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Episode Discussion | Star Trek: Discovery | 5x06 "Whistlespeak"


While undercover in a pre-warp society, Captain Burnham is forced to consider breaking the Prime Directive when a local tradition threatens Tilly’s life. Meanwhile, Culber tries to connect with Stamets, and Adira steps up when Rayner assigns them a position on the bridge.

Written by: Kenneth Lin & Brandon Schultz

Directed by: Chris Byrne

Note: Episode 5x07, "Erigah," was released in some regions, presumably by accident, hours ago. If this hasn't been fixed by now, and you are able to watch "Erigah," please don't post spoilers from that episode in this thread. We will create an episode discussion post for that episode once we're confident it has been properly released globally.

  • For a split second, when they looked at the paper with the list of scientists, I had hope that the Discovery would fly to Denobula. That would have been so much more interesting than what we've gotten. Although I give them credit for doing a more traditional Star Trek episode with a bunch of technobabble, prime directive shenanigans and the obligatory human-like pre-warp civilization.

    • I liked that at no point Burhnam spoke down to the town leader dude by going "actually yes we are gods now open the door I'll explain later" even though in the short-term it would have been faster.

  • My expectations for this one were low based on the preview, but I enjoyed this one more than I thought I might. A very "traditional" Star Trek plot in many ways.

    Watching the Culber/Stamets interactions, I wonder if they're going to address the "awakening" that Stamets had following his genetic modification. That's something that's been mentioned a bunch of times (as recently as two episodes ago), but I don't remember them ever digging really deep into it. It seems like there are some parallels there that could be explored.

  • The beginning and last line of Dr. Culber's conversation with his grandmother recreation felt a bit stilted, as if he wasn't fluent, which was strange because the middle part of the conversation had a goof flow to it. It made me wonder if there was some failure in directing or if Wilson Cruz is just not that fluent in Spanish compared to the actress for the grandmother, which is understandable and I'm not knocking him for it.

    Anyway, I quite liked this episode. Very classic "planet of the week" Star Trek deal that I'm always down for. Break that prime directive. Save those natives from themselves. You can splurge on a plot or two of those. We've seen it before, we've seen it again. It had a solution more rooted in a character moment rather than Treknobabble which I appreciated. Thumbs up for Tilly's endurance, they made that whole run not look easy.

    I can't help but think them teleporting to Moll and L'ak with the fresh new clue would essentially play right into their own hands.

  • Annotations for 5x06 up at:

  • Today’s annotations will be a little late - it’s been a day (to those few who were looking out for them).

  • Culber's newfound spirituality arc felt kinda shoehorned in as an odd piece of character development in a show that's about to end. I actually initially really enjoyed that he felt weird about hosting a Trill spirit (Trek has a habit of stuff getting right back to normal after a traumatic experience) but it's dragged on without a clear direction as to what it means. I have to assume it will become relevant to the main plot at some point. Discovery surely wouldn't leave weird thread dangling, right? Right?

    The whole idea of a humanoid habitat built around a semi-functioning weather control network was cool. Though I would have loved to have seen the dead civilization around the tower they eventually go to!

    • I've been really enjoying Culber's journey this season. I don't know if it will dovetail with the main plot, but I'm optimistic they'll wrap it up.

      I'm not sure I'm completely on board with the role Stamets is playing in it, though. He went through a spiritual experience of sorts in season one, so I'm surprised Culber doesn't feel like he can turn to him. Maybe Stamets is just too chill to provide the kind of support that Culber needs.

      • idk Stamets seemed pretty receptive and understanding, I think Culber was moreso unsure because he sees himself as a "man with all the answers" and didn't like the vulnerability that came with showing his partner a side that's unsure and not confident. That's how it seemed to me at least.