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Recap / Star Trek Discovery Short Treks E04 "The Escape Artist"

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Harry Mudd has been apprehended by Tevrin Krit, a Tellarite with a grudge, and will attempt every trick in the book to escape before Krit can hand him over to Starfleet for the reward on his head.

Tropes

  • Actually a Doombot: The Harry Mudd we've been following all through the episode is actually an android, programmed with Harry's memories to stall until the bounty hunter is too far away to ask for a refund. And the real Harry has been pulling this scam dozens of times.
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  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Mudd certainly is.
    Harry Mudd: Do you want me to beg? Because I'm not above begging...
  • Ancestral Weapon: The sacred cudgel that has been passed down the Krit family for over a 100 years. Harry stole it after sleeping with Tevrin's sister and is still attempting to sell it by the end of the episode.
  • An Arm and a Leg: When Krit leans the truth about Mudd, he angrily rips off his right arm, revealing circuits and lubricant. We also see that one of the other Mudd-droids is likewise missing a right arm, implying a similar reaction from another bounty hunter.
  • Badass Cape: Mudd promises one of these to an Orion guard.
  • Blatant Lies: Everything Mudd tries to talk his way out of his captivity is such transparent bullshit that Krit actually wonders out loud if any of it has ever worked.
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  • Big "NO!": Krit lets out an epic one when he finds out the Mudd he caught is just a decoy.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The Krit's sacred cudgel is covered with massive gemstones.
  • Boldly Coming: Mudd previously slept with Krit's sister, and attempted to seduce two of his previous captors, to say nothing of the incident with the space whale. Ironically, when he attempted it on an Orion woman, she simply tazes him.
  • Brick Joke: Krit's grievance against Mudd is that Mudd stole his family's sacred cudgel, which Mudd claims to have sold. At the end, he turns out to still have it and hasn't managed to pawn it yet.
  • Broken Record: "If I had any money, I'd be sipping jippers on a beach somewhere!"
  • Call-Back: One of the crimes Harry is wanted for completely baffles Krit, but makes perfect sense to the audience...
    Tevrin Krit: Harcourt Fenton Mudd, wanted by the Federation on 30 counts of smuggling, 20 counts of attempted homicide, one count of attempted regicide...
    Harry Mudd: Pft! "Regicide". He was a duke. Hardly counts as regicide. What are we attempting to murder now? Accuracy?
    Tevrin Krit: Transportation of stolen goods, and one count of... penetrating a space whale?!
    Harry Mudd: You kinda had to be there.
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  • Call-Forward: This episode establishes that Harry Mudd is no stranger to using androids who look just like people as servants. This will come to bite him in the ass eventually.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The closing credits are set to a... very chill rendition of the theme song, presumably evoking the beach somewhere that Mudd plans to be sipping drinks on once he's rich.
  • Credits Gag: The typical Short Treks intro goes out in a burst of video distortion before showing the episode title, with the music replaced by a disco remix.
  • Disguised in Drag: As part of his con, the real Mudd dresses as female bounty hunter in heavy armor looking to sell the robotic Mudds at half the bounty price to unsuspecting bounty hunters.
  • Gilligan Cut: Every time Mudd tries a line or story on Krit, it immediately cuts to a flashback contradicting what he is saying.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: The Orion woman in one of Mudd's flashbacks. Mudd even attempts to woo her by complimenting her on the shade of green. She just tases him.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The male Orion guard in one of the flashbacks, who in addition to being the only individual stupid enough to fall for Mudd's bullshit promises, forgets one important detail...
    Female Orion Guard: Hey imbecile. You know we have a camera in here, right?
  • Here We Go Again!: The Starfleet Lieutenant, when Tevrin beams aboard the USS De Milo with "Harry Mudd".
    Lieutenant: Welcome to the De Milo, how can we be of- (sees Mudd) ...oh.
    • And the episode ends with the real Harry calling up yet another bounty hunter from his ship, to run the scam all over again.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Krit calls Mudd out at the end, saying the whole point of Mudd's incessant babble was to distract Krit while Mudd went for the knife in his boot. Mudd gingerly pulls out the knife and tosses it aside.
  • La Résistance: Harry claims he's part of a Resistance movement fighting "Federation oppression".
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Mudd when he realizes he's about to dis his captor's ship.
    Mudd: If I had any money, I'd be sipping jippers on a beach somewhere, instead of being chained up in this piece of... lovely cruiser.
  • Me's a Crowd: The De Milo has a cargo bay full of chattering Mudd-droids. Meanwhile the real Harry is flying around in a ship crewed entirely by his own duplicates.
  • Mundane Utility: Android technology is preciously rare in Star Trek; most of the TOS-era droids are left over from extinct civilizations and in TNG, Soong's creations are the only known sentient androids in the known galaxy. (Even the Gamma and Delta quadrants, once encountered, don't have them.) So what does Harry Mudd do with his ability to create perfect replicas who have the intellectual capacity to lie and con? Sell them off one-by-one and use the spares as servants.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the Mudd androids is wearing a tunic with epaulets very similar to his "Lord Mudd" outfit from "I, Mudd".
  • The Napoleon: The tiny female bounty hunter in the second flashback, who doesn't take Harry's comments about her height at all well.
  • Noodle Incident: We don't get any details about the time Harry attempted to murder a duke.
  • Not So Different: We discover that Mudd is fond of using this line to try and get in the good graces of his captors.
  • Seen It All: The USS De Milo officer is completely nonplussed when a bounty hunter shows up with "Mudd", saying they've picked up a dozen of these duplicates from bounty hunters in the last week.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailer at the end of "The Brightest Star" implied that this would be a dark, action-packed story. It's not.
  • Troll: Krit gets a kick out of pretending to fall for Mudd's bullshit story about being a member of a Resistance against the Federation.
    • The Federation has placed a sizable bounty on Mudd's head. So Mudd hatches a plot that involves them getting spammed with annoying Mudd-droids brought in by bounty hunters who think they've scored the big one.

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