Episode 58: Into the belly of the beast (DIS 5×09 Lagrange Point)

Rob: Hello, hello and welcome,
this is Subspace Radio.

We are back.

I'm Rob and with me as
always is Kevin, how are you?

Kevin: I'm well.

I'm very well.

I'm, I'm a little destitute without
new Star Trek to watch, but there

are still a couple of episodes to
talk about, so looking forward to

Rob: And then we wait for that, uh,
the holy land that is July when, uh,

Prodigy Season 2 hits, apparently.

Kevin: Not far now.

Not far now.

Rob: is in the, the far future compared to
right now because we are impatient souls.

But what we do have to talk about is
Episode 9 of Season 5 of Discovery.

It is the sticky end of the season,
Lagrange Point, directed by the

legend himself, Jonathan Frakes.

Um, and it's all coming to a head
right here, is it not, Kevin?

Kevin: It is!

This was part one of what I am
thinking of as our two part finale

for the season, and, uh, yeah, it
was, uh, certainly action packed!

Rob: We had black holes, we had
incoming enemies, we had a fight for a

precious piece of technology, uh, we had
infiltrating of enemy territory, uh, we

had flashbacks to traumatic moments in,
you know, or at least, you know, dictated

by traumatic moments in people's pasts.

Kevin: I think I like the
big picture of this one.

Some of the little bits really bug me.

Like, this, this crew is not
very good at their jobs at times.

The, the race that this season has been
all about came down to, is Discovery

going to beat the Dreadnought to the tech.

And they did, but instead of grabbing
it, they kind of stood and made

speeches until the others showed up
and yoinked it right into their bay.

And you could just see the disgust
on Rayner's face when it happened.

He was like, nup.

Too late.

They got it.

And he's like, what, what ship am I on?

How did I end up here?

Rob: Yeah, very much so.

I would, I have never felt more
connected to a character in

Star Trek Discovery in my life.

I'm there going, I'm
right there with you, bud.

I'm right there with you.

Kevin: Yeah, I guess we wouldn't have
had much of an episode if, uh, if

Discovery had grabbed it, but you know,
it could have at least been a tug of war.

Rob: Exactly.


We found ourselves, which I've been
noticing a lot more now that I'm

back into watching Discovery quite
regularly, they do like to do the whole,

we need to do something right now.

We need to do something within, you know,
that will take an hour, but you only

have 15 minutes, and it's never been
done before in the history of Federation.

No one has ever done this before,
and you need to figure out,

and you need to do it success
successfully, and they get it done.


Kevin: Oh yeah.

You're talking about on two occasions,
they penetrate the shields of the

Dreadnought, this episode, on a, you
know, a, a single command of let's do this

and we'll figure it out as we go along.

And one is they will fly into the exhaust
port that has a gap in the shields for

some reason and, and beam in while their
shuttlecraft is breaking up in the fire.

Okay, you know, I'll give
you one of those per episode.

And then the second one is, let's
just fly into the shuttle bay.

And this one, I'm warming to it over time.

When it first happened, I was like, what?

What is even the point of shields
if you can just fly through them?

Rob: In a certain certain

Kevin: Yeah, at a certain angle, but
what I realized after watching this

episode a second time is it is not the
defense shields of the Dreadnought,

those have been dropped by the away
team, it is just the containment field

of their shuttle like a secondary
shield, it's not meant for security.

Rob: Just to stop people being sucked out.

Kevin: But boy was it spectacular.

If I had any doubts that it
was worth suspending disbelief,

the CG really sold me on it.

The visuals of that ship crashing through
there and then all of the, all of the

objects inside that bay simultaneously
lifting off the ground and getting

sucked out into space was really great to

Rob: and the, you know, the
spinning around of Discovery.

Look, this is not gonna come as a shock,
uh, I'm not the biggest Discovery fan,

but that was an incredibly impressive
sequence and a beautifully shot, uh,

and, you know, dare I say, directed
piece of sci-fi spectacularness.

Kevin: I noticed even the music in that,
as the, as that barrel, as I like to

think of it, as that barrel is tumbling,
uh, and bouncing against things, the

music kind of swells into a very, Star
Trek feature film esque set of strings,

Rob: was thinking that too.

Kevin: that guy, Michael Giacchino,
who's done those, those film scores

in recent years, the, there was a
lot of that going on in that moment.

And I thought, wow, that is
drawing on recent Star Trek films

to just give that sense of epic
scale that this scene needed.

It really worked for me.

Rob: Yeah, yeah, I know we haven't
got Michael Giacchino for this, uh,

season, and he definitely did the, uh,
theme music for Prodigy, but there's

definitely elements of that, uh, style
of music that Giacchino has done so

beautifully over the last, uh, god,
10, 15 years of doing soundtrack stuff.

And if you haven't seen check out his,
uh, directorial debut, um, Marvel's

Werewolf by Night, which is a masterpiece.

Kevin: Really!

Rob: Yeah, yeah, it's a, there's a great
documentary about it on Disney Plus

where he talks about directing for the
first time and, um, yeah, it's just,

yeah, I'm, I'm a huge fan of his work,
but it's definitely had elements of his,

uh, rousing scores that he's brought
to the Chris Pine Star Trek films.

Kevin: This episode kind of has the
final face to face between Moll and

Book of the season, and I have to
say I was kind of disappointed that

it didn't really amount to much.

There was some smack talk of like,
a courier never reveals his secrets.

And she goes, is that what
your mentor taught you?

And that's it.

Like the, there, I feel like the
episode Mirrors earlier in the season.

was entirely about bringing Book and Moll
together in some sort of relationship

that we were presuming would pay off,
but I guess it was a dropped element.

Rob: It is.

It's been totally dropped.

It's such a shame because I
was there going, there's got

to be something more to this.

There's got to be, it's got to
be dropped now because it's going

to be picked up in some way.

But it's another sense of this ball has
been dropped and left behind and they've

kind of put it on the, on the back burner.

And who would have thought that
their main focus is of course always

going to be, uh, Burnham, at the
expense of this type of story.

I mean, we always have, we've
talked about it before, you know,

we have our lead characters.

Of course, Kirk is
gonna go on the mission.

Of course, Picard's
gonna go on the mission.

Of course, Sisko's
gonna go on the mission.

But, the, that time is taken within, uh,
the 90's shows or stuff like that, or

even the original series, to expand some
of the supporting characters somewhat.

Not so much the original series.

It's kind of like they're
top three and that's it.

Um, but here it is very
much a case of you see it.

You see it.

Oh no, this is a whole story arc
that we're not going to give time.

And you've got to be happy with
just a line or two here, there,

and that's going to be enough.

Nah, it's not.

It's, it's, it's, it's a disservice
to, to um, Moll as a character.

To actually have some sort of more to her.

She started off one dimensional and
there was a hope of giving her a bit

of a justification and understanding of
where she's at, but it's like they've

locked her into this character type.

Kevin: Yeah, and I think it's more the
shame because Mirrors was itself not

a particularly strong episode, and so
I was holding out hope that it would

at least be in service of something.

But looking back on the season now,
it feels like that entire connection

between Moll and Book could have
been dropped outta the season

entirely, and the season would have
been stronger for it, more cohesive.

Would have been fewer distractions
that didn't amount to anything.

And, uh, maybe room for a better episode
than Mirrors, if we didn't have to

explore that Book Moll connection.

Rob: They, yeah, they very much did
the barest minimum and, and, and

it got to, it's gotten to the point
where the end of the season going,

you know, What's the real point?

I mean, they've done so much with
Rayner, especially this episode.

There was great stuff done with him here.

I love that whole setup of, you
know, Tilly and that going with

whenever he's in charge, he
never sits in the captain's seat.

And so that satisfaction, the final
moment, the cliffhanger is, you

know, Rayner finally sitting in the
seat, which we all knew was coming

as soon as they telegraphed it by
going, he never sits in the seat.

And I went, well, we know what he's
going to do by the end of the episode.

Kevin: There's some, there's a funny thing
about Rayner that he's almost, he's always

speaking in almost cliches, I feel like.

So like his final lines of the
episode are, Failure, not an option.

It's almost like the script page
said failure is not an option and

he's like, I'm not saying that.

I've got to make it my own, somehow.

And so he drops out the word, uh, is, and
it goes, failure, not an option, alright?

Let's do this.

And, uh, yeah, it, it, it, It works, but
in every case I feel like the, I feel

the, the cliche just kind of hanging
over his shoulder at the same time.

Rob: It is very much a case of
this is where we are very gifted.

We're very lucky to have a
very gifted actor in the role.

Callum Keith Rennie is,
uh, a gift to this season.

He's really taken, as you've said, quite,
um, cliche, gimmicky lines, but he,

you know, is able to deliver them away.

Famously, as Harrison Ford said to George
Lucas on the set of Star Wars, you can

write this stuff, but we have to say it.

And it's a credit really good
actors to be able to pull that out.

And he's, for me, he's joining
up the echelons of the types of

your, your, your Patrick Stewarts.

Kevin: Just his reaction shots
on the bridge in the heat of the

action is sometimes the sweetest
moment of some of these scenes.

I did like the exchange between him
and Tilly where he says, you know why

I picked you for my first officer?

Because I wouldn't kill you in
a foxhole unless you keep giving

me that lovey dovey stuff I don't

Rob: Ha ha ha ha

Kevin: really, good.

Rob: That's the type, that's,
that's, that's great chemistry.

That's great stuff like Tilly,
Tilly with Burnham is just


But lovey and hard ass,
that, that chemistry works.

That's beautiful.

So, he hardens her up a little bit and,
you know, she softens him a little bit.

That came out a bit more
saucy than I wanted it to be.

Kevin: Well, let's, uh, let's move
on to the other sauciness, which

was the Breen flirting and just the
general Breen world building that we

had with Book and, uh, Burnham kind
of infiltrating the dreadnought.

I, liked the, the xenoanthropology
stuff of, like, recognizing the name

of the feast, and, and then in the
next scene, paying that off with, would

you like to go to the feast with me?

And yeah, good stuff.

Rob: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Yeah, Book going the whole,
Wait a minute, is this?

Whoa, what's going on

Kevin: This getting weird.

This is working

Rob: ha

Ha ha ha ha ha ha He's
a very attractive man.

So, I mean, totally understand Yeah, that

Kevin: Even in a helmet,
he is, uh, he is magnetic.

Rob: And I mean Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

That was great for us to get a
bit more, especially, as we've

talked about before, the Breen are
notoriously undeveloped as a character.

Um, to have this type of stuff, so
figuring out what certain words mean,

the linguistics of it all was amazing.

And those, um, Traditions and those, uh,
sort of like cultural touchstones were,

um, just to touch on in a little way.

Wasn't forced, wasn't pressured.

It was still all tied
in with the great heist.

I love a good heist movie.

I love a good heist episode in
a, in a Star Trek story, um, and

to have Adira and also Rhys out
on, on, on a mission was great.

And Rhys was kicking some ass.

Kevin: Absolutely.

I, uh, I liked these final character
beats for Adira of this season as well.

Like, I've said earlier in the
season that they've been a bit

stammery or a bit, uh, too uncertain.

And I found, I found the balance
that they struck this episode

was much more to my taste.

This, uh, you know, they've been given
the advice by Tilly, that they shouldn't

feel afraid to volunteer for more or to do
more, but that, that moment where they're

like, I guess I am volunteering for the
mission, the, it's less self doubting

and more, like, wide eyed innocence, and
I enjoyed it a lot more for that reason.

Rob: They definitely, for whatever
reason, they seem to have wrapped

Adira in a lot of bubble wrap.

Um, and there's this protective
element they have put around them.

And so,

Kevin: I almost feel like they've been
getting younger with each episode we see

them and so they are very childlike in
this episode, um, which makes the peril

of them going on the mission work for me.

So, you know, setting aside the arc, and,
and where they've been, and how they've

gotten them there, this episode, on its
own merits, I quite enjoy Adira in this

Rob: Yeah, there was, uh, there was enough
done, and it was what they needed to do.

Stop babying them and let
them, yeah, let them fly.

Let them fly.

Um, and of course, yeah, with the,
ends with the ultimate cliffhanger

of, uh, uh, Burnham and Moll being
sucked into, uh, the canister.

Kevin: Yeah.

Rob: Oh, and we had
Saru coming in as well.

Saru has, like, put himself up
as he's the only one who can,

you know, go on this extremely
dangerous diplomatic mission to stop.

Kevin: Yes, we had the Vulcan
version of the tearful farewell, I'm

volunteering for the dangerous mission.

First of all, I'll say it again,
the chemistry of the repressed

Vulcan love story is not working
for me for some reason this season.

I don't know what it is, but
they really broke the spell.

Last season, Rob, you haven't
seen season four of Discovery.

I wouldn't recommend a watch if
you had no other reason to do it.

But one thing that did work was the
love story between T'Rina and Saru.

There is heat between them.

You want to see them get
together, and it is delicious.

Here it's completely bloodless, and them
standing in their quarters, I was struck

by the set design, because you had Saru
on one side, and T'Rina on the other,

and if you looked in the background,
one half of their quarters was, um, wavy

Vulcan soft furniture, and on the other
side was misty, hanging plants for Saru.

And it was like they have divided
their quarters with a line down

the middle and this is Saru's
side and this is T'Rina's side.

And that feeling that they are together
but not really together, that there

isn't really any relationship there,
other than these two characters stand

face to face and gaze meaningfully
into each other's eyes once an episode.

Apart from that, there is no relationship
going on here and, um, yeah, that

bothered me afresh this episode.

Rob: Yeah, it is quite a shame, especially
considering, like you said, if there

there was that chemistry there last
season, and Doug Jones is a master

performer, especially under layers of
makeup, and what he can exude out of his

pores is, is nothing short of remarkable.

Kevin: Yeah, it's not the first
TV love story where the will they

won't they was more delicious than
the now they're together season.

Rob: It's always, it's always the way.

Happened with Lois and Clark.

It happened with, you know, Let's
not even get started on Rachel

and Ross, that toxic relationship.

Kevin: But yes, I had to
chuckle at the literalness of

the design of their quarters.

Well, we've got Saru, so we'll need
plants, and we've got T'Rina, so we'll

need Vulcan furniture, and we'll put
them on opposite sides of the room.

Rob: Yeah, I love, I mean, it
shows there's not a good quality

of acting approach if you're, the
first thing you say, I remember

in that scene, the background.

Kevin: The furniture, yeah.

Rob: But also, you trying to justify
it as, is that a character choice

or is that lazy production design?


Kevin: Yeah.

Transpolock is a funny new technical term
for, I think, what we would all recognize

as pattern enhancers, but I guess in the
32nd century, transpolock has caught on.

So that was, that was
interesting to pick out.

Rob: It's, it's, a variation
of Wingardium Leviosa.

It's all just 37th century magic now.

Kevin: Did you get why the barrel,
which had been out in space to begin

with, at the end of this episode,
as it tumbled out into space,

kind of exploded and broke apart.

Rob: No!

Is it because something
that the Breen did?

Kevin: No, I don't think so.

I think it was just
like, this'll look cool.

You know, it exploded.

It became a portal in space, which
they immediately tried to tractor beam.

And then there was the, the
line, it's moving too fast.

There's too much debris.

And I was like, Also, it's a portal.

Like, it's insubstantial.

There's nothing to grab onto.

They could've said negative lock
or something like that, but, uh,

instead it's moving too fast.

When in the CG shots,
it was kinda standing

Rob: was still, yeah.

Kevin: Yeah.

So, yeah, this, this, this final
beat was a little confusing to

me, of like, what is that thing?

I guess it's the portal and is it solid?

Because it sure looks pretty misty.

Yeah, it was unfortunate that
it ended on a confusing note

Rob: Yes, it was quite confusing,
I'm glad you brought that up, yeah.

And the technobabble that, I mean, Star
Trek always needs technobabble, but there

seems to be some sort of element to the
technobabble that is a bit obnoxious or

a bit, uh, um, ha, it gets us away from
the reality that we can actually see.

In other Star Treks we kind of
justify it by going, alright,

okay, we know it's a bit of

Kevin: Oh, they played with that
this episode when they were flying

into that, uh, that exhaust vent
and, uh, Adira is explaining

why they can't beam over it yet.

Burnham goes, science later, problem now!

And then someone asks Adira,
why can't we beam over?

And they say, science later, problem now.

So I enjoyed that bit of self awareness.

Rob: Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep.

Kevin: So the big highlight of this
episode, that set piece of Discovery

flying into that shuttle bay and causing
its contents to spew out into space

was the thing we seized on and the
over like the the phrase that popped

into my head while I was watching that
is like Into the belly of the beast.

When when do our ships and crews
throw themselves into a dangerous

situation where they will be surrounded
by threat and unlikely to return.

This happens in many cases and we're
gonna explore a few of them, this episode.

I've got a original
series, belly of the Beast.

Have you got, where do you
start in the Star Trek timeline?

Rob: I've got one, and mine
is from, I'm finally back.

I'm back home, Kevin.

Oh, Terok Nor has welcomed me home.

I'm walking around the Promenade,
just observing the people, Kevin.

Oh, I'm,

Kevin: Interesting.

Okay, good to

Rob: dangling my feet over the
edge with Jake Sisko and we're just

watching, we're people watching.


Kevin: Well, got two, so I'll start.

I'll start and bring up the rear
and we'll visit DS9 in between.

Rob: Yes, let's go to
those old scientists.

Kevin: Yeah, Season 2, Episode 18,
The Immunity Syndrome, which I think

of as the space amoeba episode.

I don't know if you've ever seen this
one, is, the Enterprise encounters a

giant single celled organism in space,
and it's a bit of a feast for the eyes.

I had not seen the remastered version
of this episode since it came out, so I

was looking forward to seeing what they
did with this space amoeba, um, and,

and, uh, yeah, it, it's, I'll say it is
faithful to the original, so they did not

reimagine it in any super high tech way.

But it looks better than it ever
has, and it is charming in the

same way the original episode was.

Rob: I'll, I'll, divert a bit.

I have, I have appreciated watching
these remastered ones on Paramount Plus.

Uh, how they've taken that CGI
and enhanced it to the point of,

it's like, the natural progression
of where where the effects were.

They do it a lot with classic
Doctor Who when they release the

blu rays of the classic seasons.

They take one story and do an
enhanced version with special CGI.

And sometimes it works really well,
where they just shift it slightly.

Uh, but there are some ones where they do
big, broad special effects stuff and it

just takes away from it because it's too
far away from what the original shot was.

But the original series remastering
and new effects seem to,

Kevin: It's so tasteful.


There are, there are a couple of episodes
where they have gone, all right, the

point of this episode is the visuals,
and we're going to lean into it.

Um, I think, uh, the, the Doomsday Machine
episode is one that comes to mind, that

they really brought the, those space
battles between the two Constitution

class ships and the shuttlecraft and
that, that big Doomsday device in space.

They really made that 3D and we
got to see things from above and

below in a way that really fleshed
out the world in a satisfying way.

But most of the time they did this less
is more approach of like Let's make it

look exactly like what they had in their
heads when they were making that episode.

No more, no less.

And that's what we get here
in the Immunity Syndrome.

So, yeah, broad strokes, the
Enterprise flies to the rescue of

a, of a, star system that has, um,
stopped responding to communications.

What they find is a giant black cloud,
uh, of space with no stars in it.

And as they go deeper and deeper into it,
the crew's life forces are wicked away.

So you, you see people fainting and
people irritable at each other and

McCoy's keeping everyone walking with
stimulants, but he's monitoring the

life readings on the ship and they're
gradually going down as they get closer

and closer to what turns out to be this
massive single celled organism in space.

Um, Spock takes a shuttlecraft
inside of it to map out its

interior and is feared lost.

Um, the Enterprise eventually
goes in after him to plant charges

and blow it up from the inside.

And they luckily rescue Spock at
the last minute on the way out.

Uh, and they, having blown
up that organism, all is well

with the sector once again.

It's a really good one.

This is another great Spock McCoy episode,
because Spock and McCoy, you know, when,

when patience wears thin, these two are
delicious to watch together a scene, and

they are also competing with each other
around the discovery of this organism.

McCoy is the first to volunteer
to take that shuttle in.

Spock says, no, I should go instead.

There's a bit of like, who's going to go?

And, and Kirk has to make the call.

He says, I'm sorry, Spock.

And McCoy goes, I'll pack my things.

And he goes, no, no, I'm sorry,
Spock, you're most qualified.

You're going on the suicide mission.

And, uh, yeah, the farewell at the shuttle
bay doors, McCoy walks Spock down to the

shuttle bay, and they have this amazing
scene with each other outside the doors

while the, the room is pressurizing.

Spock says grant, grant
me my own kind of dignity.

McCoy responds, Vulcan dignity?

How can I grant you
what I don't understand?

Spock says, Then employ one
of your own superstitions.

Wish me luck.

And this comes back later when the
comms with the shuttlecraft are failing.

It's the last words we hear
from Spock is, McCoy, tell Dr.

McCoy he should have wished me luck.

It's just so poignant.

It's really, really good watching them
compete, but fear for each other and

feel guilty for, for, uh, for the other.

It is really, really good.

Rob: Well from what you're saying,
like this is like late season two, so

this is really when it's, you know,

Kevin: Oh yeah, this is
peak, peak Star Trek.

Yeah, it's good stuff.

Rob: That sounds like the type of stuff
that we love about, you know, those

connections between the, our, our three
heads of the original series is how

those relationships work and that like,
because I'm going back and discovering it

as I go, how, like when we watched the,
the ones most recent, I've watched most

recently for the evil computer stuff,
just they're going Yeah, it was there.

It was there all along.

Of course, it was there all along.

It was just enhanced even more
in the movies because they'd been

known each other for so long.

Kevin: Uh, what is often the case in
these belly of the beast scenarios is

the building up of the threat beforehand.

And at the start of this episode,
they really go overboard.

So, they are told that the USS
Intrepid, which is manned by

400 Vulcans, it's an all Vulcan

Rob: Sheesh!

Kevin: has encountered something and is
no longer responding to communication

requests, and Enterprise is asked
to go and investigate what happened.

And in this cold open, Spock, who's at
his station, suddenly sits bolt upright,

and his eyes are wide open, and he
says, Captain, the Intrepid just died!

Over 400 Vulcans aboard!


And he sensed their death.

And he has several speeches in this
episode where he explains that the

Vulcans, logical thinkers that they
were, not only didn't understand what was

killing them, their logic refused to allow
them to believe they were dying at all.

Rob: Far out!

Kevin: The line is, not a person, not
even the computers on board the Intrepid

knew what was killing them or would
have understood it had they known.

And it's, it's, for me it's going a
little too far to say that Vulcans

are so logical that they ignore
things that they cannot explain.

Rob: It's just not there.

It's not there.

We're not dying.

We're not dying at all.

Kevin: Here's another, here's another
passage for you that gives you a sense.

Spock says, They never
knew what was killing them.

Their logic would not have permitted
them to believe they were being killed.

Vulcan has not been conquered
within its collective memory.

The memory goes back so far that no
Vulcan can conceive of a conqueror.

I knew the ship was lost
because I sensed it.

And Kirk asks, What do
you think they felt?

Spock's reply: astonishment.

It's a bit much, right?

Rob: Just a tad.

Just a tad.

But you know,

Kevin: But in a 60s TV series,
it was par for the course.

It was like, build it up, super big,

Rob: And especially when you're, you're
learning in the very early stages of what

this species Vulcan is, you know, you've
got, uh, an alien regular character, so

you're, you know, you're not used to, you
know, America at this time, or society

at this time, was finding it very hard
to, you know, relate to anything other

than the predominant white, Caucasian
culture, so bringing in any one of them,

of, of minority, which I do in inverted
commas, uh, is, is, incredibly difficult

with that limited myopic view of things.

But to bring in an alien species and make
them regular, um, pushing, pushing the

boundaries of is this what we can do?

Is that what, yeah, it's

Kevin: Yeah, it was early
Vulcan mythology, for

Um, and there is a mass
extinction event as well.

Like, apart from the 400 Vulcans
aboard the intrepid, there's also

the Gamma 7A star system that goes
silent and in an, in a single line,

Kirk says there are billions of
inhabitants there, and it's Chekov

who's on the scanners at this point.

Chekov reports that the billions, with a
B, inhabitants of, uh, Gamma 7A are dead.

Um, and, and, you know,
never thought of again.

Never mentioned again.

Billions of people who died in
the cold open of this episode.

Rob: Never been brought back.

Never was a, you know, a plot point
in a later season of a spin series.


Kevin: There you go, dangling
thread, the extinction of Gamma 7A.

Rob: Bring that up in Prodigy season two.

Kevin: But, um, I really enjoyed,
like, it is oppressive, the, the stars

going dark, and then going inside this
kind of pink protoplasm structure, the

feeling, and, and, the actors are doing
a great job of selling the fact that

their life forces are slowly dying off.

There's no overplaying it.

Just people look tired and they look like
they, you know, they're massaging their

foreheads because they have a headache
and, and it's just enough to sell this

feeling that they are in, in dangerous
waters that they may not return from.

And it, it really does have that
feeling of a beast all around them.

Rob: Fantastic.

Kevin: Let's go to Deep Space Nine!

Rob: Hey, we are going to one
of the best titled episodes in

Star Trek history, I reckon.

We're going to season five, episode one
of Deep Space Nine, Apocalypse Rising.

Kevin: I don't remember this one.

I'm sure it'll come back to
me, but not by the title.

It a Dominion war story?

Rob: is Dominion War story.

We've had the, the Klingons
in for about a season or so.

They've been quite hostile.

At the present time.

Uh, directed by James L.

Conway, written by, uh, uh, Deep
Space Nine legend, uh, Ira Stephen

Behr, with, uh, robert Hewitt Wolfe.

So yeah, this is the start of season five.

It opens with a, um, last, last season
on Deep Space Nine, where we find out,

um, Odo has, uh, been judged by, um, the
Founders because of him killing another

Changeling, and he's, uh, he's been
judged, he's gone into the Great Link,

he's been judged and passed sentence, and
he has had his powers, well his existence

changed, he is now a solid, so he now

Kevin: Ah, this is in that short period.

Rob: So he has organs, he breathes,
he does all that type of stuff.

He still has his own face, uh,
that he's had for ages, but he is

now, as punishment, he is a solid.

Um, and the, the big cliffhanger at
the end of the previous season was,

um, Odo was looking in shock at the
screen, uh, as everyone's around on

the promenade, and he goes, when I was
in the Great Link, lots of images and

faces passed by, they tried to hold back
information from me, but I got one image.

One image, and it's him,
and it's Gowron, from

Kevin: Oh, yes.

Fake Gowron.

Rob: a changeling.

So, this whole episode is, the belly
of the beast is, a team from Deep Space

Nine have to go into the heart of Klingon
culture to us, uh, to expose Gowron

as, uh, the changeling that he is.

So we have Wolf and Sisko and O'Brien and
Odo, uh, changed up to look like Klingons

and go into the belly of the beast to,
uh, expose Gowron as, uh, the changeling.

Kevin: I love a good makeup caper.

Rob: Love a good makeup caper.

Love seeing, um, the one who looks,
uh, pretty, yeah, pretty impressive

in it, um, Sisko looks really good
in them, in, in, in Klingon gear.

O'Brien, not so much.

René Auberjonois looks really good.

And for some reason, he doesn't
have to have the teeth in.

Or if he does have teeth in,
he's making it look, like, poor

Kevin: He's it looks natural.

The best teeth any Klingon has ever had?

Rob: Yeah, poor old Avery Brooks does have
a little bit of the, uh, fang, uh, lisp,

but, um, they go in and they go through
the ceremonies of, um, of Klingon culture

and drinking of the blood wine, but
they've got inhibitors there so they don't

get drunk and they all have to, you know.

There's lovely stuff with
Worf talking about, you know,

you're stepping away from me.

That shows disrespect.

You're quiet, so that
means you're in fear.

If you respect someone, you're right up
in their face and you talk loudly to them

because I love that little bit of stuff.

Kevin: Yeah, some late
Klingon world building.

It's really

Rob: Michael Dorn, man.

Michael Dorn is just, just perfection.

And I mean, you've

Kevin: He's earning his paycheck

Rob: He's earning it here, he's just
got that great balance of, you know,

especially when he's going up against
other amazing Klingon actors, when he's

got, uh, Robert O'Reilly, the famous
Robert O'Reilly, who, uh, just saw

this on, on, online today: uh, he only
appeared as Gowron in 13 episodes, but

he has appeared in a gazillion memes.

Those eyes are wonderful.

And of course, uh, J.


Hertzler is there as Martok and
he's, Martok's one of, becomes

one of my favorite characters,
one of my favorite Klingons.

Kevin: Martok is great.

Gowron is great.

Any episode that has both of
them is automatically great.

Rob: Amazing, there's some great, so
like, Gowron, Martok, and Worf, the

three of them, it's this beautiful
holy trinity of Klingon ness.

And of course we've got, for good
measure, Gul Dukat is in there.

So, this is at the height
of, um, the Dominion War.

Worf's been there about a season, um, uh,
Kira's pregnant, the Cardassians are in

a, in a shaky alliance with the Federation
while the Klingons are against them.

And they have to get in to find out,
uh, you know, to prove that Gowron is a

changeling without a, but then there's
a little twist at the end obviously.

Kevin: Yeah, this is a great one.

I do remember the blood wine drinking
scenes and it just, the scenes with

all of these Klingons in them and you
can see there are different kinds of

Klingons and they, they are, there
are cliques and groups and just, yeah,

it, it really, um, widened the canvas.

Not since, uh, not since the TNG episodes
with Worf's discommendation do I feel like

we got to really visit on the ground, uh,
Kronos and, and see Klingon culture, at

least Klingon military culture in action.

Rob: Yeah, and I mean, it's a
great case of, it sort of like

flips the heist movie genre on its
head, going, this is impossible,

there's no way it's going to work.

And it doesn't.

Like, they fail.

They are called out, and it's, you
know, a last desperate move of one

thing they didn't want to do, to try
and save the day, and then Odo saves it.

And Odo plays a big part
in this episode, of course.

He's obviously not dealing well
with the fact that he's lost who

he is and he's getting used um,
being, uh, you know, humanoid.

And, you know, a great, beautiful
opening scene of him talking about

hearing the bubbles in, you know,
the carbonated bubbles in a drink.

Um, and losing his way there and how
quite matter of factly Sisko pretty

much just goes, just suck it up, okay?

You moaning about it and complaining
about it isn't going to change the

fact this is what you are, this
is what you are now and you have a

duty and you've got something to do.

Come on, this is pretty much suck it up.

Kevin: There's something perverse about
Odo freshly locked in his body, which

must feel to him like makeup, like
an appliance that he puts on every

day to go to work, then having to put
on a Klingon guise on top of that.

It's like a mask on top of a mask for him.

Rob: Exactly.

And there's a beautiful, coda at the
end when, you know, the final shot

is they come out of getting their
surgery changed and Sisko does the

great line, I will miss the fangs.

In that beautiful Avery Brooks
voice, I will miss the fangs.

And you just hear him, every single letter
in fangs is just done with such relish.

And, you know, they say to Odo, you
can have whatever face you want.

You can, you know, you know, stay
Klingon, or you can have human.

He goes, no, I'll go back to my face.

And that knowing look from Sisko going,
I think we've got our constable back.

Kevin: He's grumpy again!

That's good!

Rob: Hooray.

There's a beautiful moment, like, because
I know around about this time, Alexander

Siddig and, uh, Nana Visitor, Married.

They got together and then they had
broken up by the end of season 7.

It's a whirlwind relationship, I believe.

Um, but there's this moment
where Julian Bashir comes to see,

uh, Kira about her pregnancy.

Because she's holding
Keiko's baby at this point.

Which is, there's a great line where
Gul Dukat goes, well, he must be the

father, of the current man he's dating.

Oh, no, no, no.

The father's O'Brien.

But yeah, there's got this moment
where there's this chemistry and

you're there going, we don't see
much of Kira and Bashir together.

But it seems like the writer's gone,
well, these guys have got great

chemistry because they're like together.

So there's this, they're not
flirting, but there's this,

Kevin: No, there, there were some
early episodes where they were,

um, Bashir was the awkward flirt
at the beginning of the series.

Like he had unearned confidence
that he was always cracking

on to the women the station.

And there were a couple of times where he
was like giving Kira compliments that, uh,

That were inappropriate in the context,
and she was both flustered and annoyed

by it, and, uh, yeah, it was, it was
fun in that 90s TV way that I'm not sure

would stand up to scrutiny these days.

Rob: In this, in this particular episode,
like, because it, it is focusing on

that, you know, the belly of the beast,
but this is a good Bashir episode.

He's, this is where I'm going, yeah,
this is where Bashir is hitting his

straps, he's got that confidence, he's
really charming, as Alexander really

has as an actor, he's got an incredible,
incredible charm which he brought out,

and he's got great connections with
Kira, he has a great moment with Jake,

and it's another one of those moments,
Jake's going, I just wish my dad wasn't

so good at his job, I just miss him when
he's out, and Bashir pretty much goes,

He's got a duty to do so just suck it up.

And go holy christ, 90s sci fi
was just a case, yeah, everyone's

just going suck it up people.

Come on.

Kevin: From one makeup caper to another
going to take us to late Voyager.

This is season six, episode 26
and season seven, episode one.

It is the last season cliffhanger
of Voyager: Unimatrix Zero.

In Unimatrix Zero, Seven of Nine has
been, with the Doctor's help, taught

to dream again, and as soon as she
starts dreaming while regenerating,

her dreams are suspiciously realistic.

She goes to a forest with a bunch of
strangers who know her by the name Annika,

and she is very human in these dreams.

And it turns out she's not dreaming,
she has joined this, um, rebel frequency

that, um, one in a million Borg drones
are able, they have a mutation that

enables them to connect to Unimatrix Zero,
a shared virtual environment, uh, that

they go to while they're regenerating
and they forget when they wake up.

This is, uh, the beginnings of a rebellion
within the ranks of the Borg Collective.

We see a bunch of the Borg Queen, who
in these episodes is played by Susanna

Thompson, who we last talked about as
Lenara Kahn in the DS9 episode Rejoined.

Rob: That's

Kevin: Dax's love interest in Rejoined
also plays the Borg Queen here in Voyager.

Rob: She's very good.

I do remember I do remember that those

Kevin: Yeah, she's a, she's a great
Borg Queen and, uh, does a good job.

Alice Krige does return for Endgame,
the series finale, so this is, I

think, the last time we see Susanna
Thompson in the role, uh, but she

has done it in one or two other
Voyager episodes earlier as well.

Um, we also had Annie Wersching
play, uh, the Borg Queen in Picard

Season 2, the now late, sadly, Annie

Rob: Yes, she did an incredible job.

She was great with Alison Pill.

They did some wonderful, uh, duologue
work, um, yeah, chemistry work

Kevin: But, um, as soon as Voyager
and Janeway get wind of this, uh,

potential for rebellion within the Borg,
Janeway is very quick to support it.

The inhabitants of Unimatrix Zero
have a request and that is for Voyager

to plant a virus in the collective
that will enable the inhabitants of

Unimatrix Zero to remember their time
in that Dream space while they're awake.

Uh, and Janeway sees in
this the opportunity to, you

know, foster a rebellion.

There are a few conversations with
Chakotay where they're like, you know,

this isn't exactly according to protocol.

Uh, giving, giving a rebel group
within, uh, an opponent race the means

to sustain their rebellion, but, uh,
Chakotay says, well, you won't get any

argument from me this time, Janeway.

And she's like, all right, great.

I've got your support.

That's all I need.

And so what they do is they
hatch this cockamamie plan to

infiltrate a tactical cube.

It's the meanest Borg
cube we've ever seen.

It's got not just the kind of
circuitry exterior, but actually

some armor plating on the sides
that makes it look extra tough.

And at the end of part one, Voyager
swoops in, and deposits Janeway,

Tuvok, and B'Elanna Torres on board,
ostensibly to plant this virus in the

collective, but the away team gets
caught and assimilated, and as soon

as they do, back on the ship, Chakotay
and Paris say, Oh, everything's going

according to plan, and they warp out.

And so the plan all along was for
the three of them to get assimilated,

and so we get to see them all in
part two, done up in Borg makeup.

So we have assimilated Janeway,
assimilated uh, Tuvok and B'Elanna Torres.

They are assimilated
physically, but not mentally.

They are still themselves, thanks to
an injection that the Doctor gave them.

Rob: Of course.

Kevin: Poor B'Elanna gets a sub vocal
processor, which just means she talks

like a Borg, and it is hilarious.

Because she's very stoic about it.

Tuvok is the first one
to start to crumble.

The Borg Queen gets into his
head and starts making him

second guess his identity.

And he has to repeat facts about his
real life to kind of stay present.

But eventually he does
turn and betray them.

And Janeway gets captured.

Um, but yeah, there are several scenes
here where the three of them are working

on board this Borg cube, where there's
drones all around them, but they are

still themselves, even though they
have, they are festooned with implants.

And it's, um, yeah, it is
definitely that feeling of the,

the danger is all around us.

And we're in this very tenuous
situation in the middle of it.

Rob: I do remember that episode, and it
was one of the episodes I was considering,

uh, bringing up, so I'm glad you did.

Um, it definitely has all those facets of
being within the belly of the beast and

that tension it, it does prey on my mind,
like we've talked about before, the more

you bring a creature back, the less power
they have, and this one, you know, the

whole point of, you know, Picard being
turned into Locutus and then, uh, and

then brought back is not a common thing.

That is like, it was traumatic and
horrifying and, you know, barely happened.

That barely, you know, was a success.

But to get point of going,
Oh, it's just an injection.

Oh, and we'll put the little thing here.

It takes away that menace and
that, if you are assimilated, yeah.

Even the process of Seven of Nine, the
journey she has had to go through over

years to regain her new personality
or how she finds that balance with

her Borg and her original self.

This is just a case of oh well we
just want to have them dressed up

as Borgs but we want to have them
back by the end of the next episode.

Kevin: Yeah.

There's a nice line at the end,
because Tuvok does lose himself in,

in Janeway's log entry at the end.

She says, thanks to the
Doctor's injections, B'Elanna

and I are back on duty.

Tuvok's going to need a little more time.

We never see what that is, but it
is mentioned that it's, he's got a

longer road to recovery because he,
he, lost himself to the collective.

Rob: That's another shame, isn't it,
that, that, you know, that stuff that

would be explored now, as we've seen
with the Doctor in, in, Discovery,

you know, a little incident with the
Trills, he's gone, alright, well this

is a whole existential crisis, whereas
Tuvok has, you know, been assimilated

and lost his mind almost completely,
and go, he's gonna need some time.

Oh, but we'll show that off screen.

He'll be perfectly fine
when we come back next week.


Kevin: Something that happens in this
episode that also happened in Lagrange

Point in Discovery this week is the,
the captain, captured, on an open comm

channel giving orders to her crew in code.

Burnham does that.

She kind of doesn't quite explain
her plan for Discovery to free

them from the shuttle bay.

Here in Unimatrix Zero, Janeway, who
is captured by the Borg Queen, is

allowed a moment to, uh, communicate
with her crew in order to pass along

an ultimatum from the collective.

And Janeway says the line,
Unimatrix Zero can no longer exist.

The idea here is the Queen has
detected the virus that Voyager

has implanted and she is going
to turn it to her own purposes.

She's going to mutate this virus so that
all the members, everyone who's connected

to the Unimatrix Zero, uh, rebel channel
will be killed instantly by this virus.

So Janeway says to Chakotay,
Unimatrix Zero can no longer exist.

Do you understand what
I'm saying, Commander?

And he says, yes.

And they cut communications and the Doctor
goes, oh man, we've completely lost.

And Chakotay goes, it's
not what you think.

So yes, they hatch the plan to, uh,
interfere with the communication signal

of that Unimatrix Zero and shut it
down safely, rather than allow the

Queen to kill all of its members.

Rob: I love that, I love those type
of, you know, speaking in code stuff

that happen within, you know, Star
Trek II and all that type of stuff.

It just elevates it a little bit more
going, oh, they're really clever.

Kevin: Yeah, they can't do it too often,
but every time they do it, it's delicious.

Rob: Definitely.

Kevin: So there you go.

Unimatrix zero.


Rob: Zero, and we have gone into the
belly of multiple beasts this week.

How are you feeling after this passage
through, uh, so many beasts' body parts?

Kevin: A little worse for wear.

I think like Tuvok, I might,
I might need a little time.

Rob: We'll be back just in time for
us to discuss the season finale, the

final ever episode of Discovery, Kevin.

We need to talk

Kevin: That's right.

I don't want to, I don't want to
tip my hand, but I think we have,

uh, we have a lot to talk about.

Episode 58: Into the belly of the beast (DIS 5×09 Lagrange Point)
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