Star Trek Discovery: “All is Possible” and “The Examples”

The most recent episodes of Discovery showed the season hitting a stride, with each having at least one solid plot.

Titles: “All is Possible” and “The Examples”

Directed by John Ottman, Lee Rose
Written by Alan McElroy & Eric J. Robbins, Kyle Jarrow

Sonequa Martin-Green as Captain Michael Burnham
Doug Jones as Commander Saru
Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly
David Ajala as Cleveland “Book” Booker
Anthony Rapp as Commander Paul Stamets
Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber
Sonja Sohn as Dr. Gabrielle Burnham
Bill Irwin as Su’Kal
Blu del Barrio as Adira
Ian Alexander as Gray Tal
Oyin Oladejo as Lt. Joann Owosekun
Emily Coutts as Lt. Keyla Detmer
Oded Fehr as Admiral Vance
Raven Dauda as Dr. Tracy Pollard
Tig Notaro as Commander Jett Reno
Rachael Ancheril as Cmdr. Nhan
Patrick Kwok-Choon as Lt. Gen Rhys
Sara Mitich as Lt. Nilsson
Hannah Cheesman as Lt. Cmdr. Airiam
Ronnie Rowe as Lt. Cmdr. R.A. Bryce
Amanda Arcuri as Cadet Val Sasha
Seamus Patterson as Cadet Harral
Adrian Walters as Cadet Taahz Gorev
Avaah Blackwell as Lt. Ina
Orville Cummings as Lt. Christopher
David Benjamin Tomlinson as Lt. J.G. Linus
Patrick Haye as Ferin
Oded Fehr as Admiral Charles Vance
David Cronenberg as Kovich
Chelah Horsdal as Federation President Laira Rillak
Tara Rosling as T’Rina
Shawn Doyle as Ruon Tarka
Michael Greyeyes as Felix
Annabelle Wallis as Zora
Alireza Shojaei as Inmate #1
Aldrin Bundoc as Inmate #2
Sarah Booth as Inmate #3
Orville Cummings as Lt. Christopher
Sochi Fried as Akaali Woman
Sima Sepehri as Lt. Adhar
Jonathan Goad as Magistrate
Piotr Michael as Shuttle Computer (voice)
Nck Name as Lt. Callum


As Ni’Var negotiates rejoining the Federation, Tilly leads some Starfleet cadets on a mission that goes seriously awry. It’s rather a replay of “The Galileo Seven,” with a bigger budget and more convincing monsters.

Tilly leaves Discovery, though she’s slated to reappear later in the season.

During a DMA (Dark Matter Anomaly)-related evacuation mission, some of the Discovery crew work with a Risian genius who is trying to determine the nature of the dangerous anomaly while others try to rescue a group of prisoners the colony refuses to evacuate.

They’ve tentatively named the unknown species behind the DMA the “10c.”
We lay the bet and then we pay the price.

High Point:

In each episode, the “This is Trek!” plot featured an impressive asset: the visual effects in “All is Possible” and the acting in “The Examples.” Both lean heavily into the fact that they’re doing the type of story for which the series became known, but I cannot complain too much about that.

Low Point:

Why are they engaging in extremely dangerous experiments on a fully-crewed ship during an evacuation mission? It’s not like they lack for, you know, space.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6

Acting: 5/6 “The Examples” benefits from an excellent performance by Michael Greyeyes as a man haunted by his past.

Effects: 5/6 Discovery features impressive effects, including those creatures in “All is Possible,” battling Tilly, Adira, and a group of cadets in an effectively CGI-transformed quarry near Toronto. The explosions at the end of “The Examples” looked very like CGI.

Production: 6/6

Emotional Response: 5/6

Story: 5/6: Both episodes contrast a decent, conventional Trek plot– one we might have seen in any given incarnation of the series– with a character-exploration-heavy plot related to the ongoing story arc. It’s not a bad balance, though I admit I find the conventional Trek plots more engaging, and wish they had focused on those.

Overall: 4/6

In total, “All is Possible” and “The Examples” receive 33/42

Lingering Question

“The Examples” finally addresses, albeit briefly, the existence of several godlike super-races in the Trek-iverse. They do so inadequately, but at least they attempt to reconcile the fact of their existence with a number of events with which at least one of them could be expected to become involved and the dominance of the Federation in the galaxy. The original series never worked out a developed backstory. As a result, later shows have tended to ignore the implication that humans– even heroic types like Kirk– were very small players in a very large and long-occupied universe.

Does anyone else find that a healthier and more realistic view of things?

4 replies on “Star Trek Discovery: “All is Possible” and “The Examples””

  1. To your Low Point:
    I agree, why couldn’t they do this just off the ship? I decided the reason was they needed very, very precise measurements and conditions and sensors, they kinds you only find inside the science lab on a science vessel.

    • I agree that that would be a reasonable explanation for doing such an experiment on Discovery. However, there was still no reason to do it during the evacuation. They could have waited a few hours to avoid jeopardizing the evacuation process.

      • Yes, but this is taking out all sorts of planets and possibly races, so every second counts, we don’t have hours to finish an evacuation only to have a few minutes before the next one to work on it, we have to take care of this important science right now, it may be more important than the evacuation!!

        (Yes, I am trying to justify some more. It’d be nice if the writers threw a line or two away for the sort of fan who want to nit pick tiny details. Star Trek fans aren’t like that at all, right?)

        • Yes, it’s a thin justification, but given how limited the Federation’s resources actually are and the unique capabilities of Discovery, it can be sort of justified. And there are other possible reasons. But, yeah, a couple of lines, even during the argument, would have helped. At least Saru recognized the danger and had some sort of backup plan, and actually used it.

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