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Non-spoilery: This is seriously the tv show I've been waiting for since Reboot, even though it takes place in the Prime universe. It finely balances grim scenarios with hope and idealism--and my personal favorites, doing the wrong things for the right reasons. I love our heroine Michael, who is the most sympathetic and interesting protagonist since Ben Sisko: her challenges come not just from the day-to-day of Starfleet, but in recovering from the traumas of her past. I'm also intrigued by Suru, who has an interesting little speech about how his race was originally the livestock of his planet, and so their first instinct is to sense the coming of death. That's....dark, and hopefully will be explored some more. Plus, he's played by Doug Jones, so his very tall, very thin physique makes him look genuinely alien, as opposed to the humans-in-latex of other aliens. And on that, I actually love the new look of the Klingons too; I'm not even a sword girl, but I swear, if they make those new bat'leths for sale, I will see about getting one!

Spoilery:
I really love the way the relationships were set up, particularly Phillipa/Michael and Sarek/Michael.

There has been a seven-year relationship between Captain Georgiou and her first-officer, one of immense mutual respect and love, so that when Michael "betrays" her and Philippa has the whole "I knew you so little"--like, that's some Shakespearian shit. A weird part of me wishes that that was the season finale rather than the prologue, but I guess that's what fic is for.

I know everyone and their father has seemingly been complaining about the Mary Sue-ism of Michael and Sarek, but here's my read on it:

First of all the timeline--it doesn't work with the years we are given straight up, so this is some basic retconning. According to Memory Alpha, Spock left home for Starfleet Academy in 2250, but he was also a commissioned officer that same year. That...doesn't work; he would have had to spend at least 3-5 years at the Academy before receiving a formal commission. At any rate, TOS's five year mission takes place 2265-2269. "The Vulcan Hello" takes place in 2256, which would be when Spock is still serving with Captain Pike, approximately 1-2 years after the encounter with the Talosians. SO either Michael went to Starfleet first, OR Spock and Michael went off at roughly the same time.

To be honest, with the math I was running in my head, I assumed Spock left for Starfleet just after Michael's adoption. Given his estranged relationship with Sarek, it would explain that he didn't interact with/know her that well, AND it would explain Sarek's approval of Starfleet. In "Journey to Babel" we found out that Sarek didn't like Spock going to Starfleet rather than the Vulcan Academy and that was always the defining roadblock to their relationship, but in "The Battle at the Binary Stars" he clearly influences Michael's decision to enter Starfleet--AND we know from TOS that he was also privately proud of Spock.

Sarek mind-melds with child!Michael during her rescue as her colony has been destroyed by Klingons. When we see her later as an adult, she is incredibly Vulcan down to her vocal inflections and controlled expressions, in contrast to her very human enthusiasms aboardship. Therefore her relationship with Georgiou mirrors that of Spock's with Kirk: an emotional growth through loyalty and respect. But that mind-meld has the unexpected side effect of Sarek giving her a little bit of his katra, and so they have a telepathic conversation when she is minutes from death after the Klingon attack on the Shinzou; there's also a lovely moment where Sarek apologizes for "having failed [you] as a parent" as Michael believes she's inadequately logical. So by all evidence, Sarek is much closer to Michael than to his sons--and that he's actually trying to learn from the mistakes he made with them. That's really beautiful--and fascinating.  

A closing grump: The one change I would have made to the show would be for the first two episodes to be aired a single movie-length episode--because that's how it functioned. Only the first one was shown on television, and a lot of (admittedly old white, who would never have liked it anyway) people tuned out. The thing is, all of the work that goes into the first episode in building characters who have interesting relationships with one another...that pays off in a dark way. (The only thing I can think of that's similar is the HYDRA reveal in the first season of Agents of SHIELD.) And it makes a lot of people's complaints obsolete, but then, they were probably never going to watch it for any reason but to bitch about it anyway. "Fans," I swear!

Comments

( 2 comments — Add your .02 )
abigail89
Sep. 26th, 2017 12:33 pm (UTC)
YAY! New Star Trek!!!

That right there is reason enough to celebrate. Fuck the haters. There's new ST canon and I'm jazzed. Glad you are too. My husband and I rated Sunday night's eps at a solid 8, good enough for us to be okay with subscribing to the (cheap) CBS Access.

You picked up on some details I missed. We're planning to watch again this week; he kept falling asleep and I obviously wasn't playing attention. I loved the opening scene--two women, on an away mission without any men for "protection", talking science and life. I will take that any day of the week over the crap we usually get on tv.

caitri
Sep. 26th, 2017 04:50 pm (UTC)
Yay!! I look forward to geeking!! Scott and I were watching and kept going, "Wow, this is SO GOOD" throughout--which is such a notable contrast from some reviews in my social media. *rolls eyes* I really think it comes down to the generational split like the Reboot did; for some reason, some people WANT styrofoam rocks and other shitty sfx, or at least ~say they do. *snort*
( 2 comments — Add your .02 )

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