Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Star Trek: Discovery Review: 4x05 "The Examples"

After being a little disappointed by the last episode, I did like this one more.

Even though it shouldn't be possible, the DMA suddenly disappears and then reappears a few minutes later. This makes everyone think that it might have been created by people, though they don't know who. I'm not incredibly surprised by that development, but it is exciting to see the mystery develop.

Tarka comes aboard in this episode to investigate the DMA, and he's an asshole. I feel for Stamets and the others having to put up with him, though I'm curious if he'll somehow become more endearing later on. Honestly, I don't trust him at all and part of me thinks he's a bad guy, but I have a track record of thinking that about characters that I eventually come to like in Discovery, which leaves me unsure what to think about him at all.

A planet in Emerald Chain territory is in the path of the DMA once it reappears, so Discovery helps with an evacuation despite the planet not being part of the Federation. They also end up rescuing some prisoners who have been left behind. The prisoners are referred to as the Examples, since they're meant to be examples for others not to break the rules. It's yet another show of the Federation being kind when others aren't that definitely feels as much political as it is a truly moral thing.

It's interesting to have the Emerald Chain mentioned for a second time in this season when they aren't as prominent now as they were in season four. Other than that and showing that the DMA is still a threat, I'm not really sure if there's a way the prisoners are going to connect to the larger story.

This episode focuses on Culber's mental health as well, since he's the only therapist on the ship. Discovery is focusing a lot on mental health in this season, and I'm not mad about it, though the sudden shift to seeing Culber providing a lot of therapy when we never saw it in the first three seasons does feel a little sudden.

At the end of the episode, we get a tense scene between Book and Tarka where Tarka seems to know who created the DMA, but when asked about it directly by Book, he claims he doesn't. As I mentioned before, I'm very suspicious of Tarka, and this scene solidified that for me. I don't trust him, though I accept that I may be wrong about him later. There's just something about him that I find very off-putting, and it's not necessarily that he's blunt and dismissive. At least, I don't think it's just that.

My distrust of Tarka also makes me excited for the next episode though. I really want to know what's going on with the DMA.

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