Star Trek Discovery Review: “The Wolf Inside”

Discovery confirms two fan predictions in a weaker but less grotesque episode than last week’s.

Titles: “The Wolf Inside”
Directed by TJ Scott
Written by Lisa Randolph

Cast
Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca
Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler / Voq
Doug Jones as Saru / The Kelpian With No Name
Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets
Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly
Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer
James Frain as goatee Sarek
Cait Alexanderas Discovery Bridge Crew
Jenny Itwaru as Star Fleet Bridge Crew
Harry Judge as Gorch
Clare McConnell as Dennas
Kenneth Mitchell as Kol
Demi Oliver as Transporter Crew
Marco Perretta as Star Fleet Medical Doctor
Damon Runyan as Ujilli
Julianne Grossman as Discovery Computer
Michelle Yeoh as the Emperor

Premise:

Burnham tries to assist the alien resistance to the Mirror Universe’s Terran Empire

High Points:

The episode features a dramatically effective, distressful opening.

We finally see two other founding Federation species. The Andorians have not really changed. The Tellarites are immediately recognizable, though somewhat less furry than in their earlier incarnations and an even bigger bunch of boars.

The actors handle Tyler’s reveal well…

Low Points:

…but the script largely wastes it, at least this week.

We have to accept a number of unlikely developments, including the alt-ship’s lack of follow-up on or monitoring of anything. That’s not really how a dictatorial society works. (I guess they leave follow-up to the Emperor). Also, the Discovery doesn’t know who else was in the room when a certain character dies? I would think they could find that information, given they’re all wearing communicators.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6

Effects: 5/6 Although some of the of the CGI still looks like CGI, I would love to have seen earlier Treks with access to this budget and these effects. Even incidental planetscapes look impressive.

Acting: 5/6 Sonequa Martin-Green’s handles Tyler’s reveal dramatically.

Production: 6/6

Story: 4/6 The story moves along quickly, but it requires a good deal of hand-waving.

Emotional Response: 4/6 This episode delivers some strong content which it then undercuts with problematic story choices.

Overall: 4/6

In total, “The Wolf Inside” receives 30/42

4 replies on “Star Trek Discovery Review: “The Wolf Inside””

  1. Jethro says:

    The thing is, even though we saw all the reveals from a mile away, they were still done very, very well.

    I am a bit perplexed by the… I don’t want to say “hate”, but the dislike this show gets. Yes, it’s not TOS. Neither was TNG! And DS9 wasn’t TOS or TNG! Hell they didn’t even trek, they just sat there!

    You can’t make a show in 2017/2018 with the same philosophies as the ’60s, or even ’90s. Or whenever Voyager and Enterprise were on, if we want to even count those.

    And I don’t mean the Star Trek philosophies – those are present and accounted for in Discovery. This last episode was largely about Michael Burnham’s ability to cope with the Evil Universe. We’ve seen mirror universe episodes before, and what do we remember from them? Spock’s beard and maybe — maybe Kira kissing another woman. Camp. We remember camp.

    Discovery is showing it being harsh. It’s a personal conflict for Burnham and it has consequences. And the whole Tyler thing, that’s a literal internal struggle as well as an external one. And, again, we suspected it from the second the character was introduced and yet it was still engaging.

    Stop watching this show like you’re expecting it to be an old Trek show. It’s not, it’s not trying to be and it’s not going to be. The tech is going to look way the hell more modern, the characters are not going! To! Act! Like! Shakespearean! Trained! ACTORS! The colours aren’t going to be insanely bright and the plots not that campy. It’s going to be darker, and it’s going to have story arcs, because that’s how TV works now.

    And yet it still will incorporate Trek-ie elements. IT will deal with serious issues, just like TOS did. It’s about different races and species working together for a better future, just like TOS was. It’ll have great acting, just like TOS did for it’s time. It’ll have great writing (again, just like TOS did) and deal with serious issues. None of this will be in the same way TOS (or TNG, or DS9, or VOY) did. And this is a good thing.

    For reference, the first TV show I remember watching was TOS. I grew up on that thing. And I don’t want another TOS.

    • J_W_W says:

      So all TV is Batman now….. Except for 60’s Batman, which is of course, camp….

      ;-)

      I mostly kid, but in all honesty, wouldn’t a refreshingly optimistic bright show be a real breath of fresh air these days….?

  2. JD DeLuzio says:

    Many of the reviews here have been rather positive– some less so.

    I said early on, and even before this show. I welcome a Star Trek that tries to do what previous shows have not. But doing so requires removing it from continuity or, at the very least, not claiming it’s a prequel to TOS. What I’d really like to see is a show as revolutionary and groundbreaking for our time as TOS was for its time. In some ways, Discovery leans in that direction. I don’t believe it consistently succeeds.

    As for the broader response: I’ve read/heard everything from people disliking the characters to people who think the show is anti-white male, somehow (there’s a popular Youtuber to whom I will not link who has an extended and IMO, idiotic video arguing his belief on this point). I’m not certain the dislike represents any one reason. I’m hoping that the show, like NextGen, will do better in its second season, but I think it still remains worth watching. I’m just not consistently impressed (except for the visuals. This show has consistently impressive visuals).

    My wife, on the other hand, remains uncertain. She can watch dark ‘n’ edgy. She likes Game of Thrones. She doesn’t want darkness (to this degree) in Trek.

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