Star Trek: Discovery – Initial Impressions of Episodes 1 & 2


I just got done watching Star Trek: Discovery, episodes 1 & 2. Yes, I signed up for the CBS All Access – side note here: The initial screen of the app says it gives 1 month free, and after signing up, it says 7 day free trial… At least that’s what I remember. Anyway, aside from having to sign up for a monthly subscription for 1 channel – and frankly one single show – I have to say I was pleased with the first two episodes – when I finally got to see them.

I’ll get this out of the way now, since this has nothing to do with the content of the show itself:

CBS broadcasting a premiere of a show on Sunday is: Stupid, stupid, stupid. This is football season! Shows are ALWAYS delayed during football season. This happened to The Amazing Race ALL THE TIME. Didn’t anyone think of this? I mean, you’re asking people to sign up for a subscription service; many of them probably had this set to record on their DVR, and will only find out later that part of the show was recorded. How many people will just give up, right then and there, thinking, “oh, I’ll catch the next episode” – well, you lost those people for sure, since there is no episode 2 on broadcast TV.

Ok… that’s out of the way. On to the show itself, with items in no particular order:

Didn’t much like the opening title sequence. It felt like the beginning of a history channel show on Da Vinci, with all those diagrams. The music was good though.

The film style was nice. Felt like a movie, and the opening sequence on the planet felt “right”. Kudos on getting the day of the week correct too…yes, I checked.

The Klingon subtitles got old, really fast. I hope that doesn’t continue.

Speaking of Klingons, this is, what, the third different look they’ve gotten? Worf said something like “We do not speak of it”, when referencing how different the Klingons in TOS looked compared to TNG, but now we’ve got a radically different look in ST:D. …And while we’re on the subject, I realize that since this show is before TOS, we should have technology at least a step down from what TOS portrayed, but from a TV show perspective, that would have been the kiss of death. It might be the “right” thing to do, in terms of timelines, but I like the look of the ship, and the familiar sounds on the bridge.

I see the Dr. on the ship got a nice upgrade from being a lacky on 30 Rock. (Maulik Pancholy played “Jonathan” on that show). Not sure if he survived though.

Was it just me, or did that Admiral really give off a “bro” vibe – like someone you’d see as a lawyer in a board room someplace?

There was one person on the bridge that I couldn’t tell if it was an alien in an enclosed suit of some kind, or a robot. While they were getting people off the bridge, a couple other people helped this person away… maybe it was an alien.

So, we spent two episodes getting to see a few members of the crew, and try and slide into what’s going on, and now many of them are dead (although, I have to say, blowing away the brig was a nice touch). No sign of the Discovery yet… looks like from the previews that’s going to take until episode 3. I really get the feeling they did the story in the wrong order. Maybe the right thing to do would have been to show Michael being transferred to the Discovery first, then showing what got her there in a flash back sequence. I don’t know, maybe not. I guess I sort of expected that the namesake of the show would show up in the first two episodes.

I’m not really sure where the show goes from here. The first two episodes were just a giant intro to the main character, Michael Burnham, and a setup for why the Klingons are really, really mad at the Federation. And a few character we were just starting to get interested in, and *boom* they’re dead. Writers are usually taught this is a very bad thing to do. Don’t get people invested in characters, and then have them die while you’re in the process of getting to know them. It’s not as impactful as it could be, and readers don’t really know who to invest their interest in.

So now the writers have to go in a different direction. Right now it looks like it’s going in the old “outcast trying to prove themselves because of their reputation” route. We’ll see how that goes.

This all sounds negative, like I’m nitpicking. Well, yeah, I AM nitpicking. That’s not to say I didn’t like the show. I did like it. This was MUCH better than how ST:TNG started off. I mean, in ST:TNG when Riker said “Hello, Pinocchico” to Data, I about barfed. I didn’t see anything like that at least. Perhaps a couple moments of navel gazing that weren’t required, but nothing too bad. ….Well, except for the Sarek long distance call… that was kinda dumb.

Keeping my fingers crossed on this one!

edit: One last thing – Lens flares? Really?


SPOILERS AHEAD – Don’t read if you’re not all the way caught up on Game of Thrones…. And if you’re not, why not??

This morning it occurred to me that I hadn’t really thought through what’s about to hit Winterfell. The Night King is on the march towards the wall, or at least towards Eastgate, and possibly around The Wall. He’s got a shiny new dead dragon to probably blow a hole through that Wall. That’s the immediate future. What’s after that? Winterfell.

One of several things is going to happen there:

Littlefinger will stage a coup to take over Winterfell. He has the troops on his side, and thinks that Arya is going to do his dirty work for him and get rid of Sansa. If that was going to happen, she probably would have done it last week while she had that knife in her hand. (That knife is the one the assassin tried to kill Bran with, and was stolen by Littlefinger after Ned Stark’s death. It was on Ned’s desk in King’s landing). So, I don’t think Arya’s going to do Littlefinger’s dirty work for him, because chances are pretty good she’s on to him. Arya could outright kill Littlefinger.

I think there’s an additional possibility that would be a lot more interesting. In the midst of plotting how to take care of Littlefinger, Bran intervenes and tells Arya and Sansa they have to get the heck out of Winterfell. Sansa will probably resist, thinking that she’s got to stay at Winterfell to hold the family home. Arya would tell her that Littlefinger has been plotting, and they need to run for their lives. On the face of things, it’ll seem that is what Bran is warning about.

Cut to Sansa, Arya and Bran getting the heck out of Winterfell. Littlefinger enjoys his victory at taking over Winterfell – and then the thing that Bran was really worried about happens – The Night King and the Dead arrive, and swarm the castle. Bet Littlefinger hasn’t thought through all the possibilities and has come up with that scenario.

A much worse scenario would be for Sansa to be stuck there only to die when the dead take over. Since Bran presumably has to survive through all this, it could just be that Arya and Bran end up leaving. Or they could all end up hiding in the family catacombs. Wouldn’t be very good to be hiding out down there, with the Night King wandering through bringing back their dead relatives though.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Finale Theories


First, one of my predictions that was made “pre-season” came true last week, unfortunately. With that out of the way, let’s try to make some guesses at what might happen in the Season 7 finale.

First off, what the heck is up with Bran? If he can see everything that’s going to happen, shouldn’t he be telling someone by now? Side note: I have a wild theory that Bran is really Bran the Builder, having somehow transported himself back in time. He might even end up being the Three-Eyed Raven bound up in that tree…. You know, young Bran meeting the old version of himself? I’m having a really hard time coming up with any kind of story thread that would make that satisfying at all, because that would mean the whole show is a giant time loop, and that wouldn’t be fun at all. Probably make a lot of people really upset too….

And remember how Hodor reacted to Bran getting inside his head, and made Wylis convulse and become Hodor? What if Bran does more of this “traveling” and is the reason the Mad King went mad in the first place?

And what about that grab that the Night King made for Bran? It allowed the Night King to waltz on by the enchantments and kill the Three-Eyed Raven. Wouldn’t that mean the Night King could just walk through any enchantments The Wall has? …Although, it appears now that everything is getting colder, he could just walk around the wall on the ice out on the water. Or maybe fly that dragon over it.

Anyway, back to the finale.

There are a few hints about what we’ll see in the previews. Grey Worm and a cast of thousands of Dothraki getting ready for battle, people looking worried on a ship, a meeting of the houses in what I presume is going to be some kind of parlay, probably to show off the wight they took with them.

Cersei is so mad right now that even seeing a wight probably wouldn’t convince her. In fact, since Qyburn seems to be quite adept and keeping things alive (“The Mountain”), he might even try and convince Cersei the wight is a complete hoax. If that happens, about the only thing that could convince Cersei that the Night King threat is real is for that new dragon pet of his to come over and lay waste to everything. Might even kill Cersei, but I think it’s more likely Jaime will end up doing it because Cersei is getting a bit too dangerous. Especially with that warning she gave Jaime “Never betray me again”.

Speaking of Cersei, did anyone else think that Sansa sending Brienne off the King’s Landing was a monumentally stupid idea? I mean, there’s no good at could come of that, because I’m pretty sure that by the time Brienne gets there, Jaime won’t be there to be on her side. What would Cersei do? Well, she’d send Sir Gregor after her right there on the spot. There would be a short battle and then no more Brienne. I mean, she’d put up a good fight, but in the end she’d lose. Now, if that does happen, (and I hope it won’t… I like Brienne), Jaime and Tormund would be mad. (Yes, I know..understatement of the year). Brienne might not think much of Tormund, but he’s going to go berserk if Cersei ends up killing her.

Yikes… what will the landscape look like if Cersei considers this whole “parlay” thing a betrayal and kills Jaime and Brienne?

Well, whatever happens, I don’t think all the people entering that parlay will be coming back out. It’s just a question of who’s going to die. Hope it’s not Varys, Brienne or Jaime…

That whole Sansa/Arya interaction was pretty weird. I’ve come to the conclusion that Arya just wanted to show Sansa she’s not the same little Arya as before. I think Arya’s going to go after Little Finger, and will end up killing him.

Sam and Gilly are on the road. Bet Gilly still has that book with her, the one that listed the annulment. That’ll probably be the way that Daenerys and John find out they’re related. Not sure how Sam’s going to take the news that Daenerys had his father and brother burned. He’d probably be more upset about his brother than his father.

The whole Theon thing… That’s really up in the air. He’ll have to do something pretty big to get back in people’s good graces. About the only thing he can do at this point is sacrifice himself to save someone.

Could we finally see a Clegane match up? I hope we do, and I hope The Hound takes out the Mountain in a big, big way.

Of course, this is all wild speculation. Can’t wait to see what happens!

My Game of Thrones Dragon Rider Theory


Still here?

I’m going to come right out and say it. I think Tyrion is part Targaryen.

I’ve thought this since season 5, and only had a thin bit of evidence at that point: Tywin Lannister, before he dies says “Oh, …you’re no son of mine.” Before this, he did claim Tyrion has a Lannister, but grudgingly. …Like I said, pretty thin evidence.

Wild speculation:Did Tywin call Tyrion his son, just to save face, because his wife had an affair with a Targaryen? What if the Mad king was Tyrion’s real father? And wouldn’t that make him first in line for the throne, if the Targaryens end up winning the war?

Something that happened in season 6 gave a little bit more evidence to my Targaryen theory: Tyrion went into the holding area for the dragons and unshackled them. Now, before they were shackled these dragons had been out and about, torching animals (and children). They were locked up down there for a while… what was to stop them from outright torching Tyrion? Maybe it was because they sensed he was a Targaryen too, and that’s why he could get away with being so close to them.

We’ll have to see if this theory is just blowing smoke, but if there are to be three dragon riders, I think they’ll be Daenerys, Jon and Tyrion.

… The thing about those dragons though… If one of them dies, everyone better hope that the Night King doesn’t get control of it. Because if he does, it’s not going to be easy to deal with an undead dragon.

Game of Thrones Episode 2: Stormborn


Lots to talk about this episode!

First, Daenerys gave off a distinct “mad king” vibe when she started going after Varys out of no where. It sure looked to me like everyone in the room was pretty surprised by her doing this, and I can’t remember even a hint of her being worried about this, at least recently. The only reason I can see that she talked about this at this point was that sometime before the end of the season Varys will either 1) really betray her trust or 2) do something to make Daenerys think that he betrayed her trust. If Tyrion isn’t around to talk her out of it, Varys won’t make it to next season. If that happens, Daenerys will definitely be on the path to be the “mad queen”.

Speaking of crazy people, Sam’s got to be one of the bravest (or stupidest) people on the show. Trying to help Jorah get a cure for grayscale? Something that contagious – well, one slip of the knife and a splat of that goo onto Sam, and that’d be it. Sam sure seems to be doing all the wrong things: Stealing books from the gated section of the library, trying to cure Jorah when it’s been forbidden because of the danger. Sure seems like he’s going to get kicked out quick, or he’ll be the new celebrated figure at The Citadel. I’m guessing the former, because Maesters seem to be the “by the book” (if you’ll excuse the expression) types.

Arya’s headed back to Winterfell, and will end up missing Jon, because he’s headed to see Daenerys. The interaction with the direwolf was a set up for something that’ll happen later in the season. Arya’s words, “That’s not you”, with a little smile while she said it makes me think Arya believes Nymeria’s acting out of character. Anyway, it seems likely to me that Nymeria won’t be by Arya’s side while she travels up north, at least initially, but will be trailing Arya (with the rest of the wolf pack) to make sure she’s safe.

The whole battle at sea with Euron and Yara, and yes, Theon, surprised me… I hadn’t expected that. I was under the impression at first the Euron was just out to get Yara. Turns out that was a bonus, because he was really after Ellaria, who was in the hold below. That’s the prize that Euron promised Cersei last episode. Last week I expected it would be Tyrion. How the heck did Euron know that fleet carried Ellaria?

Theon jumping overboard was a surprise, but after thinking it over, it was really his only move if he wanted to stand a chance against Euron at some point in the future. If he’d have tried to kill Euron on that boat, I’m pretty sure Theon knew he would have died. I’m sure that Euron thinks he could take out Theon with no problem. He wouldn’t have needed Yara to entice Theon to fight. If Euron wanted Yara dead, he’d have killed her on the spot. Likely another prize for Cersei.

Speaking of which… Did Nymeria Sand die? Or was she the one down in the hold with Ellaria? You did know that Arya named her dire wolf after her, right?

Edit: Yup. Nymeria Sand, died. She was the one with the bullwhip.

Game of Thrones: The Problem with Bran Stark

Spoilers ahead

I rewatched season 6 of Game of Thrones in preparation for the season 7 premiere tonight, and it just occurred to me The Wall has a big problem: Bran Stark.

As Benjen was leaving, he explained to that since he was partially dead, he couldn’t travel with Bran to go past The Wall. There are all kinds of enchantments built into the foundation of The Wall itself which makes it impossible for the Night King and his army to pass. These are the same enchantments that prevent Benjen from going past the wall.

The Three-Eyed Raven was surrounded by similar enchantments, but was able to break through those because Bran had been “marked” when he was on a vision quest. Remember that burn on Bran’s arm when the Night King grabbed him?

This is probably blatantly obvious to some of you since last season, but I think that as soon as Bran gets past The Wall, it’ll give The Night King a free pass to go right through. There will be a big fight, sure, but the Night King and his army will make it through – all because of Bran.