Episode 53: Trapped in time (DIS 5×04 Face the Strange)

Kevin: Hello and welcome
back to Subspace Radio.

It's that time again.

It's time to talk about an episode of
Star Trek Discovery, specifically season

five, episode four, Face the Strange.

Welcome back, Rob.

Rob: Look, I am indeed facing the strange
right now, which is another weekly

installment of me reviewing Discovery.

How strange is that?

Kevin: You like how I introduced
the episode before us this time?

That is, that is like an example
of the time twisting mayhem

that existed in this episode.

Rob: are definitely on topic.

Kevin: Yes.

And inspired by this week's episode,
we are going to be talking about other

time puzzles, time traps, time problems
that have our crews stuck and, uh, using

their brains to get out of the situation.

Uh, but before we get to those,
let's talk about this week's episode.

Um, what did you think, Rob?

Rob: There was a lot of
focus on, uh, Burnham.

Yes, there is.

Um, but there was a focus on Rayner.

So with this particular time problem,
the fact that, uh, Burnham was going

through it with Rayner was actually
quite a good setup for the case of,

um, you know, the new crew member.

It's a very Star Trek
y way of doing things.

How do we get a new crew member up to
date or a new cast member up to date?

Let's put them in a time situation
where they go back through the

history of the ship so that we can
connect this new character with

this entire legacy of the show.

Kevin: Yeah, some, some real growth
from Rayner this episode, I feel.

Rob: Very much so.

We do love a good anti hero or a
gruff character that shows a bit of

his lighter side, but not completely.

Kevin: It's like the one on ones from last
week were an example of him being asked

to grow and refusing to do so, and it
was like, you know, the hero's journey.

That was the refusing the call.

This week was the answering the

Rob: Exactly, and it was that good
connection of there going, he did

actually listen, he did absorb all
this information, and he does it.

And now, connecting the information
to emotion is going to be the

thing that he is growing with
and he did a bit of that today.

Kevin: I loved this episode, Rob.

I think this might be my new favorite
episode of Star Trek Discovery.

Rob: Well it's not up
to that level for me.

It's definitely quite enjoyable but,
um, I could see how, um, Yeah, a lot

of the annoying traits of Discovery
that people have kind of been put

off by were not on display here.

Even though we had two Michael Burnhams,
they got away with not making it

as annoying as it could have been.

So, which is, uh, which is, uh,
which is a, uh, a major feat.

Kevin: I think it was the sense
of epic and distance come.

Watching, you know, Season 1 Michael
and Season 5 Michael come face to

face and realizing just how much
they, they've changed, not just in,

in uniform and hairstyle, but in,
uh, in characterization as well.

And, wow, like, kudos to Sonequa
Martin Green pulling that off.

Like there was no question in my mind
that that was season one Burnham.

And there was a difference.

Rob: Very much so, very much so.

Kevin: And trading on that sense of,
of distance come, with that final scene

on the bridge where Burnham has to talk
down the bridge crew and it is going

back meeting that season one bridge crew
that we never got to meet in season one,

Rob: ha

Kevin: and using that as kind of a
plot point that none of these people

knew each other or trusted each other
and that is the ultimate challenge

that must be overcome in this episode
is that Burnham needs to connect with

these people with whom connection
was completely lacking in season one.

Maybe with the exception of Tilly.

Rob: Yes, um, it was particularly
interesting to have the, uh, the android

character, the, well, the humanoid
cyborg, yes, back, again, it was that

case of we did talk about this, um,
Uh, quite a few episodes ago about

the lack of emotional impact that that
episode actually made because this

character was only a glorified extra,
really, and then they sacrificed this

character and you're meant to, they sort
of like did, they wrote backwards and

going well now this character's dead
now we want you to feel for them and

this is why you should feel for them.

So it was quite interesting
to have them back.

It would have been more impactful if
it was, you know, say a character like,

um, Tasha Yar coming back or Jadzia

Kevin: Hmm.


This was, this was Airiam's
Yesterday's Enterprise, basically.

Rob: Um,

Kevin: It's actually kind of funny
because in season one, Airiam was

even played by a different actor,
Sara Mitich, who has returned after

playing Arium in that first season.

She has returned as Lieutenant Nilsson,
who is Airiam's replacement on the bridge.

But Hannah Cheeseman played, uh,
Airiam in season two when she was

killed off, and so we have Hannah
Cheeseman back as a guest star

Rob: There we go.



It's uh, there's some mess
in there about contracts or

Kevin: No doubt.

Rob: Yes.

Kevin: But, um, like kudos to the
actors that I have such trouble

remembering who played whom and
who's returned to play what.

And like, yes, these two women do a good
job of creating that character together.

Rob: true.

And I did like the fact that it was
through her that, you know, that the

information is all given and she accepts
it straight away, which I find the

justification of that was good for me.

So, I went with that.

Um, I was quite interested in the
fact that our last, when we did a

time loopy one, which is one of the
few episodes of Discovery I really

like that we talked about, the,
uh, the Mudd episode time loop one.

Kevin: Ah, yes.

Uh, something, something
to make the sanest man

Rob: Yeah, yeah, the blackest
night to make the sanest green

lantern shine bright in a day, I
believe it's, that's the title.

Don't need to look it up, it up, Kevin.

Kevin: You know me, I look it Magic
to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad.

Rob: Course, and Stamets in that one was
pretty much one of the linchpins as well.

So, there's something about Stamets that
he can, you know, he can be involved

in time conundrums or time puzzles, and

Kevin: Well, that's twice now
they've used that, uh, superpower

of his due the tardigrade DNA.

Rob: Those damn tardigrades.

Kevin: I mean, there's, there is something
about Discovery that they have so many

kind of unbelievable plot twists under
their belts, that when you put them

all on the table and, and, and, and,
you know, play fair with them, there

are so many loopholes to things and
special powers that people have that,

yeah, it's all a bit wild when you take
it at face value, but I feel like they

were being playful with it this week.

Like, when Burnham mentions the
tardigrade DNA and Rayner makes a

face, like, they're in on the joke, I

Rob: Yeah, and it's also that case of, you
know, when you lay all the canon of a TV

show out and refer to it in its own way,
you're going, this is some weird stuff.

It happens in Doctor Who all the time.

Same with a bit of Star Wars with
their online streaming shows.

But definitely here, you can see how
much has happened within five seasons.

They didn't even touch on
the fact of, oh, now we're

thousands of years in the future.

But the whole case of the

Kevin: Oh yeah.

The connection to Calypso,
which is a Short Trek.

Uh, I don't know if you ever saw that

Rob: I didn't see that I didn't
see many of the Short Treks.

I wanted to.

There's a great one in the lift apparently
with, uh, Ethan Peck uh, the characters

Kevin: Speaking of one on ones.

Yeah, that's a good one.

Um, Worth going back to seeing Calypso.

Uh, it is a, it is a beautifully made
piece of, of short Star Trek fiction.

Like it's only 15 minutes long, but
the premise is, Uh, and this is before

Discovery travels into the future, uh,
we as audiences don't know that Discovery

is going to travel into the future.

Um, in this Short Trek, it begins with
Discovery in some far future, sitting

in a nebula dormant with no crew aboard.

And the computer, for some reason,
is sentient with a woman's voice.

And this is before Zora was
established in the show.

And a, a sort of, kind of
courier comes aboard, who's not

named Book, but behaves a Book.

And, uh, and that courier who is mystified
by this empty starship converses with

and gets to know and eventually falls
in love with this sentient computer.

And it's a little love story and they end
up, her holographic persona and he end up

dancing on the bridge to these old timey
black and white, um, show tune movies.

And that is what's going on on the
bridge when Rayner and Burnham step

on and you hear the music playing.

And yes, so we now finally understand
under what circumstances in what timeline

the, the Discovery ends up sitting alone
in some far flung future, um, talking to

Rob: There it goes.

There and that puts those pieces together.


Makes sense to me.

Kevin: It was to the point where, it
started to feel like that was a phantom

limb of canon, that they did that Short
Trek, and they enjoyed the artistic

aspects of it, but they were never
going to explain uh, and now they have

explained it, and I really like that.

Rob: Yes, um, I, yeah, like we were
talking about with, you lay out all

the canon and the fact that they're
there talking and how weird it is that

they're going, right, so a traitor
becomes the captain of the ship.

Kevin: Oh, it's amazing, I love

Rob: Yeah, that whole case of, so it's
like, oh, you're not just a lowly, you

know, lower decker or something like that.

No, no, no, no, no.

You are a classified traitor within
the Federation and you're gonna be made

Kevin: And there's something strange
about it, that It, for me, it worked.

It landed for the first time this episode.

I don't know if it's the fact that that
was obviously so built into the conception

of the series, is we are going to start
with this character who has been arrested

for mutiny and follow their journey.

And almost the fact that that was set up,
that she was set up to succeed from the

beginning, almost kind of has robbed it
of its impact over the years, that every

success she has, there was a sense of,
well, this is where we were going anyway.

So it does not feel especially earned.

But looking back on it now, and
there was something about seeing

the before and after, that it
finally, it, it landed with me.

I don't know if it was just the fact
that we were playing this as an emotional

character beat rather than a plot
point that really made it work for me,

but for the first time I cared about
the journey that Burnham has been on.

Rob: Yeah, I mean, I, I particularly
like the fact, like I said, it showed

the whole cycle, life cycle of, of,
you know, uh, of a Federation ship, so

you, and it's, it's one of the better,
one of the great episodes of Firefly,

I don't know if you ever watched that,
there's a great episode of Firefly

yeah, where they go back and find, um,
You know, they do the back story of how

they all became members of Serenity.

And this was, you know, the great moment
of showing it's, you know, it's in dry

dock and that early start there and
then going through all the stages of

it to the point where the potential,
you know, worst possible future ever.

Um, it's a great way and that's, that's
what you get in a final season episode.

You want to have those episodes where
you reflect on what you've done.

It's, it's quite a common thing.

It happens in all Star Trek final
seasons and there will be in one of

the episodes that I'll be reviewing.

Kevin: Ooh.

I still think there is a
twist yet to come with Rayner.

I don't think, like, he
certainly grew a lot.

I think there's going to be some kind
of reversion because that, that moment

in the turbolift where he asks Burnham
for her override code, and she types

it in in very large numbers right
before his eyes, that, again, feels

to me like, something that's being put
on the shelf for later in the season.

Like, it is not lost on me that Rayner
now has the override codes to Discovery.

Rob: Yes, using the uh,
impro term shelving.

Very good use there, Mr.

Kevin Yank.

Kevin: Mm.

Uh, anything else stand out this

Rob: Um, no, that's pretty, yeah,
that's, I've pretty much covered

everything but how about you?

Kevin: No, I just want to reinforce, I
said at the start, it might be my new

favorite episode of Discovery, and the
real reason for that, it, it is character

driven narrative rather than plot driven.

I think so often Discovery has been
guilty of being driven by plot.

And this week it was
entirely character driven.

And one last shout out to
seeing season one Tilly again.

Um, she was magnificent.

Rob: Good stuff.

Kevin: So let's jump into the, uh, the
time waves and talk about, uh, past

times our crews have been stuck in time.

Rob: Stuck in time, problems
with time, puzzles with time.

Kevin: Yeah.

I've got a TNG.

I don't know if you have anything before

Rob: I do not have anything before that.

Let's go T N G.

Kevin: I brought a few TNGs because
especially, uh, I think Brannon Braga

is, you know, well known for writing
these sort of time puzzle episodes

and he started his great work in the
pages of Star Trek The Next Generation,

so we'll look at some of that.

Uh, when I did go back and look at the
original series, I think Wink of an

Eye, which we've talked about before,
where the crew gets slowed down or

sped up, well, Kirk gets sped up.

Uh, to the speed of these aliens that
have boarded the ship, and the rest

of the crew is slow by comparison, and
there is a difficulty working together

across that threshold of speed, but,
uh, but not really what I had in mind.

There was also All Our Yesterdays
in season three, where, um, they

visit a planet whose sun is going
nova, and all of the populace has

escaped through a time portal into
other times in the planet's history.

And Kirk gets, accidentally, falls through
the portal into one part of the planet's

history, and Bones and Spock go to the
planet's ice age and they have to figure

out how to escape together as well.

But it's not really the twisty,
timey, wimey that I wanted to bring

to you, a Doctor Who fan, Rob.

Rob: I do appreciate a good bit of that.

Kevin: So I'm gonna start us in Season
2, Episode 13 of The Next Generation,

which is an episode called Time Squared.

And, to me, this is the prototype
for this kind of episode.

Like so many other things, TNG
did it first, but they hadn't

fully figured it out yet.

Rob: They come back and do it again.

Kevin: Yes, they, again
again and and again again.

Rob: Keep on doing it
until you get it right.

Kevin: That's right.

In Time Squared, uh, the
Enterprise is on its way somewhere.

It's a routine day at the office
for the Enterprise, uh, in an

unexplored sector of space, when
they detect a Starfleet shuttlecraft

tumbling through space without power.

And they're like, what?

Where did that come from?

There's no other ships out this far.

They tractor beam it aboard in a
prolonged effects sequence that there

were plenty of in early season TNG.

But once they get it into the shuttle
bay, they open doors and who is inside

but an unconscious Captain Picard.

And so we have Picard finding Picard.

Pulaski is there doing the medical
scans and the technobabble is unrefined

this early in TNG, so there's a bit
of his life signs are out of phase.

And while they are diagnosing this
unconscious Picard in sickbay, Data and

Geordi are combing through the memory
banks of this dead shuttlecraft, and

there's a lot made of the fact that
they try to plug it into Enterprise

power, and it's incompatible until they
reverse the polarity, and they figure

out that basically everything they do
with the power has the opposite effect

it normally would on this shuttlecraft.

And meanwhile in sick bay, every
time Pulaski puts a stimulant

into Picard, all of his life signs
drop, but they figure out that

doing the opposite has the opposite

So there's a bunch of this opposite
stuff going on, but that all ends up

being a red herring or it goes nowhere.

They don't really use it.

They, there's a lot of thrashing,
plot thrashing in this episode, a

lot of just stringing it out stuff
that doesn't really go anywhere.

In the end, they manage to extract
some logs from the computer of

the shuttle that shows footage of
the Enterprise being destroyed.

And when they check the time
codes, they're like, this

is five hours in our future.

Somehow, five hours in our future,
Captain Picard leaves the Enterprise

and the Enterprise is destroyed.

And, and how do we avoid this?

So they have the conversation
they've had several times.

We've talked about Cause and Effect once
before, uh, one of my favorite episodes

of TNG, which is definitely a time puzzle
and a time loop, but I'll, I'll refer you

to our episode zero of Subspace Radio, if
you want to hear my thoughts on Cause and

Effect, cause we have covered it before.

But they have that same conversation
here where they're like, well, we know

something's bad is going to happen, so why
don't we just fly in another direction?

And the, the thing, you know, the,
the, Well, maybe flying in the

other direction is the thing that
causes the bad thing to happen!

We can't start second guessing ourselves.

Let's just do what we normally would do.

And that never makes sense to me,

Rob: Ha, ha, ha.

Kevin: So this is another one of those.

Knowing, knowing the doom ahead of us,
let's fly straight into it and hopefully

we'll figure out a way out of it.

As they get closer and closer to
the, you know, eventually there is a

space anomaly that appears underneath
the Enterprise and it threatens

to suck them in and they're trying
everything they can, but nothing works.

But as they get closer and closer to this
moment, this recovered Picard becomes more

and more cogent, and Pulaski is saying
that basically, you know, our physiologies

aren't designed to exist out of their
native time, and so the closer we get

to the native time of this Picard, the
more his body is, is kind of readjusting

and he's, he's starting to be able to
think clearly and understand clearly.

And at the climax of this episode, we
have full on split screen Picard, two

Picards walking down the corridor,
debating what to do, but the, the

recovered Picard is still kind of, trapped
in the loop of his previous actions.

He knows for certain that he must leave
the Enterprise in order to save the

Enterprise, whereas our Captain Picard
is trying to figure out, okay, but if

you didn't do that, What would you do?

And that's what this whole
episode comes down to.

It's trying to get this other Picard to
share his plan B so that they can try it.

And once he gets the plan B,
for some reason, Picard shoots

the other Picard in the chest.

Not on stun, mind you.

He leaves a big black mark and
calls Pulaski and Pulaski comes and

takes his life signs and he's dead.

Picard shoots himself dead
once he's done with himself.

It's all a little, you know, arbitrary
and, and all of the kind of vibe is

there of a cool time loop episode,
but none of the logic is there.

And I feel like satisfying logic,
is part of the formula here.

Rob: It sounds very much Season 2, uh,
next TNG where they're still working

out the, the, the wrinkles within
their characters and their plots.

So yeah, in Season 1 and 2,
Picard is, is very bristly around

the edges to say the least.

So of course he's going

Kevin: It's fun watching them
work the problem together.

There's some good character work from
Picard who's not used to doubting himself,

but the fact that he is confronted by a
version of himself who failed, whose plan

failed, makes him second guess himself in
a way that, like, Troi is very aware of.

And, and Troi is following him around
trying to give him useful advice,

uh, and he is not listening to her.

In fact, he gets quite, um, upset at
her for, for trying to do her job.

And all of that is kind of interesting.

But, yeah, just the, the logic of
the time loop thing isn't there.

Um, and it culminates in a, in a scene
in the ready room once it's all over.

Riker comes into the observation lounge
and he kind of walks in and Picard's,

you know, standing in the dark by
the window and he just says, a lot of

questions, number one, damned few answers.

And Riker says, maybe none of it was real.

Perhaps we were all part
of a shared illusion.

They end on a point of,
maybe it was all a dream.

Rob: Was all a dream.

Yep, yep, yep, yep, that's a early
developing of a show where they

just go, um, do we really want to
try and justify it scientifically?

No, let's just say it's
a shared hallucination.

Kevin: I've got a later TNG, but
let's hear one of yours first.

Rob: Well this is the one I only just
remembered, and how could I forget it?

I don't think we've talked about it
specifically, we have talked about it

in passing, but, uh, And for me, the
ultimate in a time puzzle that isn't

time travel but is kind of time travel,
uh, The Visitor from Deep Space Nine.

Kevin: Yeah, we haven't talked about it,

Rob: Yeah, so, it is Deep Space
Nine, Season 4, Episode 2.

Uh, Michael Taylor wrote this
one, directed by David Livingston.

And they really lean into the advantage
of our captain of the ship being,

um, or Commander Sisko, still at this
point, um, having a son on board.

So it know, that is one of the
many things that, uh, distinguishes

Sisko as a captain, as a character,
is the fact that he is a father.

He is a father with
his son while he works.

A lot has been made of the, you know,
the color of his skin, which is an

important step within the franchise,
but his relationship with his son is

an important part of him and using,

Kevin: it's the, it's the lesser cited
second way that Benjamin Sisko is a

very unique lead for a Star Trek show.

Rob: Exactly.

And so this is in its usual Star Trek
y fashion, let's deal with how a son

and a father, you know, relate to
each other, with a wacky time hijinks!

So of course, uh, the Defiant is
near the wormhole, involved in the

wormhole, there's some sort of, uh,
breach within the, uh, warp core,

and it sends Sisko, uh, out of time.

They believe he's dead.

They believe he's dead, gone.

They mourn him, they
have a funeral service.

And then, uh, one evening, he appears
to Jake, and so begins a life long, uh,

journey, connection, where Sisko does not
age at all, but he comes in at irregular

times over the years into Jake's life.

And Jake can never fully move on
because he, he can never really live

a fulfilling life because he is always
waiting for his father to return.

Um, it's so heartbreaking.

They bring in, um, the brilliant
Tony Todd, um, uh, playing, um,

the grown up version of Jake,
um, through his adult stages and

even through his old man stages.

Um, so it starts with older Jake
and they do a flashback to it all.

It's just Remarkable.

It's a remarkable story about the
bond between a father and a son, lost

opportunities, lost moments, um, living
a life trapped in the past, um, and how

this freak accident that only would happen
in a sci fi show but how it connects on a

real emotional level is, um, is powerful
and to have that early on in season

four just shows how, um, you know, how
hard they were hitting in season four.

They'd got their three years of, you
know, um, their sophomore era of getting

themselves ready, and now, season
four, they are firing on all cylinders.

It's a powerful, beautiful, um, uh,
heartbreaking story that, again, is the

reset button at the end where everything
goes back to how it is, but, um, But that,

that ghost of the past is still there.

That ghost the experience is
still there for Sisko, at least.

Kevin: It puts me in the mind of the
Voyager episode we talked about, uh,

was it last week or the week before
when we were, you know, uh, visiting

these older versions of Harry Kim and
Chakotay trying to prevent the crash

of Voyager and when they succeed,
everything goes back to normal, but

there's still this echo of these, these
versions of our characters who would

no longer exist, but who are sacrificed
themselves to put things back to rights.

Rob: Yeah.

Kevin: This is especially poignant given
how Deep Space Nine ends for Sisko,

that Sisko goes into the wormhole and
becomes, you know, the, the Emissary,

uh, to the wormhole aliens and, and Jake
ends up losing his father after all.

Rob: The final shot, man.

The final shot.

Jake looking out the window
of the Promenade, waiting

for his father to return.

You're going, get, get
stuffed, Deep Space Nine.

How dare you?

How the very well dare you?

Kevin: get some nice glimpses
of like this alternate future

of Deep Space Nine as well.

I remember us seeing kind of an aged
up Jadzia Dax, which is another, you

know, character who will never be.

Rob: exactly.

Kevin: will never grow to be

Rob: Never to be that old.

You see, uh, Nog's future, um, within
the Federation, so there's little hints

of it there, and you see, you know,
Jake is a writer, um, and he, you know,

has disciples, really, people who are
fans of his work and stuff like that,

but he's never really lived the life
that he wanted to live or the life

that he should have lived because he is
tied to this moment when he was a boy.

Um, yeah, it's beautiful.

Tony Todd is incredible.

What a wonderful actor.

I love him in all that I see him in.

Particularly, um, Man on Earth is,
uh, he's particularly good in that.

Um, but he's just, yeah, wonderful
as a, uh, an aged up, old,

and then grey, uh, Jake Sisko.

Kevin: Part of what makes this one so
poignant is that this future that is

portrayed, mean, despite the fact that
Benjamin Sisko isn't there to help win

the Dominion War, somehow there is a
sense that the world is at peace or that

this, this future is not a awful one?

It is not a, it is not a
dark future to be avoided.

The only thing that's
really wrong with it,

Rob: Sisko isn't there.

Kevin: Yeah, Sisko isn't there for his
son and, but somehow that is enough

for Jake to want to change things.

I'm not sure that would pass muster
in, the Starfleet, uh, temporal

Prime Directive but, uh, so be it.

You know, if you manage to change
time, no one will know you ever did

it, so Jake gets to have his outcome.

Rob: definitely not a dystopian
version of the, of the future's future.

It's not like where, know, it's just a
case of everything seems to be going along

and everyone seems to be moving along
in a, in a, at a nice, happy, leisurely

pace, it's just that, you know, the one

Kevin: Is there, and there's
something about that that makes

it more poignant that Jake is
nevertheless willing to sacrifice that

Rob: sacrificed it all because
he just wants to see his dad, so.

Kevin: Yeah.

Rob: Um, and those moments, uh, Avery
Brooks and Tony Todd do incredibly well,

where he, Tony Todd has to come in for
45 minutes, less than that, and make you

feel as if this bond is, you know, is so
strong, and Avery Brooks and Tony Todd

just knock it out of the park, they're
just beautiful moments when, like, Sisko's

watching his son age in just flickers.

Is, um, just

Kevin: Jake Sisko's most emotional scenes
not played by the main actor Jake Sisko.

Rob: So, um, so yeah, that's mine.

What's your, uh, what's your other time

Kevin: gonna spiral us back to,
uh, season six, episode 25 of the

Next Generation with Timescape.

What reminded me of this one was
Rayner putting his hand into the

bubble of that time bug and, you
know, having a grizzled old hand.

Not the first time that
has happened in Star Trek.

And in, in Timescape, um, Picard,
Geordi, and Troi are coming back

from a conference on a Runabout.

And so, you know, they're,
they're on a road trip.

And they're hanging out.

Um, bantering about the lectures they
attended, and it's actually really, you

know, charming writing, uh, but they're
basically in the little rec room of the

Runabout, um, sitting around a table,
and in the middle of the conversation,

out of nowhere, oh, Data's there as
well, Geordi, Data, Picard, and Troi.

Just out of nowhere, the three men,
including Data, freeze in front of

Troi, and like, Geordi's in the middle
of describing something, and he just

freezes there, and Troi's confused.

It only lasts three, four seconds, and
so she just has a moment to take in the

horror of what has happened, and then
like they resume, they keep moving.

And, uh, it turns out that
these bubbles of or shards of

time are moving through space.

And so this bubble passed through
the Runabout and apparently

froze them before her eyes.

And as they're trying to troubleshoot
this problem, Troi gets frozen.

And so she's in the middle of explaining
what she had experienced, and then

it's a, it's like a smash cut to Geordi
scanning her face with tricorder and

she's, she pulls back and is shocked.

And so there's this really
kind of tantalizing mystery

of why are people freezing?

Why are different people
freezing at different times?

And just as they're starting to get
their head around the problem, Picard

notices a bowl of fruit in the middle
of the room has gone all moldy.

And he reaches out to it and
screams and pulls his hand back

and all his fingernails are long.

Because he put his hand into the
bubble fast moving time and it

accelerated the growth of his hand.

Um, and so the, the episode progresses
from there, but that initial mystery,

it won't surprise you that this is
a Brannon Braga written episode.

Um, one of my favorites.

Also directed by Adam Nimoy,
the son of Leonard Nimoy.

Um, so yeah, a good pedigree this episode.

They, once they chart all of these bubbles
of time fragments, they find that they

follow a path back towards the Enterprise,
and when they get there, they find, frozen

in space, the Enterprise and a Romulan
Warbird apparently trading fire with like

frozen in space laser beams and photon
torpedoes and stuff and, uh, the entire

scene is frozen and most of this episode
is them wearing these subspace bubbles

to shield them from the time difference,
beaming onto each of these ships and

in this frozen moment of time trying to
unravel the mystery of what happened by

observing a frozen instant across two
starships apparently locked in battle,

but turns out to not be so simple, uh,
you know, figuring out what happened.

It's, it's really a
really enjoyable mystery.

Rob: Well, it sounds quite intriguing.

It's amazing how much time travel has
become, like, is a major component

of, say, Doctor Who or something
like that, but for Star Trek they

just use it as a means to an end,
or like a week to week episode.

So, like, let's do a cool, let's
cool, do a little time puzzle.

And there's quite a lot more
than I originally thought.

So when we came up with the
idea, I went, oh, these are

going to be few and far between.

We're going, no, they're scattered
out through the entire, you

know, history of the show.

Kevin: I'm, uh, I'm ceaselessly amazed
at how they keep finding a new formula

to play with this, this element of
time, or, or frozen time, or being

lost in time, or trapped in time.

Yeah, it's really fun.

There's a, there's an especially
creepy scene in this episode where

they make it look like, their way
to, uh, main engineering of the

Enterprise and find this cloud of vapor
shooting out of the, um, engine core.

And Data casually explains that
this is a core breach in progress.

And there is no stopping it.

It has already happened.

It is just happening in ultra slow
speed and so it appears to be frozen in

time but it is a event that has already
occurred and so there is no stopping

the destruction of the Enterprise.

And they, as I mentioned, they're all
wearing these field emitters on their

arms that keep them shielded from it.

But it turns out they are still kind
of, they're like deep sea divers who

suffer a bit of the bends after a while.

And so Picard, as they're talking, kind
of wanders over to the cloud of vapor in

the background and starts laughing off
camera and when we cut to him, with his

finger he's drawn a smiley face in the
cloud of vapor and finds it hilarious and

they have to beam him out of there right
away because his mind's going a little.

Yeah just that that, uh, contrast
of, um, this deadly discovery with

Captain Picard laughing at a smiley
face that he's just drawn with

his finger in the cloud of vapor.

Um, yeah, really creepy, enjoyable,
and, uh, I think a satisfying resolution

to the episode that I will not spoil.

Rob: Oh, well, uh, if you, if you
haven't already, you can be like

me, go out and chase it down and
enjoy that tantalizing morsel.

Kevin: Yeah.

Rob: Well, let's go towards an episode
that I'd almost forgotten about,

but when I started watching I went,
Oh, I know this one from Voyager.

We're going to look at Shattered.

Kevin: I'm looking forward to revisiting
this through your viewing, because

I have not seen this one recently.

I barely remember that it exists.

Rob: like we were talking about with
a Discovery episode for this week.

It is a typical final season episode.

It's season 7, episode 11.

Let's go, let's go back over
the entire history of this show.

Kevin: It's very much the formula
of Face the Strange this week,

Rob: Very much so, yeah, and it's a
perfect companion piece, so watching

Faces of Strange and then Shattered, you
can just see a lot of similarities there.

So, Voyager comes across an anomaly
in space, with temporal dilations

and all that type of stuff in it.

We are introduced, well reintroduced into
the wonderful, glorious Naomi Wildman.

Uh, cannot say that without, uh,
thinking of how Jeri Ryan says it, Naomi

Wildman, and of course, um, one of the
Borg children that Seven of Nine had

saved as well, who unfortunately meets,

Kevin: Icheb.

Icheb, who dies in Picard Season 2, if

Rob: who meets, uh, meets a sticky
ending at the start of, uh, Season

2, yeah, of, uh, Is it season
two or season one of Picard?

Kevin: I remember it as Season 2, I'll
double check my facts while you continue.

Rob: Um, so, yes, um, so Chakotay is on
his way down to the, uh, to the storage

bay where they are playing card games
and, uh, and puzzles and stuff like that.

He's taking one of these, uh, uh,
very rare bottles of liquor for

this, uh, regular standing dinner
between Chakotay and Janeway.

Uh, he is hit by this, uh, by energy pulse
from the time dilation that's approaching

Voyager, and he is then, uh, connected
to all different periods of time.

Um, he wakes up and he is, uh,
healed by the Doctor, who then he

finds out that, uh, it's not the
doctor that he knows, it's a doctor

before he has the mobile uh, emitter.

So, uh, the Doctor's just
you've got a temporal problem?

Here, here's a, here, here's
a, here's a shot for it.

I can just give you a shot, it's fine.

And he does, he

Kevin: Time problems cause headaches.

Here's a, here's an analgesic.

Rob: Yeah, take two, take two before
bed and call me in the morning.


Kevin: By the way, Icheb died in season
one, episode five, Stardust City Rag of

Rob: Yes, it was the first, like, first,
when Seven of Nine appears in Picard.

It's her first appearance of,
um, of, yeah, Icheb is killed

in the most horrifying of ways.

Um, yeah.

More than, more than one reason why to
dislike season one and two of Picard.

Anyway, um, uh, each to their own.

It's a credit to Robert Picardo to be able
to, um, throw off just such a ridiculous

justification of why Chakotay can just go
through all periods of time on Voyager,

um, and not make it seem ridiculous.

You almost believe him for a second,
that's how good Robert Picardo is.

Chakotay is slipping through Voyager
and as he enters certain rooms he's

going onto the bridge even before
they've gone into the Delta Quadrant.

He goes down to uh, Engineering
and Seska's there with um, with

uh, the revolutionary crew.

So great to see Seska back there.

Going to another section where
there's the Maquis, you know,

still in their civvy outfit.

He goes in and then he decides
to bring Janeway into this.

So typical 90s Star Trek fashion.

He holds her hostage and guides
her through with the syringe

at her neck going, I'll use it!

I'll use it, put down your phaser.

And they go through the time dilation
and, and um, and they go through this

journey together of realization because
she doesn't obviously trust him at first.

Um, and it's all about, it's really
about the relationship between Chakotay

and Janeway and not for the first time
in the series, there are hints and

nods and winks about do they, did they,
will they, won't they, and which makes

it even more ridiculous that at the
end of the season they go, Oh yeah,

Chakotay and Seven of Nine are a thing.

And we all nah, get fucked.

Um, if they, yeah, they put so much
groundwork into will they, won't

they, between Chakotay and, um,
Janeway, which is a kind of a letdown.

You're there going, the first female
captain and you're going to do a

romance thing scattered throughout
the seasons with her male first mate.

Um, that kind of shat me a bit.

Kevin: The more ambiguous it
was, the better it worked.

Like there was this sense that these two
people who worked so closely together

leading this ship would inevitably
form a bond that transcends friendship.

But does it need to be romantic?

Does it need to be even
explicit to the audience?

I think the more we feel it rather than
see it, the more satisfying it was.

time they walked up to that line,
we kind of went, Look, we don't

need to see what's past that

Rob: It is a weird moment though,
where she goes, have we ever?

We've spent all our time together, we've
kept things professional, and the look

on Mulgrew's face is, oh, it's almost
a case of, I know you can't see my

face, listeners, but she has a look on
her face of, oh, what could have been.

And for, like, I, you know, uh, in my
past life it was always referred to as

Chakotay was the dogue, Chakotay was
always the dogue of Voyager, he was

always, You know, had some sort of,
uh, uh, uh, tail that he was chasing,

if you, sorry for the terminology.

Um, but in this one, it's very much
a case of, Janeway is the dogue there

going, oh, oh, could I tap that?

Kevin: Well, good on At
least it was empowering.

Rob: Yes, so it's, it's very much a,
uh, uh, uh, greatest hits of Voyager.

We see the giant disease germ
cloud, uh, parasites coming through.

We've got the Borg coming through.

We've got Seven of Nine fully Borg'd up.

We've got old age, uh, Naomi
Wildman when she's grown up.

Well, not old age.

She's a grown up Naomi Wildman.

Kevin: Yeah, adult Naomi Weilman.

Rob: So it's all

Kevin: It feels to me like, I haven't
seen this lately, as I mentioned, but

just hearing you describe it, it sounds
to me like logically it holds even more

tenuously together than what we saw with
Face the Strange this week, but the fact

that it is supported by and driven by
rewarding character beats enables us

to look past the fact that how would
it actually work that walking through a

doorway on a otherwise intact Starship
takes you to a completely different time

in its history, like, what is the science
of Um, it's, it's nice when a show, you

know, when the characters are so enjoyable
that you forget to ask those questions.

Rob: Exactly.


And it is that very much a case of like
with this week's episode of Discovery

where you have, when you see B'Elanna
Torres from, you know, in her Maquis you

know, days, they're going, there is no
way in hell that we would ever, you know,

you tie ourselves to the Federation.

And you go, well, in a couple of years
time, um, and yeah, and the time with

Seska as well and her connection with
Chakotay, all that type of stuff of how

each of these characters have grown and
just, you know, the Doctor tied to just

one room and going, oh, how much we,
you know, we do not miss the time when

the Doctor could only stay in one place.

We love him being able to travel around.

Kevin: I'm seeing we even got a Dr.

Chaotica appearance

Rob: is a Chaotica moment and, uh, and
begrudgingly Janeway has to pretend

to go full Queen of the Spiders.


But yeah, yeah, the actor, think
it's the same actor, does return

and is very hammy and And it's
all black and white, obviously, so

Kevin: Obviously.

Rob: Does the whole remind
me to delete this program

Kevin: It's interesting to me just
how similar the formula is to Face

the Strange week on Discovery.

And yet, to me, like, it, you this feels
a very, like it is the final season of

Discovery, but I don't think the show
runners knew that when they were writing

Face the Strange, like season five had yet
to be declared the show's final season.

And so, whereas here in Shattered, they
were very deliberately looking back on

the series behind them, knowing they were,
they were wrapping all up this season.

In Discovery, it feels more like they
are reaching back to pay off these things

that they failed to pay off at the time.

Like that, again, that bridge crew that
we never really got to meet at that

time in their history, visiting them
now feels like righting a wrong, uh,

or, or connecting something that had
been failed to, to be connected before,

uh, and it almost feels like tidying
up the show, uh, to strengthen it for

the future rather than nostalgically
looking back to wrap things up.

So in a way, I am very much
as I was feeling last week.

This deepens my regret that we are
working our way to the end of Discovery

here because with each episode this
season, I am more and more in the

mood for more Discovery, surprisingly.

Rob: Yeah, it's, it's, it's a shame of
just how the show has been structured,

that they need to do these, in some ways,
not retcons really, but corrections about

what they have not developed in the past,
that they could have developed, and even

with less episodes than they used to
have in the 90s, you need to hit all your

ensemble really early on, um, and that's

Kevin: Better late than never, I guess.

Rob: I guess, yeah, and it shows in
Shattered just how much history is

there over seven seasons, 24 episodes
a season, that we see just a little

moment where all we have of Tuvok is
his death scene, uh, potential death

scene, and you, you only feel that for
that little moment just because you go,

yeah, we haven't seen Tim Russ at all
this episode, but, you know, we, we know

him from every other episode beforehand.

Kevin: Well, I, I feel like I've
been through a time loop of my

own this, uh, this episode, Rob.

Rob: Well look, we've all come back
around and here we are, out at the

end, what a time travelling cone of
interwarping temporal flux it has been.

Kevin: Oh, we didn't even
mention All Good Things.

That's another kind of series
ender that takes the opportunity

to look back by literally visiting
other time periods in the show.

Rob: Exactly.

It's very Back to the Future 2.

That's very much a case of going, let's
go look at that important moment back

then from a different perspective now.

Episode 53: Trapped in time (DIS 5×04 Face the Strange)
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