Friday, April 30, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Thursday, April 22, 2021
These reviews are going to appear a little out of order again. I've filmed a review for episode twelve, but I haven't edited it yet, so you're seeing this one first. I'm also in the process of uploading my review of episode ten, so that will be up later today. Then the video review of twelve will be up tomorrow.
At the start of this episode, Michael touches the time crystal that Pike got in the last episode, and she sees visions of the future where there's a battle. She reacts surprisingly well to the visions, but then, I suppose, she already had a pretty good idea that something like that was going to happen.
A bit later, they realize that they're not going to be able to destroy Discovery like planned because Control is already attached to the ship and is protecting itself. Michael realizes that she's going to have to take Discovery to the future. Since this is the second to last episode of the season, this makes it pretty obvious where the next season is going to go.
Discovery is evacuated, with the entire crew heading to the Enterprise, which looks just as crowded as it seems like it would be. It's pretty bizarre to see the Discovery crew mingling with the Enterprise crew. The Enterprise has the same aesthetic as in the original series, and those two aesthetics clashing together is a lot to take in. When Georgiou arrives, she makes a disgusting comment about the orange on Enterprise that made me laugh. She does look particularly out of place there in her all black outfit. It's pretty startling.
There are some new signals which take them to the planet where Po, who Tilly previously met, is queen. It's cool to see something that didn't seem largely important to the ongoing story before to come back and be so important. Unfortunately, the queen tells them that when Michael goes to the future, she won't be able to come back to the present time.
I'd already kind of expected that once they brought up time travel, but it was shocking the first time I realized this was where the show was going because it's such a big change and means leaving behind so many characters. It's definitely dramatic for a finale though!
We get one emotional scene with Culber and Stamets where they both talk about their plans once they complete their current mission. Them going in different directions sounds very final, yet it's also clear that neither one of them are actually pretty unsure. It's heartbreaking to watch.
Sarek and Amanda come to say goodbye to Michael, and they have a nice moment between the three of them. I'm glad we could see that before the jump to the future.
Right after that, Michael finds out that most of the Discovery's crew (at least the ones we regularly see on the bridge) are going with her. It's touching and a relief. Otherwise, we would either have a show about the same crew without the main character or a show about Michael with an entirely new cast for the next season.
Spock is part of the group that says they're staying though, which is startling considering we know he is there in the original series which is in the immediate future, not where the Discovery is jumping. Obviously that will be something to discuss when I discuss the next episode. For now, though, I just want to say that it's kind of sad that going would mean that Spock didn't get to say goodbye to his parents like Michael did. I suppose it could have happened off screen, but with the way things played out, it doesn't seem like it did.
Ash is also with the group, but he pulls Michael aside to explain that he can't go. Michael understands, but they're both also upset. I am too. I love their relationship, even when we got a little less of it this season, and it sucks knowing that Ash won't be in the next season. I think that's what left me more disappointed with the time jump more than anything else.
But, right now, Discovery hasn't jumped yet, so I'll save talking about that for the next episode.
Monday, April 19, 2021
Before I start talking about 2x11, I wanted to mention that I've filmed a review of episode 2x10 instead of writing a blog post. I haven't edited it yet though. That will probably happen in a few days, which is why you're seeing this before you do that one.
The episode starts with Michael having a nightmare of the day her parents died. She wakes up and learns that her mother actually is the Red Angel, which is understandably shocking to her. I can't even imagine what something like that would feel like. Her mom has been anchored to a point 950 years in the future when all sentient life has been destroyed, which sounds like one of the most horrifying situations a person could be in. Even though she keeps going back in time, she can never stay more than a few minutes.
Control decides to take control of Leland’s body. I admit that my memories of that scene actually made the whole thing even scary than it actually was for some reason.
Georgiou is suspicious of Leland/Control right away, and what we get of her working against him are some of my favorite moments in this episode, especially when she contacts Ash and gets him to help her as well.
We get a lot of complexity in Georgiou’s character in this episode. Control tries to use her affection for Michael against her, picking up on it despite how she tries to hide it, and Dr. Burnham says something similar when she thanks Georgiou for protecting Michael. It’s great seeing her character get even more fleshed out.
Dr. Burnham demands that they destroy all of the Sphere's data to defeat the AI. While many of them, especially Saru, are reluctant to do this because of how much data they'll lose, it was definitely the right thing to do in my mind. I don't think I would have hesitated to do it. No matter how much data that Sphere held, it was either that or Control wipes out all sentient life.
The Sphere, however, tries to protect itself by encrypting data. This episode made me more curious about the Sphere too and what exactly it was. I doubt it's an AI like Control because its motivations seem entirely different and who would have created it? But we'll probably never understand it more, which does make me sad.
Spock also learns that his dyslexia is why Dr. Burnham appeared to him and no one else, which is a detail that I'm absolutely in love with. Spock had spent most of his life feeling ashamed of himself because of it, so it's satisfying to see that turn out to be such a huge strength for him.
This episode ends with everything high tension. Control is still out there, and Ash is serious injured. It's almost tempting to start mentioning things that I know happen in the next episode, so I'll stop here before I blurt out too much. But I am interested in knowing what I think about it the second time around.
Friday, April 16, 2021
Episode eight of this season starts with a "previously on Star Trek" that includes clips from the original Star Trek pilot. It was unexpected the first time I watched the episode, but I appreciated getting that. The episode relies heavily on that episode for backstory, and I have never seen the pilot. I actually paused the episode the first time I watched it and read a plot summary of the pilot, which I think helped me follow what was happening better. I'm fairly certain that I would have understood what was happening anyway. It wouldn't have been confusing, but I preferred having that background knowledge.
I'm sure for people who have seen the pilot, this episode was even more exciting.
After the pilot clips, we find out that Section 31 is telling Discovery that Michael has Spock and ignored Section 31's hails. Discovery is ordered to search debris and not participate in the search for them. As a viewer with more knowledge, it's frustrating because we know what actually happened with Section 31. Ash tells Pike to trust Michael in this scene though, and the Ash/Michael shipper in me loves that moment.
Meanwhile, Michael and Spock arrive at Talos IV, the same planet the Enterprise visited in the pilot. Spock has brought Michael here because he knows the Talosians can help him. This was the first time I'd seen the Talosians, and while I don't know exactly how they come across in the pilot, I find them quite creepy despite them helping Vina and, in this episode, Spock.
Still, it was interesting to see Michael and Spock share their memories with each other to help both themselves and the audience understand. We know for sure after this that Spock didn't murder anyone and Section 31 is lying, which isn't a huge surprise.
Spock also reveals that the Red Angel's thoughts were those of a human. It's one of those reveals that kind of raises more questions than it answers because there's no telling how a human got the ability to do everything the Red Angel seems to be doing.
Culber is still adjusting to being back, and it's still not going well. Stamets is showing him around the ship, and he's irritable. Culber sees Ash for the first time since his death, and understandably, he doesn't take it well. He ends up fighting Ash in the mess hall on top of fighting with Stamets.
His emotions are extremely understandable. He says that he has his memories intact, but his senses aren't connected to those memories, so he tastes his favorite food but doesn't recognize the taste in the same way despite his memories of it being there. It's heart breaking.
Vina appears to Pike as an illusion created by the Talosians. They have a conversation about her being happy because the Talosians have created an illusion of Pike for her to be with. He tells her he's happy about this which, to be perfectly honest, wasn't a moment that sat well with me. Vina may claim to be happy with the illusions, but it just strikes me as incredibly sad. It's like she's living with these illusions without actually healing with actual help. To me, it doesn't seem all that different from people who use alcohol or drugs to momentarily forget problems instead of actually dealing with them.
Of course, a lot of people do that, so I get Vina as a character making that choice. It's merely the moment where Pike expresses happiness for her irked me a bit.
The crew of the Discovery also discovers that someone has corrupted the spore drive, and they did it using Ash's code. Ash gets confined to his quarters, which is an understandable reaction, though I can't imagine that Ash would be as obvious as using his own code if he was actually behind it.
As viewers, we get a look at Airiam's eyes flashing red, and it's quite obvious that she's guilty of something and it almost certainly has to do with the spore drive being corrupted.
Towards the end of the episode, before they leave Talos IV, Michael also shows Spock her memory of telling him she didn't see him as a brother. It adds a lot of context to their relationship although it doesn't seem to change anything between them at the moment.
The episode ends with Michael and Spock on the Discovery and Discovery now a wanted ship, which is sure to lead to some drama.
Thursday, April 15, 2021
This episode starts off with Admiral Cornwell arriving on the Discovery after coming in secret. She questions Spock, and the computer says that he's telling the truth despite video evidence of him committing murder. The computer tests they use here are interesting because current lie detector tests are so unreliable. I'm curious about how that computer program works.
Cornwell also tells them that a different admiral who's an extremist has locked her out of the system. That raises questions of how that admiral got her position in the first place if Cornwell seemed to really believe that she would do something like this, but I guess that's a story for another day.
We learn more about Airiam's past in this episode when we see her going through her memories and deciding what to keep and what to delete. Tilly walks in on her doing this, and we find out that Airiam was in a shuttle crash with her husband, which ultimately killed him. I definitely felt for her a lot when we learned that, and I feel like she had an even more interesting backstory if there'd been time to explore it.
Once they get to Section 31's headquarters, they realize that Admiral Patar is actually dead and Control has taken over. It's apparently Control who could possibly destroy all sentient life like in Spock's visions.
Michael is forced to kill Airiam, which is a powerful scene, though it does seem a little sudden to have such a powerful moment between them when we haven't seen them interact much before.
Before she dies, Airiam tells Michael to find Project Daedalus, which creates an even bigger mystery.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Ten months after the last one, I'm here with a new Shadowhunters review! I promise that I will review every episode. I was worried about watching the show once I got back to the US because, in Japan, I could watch the series on Netflix, but in the US, I can't. Turns out, I can watch it on the Freeform website for free in the US, so it wasn't an issue at all. I don't like Freeform's video player, but it's better than nothing! (It's kind of nostalgic because this is how I used to watch the show before I moved to Japan too.)
After so long, I'd forgotten how dark the lighting in Shadowhunters is. I had to crank up the brightness on my laptop in order to see anything. On the flip side, I'd also kind of forgotten how much I enjoy this show. I'm probably more involved in the Shadowhunters fandom than I am any other fandom online even at the moment, but being active in the fandom isn't quite the same as watching the show for the first time in over a year. I'm overdue a rewatch from the beginning, I think, so I may do that after I finish reviewing these final episodes.
Magnus is staying at the Institute after losing his apartment. He's hesitant about this, but Alec insists that they "rule" against Downworlders living at the Institute is actually just a "suggestion." It's a big change from the Alec earlier in the series who was strict about every rule, and it's nice seeing that kind of character development.
Underhill spots Magnus in the dining hall that morning and gets strangely angry about it. Honestly, I don't get this at all. I wasn't Underhill's biggest fan from the start, but this episode really cemented my dislike for him. Still, I don't get his reaction. Later in the episode, he tells Magnus that it's because it's against the rules, and that's the only reason why. However, it seems strange that one of Alec's friends would seemingly have a stronger reaction to Magnus being there than anyone else in the Institute. If he was jealous in some way, it might make more sense, but the show is pretty insistent on portraying Underhill as not having any feelings for Alec (which is perfectly fine with me!), so it comes across as just baffling to me. Sure, some people are very passionate about following rules (Alec even used to be one of those people), but it feels like it comes out of nowhere and plays out in a strange way.
While they're eating breakfast, Clary gets a call from Luke, who tells her that he's been arrested for killing everyone at the Jade Wolf. Once he gets off the call, he tells the police officer that he plans on pleading guilty even though the officer is convinced that Luke didn't do it. Clary eventually arrives and begs Luke to let them get him out because she needs her dad. I enjoyed that scene because I love every scene that focuses on how much of a dad Luke is to be Clary and Simon.
Meanwhile, Maia is dealing with her entire pack being slaughtered. She knows Heidi is behind it, but Heidi beats her to the Institute and insists that she had nothing to do with what happened. Alec pardons her in exchange for telling them who is guilty, only for Heidi to insist to the rest of the clan that there's a traitor who clearly isn't her.
Maia is understandably furious when she finds out that Heidi has gotten off. She and Simon go to see a Mundane who can prove that Heidi was behind it, but Heidi gets to her first, leaving her in a coma. To be honest, I'm surprised that Heidi left her in a coma instead of killing her. Maybe she thought murder would make it too obvious that she was behind it? Either way, it wasn't that well thought through because Magnus was quickly able to heal the girl. Even though Maia gets to her first and kills her by injecting her blood with holy water (which is a detail from the books despite everything else about the situation being different), Heidi presumably would have still been caught then despite her confidence that she never would be.
While at the hospital, Simon also calls Alec and we get what is one of my favorite exchanges in the entire show: "Alec, it's Simon. The Daylighter." "I know who you are." Poor Simon thinking that Alec wouldn't have any idea who he is after everything. (Though it's true that they don't get nearly enough scenes together.)
Before Heidi dies, she also ends up revealing to Alec what Raphael did and Isabelle's role in letting him go. Instead of letting her participate in the raid on the Dumort, Alec sends her to Detroit to take in Raphael. The only thing that seems strange about this is the fact that Isabelle needed to go there and get Raphael and then bring him back to New York. Though we never see them, there are supposed to be other Institutes. Is there not one in Detroit (or, at the very least, closer by) that she would have taken him to instead?
In a bit of a surprise, Aline arrives in this episode! She is annoyed that they had Jonathan but didn't manage to bring him in. Her anger towards Clary specifically is kind of understandable considering the circumstances but also kind of jarring. The scene where they spar with each other makes me extremely uncomfortable even before Clary winds up hurting Aline. I just don't like watching it at all.
The episode ends with Magnus and Alec agreeing to move in with each other moments before Magnus' nose starts bleeding. It escalates to blood coming out of his mouth. He was already hearing ringing and appearing weak any time that he did magic, so something happening isn't a surprise, though even rewatching the episode, the sight of that much blood is still a bit of a shock. It definitely gets your attention right as the episode ends.
Friday, April 9, 2021
Published: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Beacon Press
Read from February 18 to March 18, 2021
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Groundbreaking book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when discussing racism that serve to protect their positions and maintain racial inequality
Antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo first coined the term "white fragility" in 2011, and since then it's been invoked by critics from Samantha Bee to Charles Blow. "White fragility" refers to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially. These include emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors including argumentation and silence. In this book, DiAngelo unpacks white fragility, explaining the underlying sociological phenomena. She'll draw on examples from her work and scholarship, as well as from the culture at large, to address these fundamental questions: How does white fragility develop? What does it look like? How is it triggered? What can we do to move beyond white fragility and engage more constructively?
I highly recommend White Fragility to other white people who want to fully examine their own views and actions in terms of race and who want to become better at recognizing and confronting racism.
White Fragility is an insightful look at how racism has shaped the way white people view the world. It makes its readers analyze the structures and systems that they've always taken for granted and never questioned before. Racism is embedded in every aspect of American society, and it's so deeply ingrained that many white people don't notice it's there because they don't have to. White Fragility is an important resource to help us white people grapple with the ways we help perpetuate racism and how we can work towards dismantling it.