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103. Klingons! At the Disco! (Disco 4.08)

But how does GRUDGE feel about all this?

Discovery is back, baby! With hijinks! Maybe even SHENANIGANS! Anika and Liz beam down to the Karma Barge to discuss…

  • An update on our giveaway
  • Captain Picard Week is coming…
  • Wanna make a place seem dodgy in 2022? Fill it with a crowd of people!
  • We are on the record as loving terrible dads in fiction, but we also love good dads! And also … dadmirals!
  • We know you know this, but it bears repeating: Sonequa Martin Green is very, very good at the whole acting business!
  • A bridge crew subplot that … hangs together and doesn’t feel jammed in? In OUR Discovery?


Anika: Honestly, not a lot happened in this episode.

Liz: We can talk about that.

[theme music]

Welcome to Antimatter Pod, a Star Trek podcast where we discuss fashion, feminism, subtext, and subspace, hosted by Anika and Liz. This week, we’re discussing the Star Trek” Discovery winter premiere, All In. I just want to say it’s summer here and it’s hot. So this is terrible. Terribly exclusionary.

Anika: That’s how it’s described online, okay? Here in North America, where I guess it’s made, it’s winter.

Liz: We have established that Paramount doesn’t really understand that they have an audience in different countries.

Anika: Very, very, very true. They do not understand that at all.

Liz: Oh, dear. Poor … Well, poor us really, but we choose to be here. Let’s talk about our giveaway and Captain Picard week.

Anika: Yes. I just wanted to assure everyone that I have not forgotten about the giveaway. And I do have a list of people that I will be contacting, and maybe by the time this is out, I’ve already contacted you. How exciting! So I’m working on that, and I do want to thank everybody who participated.

Liz: And I have a full set of stickers ready to go, and I will share the art, I guess, sometime in the next couple of days.

Anika: And Captain Picard week…

Liz: My favorite holiday.

Anika: It’s based around Captain Picard Day, but the podcast Strange New Pod has organized this. It’s a collective of various podcasts that are all going to be presenting topics and, you know, their own show, from February 24th through March 2nd. I believe those are the dates.

And there’s 10 or 12 different podcasts. It’s a nice little group of people. And everything is related to Captain Picard in some way, but there’s a fun variety of different things that people are going to talk about, that are very serious, like his Borg trauma, all the way through what his costumes say about him, which I’m super into. And our topic is that Captain Picard is not as stuffy as his reputation.

Liz: I fully intend to use the term ‘Eurotrash.’ If you want a little prequel.

Anika: And, in theory, if they can give us a good slot, we are going to be live for it. At least some of the podcasts will definitely be live, and some will be pre-recorded. We are difficult because we’re in two different hemispheres, but they’re working with us, and we’re trying.

Liz: Yes, at the very least we could try to record our podcast over Zoom, so there’s video content. Though I mostly just crochet while I’m talking to you, so I don’t know how exciting that is for anyone else.

Anika: At least one cat will definitely Zoom bomb on my end.

Liz: Okay, that alone makes it worthwhile.

Anika: So look forward to that.

Liz: I am! You know I love Picard as a character, and I get very defensive of him, even when he’s being subjected to extremely reasonable and accurate criticisms. And of course, I don’t think that the stuffiness criticism is accurate at all. So this is going to be fun.

Anika: It’s going to be fun.

Liz: Okay. Welcome back to Star Trek: Discovery, and halfway through this episode, my flatmate turned to me, and she said, “I wasn’t prepared for this level of hijinks.”

Anika: It is a lot of hijinks.

Liz: It was great.

Anika: It was. It was really funny how they really went for the, let’s go into the seedy bar and have lots of crazy stuff going on.

Liz: It’s interesting because it was such a dense episode in terms of dialogue and background detail, and the literally crowded room.

Anika: Yes.

Liz: I was thinking, as I prepared for this episode, I don’t know that much really happened in terms of advancing the plot, but for character development and filling in some finer details, it did a lot of work. I really enjoyed that.

Anika: I felt it was very fun.

Liz: Yes.

Anika: If you look at the plot as a line, it shouldn’t be fun right now. This is not fun. And yet this episode was a lot of fun.

Liz: I definitely expected an episode where Michael would be sad because Book has betrayed her, and everything is very doom and gloom and serious. And as you say, this was fun, and it didn’t feel … It was unexpected, but it wasn’t jarring.

Anika: And you mentioned the crowded room. The episode before the hiatus was the one where they had the giant room, the Federation cavern of the different dignitaries on the different levels, and everything in the Federation and Starfleet starbase is very spread out. It’s very wide

Liz: Socially distanced.

Anika: And this tiny little casino area was the opposite of that. It was very cramped. It was very dark. There were all of these hidden corners, and there are just people, you know, shoving elbows at all times.

And it was more than one room, there were different little places, but all of the rooms blended in this little pod kind of configuration, so that it all seems to be the same tiny room, but it was spread out into different ones. It was literally the inverse of that Federation senate type area. And that was fun, too.

Liz: Just having crowds alone, pressing in on each other, made it feel lawless. And that’s such a 2022 feeling. And I think it was a great detail for the contemporary audience.

I don’t doubt for a moment that, you know, COVID protocols were followed and respected, and maybe some of those crowds were comped in later. But the feeling of being surrounded by people who may not wish you harm, but also don’t wish you well, I think was really well conveyed.

Anika: But let’s backtrack a little and go to the beginning of the episode. Where it started right after the end of the last one with Book and Tarka zooming out.

Liz: Vengeance road trip.

Anika: Vengeance road trip.

Anika: President Rillak’s having a bad day.

Liz: Again?

Anika: Everybody was having a bad day. President Rillak was having a bad day. Admiral Vance was having a bad day. And Captain Michael was having a bad day.

Liz: Yeah. Every day is a new crisis, as your note says.

Anika: Yes, which is also very 2022, I’ve got to say. My week has been, not a crisis, but a disruption every single day. And it turns out it’s not just me, because I complained about it to a few different people. And they said, “Yeah, same.”

As we are in this sort of transition period between mask mandates and high numbers and testing weekly, into, ‘we’re going to try to relax some things, you know, regardless of if that’s a good idea or not, we’re doing it,’ it really feels like this jumbled up, you know, there’s all of these emotions that everybody is dealing with, whether it’s excitement or fear, and it’s creating all these little tiny problems.

Liz: Everything is a level harder than it should be.

Anika: Exactly.

Liz: I sprained my ankle on Wednesday. I went out on my lunch break to buy sushi. I slipped over, I sprained it very badly. But then, when I was at the hospital – hanging around an emergency room, during a pandemic is not much fun. I was in and out within a couple of hours, which I did not expect, but they were like, “This one’s simple, we can deal with her and get rid of her really fast.”

But there were a dozen ambulances queuing up outside waiting for their patients to be admitted. There were people who’d had serious workplace injuries coming through. It was really stressful. And you know, everyone has to wear their N95, and that makes communicating harder. Everything was a level of difficulty higher than it would normally be.

Anika: Right.

Liz: So I’m annoyed that the hospital just released me without a bandage, or even an ice pack, but I get it. That level of, “Oh God, everything is something new, everything is a challenge and everything is harder than I’m used to it being…”

There have been points in season four where I’ve been a bit critical of how overtly Discovery has addressed the current state of the world, but this worked for me.

Anika: I related to Dr. Culber.

Liz: Oh my goodness. Yes.

Anika: Because I too am just over the droids trying to help me out, and all of the responsibilities that I take on myself, just like him. You know, it’s like, I can’t be angry at the fact that I volunteered to do these things.

Liz: And yet.

Anika: I am spread very thin.

Liz: Yeah. Yeah, no, it’s hard.

Anika: And so when something small … and obviously, Book absconding with Tarka and the drive is not small, but when something that is out of your control, that you have no control over, it that you did not expect, and is not … He couldn’t actually have stopped him. That’s magical thinking on Dr. Culber’s part. But I understand that wish that you could control something.

Liz: Yes. And it’s also a problem that Hugh thought he had squared away. It was an ongoing issue, but there was a solution and they were working towards dealing with it. And it turns out that he completely misread the situation.

And, of course, what we know is that this was a fairly impulsive act on Book’s behalf, and he wasn’t planning it all along, but Hugh and Rillak and Vance and Michael don’t know that for sure. I think Michael strongly suspects, but only Book and Tarka know that.

Anika: Right. And there’s the whole Tarka of it all, that he definitely targeted Book. Cause he needed Book in order to use his drive. He needed either Book or Stamets, “and these are the two people that I can get to do this with.”

Liz: And Stamets wouldn’t have fallen for that.

Anika: Right. And Book is not in his right frame of mind. He’s just not. He’s not going to be for a little while.

Liz: No. And yet he has the maturity to understand that there will be consequences for his actions, and yeah, he might go to prison, or whatever the Federation does. We’ve had that discussion. He might see the end of his relationship with Michael. And he accepts those consequences. Whereas Ruon Tarka, the ultimate white man, is…

Anika: Oh my gosh.

Liz: Still going around assuming that he can talk his way out of everything.

Anika: He has a very punchable face.

I do also want to mention Admiral Vance and his decision to throw caution to the wind and send Michael on her little mission anyway.

Liz: Yes.

Anika: Which is, to be honest, very Star Trek of him. Very Starfleet of him. That’s how we do things here.

Liz: The usual suspects were complaining about Michael once again disobeying orders, and people were like, bro, she was literally given conflicting orders and told to figure it out. Like, dude.

Anika: But the way that his voice broke on, “I just got my family back, I don’t want to send them away again.” It reminded me of, in season two, when Sarek’s voice broke, when he talked about losing both of his children,

Liz: Yes.

Anika: I love these stoic characters showing their emotions in that tiny way.

Liz: Strong dad feels.

Anika: Strong dad feels. Yes. My heart went out to Admiral Vance.

Liz: You know, we were introduced to Admiral Cornwell as an admiral, and then layers started getting peeled back until we get to Lethe, where she’s very vulnerable on several levels.

Vance has not had that vulnerability revealed. His need to protect his family, and his desire to see them versus his fear that they will be harmed if they stay close to him, I think, is a step in that direction. Which, as a person who I guess is maybe admiralsexual, I’m in favor of [Anika laughs] Look, I don’t know what else you’d call it.

Anika: Look, he’s very attractive.

Liz: Only twenty percent of Starfleet admirals are evil!

Anika: Right. So now we can get back to the hijinks.

Liz: Hijinks! I really liked that Vance has been watching Rillak work, and how she deals with Michael, and going, okay, “Okay. I can do that too.” Honey, I don’t actually know that you can. But that’s a problem for you and Rillak.

Anika: Yeah, he was just like, “I’m gonna follow her lead, and I’m going to give you conflicting orders, and expect you to run with it and solve all my problems for me.” But Michael’s good at that. That’s Michael’s superpower. So.

Liz: You have your Swiss army knife of an officer, you use her.

I really enjoyed the design of the Karma Barge, both exterior and interior. The sea monster design or hologram was very, very cool, and a sign of how advanced technology is in this era, even if some aspects have stagnated. But also, we rarely get to see oceans in Star Trek, and I’m always in favor of an ocean.

Anika: I agree.

Liz: Because it was literally a barge, it was different in design and setting to, for example, your Mos Eisley Cantina, or Quark’s. Or any dodgy bar slash gambling place you see in science fiction. Obviously what we actually got was a set and a series of small rooms, as you said, but knowing the exterior is literally a vessel on water. I think made a difference to me.

Anika: I can see that.

Liz: Not enough boats in Star Trek.

Anika: Yeah, exactly. Not enough boats in space, I’m going to go with, as you’re mentioning other franchises. It’s not something that we see often enough, I feel.

Liz: Yeah. And yeah, it was cool. And I’m always keen to see more of Michael’s courier life. We got a good glimpse of that in the teaser for the season four premiere, and what we see here is perfectly consistent with that, except now she is not on Book’s side

Anika: I have to shout out Sonequa Martin Green for being amazing, as always.

Liz: Always.

Anika: The layers of Michael that were on display in this episode, there were at least three different Michaels on view. And she went through them seamlessly.

It was really just an absolutely impressive performance in an episode that didn’t need an impressive and for performance. There are some episodes where, I don’t want to say that they can lay back and not do the acting. That’s not what I mean, but there are easier episodes. And these kinds of hijinks-heavy, fun ones, with a little mystery and a little poker, you don’t have to pull out all the stops for them. But she does.

Liz: I want to suggest that Sonequa, like Michael, doesn’t know how to half-ass anything. I’ve obviously not seen all of her work, but even when she was very, very young, in The Good Wife, she was always very present in her scenes.

Anika: Right. In a role that required her to be in the background.

Liz: It’s not that she was mugging for the camera in any way, but she’s always awake behind her eyes.

Anika: And that’s why, I mean … Okay. So not to describe The Good Wife from many years ago, but she’s introduced as the assistant of one character, of opposing counsel. And by the end of the episode, they steal her to work for Alicia. And so it is actually important for her to be prominently in the background in that role.

Liz: Sonequa is always great.

Anika: Always great. And I just really liked, particularly in the poker scene, and in the scene right before the poker scene, where looking at the, whatever it’s called, the salt rock.

Liz: Yes.

Anika: My note here is that Michael is not as good an actor as Sonequa is. And what I mean by that is that you can tell when Michael is putting on a show for the other people in the room, and she does it in the poker game, she does it with Owosekun’s hustle.

There’s, ‘Michael is reacting on a level of normal regular reactions.’ And there is, ‘Michael is putting on a show, and heightening her reactions for a purpose.’ And there were these very subtle switches between the two in those scenes. And it was just super impressive.

And I love the fact that I could tell when Michael was acting, but it wasn’t like Sonequa acting badly. It was just interesting. It was just a masterclass of micro acting that I am very impressed with.

Liz: You could compare it with Michael being drugged in the season three premiere, where that is all Michael and it’s completely sincere.

And when Michael is putting on a performance, there is a level of discomfort. She is stepping out of her comfort zone and putting on another persona that doesn’t quite fit. And it’s so subtle.

I talk a lot about Jason Isaacs as Lorca doing five different things at once. But I think by this point in the series, Sonequa is routinely doing three or four different things at once, and it’s kind of amazing.

Anika: Yes. So it was really, really fun to watch it. And I just am amazed with her all the time.

You know, people complain about Michael crying too much, which is nonsense, but this is the same … It’s not that it’s easier to cry, but it is easier for the audience to connect with that emotion, because it’s more of a display. It’s more of a performance.

And this episode, it seems almost weightless. It’s this really incredible performance of humor and pathos and mischief. But there’s also the underlying, you know, she’s losing the person that’s so important to her and she’s torn between her loyalties and her desires.

Liz: There’s this tension that underlies everything, and Sonequa never forgets that.

Anika: And that subtle sadness is just as powerful to me as when she’s crying, I guess, is where I was going with that.

Liz: While we’re on the subject of Sonequa, there is this idea that I’ve been seeing, and I first saw it pop up after Tilly left, but it seems to have ramped up now that Discovery has been renewed for a fifth season and is absolutely not the failure that some fans were hoping for, this idea that Sonequa is this terrible diva who bullies the other women on the cast, and had Mary Wiseman fired.

And this week it was someone in the TrekMovie comments saying that obviously Owo had her moment because Sonequa didn’t want to do stunts. And I don’t think this is a widespread idea, but I think people should be aware of it and quash it when they see it, because Sonequa is famously professional and gracious to her co-stars.

And none of this is coming from even the most disreputable celebrity gossip sites. This is purely people in the comments on Star Trek news sites, making stuff up.

Anika: Making stuff up.

Liz: I just think it’s straight up misogynoir.

Anika: It definitely is. And these are the same people who would defend William Shatner.

Liz: Absolutely.

Anika: For the same behavior that they’re making up, that Sonequa’s not even doing.

Liz: Yeah. Yeah.

Anika: If I recall correctly, she had people over to her house for barbecues in the first season, like, she’s the mom of the cast. She pulls everybody together and makes sure that everybody’s doing well.

Liz: And I know Mary Chieffo and Jayne Brook both talked about how, when they shot their final scenes for Discovery‘s season two finale, that was 3:00 AM, and Sonequa was there because she felt she owed them the respect of seeing these recurring guest stars do their final scenes.

She did not have to be there at three. No one should have been there at three in the morning. But Sonequa, as the lead actor and a mother of a young child, especially. And so I just think this is a level of disrespect and a level of racism and misogyny

Anika: And that, that comment that you said about Owosekun and stunts, like, I don’t know how to say this other than, just because they’re both Black women doesn’t mean that they have the same role. They’re not interchangeable. What are they talking about? Like, “we wanted to put Sonequa in this scene, but we couldn’t, and so we…”

That is really just blatant racism there. They’re saying that they’re the same, that it doesn’t matter which one does it, like…

Liz: I kind of feel like this branch of fandom has been treating Owosekun and Michael as interchangeable since season one, because I definitely remember a lot of, “I don’t hate Black women, I just think the show would much just be much better if Owosekun was the lead.” Because she doesn’t talk.

So, yeah, I just want to flag this. I think it’s very ugly and I would not like to see it spread. I realize that by discussing it, I am, in a sense, drawing attention to it. So let’s move on and talk about Owosekun!

Anika: And how amazing she is.

Liz: A few weeks ago, we were like, how dare they touch our lovely Owosekun with their terrible bridge crew soliloquies. And this episode follows up on that and does it in a really natural way. Like, this, this is how you characterize the bridge crew.

Anika: I am shocked that her moment with Saru had a purpose beyond that. I am amazed. It’s sad, but I would never have expected that from Discovery.

Liz: No, no.

Anika: From this season in particular.

Liz: I mean, bless, it’s trying, but yeah. I’m just so pleased.

And everything about Owosekun now feels like it’s really consistent. She grew up in a subculture with minimal technology, she lost people because of that, and now she is pathologically determined to help others, but in a completely different way to Michael.

They have a similar problem, in that they both take responsibility for things beyond their control, but they’re processing it in different ways. And I respect that. I think that’s a great piece of writing, and again, Michael and Joann are not interchangeable.

Anika: Obviously her whole hustle was great. And even though I think we figured it out early on, it was fun to watch it all go down. It was fun for her to do that heel turn and be like, “I’m going to get you now.”

Liz: It’s always fun to see a con play out.

Anika: Yes. And then she had that scene with Tarka, which had a completely different tone, but sort of the same drive?

Liz: And comes from the same place, because here Tarka is white mansplaining about how he is the only person in the entire universe who has ever experienced loss, and Owosekun doesn’t need to explain what she has been through. She doesn’t need to deliver that soliloquy again, but it’s all in her face. And in the way she quietly dismisses him.

This is an outstanding episode for Oyin Olajeyo. I don’t know if I’m pronouncing her name correctly. I should look it up, but I love her work and I am sending extremely strong vibes to CBS to cast her as Lex’s sister in Good Sam.

Anika: Give her more things.

Liz: Wait, wait, wait. Is Good Sam … Can we count that as part of The Good Wife, Good Place, Good Fight Cinematic Universe?

Anika: I am very willing to.

Liz: Thank you. Excellent.

Anika: I can write that crossover, easy.

Liz: Anyway, I really enjoyed the work and the fantastic characterization for Owo. I just want to flag how troubled I am that it seems that the uniforms involve some sort of sleeveless jumpsuit underneath their baggy jackets?

Anika: You were traumatized by this!

Liz: Just … Bathroom breaks must be so unnecessarily complicated!

Anika: It’s the same as the Next Gen uniforms or–

Liz: Those are also bad!

Anika: –Voyager uniforms.

Liz: I hate those, too.

Anika: That’s what Starfleet does!

Liz: This is why Starfleet needs to reconsider its choices. I know that…

Anika: This is why? I think there are a lot of–

Liz: No, no, I think this is why. I think this is their big problem.

I know that the current uniforms are much more comfortable and easy for the actors to wear than their old blue ones, and I’m really pleased about that. I don’t want the actors to be suffering to squeeze themselves into very tight uniforms, which have to have the jacket zipped to the pants so they don’t ride up when you sit down. And yet.

Anika: For me, it was this nice, callback to Ensign Ro, my favorite episode of The Next Generation, when —

Liz: Ro’s magic jacket?

Anika: Yes, Ensign Ro’s magic jacket. I love everything about that episode. You know, Ensign Ro, Ro Laren, is my favorite TNG character, but that moment in the camp with the little girl, where she takes off her Starfleet top and gives it to her, I’m just like, this doesn’t happen that way, there is never any hint those tops could do that.

And so I just love it. I love it. And I felt the same way. These are much more … I understand exactly how it works with these uniforms. They are not as impossible and structured and uncomfortable as The Next Generation ones, but it was still that fun of — I like that Starfleet has not gotten over their ridiculous fashion decisions that have been around from the beginning.

Liz: Yes. I will say I liked the jumpsuit itself and the yellow shoulders to indicate division. Just the jacket. Once I started thinking about the jacket, I got concerned. But yes, the, the jumpsuit itself was fine. I liked it, whatever.

Anika: Owo just looked really, really good in that. You know, she looked triumphant.

Liz: Yes.

Anika: Because it’s the Olympics, which I haven’t really been watching, but it is the Olympics. And so it’s on my mind, with the piping for the division and everything, it really felt like a sports uniform. That’s what I got out of this whole scene. And obviously, she was doing sports, so it makes sense.

But it was still a Starfleet uniform, so it was sort of like, it was still an American or Australian or whatever uniform. And I liked that part of it too. I liked the athletic nods.

Liz: In fact, it looks like a more comfortable version of the gray onesie that Tuvok and his team of reluctant Maquis bootcamp kids wear in the fairly terrible Voyager first season finale, which is mostly notable for “Get this cheese to sick bay, but also for having them.”

Anika: It could have been so good.

Liz: I know. So much of Voyager could have been good.

Anika: It could have been a really good episode.

Liz: That sort of nineties Starfleet athletic gear looked very uncomfortable. Whereas this was built on similar lines, but it all looks like stuff that you can move in, which is what the actors are saying about these costumes.

So then we have the big reveal. The DMA is a blob.

Anika: I loved the way that she said that word, that line. She was like, “I’m a little bit embarrassed to say this, but I’m also the president and I have confidence. So I’m going to say it. And someone is going to explain it to me.” Again, it was a nice little detail.

Liz: I think it was USSJellyfish in the Cornwell Discord who pointed out what a great bit of characterization that was for Rillak, in that she’s not a scientist and she has this blue collar freighter captain background, and she’s from outside Starfleet.

So yeah, she needs to have this stuff explained to her, but also she’s not asking for the explanation in a, “Give it to us in English, kids” [way]. She requests the explanation in a way that still shows respect for the expertise she doesn’t have.

Anika: And she trusts that they will tell her, like, she doesn’t have any expectation that they’re going to be condescending, either. You know, it’s like, “We are equals, you just have more information than me.”

Liz: Obviously I’ve been Team Rillak since the beginning, but I think this is a really good depiction of a president, especially in 2022, where people have issues with expertise and scientists telling us what to do, and all of that. To have a presidential figure who shows respect, but also acknowledges her ignorance, I think it’s just really valuable, and it makes me like her even more.

Anika: Yeah, she was great.

Liz: Yeah.

Anika: But what we learn is that it is not a weapon. It’s … they call it mining equipment.

Liz: I’m picturing, like, those deep-sea oil mining rigs that can up anchor and be moved to another part of the ocean. And how do the fish feel about that?

Anika: It was a big Star Trek reveal in that it was like, we are going to now bang you over the head with our morals and explain to you that what we were talking about in this story is damage that people who … you know, I’m extrapolating, but what if these are just explorers who are just out there exploring, they need – I can’t any of the words, so I’m going to call it trillium. They need trillium to go.

And so they go find some, just like you said, with the deep sea rig that goes down and rips oil out of the ground. And they don’t think about what might be there with the trillium or what else needs the trillium?

Liz: It feels like an interesting companion to the whole dilithium thing. You know, last season we had the dilithium shortage, and even now it’s still a finite resource and the Federation is too dependent on it.

And here is the flip side of that. The damage of unrestrained mining on the people whose territory is being mined. This is a big issue in Australia, because we have a lot of natural mineral resources, and quite a lot of them are on traditional Indigenous lands.

So there was an incident a couple of years ago where a thousands year old sacred place, a place with a lot of significant rock art, was destroyed by a mining company. There’s a lot of grief and anger about that. And this really resonated.

But, also, this is not an observation that I was capable of making myself, but some nerds pointed out that the trillium, or whatever the mineral that the DMA is extracting … Boranite? It is apparently a key ingredient in the Omega molecule.

Anika: Yes. Which, okay. So, fun story about me.

Liz: First should we explain to the people who have not obsessively watched Voyager what Omega is? Basically it’s a super power molecule. It’s powerful but dangerous. Federation banned research into it. The Borg worship it as perfection. It’s a round glowy blue thing. There’s a whole episode of Voyager about it called The Omega Directive. And that’s actually all I can remember.

Anika: Seven, because the Borg think it’s a perfect particle, she sort of has this religious reaction to it. It’s about Seven coming to her own spirituality in a very science fiction way.

The actual, like, the Omega particle is this little sphere thing with lots of little things that stick out, kind of like a molecule, if you ever seen molecular biology, which I see every day. There’s little spikes coming out of round orb in the middle. And it’s a toy. Like Legos or Construx or Roblox, but they’re all already together. I’ll put a picture online for everybody.

Liz: I’m looking it up.

Anika: I really, really wanted one, because as we know, I love Seven of Nine, and Seven of Nine is very important to me. Particularly when Voyager was on, I was at the right age to be sort of like, “If Seven does it, I also have to do it.”

And so Seven found her spirituality in this toy, therefore I needed one, so that I could also. To this day, when people ask me about, you know, what religion I … atone to, or whatever, you know, filling out a survey or something, like, ‘what’s your religion?’ And I don’t really answer those questions, but I think about the stupid Borg glow in the dark third grader toy that represented something to me, it represented this idea of connectedness and faith.

Liz: And also you are the last person in the world who would ever give her religion on the census as Jedi.

Anika: That’s right. I am the anti-Jedi.

Liz: But not in a Sith way.

Anika: No, not in a Sith way because the Sith and the Jedi are two sides, but not really.

Liz: Whereas the Omega molecule is a circle.

Anika: The Omega molecule is a Construx toy that glows in the dark. And I appreciate props, and I appreciate finding … you know, if I do have a religion, it is the type that is, to be fair, very Jedi, in that it’s finding spirituality and balance in ordinary objects.

Liz: Much like how a Book can make connections with people and animals? Because I think that being a mining rig doesn’t exclude the possibility that Greg is still an entity.

Anika: Oh, yeah.

Liz: And either way, I think Book is going to be the one to make first contact with the miners. Like, the Omega molecule stuff is cool, I like that as a little bit of worldbuilding, and it’s mildly interesting. I’m actually a bit more excited that the Devore from the Voyager episode Counterpoint got a shout out.

But what I’m really interested in is, what kind of culture we’re going to encounter, and how this will go for Book and Michael.

Anika: I’m worried about Book and Michael. I have seen enough Star Trek to knowBook is not going to come out of this on the side of evil.

Liz: Absolutely.

Anika: I absolutely agree that he is going to be the one to have first contact and to have a connection with these people. And Rillak’s is going to forgive him because he does whatever to get them on our side.

Liz: Or maybe she won’t, and maybe this will be like Kasidy and Sisko, and he spends six months in a cushy Federation jail, which as we know from Garak is the standard punishment for attempted genocide. And then he comes back and it’s awkward for a day, and then they resume their relationship.

Anika: Man… I just want to point out that Kasidy did not do a genocide.

Liz: No, Kasidy was smuggling medical supplies and the Federation justice system hates Black women.

Anika: I trust that people have watched Deep Space Nine, but just for the few people who haven’t, I just wanted to make sure you are throwing shade at Garak.

Liz: Oh–

Anika: Not Kasidy!

Liz: Really I’m throwing shade at the racism inherent in the Federation’s justice system, but yes, Kasidy did nothing wrong. the record.

Anika: Kasidy did nothing wrong.

Liz: Yeah.

Anika: And Gul Dukat did everything wrong.

Liz: Yeah, that too. [laughs]

But yeah, I really hope that this doesn’t see the end of their relationship. I feel like this is a challenge for them, but they will come out of it stronger.

And you know, maybe the resolution of this is that they decide that having Book living on Michael’s ship is too much, and he should stay at home on Vulcan and raise their kids.

Anika: Ni’Var.

Liz: Oh yeah. I’m sorry to dead name Ni’Var. My apologies.

Anika: By the end of this episode, I just want to say – and obviously people who would think that Discovery is not Star Trek are not listening to our podcast – but this was the most Star Trekky Star Trek that ever Star Trekked.

This particular episode has so many nods to old school Star Trek that their argument, which was never good, and it was also never put forth in good faith, but it has also been obliterated by now. There’s just been enough Discovery being super-duper Star Trekky that it’s just, it’s done. And I no longer want us to entertain it.

Liz: It’s a silly argument. We should not indulge it.

I felt like there were almost too many references in the dialogue, but they all came from the one character. So I’m just going to assume that he is the kind of nerd who spends all his time on Memory Alpha or Space Wikipedia, or whatever, and actually no one knows what he’s talking about.

What really excited me was the presence of the Changeling, because in however many hundreds of years, they’ve gone from being fascist blobs to con artists. And I have to say it’s an improvement. I like to believe that this Changeling was Odo, and he just really, really misses Quark. He is determined to be a person that Quark would be proud of. Which is terrible, but an improvement.

Anika: No one should want that.

Liz: No.

Anika: It was good. If, you know, again, it’s like bringing in some Deep Space Nine.

Liz: Mm.

Anika: For people who think there isn’t enough. I like the shout outs to these races to say, like, time has passed and they’re in a different place. It’s fun to see how everything is wider and bigger, and people are doing different things, but it’s also all the same.

Liz: Yeah.

Anika: There’s of course, external reasons for that. We haven’t actually skipped forward a thousand years, and–

Liz: I sometimes forget that.

Anika: We are in 2022. We were never in the 24th century. It’s a show that’s made on Earth in America, by people who grew up with it.

But I also think that there is some truth to it, as well, because it’s a lot harder to make changes and to make progress. You don’t notice it while it’s happening. You only notice it when you look backwards.

Liz: Right. And a thousand years ago, no one would have been joking about Klingons at the disco or Cardassians who love cake.

Anika: Right. It was great to see the Changeling. Michael and Book working together, despite being at odds, was great.

Liz: That’s how you know they’re going to make it, that they can put their–

Anika: Right.

Liz: –differences aside to collaborate on a bit of a heist.

Anika: And Haz, I think that was his name was his name? Right? Haz? Haz being, like, a shipper because they were not a couple when they were couriers together, and yet he was like, “You guys have always been a couple and you’re a couple and you’re going to be a couple, it’s going to be okay.” That was fun, too.

Liz: I just hope he’s right.

My last remark actually is about Haz’s makeup. I thought the design was a bit Babylon Five, a bit Buffy, you know, we’ve seen that sort of alien or entity before, but then there was a close-up on his face and I found myself, thinking, gosh, his skin is just amazing. It looks so soft.

And then I remembered, that’s not skin, that’s a silicon mask. And that is when I became impressed with the makeup.

Anika: Yeah.

Liz: I forget that, for example, Doug Jones does not look like Saru.

Anika: Does not look like that. Yeah. It’s incredible how far prosthetics have come.

Liz: Absolutely. Really justifies HDTV, almost more than any amount of giant space battles.

Anyway, let’s wrap up. I can go back to thinking about terrible jumpsuits.

Anika: Thank you for listening to Antimatter Pod. You can find our show notes at, including links to our social media, credits for our theme music, and transcripts of our episodes. You can follow us on social media, on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, all at Antimatter Pod. And you can write to us at

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Join us next week, when we will be discussing the next episode of Star Trek: Discovery.

Liz: No title?

Anika: No title. I looked and looked. I couldn’t find one. It was just episode nine.

Liz: Oh, well, we’ll find out.