“Choose Your Pain.”
That was the title of the fifth and possibly best-yet episode of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Like many of the strongest stories of literature and cinema, the title “Choose Your Pain” works on multiple levels.
- “Choose your pain” is what the Klingons say to the captives on their prison ship before beating the living crap out of one of them.
- Michael Burnham is, arguably, choosing her pain when she holds onto the loss of Captain Georgiou and wallows in her seemingly endless morass of un-Vulcan-like self-pity and guilt.
- Saru, likewise, is holding onto the loss of Captain Georgiou but also to his pain at having not been chosen to be her first officer and thereby not being able to learn from her experience and wisdom in the same way Burnham did.
- Captain Lorca can and should get his eyes fixed, but he chooses not to. He holds onto the pain the light causes him and lives in mostly dark places, a harsh reminder of the heartrending decision he made during his previous command of the USS Buran.
(Please note, there’s a theory currently making its way around fandom that the Lorca we’ve seen so far is actually a Mirror Universe counterpart of the “real” Lorca. The reason the Buran was destroyed was to eliminate any witnesses—including the “good” Lorca—and that the whole interchange was orchestrated by Section 31 in order to acquire a captain who knew how to be ruthless in fighting the Klingons. The reason that Lorca refuses to get his eyes fixed—a problem stemming from being transported to this universe—is that he doesn’t want the doctors to discover what he really is.)
Obviously, my blog today assumes that the above theory is NOT the case. Instead, let’s just assume that Lorca is merely a man who was forced to make a tragic decision to destroy his ship and kill his crew to save them all from slow, painful deaths on Qo’Nos. For this, Lorca has chosen to keep his pain as a reminder…and potentially as self punishment for what he did.
Like Lorca, I and many other Trek fans who are either not watching the show or frequently complaining about it are choosing to hold onto our “pain.” We simply can’t seem to let go of our issues with the new series and enjoy Star Trek: Discovery for everything it gives to us as fans. Like Lorca, we choose to continue living in our dark places.
In short, WE ARE LORCA! Continue reading “Are YOU a CAPTAIN LORCA? Am I??? (editorial review)”