…and now, a few words about loyalty.
This latest ep seems to thematically address the concept in the direct line of the narrative when you see what Future Starfleet guy has to say about Saru’s mission, how Saru treats Michael, how Georgiou’s mirror self shows what passes for character growth in this show by acting less savage when transplanted back in time and space by the Exposition Wizard to something something from season one, no this isn’t a compelling show and I can’t be bothered to look up much less remember what the hell this episode is referring to when Georgiou doesn’t kill mirror Michael. “Loyalty” is even addressed by Acting First Officer Ensign Tilly in our world when Georgiou flips her vegetable soup over and sprays her uniform with peas and carrots she still hugs her tenderly goodbye three minutes later. So it’s a Stockholm Syndrome kind of loyalty, sure, but, still.
You know who doesn’t have any kind of loyalty? CBS, and Kurtzman to Star Trek fans.
Pop culture entertainment doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so it’s really hard not to compare this show with The Orville, or The Mandalorian, or even other Star Trek as Lower Decks is a thing that exists. But fan loyalty, not to mention just audience retention, has always been a fickle thing. The audience doesn’t care about anything other than “what have you done for me lately?” If I keep banging on this treat hammer in my gerbil cage, you’ll keep giving me my Star Trek or The Orville, or The Mandalorian, or whatever, right? So just keep doing that. Except Kurtzman famously doesn’t care what fans like about Star Trek and is just writing whatever and the gerbils aren’t banging the treat bar and he wonders why.
Parenthetically, I collect screen-used and replica movie props and costumes. Lately because of the Rona, my kid and I are making our own. In the last two months, we’ve done five Justice Society helmets, a Lower Decks T-88 (with LEDs!), a Scout Trooper helmet, and a Boba Fett Black Series Hasbro repaint to more approximate Cobb Vanth markings. And speaking of The Marshall from The Mandalorian, we got boot spats from Ecuador, picked up the gloves and proper pants (with the correct back pocket) from eBay. A rigger’s belt, holster. Got the files for the armor and are calibrating our 3D printer for it.
Had to organize all this stuff and store it because of all the active projects going on, it was starting to take over my office. Took a pic out by the fog shelter wearing my new Lower Decks kit for posterity and folded it up with my TOS shirt, my TNG tunic, the DS9 livery, and the killer monster maroon my home ec teacher made for me when I was a kid using nothing but pics from Starlog for reference. And that’s just costumes! All the books and blueprints and Wand Company phasers and tech manuals and all that money spent and traded and all with other fans? So much fun.
But I haven’t bought anything from Star Trek: Discovery. Not a costume, not prop, not a book, not a poster, not an autograph, not a thing. Because this goofy nonsense just isn’t Star Trek. It fails to supply the simplest thing, to the fanatic gerbil hitting its treat bar in its cage. You have one job: keep the treats coming. Don’t replace the gerbil’s treats with Starfleet beets and just tell the gerbil that’s what it’s being rewarded with eating, now. That’s not Star Trek and, as such, doesn’t deserve our loyalty.