovery is going to find a flaw that will render any consistent use of the tech an impossibility.
      • Like the apparent lack of other giant tardigrades, or Stamets being forced to inject himself as a replacement for Ripper in "Choose Your Pain"?
      • The latter is more likely given the Federation's kneejerk reaction to eugenics.
    • And if Section 31 is involved, what to say they won't keep all the nice toys for themselves?
    • What's to say that it didn't have some bearing on the Quantum Slipstream Drive that the crew of the Voyager tested out in "Timeless"? Or that maybe Ripper's biology later led to the bio-neural gel packs that Intrepid-class ships relied upon for faster and more efficient computing?
    • In "Vaulting Ambition" we have The Reveal that Mirror-Stamets' exploitation of the mycelial network is gradually killing it, so it may no longer exist in the time of TOS and future series for anyone else to use, at least in any meaningful way.
  • Lorca keeps a tribble on his desk, seemingly as a Klingon detector. However, he also keeps a bowl of snacks not far away from it. So how did he keep the tribble well trained?
    • Tribbles probably aren't much on fortune cookies, not to mention that nowhere does it state that it's his Klingon detector. It's just his pet, and it's neutered.
    • Or Lorca is so scary the tribble doesn't dare eat anything it's not offered. If it needs a reminder there are two dissected tribbles on Lorca's lab table.
    • Perhaps it's a mirror tribble and it LOVES klingons.

    Episode 4 - "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not For The Lamb's Cry" 
  • Has there been any indication prior that Klingons like to eat humanoids before? Generally, the new design has been criticized for going for a middle earth Orc feel. The whole eating people seems to enforce this. Even in Archers time set before Discovery has there been any indication that the Klingons practiced this? There’s eating your enemies heart then there’s serving them up fast food style.
    • They were trapped on an incapacitated starship without resupply and were explicitly stated to be starving and the survivors barely hanging on. There's a difference between "Like to eat humanoids" and "We're going to be running short of food and there's this perfectly good hunk of meat over there". Enjoying the fact that the enemy who defeated you is now keeping you alive is a perfectly understandable response.
    • Some. Eating the heart of at least one of your enemies being a required part of the Klingon religion was established in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Kang, Kor, and Koloth seemed to be fans of doing it recreationally, too. It doesn't seem like a huge leap from devouring someone's heart as a symbolic act to eating the rest of them for actual sustenance.
  • Fridge Brilliance to the question of why the Spore Drive isn't in use later. It requires the painful participation of a lifeform, which is an interesting call forward to the events of Equinox where the USS Equinox's crew used a sapient extradimensional life form to power their enhanced warp drive, at the cost of killing those individuals after a time and having to kidnap and murder another. Furthermore, if Section 31 did keep the tech, they likely would have no problem with the ethical concerns of using it.
  • The motto of T'Kuvma's followers—indeed, the purpose of their entire movement—is "Remain Klingon." So why do all but one of them immediately change their allegiance to the man who takes command in the least Klingon way possible? There is a very well-established process by which Klingons can honorably challenge a leader they consider incompetent. It's so well-established, in fact, that we named the trope after them. Everything we know about Klingons tells us that they would have immediately accepted Kol as their rightful leader the moment he introduced Voq's internal organs to the business end of his d'k tahg. It further tells us that when Kol tried to bribe them with food, a fundamentalist Klingon crew's most likely course of action would have been to take the food and then shoot him on principle. One might argue that Kol was trying to take the safer option by bribing them, but I don't accept for a moment that Kol would have ever even considered that he might lose a duel with a starving man whom he already saw as inherently inferior to him, and who happened to be half his size.
    • It's likely to make him seem even more despicable, and ideologically opposed to Voq. Kol either considers it dishonor to even tarnish himself with dueling a filthy albino, fears the consequences of fighting a hungry, younger man, or both.
    • Challenging him implies Voq is worthy of challenge, which the bigoted Kol clearly wouldn't accept. By getting the ship and crew the way he did, Kol humiliated Voq, which is also why he followed L'Rell's suggestion of leaving him stranded instead of executing him: he's saying Voq isn't worth killing. As an added benefit, Kol gets revenge on T'Kuvma. He couldn't put him in his place personally as he'd initially promised, but he does the next best thing; Kol destroys T'Kuvma's legacy by getting his followers to abandon the hand-picked successor not by forcing them to but making them want to.

    Episode 5 - "Choose Your Pain" 
  • There's a discussion above about Klingon ships that don't look like Klingon ships. In this episode, however, a computer actually gives an identification for one of the new, odd-looking Klingon vessels, designating it a "D-7" battlecruiser. The problem is, the D-7 is the designation for literally the oldest, most well-established, most iconic ships in the Klingon fleet: the classic battlecruiser. That's canon, by the way; two different Klingon battlecruisers were identified as D-7s in episodes of DS9 and Voyager. The ship we saw on screen, though, was emphatically not the same type of ship. Even the "alternate timeline" theory doesn't quite work anymore, because we've seen contemporary Klingon battlecruisers in the Kelvin-timeline, and they're quite obviously modeled on the classic D-7. So if Star Trek: Discovery's D-7s don't look anything like TOS D-7s, and they don't look anything like Abrams-verse Klingon battlecruisers, what explanation does that leave us?
    • The writers did not care what it was called. Sorry, controversial I know. But if there is another explanation besides this being an alternate timeline/reality (which at the moment they are explicitly denying) I really cannot think of one. And this is not some obscure plot point written thirty years ago by some writer who is long dead, these ships are up there with the Enterprise and the Borg Cube in terms of iconic design so that excuse doesn't work either. Any Trekkie worth his or her salt could have told them what a D-7 is immediately.
    • There have been situations in the past where "canon" information from Trek series contradicted previously established things long before "Discovery" hit the air. A good example is the Starfleet arrowhead/delta. A memo from the time of The Original Series made it clear that the badge worn by the Enterprise crew was supposed to be the standard Starfleet symbol for ship crews, and the few occasions where they showed shipboard personnel from other ships with different emblems was a costuming error. When they made "The Tholian Web", by contrast, the bodies on the Defiant were clearly wearing the delta symbol. However, when the Defiant was visited in Star Trek: Enterprise they were operating under the incorrect impression that ships had their own emblems, and so the bodies in that episode were in uniforms that had a unique symbol. So two different series didn't agree even though, in-universe, they were showing the bodies of the same crew on the exact same ship. It wouldn't, therefore, be the first time there was an internal contradiction, so there being a difference in what a "D7" is isn't some earthshakingly original issue.
    • "D-7" could be a Starfleet tag for all Klingon ships that fit a certain set of parameters or something.
      • This is a very good explanation. "D" and "7" are certainly not Klingon words. It may well be that Starfleet uses the power readings coming off a vessel to specify its type if it is a foreign vessel rather than what it looks like (which makes sense if you want to know how much phaser power it could throw at you rather than its shape).
      • Compare and contrast the Romulan D'deridex ship class, which is certainly not a Federation term.
      • Whilst this idea does indeed have merit, why has this A) never been mentioned before in a franchise that is famous for its technical exposition and B) Why do they in fact stop using this system when the D-7 is replaced by the K't'inga class (the one that looks like it has a sombrero that Chancellor Gorkon used in The Undiscovered Country) and the Vor'cha class (the long green one that appeared in TNG). Shouldn't they be referring to these as the D-8 and D-10 or something? And to make matters worse, there is, in fact, a D-12 in canon - it is the Bird of Prey used by the Duras Sisters in Generations. Worf actually calls it that by name when talking about the faulty plasma coils in its cloak, meaning that this system if it exists is used on two drastically different types of ship. I don't know, guys, this still sounds like a case of bolting the stable door after the plot hole has been dug to me.
      • I think at some point we will have to deal with the fact that this is a prequel In Name Only and is for all practical purposes a reboot with a distant connection to the original timeline, no matter how much they try to deny it (probably in order to avoid a backlash from the traditional fanbase).
      • Who, the same "traditional fans" who just can't live with the possibility of any Trek series ever employing Broad Strokes? The D-7 was only consistently used in the Original Series because they lacked the budget to make more diverse Klingon ship models. (And it only got reused for Romulan-controlled ships, with the "temporary Klingon-Romulan alliance", because there were problems with the bird-of-prey model from "Balance of Terror".) Like others have said, "D-7" could simply be a classification category in use by Starfleet instead of a single model of enemy ship, and the fleet might still be figuring out the Klingons' capabilities since they haven't had much of any contact for decades and then all of a sudden they're in a shooting war. The change to the "K't'inga class" could occur once the Empire unifies more thoroughly and standardizes starship classes between Houses, and Starfleet could actually nail down individual classes instead of a mishmash of customized ships all over the place.
      • Or just call it the D-6 and avoid every single conceivable problem. The traditional fans are satisfied with the canon not being overwritten, and the rest of us get a cool new ship to enjoy. Everyone is kept happy. And at this point I would like to politely call attention to Star Trek Enterprise and the upheaval among fans that its continuity flaws brought. You want to argue broad strokes? OK. But don't pretend that this attitude is a surprise because nothing has changed since 2001 except for the fact that the ready availability of the internet has drawn attention to it in a way not possible before.
      • And then people would be up in arms just the same for treading on their headcanon ideas of what a D-6 "should be". The internet was widely available when Enterprise aired, especially by the time it finished in 2005, the difference is that social media was still far more embryonic at the time — but we still had discussion boards and online communities that discussed it and picked it apart in millions of different ways. Enterprise, for all its definite flaws, never faced anything close to such vehement and sustained detractors from announcement to conclusion (except for, arguably, its series finale, which kind of deserved it) compared to what Discovery has taken already.
      • Just for the benefit of people who weren't aware of such things, rec.arts.startrek.tech was arguing online about the minutiae of all things Star Trek since 1991, which was an offshoot of rec.arts.starttrek where such things have been argued online since 1986. Yes, people have been nitpicking Star Trek long before Enterprise, Voyager, DS9, and TNG. Many of the complaints that "It's against canon!" are remarkably familiar to someone old enough to have been around then.
  • Why didn't Lorca just shoot L'Rell again after he'd injured her face and she was lying on the floor in agony? It would've literally taken him two seconds to do it, and given what kind of a man Lorca is, would he really pass the chance to kill an important Klingon leader, especially after she'd just tortured him in a cruel way?
    • It might be because she tortured him. If Lorca understands Klingons, he knows that they consider being killed by the enemy to be an honorable, even desirable death. In a twisted sort of way, Lorca would be doing L'Rell a favor by finishing the job. Instead, he leaves her screaming in agony with a likely permanent disfigurement to remind her that he didn't think she was even worth killing. That shame is only going to be compounded when her shipmates find her in that state, and even more so because she allowed two prisoners to escape.
  • It's pretty difficult to square Lorca, "Tyler" and Mudd's experiences with Kirk's later assertions in the TOS films that "Klingons don't take prisoners". Lorca's post-rescue report(s) to Starfleet would clearly detail how the Klingons do indeed take prisoners, and this should be on file for all future captains — yet Kirk holds a contrary view decades later. The simple answer could just be ignorance born of Fantastic Racism on Kirk's part, or do the Klingons stop taking live captives during or after the war?
    • Kirk was being dramatic to make an impression on some cadets. He knows full well that Klingons sometimes take prisoners because he had been taken prisoner by the Klingons before.

    Episode 6 - "Lethe" 
  • I know Starfleet doesn't fix this idiocy until Picard's era by banning command-level officers from getting off the ship, but why the hell would you send an Admiral with significant knowledge of Starfleet movements and intelligence to an unsecured location for a peace conference??? You send disposable diplomats for a reason.
    • This is the same organization that sends the captain and ship's doctor on a covert commando raid. Sometimes Starfleet tactical and strategic common-sense leaves a lot to be desired. That said, there was a level of urgency to get someone important there as there was a brief window to have the meeting and Cornwell was the only person close enough to do so.
    • Admiral Cornwell presumably doesn't know the entirety of Starfleet's disposition and battle plans, just the piece of the puzzle that she has been overseeing. We know she supervises the Discovery and used to cover the Glenn, and presumably there's a U.S.S. Crossfield out there somewhere, but we have no confirmation that she did more than that within Starfleet's hierarchy. It takes time to get diplomats out to the Klingon frontier, and Starfleet Command probably assumed (in their infinite wisdom) that they had enough assets in the area, like the Discovery, to cover her trip to the Empire and to mount a rescue if they needed to. That still doesn't really excuse everyone getting taken by such a trap, but here we are.
  • In The Next Generation and Voyager, holodecks are treated as a fairly new piece of technology on Starfleet ships. But in this episode, which takes place over 100 years earlier, Discovery has one. Given the limited amount of space starships have for various activities, holodecks are incredibly useful for both training and recreation. So, even though Discovery is clearly a cutting-edge ship with several new and experimental technologies, would it really have a taken a hundred years before Starfleet started installing holodecks on other ships?
    • Like you said, it could be highly experimental, unlike the garden-variety forcefields of the era, before becoming standard-issue in the 24th century. Also as others have related, holodecks existed in the Animated Series, as debatably canon as it is. Holodecks and tangible holograms may also come with a sizable power drain, which 23rd-century ships could be unable to handle with their contemporary technology.
    • Holodecks first appeared in The Animated Series when the Enterprise was shown to have one. In Encounter At Farpoint, Riker was an audience surrogate and so expressed amazement at seeing it, however, it could also have been surprise at the obvious size of the holodeck and the complexity of the simulation. Perhaps up to that point, most shipboard holodecks tended to be more restricted in size and what they could generate.
    • We do only see it generate a pretty sparse looking shooting gallery.
      • And is it actually tangible the way later-generation holodeck simulations are? Or is it just visually projected like the communications holograms we've seen in the series so far? Most likely the technology is not yet up to recreating the complexity of an actual terrestrial environment instead of just a sparse Virtual Reality training space.
      • During the simulation they don't physically interact with the Klingon characters, so it's likely they were simply visual constructs.
  • Why did the Vulcan extremist blow himself up to kill one unarmed guy? Why not, y'know, stab him in the back, or use the Vulcan death-touch?
    • You have to kill someone. Regular security measures won't allow you access to the ship to sabotage it, and probably won't allow you to carry a weapon or a detectable bomb, and the someone you have to kill is capable of defending themselves in hand-to-hand. His only mistake was that he chose to gloat, giving Sarek the time to erect a forcefield that took most of the blast.
    • It didn't seem a mistake, so much as a requirement of the substance he was using. It takes time and is very obvious. Sarek appeared to be waiting for the effect to incapacitate the bomber before he made his move, or the bomber would have made an effort to stop his little forcefield trick.
    • And there's no such thing as the "Vulcan Death Grip."
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    Episode 7 - "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad" 
  • Why doesn't Stamets immediately tell Lorca not to beam the space-whale aboard the ship the moment the loop starts? Lorca is aware enough of being in a sci-fi universe to at least keep the animal in space until thoroughly investigated.
    • Tyler and Burnham tried that. Saru immediately pointed out that they had to per Starfleet regs. Stamets isn't going to be any more convincing than they were. Less so, in fact, given his recent behavior.
    • Also, it wouldn't necessarily have worked. The first time through Mudd physically emerged from the space whale to shoot up the shuttle bay and get further into the ship. After an unknown number of loops, when Burnham scans the animal she picks up transporter energy because Mudd's beamed himself to the spore drive. Each loop through he figures out more and more of the ship's security and how to get around it. Presumably by the point where Stamets and Burnham know enough to try and convince Lorca, Mudd could possibly beam aboard directly.
  • Does no one set a phaser for stun anymore? As I understand it, using a phaser on kill on a Federation starship sets off alarms (or, using the more technical phrases, setting IV and higher) as per the Undiscovered Country, and considering they threw in a really cute Shout-Out to that movie in the "Mudd Murder Montage" where he uses a stun bolt to the head at point blank range to kill someone, you'd think that even Mudd himself would know on practical grounds only to use stun. Or maybe he thinks it "doesn't count" provided if, by the end, he doesn't kill anyone when he finally sells the ship to the Klingons on attempt number N? This theory also doesn't excuse the crew at all. You'd think that if they were self-defence weapons issued to crewers, Starfleet would have a rule that it's set to setting 1 unless ordered otherwise. Yet people are running around firing kill shots.
    • Mudd has control of the computer. He doesn't need to worry about the alarms. He also doesn't mind killing people, since he killed Tyler and would have shut the loop off if not for Burnham. As for everyone else, Discovery is Starfleet's most important asset. Neutralizing threats probably comes a distant second to taking prisoners.
    • Which is a weird character trait of Mudd's — he's a fraud, not a murderer. In his slight defence, I would say that he would have most reason to kill and have stay dead Tyler and Lorca, and his killing of Tyler was in fact after Tyler in that timeline had attempted to shoot him. Not self-defence, but in a different jurisdiction, certainly a "stand your ground." Mudd doesn't go out of his way to kill Tyler in any other iteration.
      • It may also be that Mudd's lengthy time with Stella (something like a decade until Kirk encounters him), which begins at the close of this episode, mellows him out into The Trickster that he is/was/will be in TOS, as opposed to the cold, casually murder-happy Jerk with a Heart of Jerk that we see in Discovery.
    • Mudd's thinking about it as a game, so the murders aren't really murders to him because they aren't permanent, and the better he gets at the game, the fewer people he has to kill directly until when he finds out everything he needs, and things are now "real" with no more Save Scumming, he doesn't have to kill anyone. Except Lorca, because he hates him. So, he can justify it to himself that he really didn't hurt anyone (who didn't have it coming). You can think of it as someone who's proud of doing a Pacifist Run on a videogame, but they were only able to do it by playing the game normally and killing however many characters until they discovered the methods and exploits not to have to kill them.
    • For the record, there is something of a concession to such a rule in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Aquiel," where suspicion is raised when they find a phaser that's set to level 16, in violation of Starfleet regulations that require phasers to always be stored on a setting of level 1. Really, though, it would probably be a good idea for any phaser discharge outside of starship's firing range to set off some kind of alert, regardless of the setting.

    Episode 8 - "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum" 
  • So apparently, Kol and the traditional Klingon houses *do* follow the traditional Klingon cultural norm of not idolising the bodies of the dead. What the hell was T'Kuvma on about with his ship?
    • Wasn't T'Kuvma preaching adherence to ancient Klingon burial traditions around the dead? I thought it was implied, if not outright stated, that modern Klingons like Kol had let these customs fall by the wayside over the centuries.
      • Indeed, there was even an episode of DS9 where Worf mentions an old ritual of remaining with a body to ward of predators as the body makes the journey to Sto-vo-kor. At one time, the body seemed to carry more importance, which may go back to the "old ways" T'Kuvma was attempting to honor.
    • When Saru was scanning the Sarcophagus he noted that the bodies covering the surface ranged from a few hours old (the Klingon Burnham killed) to thousands of years old. Even if the ship itself wasn't that old and the older bodies had been picked up from elsewhere, they'd still have to have been stored somewhere, implying burial rites.
  • The magical planet in this episode is said to emit radio waves that function like a radar and pinpoint cloaked Klingon ships ... but if that's possible, why can't regular radars aboard starships do the same? And why can't Starfleet just analyse the radiowaves and replicate them, instead of having to beam down to the planet and ask its inhabitants permission to use them?
    • Even Starfleet's technology, magical as it may seem to us viewers, has its limits in-universe. Maybe a 24th-century TNG-era ship might have been able to duplicate the radiation and its effects, but in the 23rd-century things are more limited. As was noted on Voyager:
      Janeway: Even the technology we take for granted was still in its early stages. No plasma weapons, no multiphasic shields. Their ships were half as fast.
      "Flashback"
    • Even today, scientists can replicate electromagnetic radiation all across the electromagnetic spectrum. So it defies logic that they wouldn't be able to to do it in the far more advanced 23rd century.
      • Straight radiation, sure. It may have a subspace component to it or a particular pattern (or combination of factors) that the crew of the Discovery cannot isolate and duplicate. It may also be easier and more expedient just to ask the native inhabitants of the planet about the details, assuming they're willing to talk, rather than spending days or weeks analyzing it with few clues as to how it works.

    Episode 9 - "Into the Forest I Go" 
  • This episode is all about the crew of the Discovery trying to figure out a way to detect cloaked Klingon vessels. But before Burnham and Tyler can beam aboard Sarcophagus, they discover it by detecting its energy signature, and it's explicitly stated the Sarcophagus is cloaked when they do that. So if they already can detect cloaked ship by their energy signature, what was the point of them trying to come up with another way of doing it with the 133 jumps and all?
    • That's probably because they're in orbit of Pahvo.
    • But if the Pahvo radiation can indeed detect cloaked ships, why was the Discovery crew so desperate to come up with an alternative way of doing that?
      • Presumably because they haven't finished a way of duplicating the radiation from the planet, there's nothing stopping the Klingons from leaving and rejoining their other cloaked ships well away from the Pahvo system, and the Discovery can't bring Pahvo along to help with that.
    • As for the beaming aboard, it was explicitly stated there was a brief window between the Klingons dropping the cloak (revealing their location) and raising their shields, preventing transport.
    • It was established early on in Star Trek that cloaks aren't perfect. In the TOS episode "Balance of Terror," the Enterprise was able to detect the Romulans when they moved, but not in sufficient detail for targeting. The episode "The Enterprise Incident" revolved around stealing an updated cloaking device that didn't have that problem. It was also seen in other series that cloaked ships could be detected if they traveled too fast at warp. So the simplest explanation is that the early cloaks seen on this show work adequately at sublight speeds but when a ship is moving at warp it can be detected. The Discovery could detect Kol approaching the system at warp and had enough information on its warp signature to identify the ship, but once it dropped out of warp they no longer had any idea where it was other than "around here somewhere".

      This would also explain why the Klingons simply don't launch an invasion of a critical Federation planet by sneaking a fleet in; they can't get anywhere without revealing that they're going there to anyone who is looking for them and has time to prepare. The cloak gives them a tactical advantage but it takes time to translate that into a strategic advantage, namely by wearing away at Starfleet until they won't be able to defend against an attack even if they did know the Klingons were coming.
  • The emitters Burnham and Tyler hide aboard the Klingon ship make an audible beeping sound. Since they don't want the Klingons to discover them, why the heck aren't they muted?
    • The bright, flashing lights don't really help, either. And that actually goes for all of the equipment they were using on what was supposed to be a covert infiltration—including the device that was masking the away team's life signs, which was essentially a glowing bullseye pinned to their torsos.
  • Why is Kol so surprised at translator technology? They were able to communicate with humans back in Archer's time, and the translator technology was in its infancy then. It would make sense that it would have been refined by now.
    • Kol might have assumed that the translators were restricted to ship-to-ship or installation communications and that no one would have bothered putting them in their standard personal communication devices because he didn't see why that sort of thing would be necessary.

    Episode 10 - "Despite Yourself" 
  • How is it possible that the Mirror Universe has its own version of the Discovery, with the crew being mostly the same? In the Prime Universe the Discovery is an experimental ship which was constructed and whose crew came together after a Klingon attack on the Federation, but none of that happened in the Mirror Universe. (Yes, I know such coincidences have always been a part of the MU stories, but in previous episodes they've at least tried to give some justification to why there are, for example, Mirror versions of the Enterprise and Deep Space Nine.)
    • Not sure how you got the crew being mostly the same. Lorca is not and never was its captain, and all of the Shenzhou crew were never there. As far as we know, only Tilly and Stamets are the same, and that's justified because their field of expertise is in that area. Also, when is it stated the ship was constructed post-Klingon attack? It is made clear it was designed to make use of Stamets' research, which would necessarily be older than the six-month period between the battle and the present.
      • While it's not outright stated that Discovery was designed specifically for the war effort, one of the prisoners in "Context is for Kings" notes that Discovery "just rolled off the assembly line". It's abundantly clear it was put into service after the Battle of the Binary Stars.
      • Since we don't know the timetable for starship construction, such a comment wouldn't preclude the ship still being in drydock before the war. Admittedly, it could have been built or fasttracked in that timeframe. In any case, the Terran Empire would have just as much interest in a teleporting ship to gain an advantage over their enemies as the Prime Universe does.
  • Why would the Terrans change their logo after Archer's time and then change it back for Kirk's? Seems strange, although the Doylist explanation is probably because they thought it looked cooler.

    Episode 11 - "The Wolf Inside" 
  • Transporter ranges are seriously farther than is established by canon. A Prime transporter has a range of 40,000 km at the high limit, and you generally want to be within 30,000 km or so. In Star Trek sensor range terms, this is effectively spitting distance. When Tyler is transported into space, how did Discovery get close enough to transport him back without Shenzhou picking them up on sensors, Tyler dying of exposure, or a combination of the two happening? There's not even throwaway lines on Discovery using short range spore jumps to get close enough to "hide" in a not easily scanned location within 80,000 km of the Shenzhou.
    • Discovery has an advantage: they have a mole acting as captain of the Shenzhou. It's not unreasonable to assume that Burnham was able to tweak the computer system to tell it to briefly ignore Discovery when it closed to within transporter range and not raise an alarm.
  • Cloaking devices are explicitly established to be unknown to the Mirror Universe until the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine era (that's why Quark and co. had to steal one for them). How does the Emperor have a secret cloaked ship 100 years earlier? It doesn't make sense, especially when you could very easily simply CGI a giant battleship to be the Imperial Flagship warping in. It's a lazy cost decision that ends up conflicting with canon (and we already know how cranky people get over that!)
    • I.S.S. Enterprise had a Suliban cloaking device, so it isn't unknown tech.
    • At the moment, there's no evidence there's a cloak. It probably will be revealed to be one, but it could just as easily be that Fleet has programmed the computers so that the flagship doesn't appear on them unless it wants to be, making it harder for an ambitious captain to target the Emperor. Given the Properly Paranoid nature of the Mirror Universe, it isn't an unreasonable precaution.
    • It's already a Continuity Snarl regardless, as Alliance ships were shown decloaking in DS9's third season.
    • It's entirely possible that the cloaking technology in the hands of the Empire — probably Suliban-designed — is a very closely guarded secret, and gets lost somehow in the intervening years before or during the Empire's downfall. It's not like the Empire's focus is on science when much of its economy must be devoted to warfare just to maintain such an iron grip on the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. The Klingons or Cardassians might have gotten their hands on the same cloaking technology later on, or developed their own in the century that they had to consolidate their power until DS9's era.
  • The original plan was for Burnham and Tyler to acquire the data they need from the Mirror Shenzhou, transfer it to the Discovery, and then get back there along with Lorca. However, in this episode Burnham gives a technobabble explanation to Saru, saying that the data is encrypted or something and therefore cannot be transferred, which is why they have to stay onboard Shenzhou. But later on we see Burnham has downloaded the data on a disk, which she puts to the pocket of the "dead" Tyler, allowing Discovery to get it. If the encrypted data could be put on a disk, why didn't Burnham just do that as soon as possible, and then get the hell out of Shenzhou with her two crew members, carrying the disk herself?
    • It would simply be too suspicious. Captains may have relatively wide latitude with their authority, but even they are answerable to the chain of command, which is shown to be pretty brutal in the Mirror Universe. Burnham just up and leaving Shenzhou with a known traitor would definitely arouse suspicions (if not being considered outright desertion) and if anyone tracked her to Discovery, things could turn bad very quickly. Discovery is trying its hardest to remain inconspicuous. (Though that does link to the above Headscratcher of how Discovery went undetected while they retrieved Ash.)
    • Doesn't Lorca tell her to stay put, just in case the data doesn't pan out?
  • If it was Empress Sato in Enterprise, then why is it Emperor Georgiou in Discovery?
    • For the sake of the reveal.
    • The reveal is one explanation. The other is that it is the same kind of progressive politics that gave Burnham a male forename. And no, it's not some obscure female variant of the name, there are plenty of interviews where they explain that they sought to give her a male name from the outset. Thus what was once Empress is now Emperor. Ironically enough, twenty years earlier over on Voyager, they actually mocked this sort of thing with Janeway pointing out to Kim (and apparently the rest of the crew off-screen) to never call her sir under any circumstances, Starfleet protocols be damned.
      • It's not exactly "progressive politics," names have changed their "usual gender" even over our last generation - Carol, Leslie, Ashley, Avery, Kelly... why not Michael? I actually thought it was fun verisimilitude that people in the future would have names we'd find weird, just as we'd find 19th century or 18th century names odd.
      • Starfleet protocol has been unisex since at least Wrath of Khan. Saavik was always "Mr" Saavik as befitted her midshipman status, and it seems to have been maintained throughout the rest of the history. In relation to Janeway, she's the Captain, you call her whatever she damn well tells you to call her.
      • But this is the freaking Mirror Universe. What do they care about progressive politics?
      • I was referring to the writers of the show not the in-universe characters. But yeah, that is a very good point. Why does the brutal empire that has an official position called The Captain's Woman and provides its female crew members with uniforms that are basically two strips of fabric over the chest and waist have any progressive attitudes at all towards names and titles? It doesn't make sense.
      • It doesn't, really, but then the Mirror Universe has never made a lot of sense to begin with. Also, it's clearly the Emperor's preference to use that as a title instead of "Empress". Anyone who doesn't like it is found guilty of "malicious thoughts against (their) Emperor" and promptly executed. It's also quite possible that Mirror-Georgiou is imposing more progressive attitudes on The Empire for the time being, since we haven't seen any cropped uniforms or "captain's women" so far in the pieces of the Mirror Universe shown in Discovery.
      • Note that no one on the ISS Shenzhou thinks twice about Burnham sleeping with Tyler, essentially making him "The Captain's Man". In previous portrayals of the Mirror Universe, the "Captain's Woman" was an unofficial title, and they had other duties (as Sato was shown to). Essentially, the captain (and possibly other senior officers) are allowed a concubine who may or may not be an actually competent crewmember.
      • More likely, in a world where (in TOS at least) you're required to wear a torture device on your belt so an officer can punish you for failure at a moment's notice, if someone senior to you tells you get naked and get into bed, you'd better do it posthaste.
  • How come Lorca's pet tribble didn't detect Tyler/Voq?
    • Because he's almost entirely human, enough to fool Starfleet medical scanners, not just given simple plastic surgery.
    • Assuming it's not a mirror Tribble, which we have no idea how they react.
  • If Mirror!Klingons aren't nearly the power they are in the Prime universe, how the hell do they manage to get powerful enough to form an alliance with the Cardassians and destroy the Empire? To the point where their 24th century regent is a Klingon.
    • Don't forget that the Terran Empire collapses in on itself in a matter of decades, if not years. A century of intervening time is plenty long enough for the Klingons and Cardassians to rise up and form a hegemonic Alliance. Even better, their mutual weakness in the early going would have been incentive to ally with one another to break the power of the Empire and get revenge for their past persecution.
  • If Mirror Sarek is a member of La Résistance, how could Spock (a human hybrid) even exist in that universe? Is Mirror Amanda a dissident? If so, how is Mirror Spock a respected officer of the Imperial Fleet rather than a persecuted criminal as both his parents are renegades? And if Amanda is not a dissident, why would Voq and the other members of the resistance trust Sarek? They're hugely mistrustful of humans, it doesn't look like they would trust a guy who married (or at least conceived a child with) one. Could it be that no one in the mirror universe knows that Spock's father is Sarek?
    • It's also possible that mirror-Sarek and mirror-Amanda broke up after Spock was born, perhaps over Sarek's growing sympathies for The Resistance. Amanda would then have taken Spock back to the Empire with her, whereupon he gained entry into the Imperial Fleet somehow (perhaps a case of Screw the Rules, I Have Connections! on Amanda's part).
    • And, for a much darker interpretation, consider Mirror Saru's role as an attendant to Burnham. Maybe Mirror Amanda has a much higher rank in this reality and just had a thing for Vulcans. I'll leave the rest to the imagination.
      • Like what we thought L'Rell did to Ash Tyler until the reveal?
      • Mirror!Sarek being a Terran noble's Sex Slave (seems likely that Mirror!Amanda would be whatever the Terran Empire has for nobility) would give him plenty of impetus to join the Resistance.
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    Episode 12 - "Vaulting Ambition" 
  • If Mirror!Burnham is the Emperor's adopted daughter, and no one outside the Emperor's inner circle is aware of Burnham's betrayal, then why in the hell did Mirror!Connor think he could get away with killing her? Even Mirror!Spock was afraid of killing Mirror!Kirk because of the latter's connections. No way Mirror!Connor wouldn't expect a reprisal.
    • A case of Revenge Before Reason — Mirror-Connor is blinded by his jealousy of Burnham's popularity with the crew, and he knows he won't be able to keep his command long at all with Burnham now Back from the Dead. His pride won't let him accept a transfer (if one is available at all) or a demotion, and he probably doesn't have the guts or opportunity to take on a flag officer for a Klingon Promotion, and so the only realistic way for him to at least keep the power he already has is to kill Burnham before she can retake her command. With Mirror-Georgiou's identity such a high-level secret, Mirror-Connor probably has no idea of Mirror-Burnham's relationship to the Emperor and the consequences thereof. And, overall, Terran Empire denizens have only rarely (e.g. Mirror-Spock, Lorca, "Smiley" O'Brien, etc.) been adept at longer-term strategy instead of just impulsive action.
      • It's possible he was thinking that if he could kill her before she hit the bridge, the crew would be forced to accept it as a fait accompli and then he could make up some bullshit story to explain her death.
      • He doesn't have to bullshit a story, since the Terran Empire basically runs on Might Makes Right. If he kills her, he is The Captain of the Shenzhou, end of story — at least until Mirror-Detmer or other crewmembers decide that taking him out is a better idea, both to avenge Burnham and to empower/enrich themselves.
  • If Lorca really is Terran, then how can he handle being working side-by-side with aliens and even reporting to a Vulcan? Aren't they all rabid xenophobes?
    • Pragmatism. He has a goal, and if he has to work with aliens to get to it, so be it.
    • I don't think they are all that xenophobic, Mirror!Archer also worked with Mirror!T'Pol pretty well. It's more like they are racist (which is not the same) and may have as individuals different levels of racism too (which is also a thing).
  • Georgiou's explanation that the eyes of Mirror Universe humans are more sensitive to light seems to be an Author's Saving Throw to explain why the MU ships seen in previous Trek series have been so dimly lit, even though that's hardly practical. But the problem is that it isn't just Terran vessels that have been depicted this way ... For example, in the DS9 Mirror Universe episodes the eponymous space station is also way more dark than its Prime Universe counterpart. Are we to assume that the MU Bajorans and Cardassians also independently developed such sensitive eyes? And if that were the case, why didn't MU characters who crossed over to the Prime Universe (such as Bareil in "Resurrection") complain about the bright lights or ask for them to be dimmed?
    • Remember, though, that the station was very dimly lit during the Occupation, as well. The lights only get bright after the Bajorans and Starfleet take over. Come to think of it, Cardassian sets in general tend to be darkly lit, and considering that Cardassian interrogation tactics sometimes involve blasting the subject with high-intensity floodlights, maybe Cardassians in both universes really are a bit sensitive to light. Granted, when the Dominion reoccupied the station, the lights stayed bright, but that might have been as a courtesy to the Bajorans — and possibly to Weyoun, whose species is noted for its poor eyesight.
      • The Dominion may also have been subtly disrespecting the Cardassians by keeping the station uncomfortably bright for them. Also, only the Terrans from the Mirror Universe are noted to be sensitive to light. The Bajorans are a different species altogether, and the same goes for the Klingons, Andorians, Tellarites, Vulcans and others who make up Mirror-Voq's alliance. In fact, the Terrans may have subtly evolved their sensitivity to light after spending centuries in deliberately darker environments.

    Episode 13 - "What's Past Is Prologue" 
  • I have a problem with biology and how the agonizers work. When Georgiou says to Lorca that "your life will be long and every second of it will be in an agonizer booth" and although I know she could just be using a hyperbole I was thinking ... how? Agonizers do not allow the poor people inside to sleep and do not provide water, food or where to excrete. No one can survive in that situation more than a few days, unless you give the victim some time to rest, eat and drink the organism will die after a few days, not to mention the mind will go mad for the pain at some point. Of course she might just been dramatic but then we see Lorca's former crew and it's said that they spent a year in there, you can hardly survive a few days, they won't survive a year, and if they do, they won't be sane and probably won’t be able to walk, much less to start a military operation. They actually look pretty good and recovered very fast from almost 300 days of unbearable pain and sleep deprivation 24/7.
    • Recall that Lorca faked dying in the pod and Maddox immediately tried to revive him so he could torture him more. It's probable they are removed for whatever bare minimum of care is needed to keep them alive.
      • They still look too good and recovered too fast from months of almost constant torture.
    • Maybe agonizers are not as painful as they look. After all, people seem to be standing there. Really incapacitating pain would make you fell. They might be "migraine" level of pain, not electroshock level of pain.
      • Perhaps agonizers only give the perception of pain? For example, getting stuck by a rusty chipped steel nail is painful. Now have a device that makes you remember the pain. With different settings on the intensity of that memory. No physical damage, but all the agony.
      • The agonizers work by direct nerve stimulation. So no physical damage but constant agony. The OP's point was that the secondary effects of constant pain (sleep/water/food deprivation, constant peak activity, etc.) would be damaging in their own right.
    • Most likely the Empire's Torture Technicians are highly adept by now at administering just enough water, nutrients, and drugs to keep their prisoners alive for yet more cycles of torment. Also, nothing has explicitly said that the prisoners aren't put in cells to rest for some small fraction of their time in captivity — while Mirror-Georgiou is probably just being dramatic for effect. And aboard the Shenzhou, it seems that prisoners are generally only kept in the agonizers for long enough to teach them a lesson (or for their jailers to get bored) before they are inevitably Thrown Out the Airlock.
  • When the Discovery arrives to the Charon, why do they allow it to shoot at the Emperor's ship? Why hadn't Lorca put the shields up? He had no reason to believe the Discovery wouldn't attack them, and that first shot it fired almost killed him.
    • Chalk it up to Lorca's belief that the Federation is all into group hugs — and of course, he does have Burnham as a hostage, even in the same room. If he hadn't shown the Discovery crew where exactly she was, they would most likely have been unable to fire. And finally, Lorca didn't know about the mycelium trouble — from his perspective, the Discovery just had no motivation to pick a fight against a massively larger ship that would just cut her to pieces without a second thought.
  • So, the big plan Burnham and Georgiou came up with was to allow themselves to be captured and then... just attack the guards and hope for the best? What if Lorca had decided to put them in manacles or otherwise incapacitate them? Before they were still free to move around the ship and sabotage it, but now they're willing to risk the fate of the entire multiverse on plan that any whim of Lorca or a better aimed shot by his troops would instantly cause to fail.
    • Because they had no better alternative. They couldn't disable the field from anywhere else and Burnham knew Lorca wanted her by his side. It was a calculated risk.

    Episode 14 - "The War Without, The War Within" 
  • According to Burnham, the Terran Empire pretty much controls the entirety of Mirror Milky Way. That doesn't really seem likely, especially since then they'd have to deal with the likes of the Dominion and the Borg, who most definitely are not pushovers. Then there are the travel times between quadrants. Georgiou doesn't correct her, implying it's true.
    • It should be remembered that the idea of the mirror universe is that everything is backwards, good guys are evil, villains are heroes, etc. In a similar way how Quark is an altruistic good guy in Mirror Deep Space Nine, Mirror!Klingons in Discovery seem to be much more peaceful than Prime Universe!Klingons, thus it's likely that the Borg and the Dominion, if they exist in the Mirror universe are similarly tamed. But in any case the most likely is that Burnham is just exaggerating and only referring to the Alpha Quadrant.
      • This kind of makes me imagine The Borg and Jem'Hadar going around the universe giving everyone tea and biscuits.
    • Georgiou not correcting Michael when Michael vastly overestimates the power of the Terran Empire means pretty much nothing, considering she's not exactly a humble person and can only benefit from being seen as greater than she actually is.

    Episode 15 - "Will You Take My Hand?" 
  • Burnham's plan to stop the war in this episode is ridiculous, since it means essentially putting everything in L'Rell's hands, even though they can't be certain L'Rell will agree with them, or that she won't change her mind later on. Even if Burnham is somehow convinced L'Rell will do what she suggests, how did she convince Admiral Cornwell, Saru, and the rest of the Discovery crew to agree to such a risky plan? Instead of giving the detonator to L'Rell, why doesn't Starfleet just keep it to themselves and threaten to blow up Qo'nos unless the Klingon Empire agrees to an armistice? This kind of threat of a mutually assured destruction would lead to the cold war between Klingons and Federation that we see going on in TOS.
    • Who says Starfleet can't simply produce another detonator? It's their bomb. That might be the (unspoken) backup plan; they give L'Rell something that she can use to enforce her will on the Klingons and bring peace, but if that doesn't work, well, they can always just set off the bomb anyway. And even if Starfleet is honestly willing to take the risk (and can't produce another detonator), it would be rational for L'Rell not to take that risk because she'd have to assume they'd have the capability to do so, at least until the Klingons can extract the bomb themselves.
    • Additionally, Cornwell is the one who had the most contact with L'Rell during her "interrogation". L'Rell isn't interested so much in war as in unification and the current war shows no signs of actually uniting the Klingons. Saru would probably be the most difficult to convince, but he's also a deeply moral individual who very likely hates Emperor Georgiou, meaning anything that is contrary to her plan gets an automatic plus in his book. And as Michael points out to L'Rell, by placing that bomb at its target, the Federation already has beaten the Klingons - the honorable thing is probably to suck it up and move forward.
  • The guy trying to rob Tilly says, "you were asleep; I'm Orion" like his entire species are thieves. That seems improbable, since any kind of civilization would be impossible if every single Orion was a thief. Also, a Star Fleet cadet in the reboot was Orion, which seems unlikely if she couldn't hold to Federation ethics.
    • The line was probably intended as a joke, with the Orion being aware of his species' stereotype. That said, it's definitely not impossible to imagine an alien civilization that has no concept of property and operates on different ethical systems (e.g. "if no one's guarding it, I can take it"). From a human perspective, they could be considered thieves, but it might be just Blue and Orange Morality going on. And the Starfleet cadet would be expected to follow the rules like anyone else, no matter how alien the rules might seem to her.

Season 2

    Episode 1 - "Brother" 
  • Couldn't Tilly and Burnham have perhaps picked a smaller fragment of the asteroid to capture for study and analysis? Maybe one that might not have filled and half-wrecked the Discovery's only shuttlebay on the way inside?
    • Beggars can't be choosers. They needed to grab a piece quickly and had to do it at the edge of the field. It also had to be moving slow enough for that trick to work.
      • It just seems like the exterior of the field would have a range of fragment sizes around just like the interior of the field; we even see a whole variety as the camera tracks the rock that the crew selected. And the piece doesn't have to be moving slow, as the whole field is moving at great speed towards the pulsar — the point is just that it needs to be moving slowly relative to the ship, hence why Saru orders Detmer to keep the fragment steady in the ship's wake (whereas there would be no wake if they were holding station).
    • "New Eden" reveals that they ended up needing a fragment that large to save the day.
      • That's no explanation, though, as they couldn't have known in advance they would need it in the future.
  • How is Burnham a full commander in Starfleet when Spock is only a lieutenant? From the flashbacks to their shared childhood, it seems like they were only a few years apart in age.
    • She's been in Starfleet longer, and differing situations with their respective captains may have earned Burnham quicker promotions than Spock got over an equivalent period.
    • There's always a question of what jobs are available. Spock is still just the Science Officer, where as Michael was First Officer. Unless Spock transfers, he'd have to wait for Pike's current first officer to vacate the post.
  • It's explicitly mentioned that Pike is taking over Discovery only temporarily because there's something that demands immediate action: determine the source of the last remaining one of those mysterious signals. However, at the end of the episode that signal too is gone, so it doesn't seem like there's an immediate crisis going on anymore. Also, Discovery drops Sarek on Vulcan, where they were supposed to pick up their new regular captain. So why is Pike still commanding Discovery at the end of the episode instead of the new captain?
    • It's stated that Pike's mission isn't to investigate one signal, it was to investigate the signals in general. He assumes command of Discovery for (presumably) a short time while Enterprise is undergoing repairs, but after they rescue Reno and the others they find out that the Enterprise is going to have to spend an extended time in drydock. Given that Pike is already there and he and the crew have demonstrated they can work well together, it makes sense to make his temporary assignment longer since his own ship is out of action anyway.
    • It still means the Discovery's new captain is being punished for nothing.
    • It's not really a punishment, 'merely' a indication of their lack of faith in him. Starfleet neither want their most advanced vessel crewed by a inexperienced captain, nor their most experienced captain to be left without a ship.

    Episode 4 - "An Obol for Charon" 
  • How is it that Saru realised only know that the Kelpien death ritual is a lie? When Starfleet took him in, as soon as he learned what their advanced technology can do, shouldn't he have figured out that the Ba'ul are also aliens who use similar technology to harvest them?
    • The Kelpians already knew that the Ba'ul were space travelers. Nothing about Starfleet picking Saru up changed what he knew of his people. He had no reason to believe the condition was anything less than genuine because he had seen or at least heard how others had suffered from the advanced stages of it. No one had ever let it run its course like with him.
    • Note also that Saru had the process initiate prematurely, and stated such. If Kelpians can normally expect when the process will happen and prepare for it, then it would likely be rare that the process would go on without intervention. Also, look at it from the Kelpian point of view: if the process is part of aging, then it would only normally happen to the older Kelpians, and likely not those in their physical prime. And what happens if the process happens without intervention? A Kelpian loses the sense of fear they have for their entire lives, and thus would likely be more willing to engage in risky behaviour, which to a "normal" Kelpian would seem insane. Consider what happened to Saru when he temporarily lost his fear in "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum"; from Burnham's point of view, he started acting deranged. To a Kelpian, it would likely have seemed even worse. Thus, they'd have every reason to prepare for a peaceful death instead of going dangerously bonkers.
  • Okay, I get that Saru is able to understand everyone, while the UT is on the fritz. But how are they understanding him? Wouldn't his speech be as unintelligible as everyone else's? It's almost as if the UT doesn't bother translate his speech, while translating the others'.
    • Do they actually understand him? Only Michael and Saru had a brief conversation, then Saru switched to the backup UT and things were fine and dandy again. Michael could easily have just been guessing based on Saru's tone and inflection what he said.
    • Or he's responding in English.
  • Captain Pike explains that he doesn't like the new-fashioned hologram communication technology, which is why he had removed from the Enterprise, so the ship now uses only viewscreens for visual communication. This is clearly the writers' attempt to explain away the fact that hologram communication is shown to be used in Discovery, even though we don't see it in The Original Series. But this scene actually makes the Continuity Snarl worse, since it establishes hologram communication is commonplace in the 23rd century, which only raises more questions. For example, even if the Enterprise doesn't use holograms because of Pike's preference, why is the technology missing from other TOS era Starfleet ships? And why doesn't the Enterprise-D still have holocommunication a century later? Why does Benjamin Sisko consider it to be a new thing, if the Starfleet has had the technology for over a 100 years?
    • Pike becomes a Fleet Captain in a few years, maybe he orders this to be part of standard design across the fleet - if a piece of tech was vulnerable enough to cripple a state of the art starship like the Enterprise, it's a liability. Better to downgrade to more reliable tech than risk the ship being rendered powerless while out exploring strange new worlds on the edges of the Federation.
    • It's entirely possible, based on later events in "Project Daedalus," where holograms are established to have been used to frame Spock for murder AND have been used by Control to fake the admirals at 31 headquarters giving orders, holograms face a serious stigma and Starfleet and the Federation opt to downgrade, this time for the sake of security - sure, video transmissions can still be faked, but the fingerprints are easier to find on those records. Given that the Federation still has genetic engineering outlawed on the basis of Khan, from a time before the Federation was founded, it's not out of the question to see the Federation be so opposed to certain tech for centuries after a single serious abuse.

    Episode 5 - "Saints of Imperfection" 
  • In the beginning, Section 31 was an organisation so secretive that barely anyone knew it even existed, a feat beyond its rivals in the Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order. Fast-backforward a few years, and all Georgiou has to do is flash her shiny badge and both Pike and Burnham immediately know she's Section 31. While granted, this hardly means Section 31 is public knowledge, or even common knowledge within Starfleet... just what is Section 31 thinking allowing this?
    • Section 31's status could change in the 115 or so years between the period of Discovery and Deep Space Nine when Bashir first encountered it, having gone from a classified group within Starfleet Intelligence that some people knew about into a truly black one, with anyone who knew about it thinking it had been relegated to the history books...which books, of course, Section 31 could ensure didn't show up in databases if anyone a few decades down the line bothered to look.
    • The first chronological appearance of Section 31 was in Enterprise, where it was also an incredibly secretive organisation few people knew about. So it is a bit weird they had this super-secret status in the 22nd and the 24th century, but not in the 23rd.
    • This gets more ridiculous in "Light and Shadows", where we find out that even Amanda Grayson, a civilian living on Vulcan, knows who Section 31 are and what they do.
    • Amanda Grayson is the wife of a high ranking Federation Diplomat. Honestly the Federation likely brought them back into the fold at some point so they could apply some level of control over them, only to eventually think "No, these guys are crazy, we're shutting them down". Of course Section 31 then simply goes back into the shadows, and actively takes advantage of the Federation attempting to cover up their crimes.
    • Here's my take: Everyone who knows in the 23rd century, except for Amanda Grayson, are military officers. Their logs are classified and they're under general orders not to reveal it. Even if most Starfleet officers know now, the information is contained and the next generation of Starfleet officers might never know. As for Grayson, the threat of prison is probably looming if she blows their cover.

    Episode 6 - "The Sounds of Thunder" 
  • When Saru's sister asks Michael how she understands them, Michael tells her of the universal translator and that it could translate "a thousand languages". Three questions: One, from Serana's point of view wouldn't Michael just be speaking Kelpien and think that she learned their language instead of asking how they can understand one another; Two, based on that, why doesn't Michael just say she learned Kelpien instead of showing her the translator, which would probably be an easier explanation; Three, the translator can cover only a thousand languages? There's 7 000 languages on Earth alone, and that's not including dead ones like Latin or Sumerian. If it can only translate a thousand languages, that's sorely lacking. One might say Starfleet only made it handle languages people still speak in the 23rd century, but wouldn't you want to give the translator as much data as possible so it works better?
    • Not sure about question one, but for question two, Michael knows that she is aware of space travel, and is obviously not her own species, so Michael is likely to just want to tell her the truth. She is not only on mission and trying to gain Saru's sisters trust, but strictly speaking she is taking part in a first contact situation, so she want's to make sure she's not complicating anything too much. For the third question, I'd assume Michael said a thousand just for simplicity's sake. Even if she said a million, there's likely more languages out there.
    • For the first question, the way the Universal Translator has been shown working has been totally inconsistent. "Into The Forest I Go" established how you'd think the Universal Translator would work: it gives simultaneous interpretation (so Bunham speaks English, it translates into Klingon, Kol speaks Klingon, it translates into English). "An Obol for Charon" acted totally differently, somehow preventing even the speaker from understanding what they were saying ("Am I speaking Arabic?"), which makes no sense. This episode is more like the first: presumably Siranna hears Burnham talking in some alien language, but then suddenly hears someone speaking Kelpien. When Siranna speaks, she suddenly hears another voice speaking in that same alien language, obviously repeating what she was saying.
      • That's not what Keyla meant when she asked if she was speaking Arabic, though: Obviously she'd know what she said, but the UT translated her speech into Andorian, which she couldn't understand, so she's asking what language her speech has been translated into. It's the same as a modern-day translator: you say something, they translate it into a foreign language. You know the meaning behind the words, but only because you spoke them in the first place: it's just a bunch of sounds to you.
  • So, the Ba'ul imprison Saru and Siranna, and one Ba'ul comes and threatens the two, and then they send a couple of drones to kill them, but Saru crushes them easily with his bare hands... And that's it? They just leave Saru and Siranna be, even when they hijack the Ba'ul communication system to broadcast a signal that will put an end to the Ba'ul domination of Kaminar? Couldn't they have, you know, send something or someone else to kill Saru and Siranna? The Ba'ul are shown to have massive spaceships capable of threatening the Discovery, so why doesn't their base of operation have any sort of surveillance or security beyond a few frail drones?
    • The Ba'ul haven't had to deal with a Kelpien who had lived through varhar'ai and understood what was happening for a long time, probably since long before the facility was built. To eliminate a regular Kelpien, their tech would have been totally sufficient. More importantly, it may have been two thousand years since they'd had to deal with a post-varhar'ai Kelpien who also understood their technology and certainly never had dealt with one who had spent the last twenty years in a civilization with more advanced tech than the Ba'ul. They may simply have never considered the possibility of an entity like that free inside one of their facilities, and so their internal security wasn't set up to deal with it.
    • But the Ba'ul were perfectly aware that Saru had gone through varhar'ai, and that he had spent the last twenty years working with more advanced tech, so why didn't they take proper precautions? They could've easily questioned him in a more remote place, there was no reason to put him in their base of operations, where he could do the most damage if he got free.
    • The Ba'ul didn't demonstrate a whole lot of reasonable thinking when it came to the issue of the Kelpiens. They were willing to pick a fight with a technologically-superior opponent; they didn't simply order Discovery to leave, take Saru with them, and not come back (which would have eliminated that part of the problem, and Siranna could be dealt with later). The conversation with Saru made it clear they thought of him as not much more than a dangerous animal, even though they knew he served on a starship; they simply had a massive blind spot when it came to considering the Kelpiens as anything else, even when the evidence was right in front of them. It was a classic example of Double Think on the part of the Ba'ul: Kelpiens are at the same time a massive threat, but easily controlled and harmless.
  • Pike ordered photon torpedoes to be targeted at the Ba'ul pylons. Um, how would detonating antimatter weapons in the middle of a village not destroy said village? I know they can dial back the destructive power, but it still seems far too dangerous.
    • I feel sure that photon torpedoes are variable yield. They could be reacting microscopic amounts of antimatter and matter, at yields of less than a single ton of TNT. This idea comes up in the TNG Technical manual, which is non-canon, but I seem to think it's corroborated somewhere in canon.
    • Better to risk some deaths than genocide of an entire species.
    • Exactly. I struggle to think of what else they could do from orbit, bar technobabble at them (and they didn't exactly have a lot of time).
    • That they can accurately hit pylons from orbit with anti-matter torpedoes without doing serious damage to the landscape seems impossible. This is the equivalent of dropping Cobalt bombs from orbit to take care of an anthill, its the wrong sort of ordnance with a much bigger danger than the thing you're trying to stop.

    Episode 9 - "Project Daedalus" 
  • When Discovery is trying to slip through the minefield, they have to lower their shields to avoid attracting the mines (which, reasonably enough, seem designed to assume any ship trying to get through with shields up is an enemy, plus shields are probably easy to detect). When the mines begin chasing after them Galaxy Quest-style, they raise shields and proceed to tank damage as they race through the minefield. Why not use any of the ship's weapons to try and fend off the mines?
    • As the mines are programmed to be attracted to shields, it would make sense that they are just as much attracted by weakon fire to make the life of anybody trying to shoot his way through the mine field as difficult as possible.
  • So, apparently the viewscreens and cameras Starfleet uses also record and transmit data beyond the visual spectrum. Seems like a waste of resources to set up the necessary equipment and the extra computer memory to record data that no one would actually need for 99.99% of the time?
    • Contemporary smartphone camera hardware, were they unfiltered, could detect UV (ultraviolet) through IR (infrared). As is, a smartphone with it's small processor and limited memory is capable of detecting IR. There's little demand for UV photography, but with modifications it's possible. It's not a stretch that two centuries from now, generic cameras/sensors routinely detect a wide swath of the EM spectrum. Consider Commander Spock's conversation with the Tholians in The Tholian Web. What appeared on the viewscreen was a visible light image, of data that consisted of more than just visible light.
  • In this episode we find out that Airiam is a regular human woman who received cybernetic enhancements after a bad shuttle crash. So if she's not an alien or a robot or whatever, why does she only have one name? And why is it "Airiam?" that's not a real name.
    • Languages develop and evolve over time, and when exposed to alien cultures, grow even more so (this becomes more expected when encountering alien races). Airiam could mean something to another culture and the characters parents might have just liked how it sounded. Khaleesi and Arya are made-up names but have become popular baby names now.
    • Just having a single name doesn't mean anything either; from Star Trek itself, we have the example of the fully human Chakotay.
    • Also, every name that's ever been used was "not a real name" at the point it was first used. There would have been a time when no-one was called "John" or "Elizabeth." Once you give something a name, that word becomes a name.
      • Fair point but "John" and "Elizabeth" both have meanings. "Airiam" is just a noise that sounds vaguely like a piece of technology. Which leads me to believe that the writers didn't intend to reveal her as human until they started writing this arc.
  • When Airiam goes rogue, why didn’t Discovery beam everyone back, and have a security team dog pile Airiam, or just beam her straight to the brig? Or, in the case that the space station was shielded in certain areas, why not beam her back after she’s blasted out the airlock? Modern science even thinks a normal human would take a little bit to die evening though losing consciousness comes super fast. With her implied full body augmentations, she could last even longer.
    • The Control AI program is a good 500 years more advanced than anything they have, there was no way to know how to remove it from her systems without killing her. Airiam's entire sacrifice was hinging on the fact that she didn't want rescue, that she knew that the only way to save the others was for her to die, that her body not be recovered until her organic parts were dead.
  • In this episode, we see that Nhan can easily be incapacitated or even killed by tearing off her breathing apparatus. Given this, what exactly was Captain Pike thinking by appointing her Chief of Security, the one role where she would be most likely to face physical violence? This is especially baffling considering that on Enterprise she wasn't working in security rather than engineering. So Pike moves her from her field of specialty to a completely different job, one where her biology puts her at more risk than almost any other crew member. How does that make sense?
    • In all fairness, if an enemy combatant is close enough to Nhan to pull her breathing tube out, they could just as easily snap her neck or cut her throat. Presumably her tactical knowledge and hand to hand combat skills are up to the task and she was simply caught off guard by Airiam's attack.

     Episode 10 - "The Red Angel" 
  • The protagonists are trying to capture the Red Angel in a trap based on the assumption that she is a future version of Burnham... Except that the trap involves Burnham herself. No one seems to consider that if the Angel is indeed Burnham of the future, she would be prepared for the trap, since she's already lived through this moment in her past.
  • It's kinda unclear why they want to trap the Red Angel to begin with? They all seem to agree that the RA is trying to prevent the Bad Future she showed to Spock in the vision, so what's the point of trapping her instead of, you know, just letting her do what she's attempting to do?
    • From what they know, it was the temporal rift created by the Red Angel over Kaminar that allowed the Future AI to travel back in time. They explicitly state they want to stop her from jumping in time as they believe that will give the Future AI more opportunities, which is why Leland's ship is rushing to close the rift while Discovery is dealing with the Red Angel. Aside from that, Section 31 isn't really composed of the type of people to sit around trusting others.

     Episode 11 - "Perpetual Infinity" 
  • Since it turns out the Red Angel timesuit is not some piece of advanced technology from centuries in the future, rather than something made by 23rd century Federation scientists, how it capable of doing all the miraculous things we've seen it do in previous episodes? Such as transporting all those people across the galaxy from Earth to Terralysium? That's definitely not something Federation transporters can do.

     Episode 12 - "Through the Valley of Shadows" 
  • When Pike comes to Boreth, Tenavik warns him that the Time Crystals are going to test him, and that his mind probably can't take it. And when Pike touches one of the Crystal, it seemingly intentionally shows him the worst part of his future (instead of, for example, the Happily Ever After ending that follows the worst part), the implication being that Crystals do that to everyone who tries to take them, and that most people Go Mad from the Revelation. So are we assume these minerals somehow have a mind of their own? How does that make sense? And even if we were to accept that minerals are sentient, what exactly is the point of this test of character?
    • there's precedent for mineral based sentient life in Star Trek, like the Horta or the Excalbians from the original series. There's a WMG that the crystals show someone the worst thing they'll experience in the future as a deterrent to people taking them. This makes sense, as this is what they did to Pike. If this is true, maybe it's not a test of character at all and the crystals don't care who's "worthy". They don't want anyone to take them and the vision of the future is an evolved defense mechanism against that. The visions are enough to deter almost everyone but not a dedicated starfleet captain out to save the galaxy, like Pike.
  • Control tells Burnham that the reason it took over Lt. Gant was so it could kill her and assimilate her body. Why, then, doesn't it do that right away on the Discovery shuttlecraft, where both Burnham and Spock are within its reach and neither of them are holding guns? Instead it only attacks them when they are aboard the Section 31 ship, armed, and Spock is in a different room, so there's no way it can immediately defeat both with a surprise attack.

     Episode 13 - "Such Sweet Sorrow" 
  • I may be wrong but I was under the impression that the spore drive could take the Discovery ANYWHERE in the universe, regardless of distance. If that IS the case, why don't they just say to Hell with time travel and take her to the Delta quadrant or a different galaxy entirely where Control would have no chance of getting to it? Sure, it would require Stamets and maybe Nilsson to make a heroic sacrifice, but that's not really any worse than Burnham having to do it. The spore drive is briefly brought up by Tyler as a method of getting Burnham back from the future, but Stamets dismisses it because the act of time travel will drain it or something, but no one seems to consider using distance rather than time as the dividing factor. Complexity addiction, anyone?
    • There's certainly a Complexity Addiction element happening, on the writers' part, if nothing else. But considering that Control almost certainly has copies of the spore drive design (these being on file with Starfleet due to the war last season) and has shown a complete lack of hesitation to use organic life however it needs, it'd be able to recreate the spore drive and follow Discovery wherever it went. Sending it to the future is an attempt to put it out of Control's ability to reach and beyond a point where Control will exist, given that at this point, time crystals are the only solidly reliable source of time travel available, and the Klingons aren't sharing them, while Discovery and Enterprise's crews are attempting to stamp out Control in the here and now, with the sphere data as the prize and the lure to draw Control out.
  • In this episode we find out that only Burnham can use the timesuit, because it'll only work for someone whose DNA is close enough to her mother. This is quite baffling for two reasons... 1) Dr. Burnham wasn't building the timesuit only for herself, but for the Federation. So why would she limit its usage like that? 2) Even if Dr. Burnham's suit only worked with her DNA, they're not using that suit, they're building a new one from scratch. So why don't they just build it without the DNA limitation?
    • For limiting usage to Burnham, the obvious answer is security; it was just a protoype, and it makes sense to ensure that no one else could use it if it were stolen; presumably, if they made more or had other operators, their DNA would be encoded to allow use. As for why build it without the DNA limitations, they didn't have time to alter the design (or figure out what had to be changed in the coding/security measures); they had to produce it as fast as possible, which meant replicating the original suit and its programming exactly without fooling around trying to customize it.

     Episode 14 - "Such Sweet Sorrow Part 2" 
  • In "Point of Light" L'rell collaborates with Section 31 to fake Tyler and Tenavik's deaths to sure up her reign as Chancellor, with the implication that if her deception is revealed, it will throw the empire back into civil war. In this episode, Tyler appears on the bridge of her personal command ship, barking orders at her crew as if he's still the torchbearer, and none of them react to his presence at all. The last they heard of Tyler is that he murdered the Chancellor's son and then tried to murder the Chancellor herself before dying by Kol-sha's hand. And now he's just... back? How on Earth (or rather, how on Quo'noS) did L'rell explain that?
    • Most likely explanation is that she has a hand-picked crew of loyal warriors that can be trusted to keep secret about the deception. The explanation offered to them might vary from Tyler's death being faked to eliminate a dangerous rival (true enough) to more outlandish but plausible-within-the-setting things like alternate-universe dopplegangers or a body double created via extensive modification (in Tyler's case, an accurate but irrelevant description). If they are from House Mo'kai like L'Rell is, then they would not only owe her a familial loyalty on top of their Klingon national loyalty, but would also likely be familiar with the use of underhanded subterfuge, as illustrated by their serving aboard a warship designed to attack while cloaked, via ramming, a tactic rarely otherwise seen used by Klingons.
  • In the first half of the episode, Reno and Burnham both have visions of the photon torpedo lodged in Enterprise's saucer, with the implication that this would relate to Reno's fate somehow. Instead she never has anything to do with the torpedo, last being seen doing some damage control aboard Discovery after Stamets is nearly killed. It's possible that she was originally intended to sacrifice herself trying to defuse the warhead and save Enterprise, but that fate went instead to Admiral Cornwell.
  • The photon torpedo that gets lodged inside Enterprise doesn't make any sense. It seems that if it doesn't immediately go off upon impact, that sets up a timer that makes it explode in 15 minutes or so. What is the point of such timer? And if the timer is somehow necessary, why is the countdown to the explosion so long, giving the targets plenty of time to try and disarm the torpedo, and evacuate the area it hit?
  • According to stardates mentioned in this episode, the events of "The Sound of Thunder" took place on stardate 1035.8, and the main events of this episode happen roughly on stardate 1077 (since at the end of the episode Spock records his log on stardate 1201.7, saying it's been 124 days since the disappearance of Discovery). That means that only six weeks ago Kelpiens had no knowledge of the existence of space travel, yet in this episode they've trained themselves enough to become skilled starship pilots. How the hell does one do that in 40 days?
    • Saru appeared surprised by that as well. I guess Kelpiens are quick learners. After all, Saru did manage to learn 94 languages.
  • Okay, so I get that Cornwell had to manually seal the bulkhead to prevent the torpedo from destroying half the ship (although it's doubtful that a single bulkhead with a window could stand up to a matter/antimatter explosion ten feet away). But they earlier showed that the Enterprise has repair droids with arms. One of those could have been sent to pull the lever. Nope, they had to get a flag officer killed instead.
    • Why don't they have a lever on the other side of the bulkhead, in case they need to seal/unseal it. If this is an anti-matter torpedo, it would likely release so many exotic energies that the radiation would kill anyone anyways. Even regardless, the amount of heat produced would likely cause structural collapse or at the least fry anyone connected to the attached bulkheads. This show has absolutely no understanding how energy works.
  • In the previous episodes, it was mentioned that the Red Angel Spock met as a kid was Gabrielle Burnham, not Michael, and none of the time jumps Michael makes in this episode take him to kid Spock either, so it doesn't seem like Spock ever met the Michael version of the Red Angel as a child. However, Gabrielle said she doesn't know anything about the seven signals, and this episode confirms they were created by Michael. Yet somehow kid Spock got the information about the signals from the Red Angel, even though Gabrielle didn't know about them. How does that make sense?


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