TV Round-Up: Star Trek: Discovery: Into the Forest I Go

dsc-109-rev-3-640x320With “Into the Forest I Go,” Discovery wraps up its first major arc of the series and gives us another one to ponder until the series head back to our screens in January.

Picking up where last week’s installment left off, the crew finds a way to not only break the Klingon’s cloaking technology but also to take out much of the Klingon leadership.  The story also serves to bring much of the character arc of Michael Burnham full circle.

In addition to the parallels of the war starting and ending on the Klingon ship of the dead, we also got to Burnham use her logic to win over her captain.  The first time it leads to her mutiny and those consequences. This time she’s able to use Vulcan logic to convince Lorca that she needs to go on the away mission since she’s the one who knows the layout of the Klingon vessel the best.

It does bring up an interesting question — why let Tyler go too?  If the logical argument is that she knows the vessel, it also seems logical that Tyler might have some issues going back to a Klingon ship after being held prisoner and tortured for seven months.  But, if we don’t get Tyler over there, we don’t get his flashbacks and we don’t get T’Rell onboard Discovery as a prisoner. It really felt like the writers had an endpoint in mind and this was the only path that could get them from point a to point b.

111313_0646bAt least Tyler and Burnham get to rescue Cornwell, who apparently was only partly dead last week. Seriously, it’s a good thing the Klingons didn’t stab her with bantleth just to make sure she was really dead.

The parallels continue with Burnham battling a Klingon and possibly ending the war. Or at least turning the tide so Starfleet can win and get back to the mission of exploring the unknown and the final frontier. At least that’s what Lorca promises Stamets. But how much of that is Lorca having the heart of an explorer and how much of that was Lorca pushing Stamet’s buttons to get him to agree to the 133 spore drive jumps remains to be seen.

I have to admit I did find there to be some inconsistencies in how Starfleet interacts with Lorca and their expectations. So, Lorca is ordered back to a starbase (in front of the entire bridge crew, mind you) and he then decides to drag his feet, using only warp drive and not the spore drive.  I guess this is the equivalent of taking the long way home from school when you’ve got a bad report card. You’re just postponing the inevitable.  Or in Lorca’s case, finding another way to avoid being taken out of the big chair.

dsc-109-rev-4-640x320Given what we’ve seen about Lorca, I can’t help but think the early dropping of hints about being able to explore parallel universes and then the shot of his hands dancing across the keypad as they were ready to rev up the Spore drive one last time mean that Lorca didn’t necessarily mean he was using the easiest route home. Instead, he’s buying more time — even if that time may have a great cost to Stamet. Again, I think part of Stamet’s reaction in the final spore drive jump was about where Lorca sent them and not as much about him burning out. Perhaps Lorca drove him too hard, asked him to do too much. Or could there be something else waiting out here for them?

Those are questions we’ll have to wait until January to answer.

Once again, the show goes out of its way to earn its TV-MA rating. We got the first f-bomb dropped a few weeks ago and then this time around we get our first, explicit love-scene, complete with Klingon nudity. I’ve got to commend Mary Chieffo for that scene because I can only imagine how long it took to get full body painted and give us some Klingon nudity. I do find it interesting that she’s on board the ship now and teasing Tyler that he will have answers soon. The flashbacks to her torture of him seem to hint that there’s more in play here than just the torture she forced him to endure. I can’t help but wonder if he’s going to play some type of role in T’Rell bargaining to get back to the ship that she deserted V’Latak on a few episodes ago.

111313_0087bMeanwhile, it feels like the crew has finally gelled a bit. Maybe it’s that the crew all had one task — shutting down the Klingon cloak. But the moment when Lorca tells everyone he’s about to disobey a direct order was interesting. Part of me wondered if Saru wouldn’t somehow object to this. And you can’t help but wonder if this will help heal the rift between Burnham and Saru a bit. Saru has violated Starfleet orders here and he had a very good motivation to do so. Could he also begin to see that Burnham had good intentions in the mutiny against Georgiou, even if the results didn’t quite come out the way Burnham hoped or expected?

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, develops from this in the final six episodes of the year.

I also can’t help but think that Cornwell might try and assume command of the ship based on her reservations about Lorca. And that she may try to figure out how to get them back home again.

I also ask myself just how hurt Stamets is and can he help them all get home again.  I have a feeling based on the preview, that’s too simple a way out for the crew.

So much to ponder until we pick the story back up in January….

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Movie Thoughts on The Dark Tower

darktowerpostre.jpgEarlier this week, news broke that Amazon will be adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels as a multi-season television series.  Hearing this news, I couldn’t help but wish that Stephen King’s epic Dark Tower series could get that epic treatment instead.

Lord of the Rings has a well-done, much-loved pop culture adaptation of the original source material*.  The Dark Tower novels don’t. Even with this year’s long-awaited big-screen adaptation.

*And yes, I know they left out some of the most beloved characters and combined some character arcs. But honestly, I think the movies are better off for it! Continue reading

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want to Share With Shortcake

TOPTENTUESDAY

As avid readers, my wife and I want to make sure we share that love of reading with Shortcake.  Our local library has a program called 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. The goal is to read 1,000  books to your child before he or she starts kindergarten.  The good news is that when your young reader finds that one book that he or she likes to read over and over again, each time you read it counts as one book. So, you don’t necessarily have to read 1,000 different books to your young reader. Continue reading

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Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts: Sci-Fi Month Reflections

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).

SFM16_7

  1.  One of my entry points to sci-fi fandom was (like many) Star Wars.  I remember the first action figure my parents got for me was an R2-D2.  R2 used to have a ton of adventures on our swing set and took a lot of abuse going down the slide. I know Star Wars action figures are worth a nice sum of cash today, but none of mine were in any kind of collectible condition after all the years of playing with them.
  2. Another factor in the lack of collectibility value of my Star Wars figures was we lived in Hawaii for a while growing up.  And the Air Force engineers dug a ditch in our yard. If you don’t know, Hawaii has red dirt that stains EVERYTHING.  And this ditch made a GREAT alien world for my action figures.  So, they were pretty stained up by the time I was done with them.
  3. I also kept all my action figures in an old Star Wars lunchbox. Ahhh, the days when we had metal lunchboxes.
  4. As much as I enjoy Star Wars, I still haven’t had time to watch Rogue One. It’s not lack of interest so much as lack of time. Or the feeling that I want/need to commit two plus hours to it. And with Shortcake, that isn’t always possible. And, so far, she has shown next to no interest in Star Wars.
  5. trekoutfits

    A good friend sent Shortcake this onesie so we could have matching outfits! I’m totally saving this photo for the montage at her wedding!

    On the other hand, she enjoys Star Trek and will look at the screen when the theme for Original Series or Next Generation comes on. Her Daddy couldn’t be more proud.

  6. When she was smaller, we used to “swoosh” across the living room when the Enterprise swooshed by in the opening credits. And she loved that too.  She’s not too big to do that still.  I think I may have to try it again with her before she gets too big.
  7. Speaking of Star Trek, I can’t believe this week is the mid-season finale for Discovery.  Man, the first nine weeks have just zoomed by!
  8. I’ve got the first tie-in novel for Discovery sitting on my TBR pile, just mocking me. I think I may have to read it during the hiatus.
  9. Starting to catch up on The Flash this season and I’m loving season four. Only up to episode three, so if it all goes to heck in a handbasket, don’t tell me.  It feels like the whole show has found its balance again and I’m loving it.
  10. So, it’s Sci-Fi Month and I’m trying to read/watch stuff in the sci-fi world.  Any recommendations from anyone?

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TV Round-Up: Star Trek: Discovery: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Ep8-6-11-3-17After taking a week off for some wacky time-travel fun, Star Trek: Discovery gets back to the business of the war with “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.”

CBS Digital originally intended for this episode to serve as the mid-season finale.  And while it does end of a cliffhanger, I’m glad they’ve decided not to just leave us hanging on these developments for the next couple of months.  Don’t get me wrong — it’s strong, solid episode but I think I would have been annoyed if this was where we left things until January.  Continue reading

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Midnight Front by David Mack

waitingonwednesdayTime for some mid-week fun with Waiting on Wednesday.  This meme, hosted by  Breaking the Spine, looks ahead at the books we’re looking forward to adding to our to-be-read pile.

Listening to the first couple of installments of Tor Studio’s Steal the Stars (if you haven’t listened yet, give it a try!), there was an ad for David Mack‘s The Midnight Front.  It sounds like an intriguing blend of lots of different things I like.  And I’ve read a lot of Mack’s Star Trek tie-in novels and enjoyed them.

SFM16_7This one will be a two-for-one for Sci-Fi Month!

Here’s what Goodreads has to say about The Midnight Front.

midnightfront.jpgThe epic first novel in the Dark Arts series.

On the eve of World War Two, Nazi sorcerers come gunning for Cade but kill his family instead. His one path of vengeance is to become an apprentice of The Midnight Front–the Allies’ top-secret magickal warfare program–and become a sorcerer himself.

Unsure who will kill him first–his allies, his enemies, or the demons he has to use to wield magick–Cade fights his way through occupied Europe and enemy lines. But he learns too late the true price of revenge will be more terrible than just the loss of his soul–and there’s no task harder than doing good with a power born of ultimate evil

The Midnight Front hits shelves and e-readers in January 2018.

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Review: Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose

Closer Than You Think (Romantic Suspense, #16; Cincinnati, #1)Seeking to escape from her patient turned stalker, psychologist Faith Corcoran changes her identity and relocates to Cincinnati to begin a new life in her grandmother’s home. Her desire to have a quiet life off the radar quickly goes sideways when Faith comes across one of two kidnapping victims on the lonely road to her new home. Now, she’s drawn into the investigation and its lead investigator, Deacon. Will they be able to figure out how Faith’s stalker might be tied to this new kidnapper before time runs out on the other kidnapping victim?

Billed as “romantic suspense,” Karen Rose’s Closer Than You Think is chock full of both. Faith and Deacon’s instant chemistry screams off the page, despite multiple warnings from Deacon’s co-workers that he shouldn’t get involved with a victim in a case he’s investigating. The suspense factor comes from the investigation into where the other girl is and what the potential connection is to Faith’s family and her past. Continue reading

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