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Recap / Star Trek Discovery Short Treks E01 "Runaway"

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The Discovery is boarded by a strange alien stowaway, leading to some interesting complications for the newly-minted Ensign Tilly.


Tropes:

  • Bad Liar: When the next duty shift comes into the wrecked lounge, Tilly babbles out some crazy off-the-cuff story about an escaped "hormonal space rabbit". Her shipmates just stare at her.
  • Call-Forward: Experienced Trek viewers will know that Starfleet and the Federation eventually develop dilithium recrystallization technology, but only several decades later, when the crew of the Enterprise are on a time-travel mission to the 1980s in an unreliable Klingon Bird-of-Prey to retrieve a pair of humpback whales.
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  • Cathartic Scream: After her conversation with her mother, Tilly grabs a pillow to scream into.
  • *Drool* Hello: Tilly first realizes something else is in the crew lounge with her when some blood lands on her shoulder from above.
  • Ensign Newbie: It's pretty clear when talking with her mother that Tilly is still unsure about her choice to go into Command-track training — or she would be more confident if not for the doubts being raised by her mother.
  • Expospeak Gag: Tilly's tricorder identifies the orange fluid as "Xahean blood-based circulatory fluid".
  • Foodfight!: Po causes the food synthesizers in the lounge to go crazy, pelting Tilly and all the furniture with food and drinks.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: As Tilly points out, she is required by Starfleet regulation to report Po's presence so she can be secured and returned to her homeworld. Eventually she convinces Po to return of her own free will without Tilly having to report her.
  • Gadgeteer Genius:
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    • Po is a genius inventor, having developed technology which will recrystallize dilithium. It'll be many years before the Federation is able to do the same.
    • Tilly has shades of this too, remarking that when she was nine years old, she disassembled her family's food synthesizer and reprogrammed it to dispense nothing but spumoni ice cream.
  • Gargle Blaster: Tilly's quadruple-espresso with milk alternative counts if only because it comes out of the replicator as a single shot, making it quadruple-intensity, rather than merely being four servings.
  • Insufferable Genius: Po comes off as this at first, scoffing that the Universal Translator in Tilly's communicator is something she built when she was a child.
  • Invisibility: Po is able to turn herself invisible. Whether this is a natural trait of Xaheans or done through technology is never discussed.
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  • Just Think of the Potential: Po invented her dilithium incubator as a way of giving back to her planet, which is evidently quite rich with dilithium and mined heavily. Everyone else saw a game-changing invention that would completely upend the galactic economy, since dilithium is highly valuable with its critical use in conventional warp reactors.
  • King Incognito: Po tells Tilly just before beaming off that her brother was the king, and with his death she is now the queen. She ran away because she wasn't sure she was ready to take the throne.
  • Little Stowaway: Po hid inside some cargo containers bound for Discovery.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Tilly orders a quadruple espresso. When the synthesizer cautions her about the amount of caffeine, she tells it to shut up.
  • My Beloved Smother: Tilly is clearly uncomfortable with the conversation with her mother, who seems to do nothing but raise doubts about Tilly's career decisions, and imply that Tilly is The Unfavorite compared to her Older and Wiser stepsister. It ends up only making Tilly more frustrated than she was before.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Tilly offers Po some ice cream, and Lampshades the trope a moment later.
  • Technopath: Po is able to disrupt technology somehow, causing the food synthesizers to go haywire and deactivating Tilly's computer display, among other things.
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Po's full name is "Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po".
  • Unreliable Narrator: Po claims that her race was born at the same time as her planet. Tilly expresses her doubt, given how planets form. At the end, she seems to have accepted Po's claim.
  • Visible Invisibility: Po zig-zags on this. When the show wants us to know where she is while invisible, there's a visible distortion. In other instances, she completely vanishes and appears in another location.
  • "Wanted!" Poster: The 23rd-century equivalent, anyway. A "diplomatic hail" that indicates that Po is not only a runaway but must be returned to Xahea as she is "strategically critical".
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Tilly tells Po that she will make a great queen for Xahea. In turn, Po tells Tilly that she will be a great commander someday.

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