'Star Trek: Discovery' season 4, episode 5 pulls a handbrake turn at maximum warp (recap)

"Star Trek: Discovery" season 4, episode 5 contains information that should be avoided.

There are a lot of theories and opinions floating around on social media about why Mary Wiseman went to Starfleet Academy. It is thought that Paramount Plus is moving forward with their Starfleet Academy series and that having an established character as a star would be a great way to get it going.

It is true that Adira was filling the role that Tilly had originally played, which does not bode well for either character, as both were making the same contribution to the crew dynamic.
When "Discovery" was launched back in 2017, the main star was not the ship's captain and we would be seeing life on the Starfleet vessel from a different perspective. By the third season, it was clear that this unique selling point was no longer viable. Michael Burnham has taken the center seat after coming full circle.

Even with a few new characters here and there, it still feels weird since we are four seasons in and the main cast is not fully formed. Can you name all of the bridge crew?
Since last week, Mary Wiseman has given a few interviews, but she has not commented on why she was written out of the main cast. She has made it clear that we will see her again before the end of the season. In the finale episode, we'll see that this is all a ruse and that Tilly will fulfill her ultimate destiny and become God by jumping cables from Book's ship. It's not that far-fetched to have an Albino Klingon undergo full-body surgery to make himself human.
Mary Wiseman didn't explain why she left after watching an entire episode of "The Ready Room" devoted to her. We don't know if she's going to interfere with the principal photography for the fifth season of the show. There was a card you could sign.

Or maybe he would prefer to keep this private. And why not.
There's a card for Tilly. You can add a message for her.

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It's hard to know where to start. I've watched it four times already and I still don't know what happened. It's like doing 90-degree turns in a car. It's like you just realized that your Ikea armchair is actually a Martin-Baker Mk14 Naval Aviator's ejection seat. Not in a way that is fun. The change of pace and direction of the story is enough to give you whiplash.
We've seen this happen before. The story in "The Sanctuary" suffered a similar, sudden, substantial yank in a decidedly different direction. You'd think that the "Star Trek: Discovery" showrunner doesn't know how to pace out an 11-episode season without Dramamine.
The entire plot of Season 4 is turned on its head within the first 10 minutes of the show. The dark matter anomaly is a weapon. It's been created by someone and it's no longer a natural phenomenon. Which gives everyone a point to direct the anger, loss, sadness and grief that has been piling up over the last five weeks. Everyone now has someone to blame.
The Akaali are a former Emerald Chain colony that is now in the Radvek asteroid belt. The credit is given to Paramount Plus.

It's perfectly understandable if you're getting a feeling of repetition or that something has changed with the computer simulation in which you dwell. This might have worked if it wasn't for the fact that last season in the episode "Su'Kal", a deeply disturbed delinquent destroyed all the dilithium. This week we don't meet the individual responsible for destroying countless worlds, but it makes the remaining story arcs easier to flesh out.
It's only a fictional story set in deep space, in the far future, when nothing could happen. Was this a 3am decision made in the writers room after a few unexpected drinks to celebrate someone's birthday, but now the alcohol's wearing off, everyone's getting sore heads and starting to think about booking an ride home?
The Janeway, along with the T'Pau, detect a spike in X-ray radiation at the edge of the DMA. The anomalies disappear from the Venari sector. Then reappears 4.2 seconds later. After some Olympic gold medal-winning long jumps in logic, Burnham & Co conclude that this interstellar irregularity must have been created by someone. She checked the sphere data after consulting with Zora.
It would've been a great place to put the opening credits in a more effective story if this deduction hadn't come in the first two minutes.
Back at Starfleet HQ, Stamets and Saru brief Adm. Vance. It seems the dark matter anomaly is heading towards the asteroid belt, a former Emerald Chain colony, inhabited by the Akaali species. If everyone is to survive, an immediate evacuate is critical.

The Metrons, the Nacene, the surviving members of the Iconian Empire and even the Q Continuum are alien races that have been identified by Federation Security. Since there has been no contact for 600 years, it's not likely to be them. The alien species is not known. "Star Trek: Picard" is set in 2399 and this season of "Discovery" is set in 3190, a difference of 791 years. After the events of Season 2 of "Picard", was there another dealing with the Q Continuum?
Cmdr. Rhys volunteered to lead the mission. You don't know who he is. The credit is given to Paramount Plus.

We're about to meet a scientist by the name of Ruon Tarka, who you may know from "The Expanse", played by Shawn Doyle. He portrayed the former Undersecretary of the United Nations who was involved in the weaponization of the Protomolecule. Tarka is going to board the Discovery to help determine how the anomalies were created. The con of the Discovery will be led by Burnham.
Now that he's learned that the destruction of Kwejian was deliberate, Book has somewhere to direct his grief. The consequences of setting Book up on an emotional sub-story so early on has been neatly solved. Book will be back to himself in under an hour. The opening credits are rolled. Finally.
There are 1,206 individuals to evacuate, plus six prisoners who are known as "the examples" in an incarceration facility. The convicts can stay there to die as long as they please, but the plan is to get them out while everyone is safe. The prison's automated security protocols will make this difficult, but phasers, forcefields and even bugs with "Battleship"-style super-heated circular saw blades will form part of the story. As will be a predictable sub-plot.
It's nice to hear that Aurellio, played by Kenneth Mitchell last season, is referenced in this episode.

Tarka is arrogant and has zero professional courtesy, which is what we learn from the exposition between Dr Culber and his partner. The most interesting set-piece in this episode is set up in this brief scene.
The communications and transportation shield on the surface of Radvek V has beetles that are armed with saw blades. The clock is running before the DMA hits the asteroid belt, so they can hack into their operational matrix and stop them without too much trouble. They meet the six prisoners who have been imprisoned for a variety of reasons, none of them deserving of a life-long imprisonment. The sub-plot that could've been an interesting one is stuck on the side. Michael Greyeyes does a great job as Felix, but it feels like it's too much for him, which is a pity.
Stamets and Tarka begin their intellectual battle with a referee. Is Tarka going to be an interesting character for just one or two episodes, like Zareh did last season, but then disappear until the season finale?
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" is not a rip off of movies like last season. The credit is given to Paramount Plus.

He decided to use mashed potato as a metaphor for his idea about the DMA, which could've been easily demonstrated using a pencil and paper. Someone on the writing team knows the difference between a nod to another movie and ripping off an entire set piece.

Tarka thinks that someone has created a tunnel through space-time to get the device that controls the anomalies. The tinfoil hat theory about the anomalies being linked to the "lightning storm in space" in the first "Star Trek" movie doesn't seem to be so crackpot anymore. He wants to create a working model of the controller.
The most interesting part of this episode is when we learn that everyone has a reason to be angry about the dark matter anomaly, which means they had to deal with it themselves. He can blame someone now, but who does he talk to? Who is the ship's counselor?

Kovich delivered a brutally honest opinion to Culber in this week's episode. The credit is given to Paramount Plus.

Culber was surprised by the turn of Dr Kovich who quickly realized what he needed is brutal honesty. Culber doesn't have the luxury of talking organically, he must focus, dig deep and articulate his thoughts and feelings on a clock, because Kovich has made an effort to clear time for this 10-minute conversation. The dialogue is well written and this scene is refreshing. Cronenberg's delivery is so good that you wonder if this is a hologram responding to Culber, rather than it being a Facetime call.
Felix is working up a big monologue on the show as he makes Book and Burnham lower their weapons in a gesture of trust and agree that once rescued, all the prisoners would receive new trials. Felix explained that he does belong here because he once took a life and stole a lalogi orb. The situation is set up for a "I choose to remain" situation, but that is put to one side for a moment while everyone tries to break free of the facility. The bugs with super-heated circular saw blades are used by Book and Burnham to escape.
The Hubble Space Telescope snapped a photo of Hypergiant Star.
Stamets and Tarka have created a miniature dark matter anomaly within a containment field, but they have to let it form properly, so they have to give Reno the token "I'm givin' it all she needs." Stamets and Tarka were disappointed that the experiment was shut down as the danger to the Discovery was too great. They have been able to confirm that the anomalies creates a sub-space rupturing and has an energy source similar to a hypergiant star. The star is so large, it would extend out beyond the confines of Jupiter.

Tig Notaro has been underused so far this season and her lines haven't been good. The credit is given to Paramount Plus.

Felix gives a moving monologue about how important it is that the lalogi orb is returned to its rightful owner, how much he regrets his crime, and how important it is that the DMA is defeated. There's an exchange between the Magistrate and Burnham, as well as Stamets and Culber sharing a tender moment. The Discovery captain is given a clue that the ship's computer is sentient when he is in the turbocharger. This will probably be forgotten about, like it was when Saru had a similar experience in the episode "Forget Me Not" last season.
You know what we haven't seen yet in the 32nd century, either in Federation HQ or in Starfleet. Was that a mark on Tarka's neck? Surely not.
The hard work done in the previous four episodes dealing with near-insurmountable grief felt like a let down. Even though Book's loss offered some interesting opportunities, like the mind meld on Ni'var with President T'Rina, he's almost back to himself now that he's got a reason to blow stuff up again.
This bit is great, but this episode is so full it becomes lost.

This episode does get better the more you watch it, but it took that long to make peace with it, no matter how much you love the franchise.

At the time of writing, not a single episode of this series scored higher than a 5.8 on IMDb, and you have to wonder if either of the show's creators pay attention to reviews like that. You can't help but feel that the writers of "Star Trek: Discovery" are not sure if the show will be renewed. "Voyager" had a rough road map, which could've been rounded off at any time. This gave a sense of continuity going from season to season. Does anyone know where "Discovery" is going? The potential future we saw in the "Short Trek" episode "Calypso" is not feasible anymore since the Discovery now has a registry number. It's not likely that "Discovery" will end that way.

Humpbacked whales.
Two new starships, the Janeway and the T'Pau.
This week, Burnham consults with Zora and the sphere data.
Nice to see the Q Continuum getting a shout-out.
The silly sound when the drive is used has been fixed.
"Jaws" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" were nods.
The people are Humpbacked.
The DMA only reappears after many weeks.
Dark matter is weaponized.
"The Simpsons" has a scene in which Tig Notaro wanders into.
The neck brace I'm wearing is annoying.
Are we following the same pattern as last season?
The rating was 512
The first five episodes of the fourth season of "Star Trek: Discovery" are available to watch on Paramount+ in the US and Canada, and will be available every Thursday. Outside of North America, the Pluto TVSci-fi channel is available.

To catch up on the first three seasons of Star Trek: Discovery, you have to stream it. There are tips on how to see the rest of the Trek franchise in our full streaming guide.
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