Star Trek Discovery s5ep4 Television 

Boomb Tube, The Week in Comic Book Television: 4/14-4/20/2024

By | April 22nd, 2024
Posted in Television | % Comments

Welcome back to Boomb Tube! Here, we will be catching you up on the week in comics TV, both through micro-reviews, as well as links to our full-length TV reviews. We also tend to review series that are dropped all at once weekly so there are a few ‘older’ shows mixed in for good measure. Are we missing your favorite show? Let us know in the comments!

Star Trek: Discovery – “Face The Strange” (S5E4, Paramount+)

Time loop episodes aren’t generally a story device I like. I’ve never been able to fully get behind a movie or TV episode that uses it, especially when we have to see the same few scenes repeated with only minor changes until the protagonist figures out how to escape the loop. It is usually boring. Sure, there are some that are considered classics, like Groundhog’s Day, but rarely are they done in a way that interests me enough to engage in repeat viewings. With that out of the way, “Face The Strange” is, simply put, one of the best time loop episodes I have ever seen. And it is definitely one of the best episodes of Discovery.

Jumping back 15 hours to within the framing of last week’s episode, we get a quick glimpse (not enough in my opinion) of L’ok and Moll making a deal for some sort of illegal device with another alien smuggler. This will turn out to be the bug that Moll planted on Adira in the caves of Trill. We also get a real glimpse at the softer side of L’ok. He wants to come out on top by getting to the Progenitor’s tech first, but not at the risk of something happening to him and Moll. I like seeing this bit from him, giving them an even more sympathetic edge to their cause. That is, until we see what them winning this race will mean for the future of the galaxy later in the episode. Their smuggler friend is also revealed to be partial cause for the pain and suffering that befell Moll’s people – and he comes to a foamy end at her hands. Moll is not one to be crossed, but her pain is very real – masked by anger, and her actions understandable.

This is a very special type of bug. It isn’t a listening device or something that will damage or destroy the ship, it’s a Krenim chronophage (see:Star Trek: Voyager) time bug that is equal parts robo-spider, time machine, and T-1000. Tensions are high on DISCO as they are seemingly at a dead end, even with the coordinates from Trill. And then there’s Rayner who is still coming to terms with his demotion, how this crew handles themselves, and clearly some leftover PTSD from The Burn.

From here the bug wreaks its havoc on the ship with it and the majority of the crew stuck in time, while Burnham and Rayner are now jumping through time because they attempted to transport just as the bug did its thing. We get an episode that is equal parts time loop shenanigans and a greatest hits of the show, and interestingly enough, some other parts of time, but all within the time that Discovery has existed, including 30 years past the show’s timeline and all the way back to her still being built in the San Francisco dry dock. This is a fantastic team up story for Burnham and Rayner learning to work together, with the added bonus of Stamets joining because he lives outside of time thanks to his tardigrade DNA. So as the episode partially shifts into our heroes needing to constantly find each other and work together to stop the bug, a very typical time loop conceit, it completely jumps the hurdle of having one character have to explain to the other what’s going on every single time. It deftly uses the the tropes while dropping the annoying, or at least overused, bits.

It’s interesting that this episode was written, and probably filmed, well before they knew season 5 would be the final one. It feels like it was written because of that. If it had been, I’m sure the past scenes would have had a bunch more past character cameos than we got. What we got does lend itself to feeling less gimmicky though, so it’s probably for the best in the long run. A very intelligent time puzzle unfolds this week. Every piece is equally entertaining and important to the episode and the series as a whole. As it deals in the past, present, and future there is a chance that these events could cause a ripple effect throughout all of Trek, not just this episode specifically, but the entire season.

Continued below

This was one of DISCO’s best episodes in a long time and continues to help push what has been a very strong final season further. And if you partake, take another shot because we had yet another mention of the Breen. I wanna see those refrigerated, helmet wearing psychos again! It’s been like 30 years… – Chris Egan

Star Wars: The Bad Batch – “Into the Breach” (S3E13, Disney+)

With just a two episodes remaining, The Bad Batch is starting to get to the heart of this season’s main conflict, which is to get shut down the station of Tantiss and unite all of Clone Force 99, including Omega. This episode does the most to move those pieces onto the same board, with Omega bringing the other captive kids in on her plan and Rampart and the clones executing a plan to get the coordinates for Tantiss.

Both plots moved forward at a good pace this episode, but especially the clones story, with Rampart embracing his role as a faux-Imperial with panache and a sense of longing for a time when he could be an unencumbered shithead and be celebrated for it. Rampart doesn’t quite have the same ‘he’s one of us now!’ feeling as when Kallus joined the Rebellion, but the espionage aspect of this episode worked really well. No one trusts anyone else, but the mutual desire for freedom is driving both sides.

The issue with this episode really isn’t an issue with the episode, it’s an issue with how the series is presented, and it’s one that I hadn’t really considered until recently: I don’t know what the plot of the series is. I know what the plot of each episode is, and I know what the arc of each season is. But the series, thus far, has basically been, “Let’s follow Clone Force 99!” Season two added a lot of intrigue about clones’ rights, there was that fantastic episode with Cody questioning his role, and lots of other moments that seemed to suggest a more political and ideological series than the first season had presented. But this season has thrown all of that away, and we’re left with a much simpler story that, ultimately, doesn’t feel like it needed three seasons to tell. Hopefully the last two episodes can bring it out of the ditch it is currently in, but the promise of season two seems totally forgotten at this point. – Brian Salvatore

X-Men ‘97 – “Lifedeath – Part 2” (S1E6, Disney+)

Cutting back-and-forth between two stories taking place simultaneously with last week’s, this episode starts with a completely unexpected corner of the Marvel Universe: a battle between the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, led by Deathbird (Cari Kabinoff), and the Kree, commanded by Ronan the Accuser (Todd Haberkorn). It’s then we see why: the battle is interrupted by Deathbird’s sister, the Empress Lilandra (Morla Gorrondona), announcing her engagement to Professor X, who’s spent the last year recuperating by her side. Emperor Xavier huh? Yeah, I feel the Shi’ar here, not that that’s any excuse for Deathbird’s xenophobia. While we’re here, I have to admit I find Ross Marquand’s voice a little high and nasal for Charles, especially compared to his predecessor Cedric Smith and other actors who’ve played the part, but I presume I’ll get used to it.

On Earth, Storm is struggling to heal Forge after being poisoned by the Adversary, who wonders why she is clearly forgiving him for his sins – Ororo’s response truly proves she is her professor’s student. After Forge awesomely taps (MCU style) into his mystic heritage to fend off the demon, he advises Storm to find a cure in a nearby mountain. There in its dark depths, she has a final reckoning with the Adversary, whom she realizes is a manifestation of her subconscious desire to be a human. (Not surprising, given both characters are voiced by Alison Sealy-Smith.) Realizing that’s why Forge’s cure didn’t work, Ororo undergoes a Sailor Moon-style rebirth, which causes her to emerge in her original outfit. After curing and explaining what happened to Forge, it’s then Ororo turns on the TV, and sees the terrible events in Genosha.

Back in space, Deathbird invokes an ancient rite to test Xavier’s loyalty, demanding he erase all memory of his life as a Terran. As her ploy descends into a coup attempt, Charles uses his powers to literally school everyone, educating them on how empires are fundamentally built on prejudice. However, his plans are dashed when he receives the psychic backlash caused by the devastation on Genosha, and Gambit’s death, causing him to realize he’s spent too much time engaging in “make-believe” with Lilandra, and needs to return home to protect his children. We return to Earth once more, as a regretful Bolivar Trask is revealed to have created the Tri-Sentinel on Sinister’s behalf. Another excellent episode, even if Storm’s spotlight couldn’t help but feel overshadowed by our cosmic catch-up with Charles. – Christopher Chiu-Tabet

//TAGS | Boomb Tube | Star Trek Discovery | Star Wars: The Bad Batch | X-Men '97 | X-Men The Animated Series

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