home Discovery, Star Trek, TV Discovering Star Trek : DSC S01E08 : Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Discovering Star Trek : DSC S01E08 : Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Memory Alpha description: The USS Discovery is tasked with a high priority mission to planet Pahvo and learn the science behind the Klingons’ cloaking technology.

Thoughts while watching:

  • Title means “”If you want peace, prepare for war”
  • Another cold open.
  • 8 episodes in, 4 with Voq, 4 with Ash Tyler, 0 with both.  Not saying I’m 100% in on the theory, but at this point it’s hard not to be for me.
  • The Gagarin’s captain had a very Vulcan name.  Is that a sign that humans are embracing Vulcans enough to name their kids?
  • “could I trouble you to fire at something”
  • I’m glad to see that the spore drive doesn’t make discovery super invincible. They still lost their goal here.
  • Did Stamets think Tilly was the Captain, or was he sensing Lorca saying he was heading to Engineering?   And if the former, is it seeing into time or other dimensions.  I prefer him being unstuck in time to an extent, like Captain Picard in All Good Things
  • Yay landing party.  Yay personal log.
  • Cloaking seems to be like virus/anti virus. Constant battle of being able to be detected, being upgraded, etc.
  • during the battle, it seems to me that the were saying that Discovery could detect cloaked ships as in knowing they were present somewhere, but unable to pinpoint where.
  • Later cloaks will be much better, such as Star Trek VI, which then is defeated again.
  • Saru is cocky about his ability to detect threats
  • I like that General Order One seems a little less restrictive then in Picard’s time.  Indeed, Kirk was more flexible too.
  • Why are these rooms not video monitored…..
  • Some of the small quiet moments with Burnham are my favorite with her.
  • You better not be a Klingon, Ash Tyler.  Your interpretation of the needs of the many is too perfect.
  • The Admiral says the Federation has no death penalty.  From The Menagerie, we know that going to Talos IV carries the death penalty.  I prefer to think of this as that they hadn’t decided the full penalty for violating quarantine.  (See discussion below).
  • CalmSaru is freaky
  • I really don’t think the Admiral is dead.
  • I realized what this reminds me of – Star Trek V.  Saru released his pain.
  • Ash Tyler – if he is Voq it’s very deep down.
  • Saru speed running doesn’t look as bad as those effects usually do.
  • Kor had to want L’Rell to discover the bodies.
  • Meeting Michael was probably the worst day of Saru’s life.
  • The aliens teleporting Ash felt a little cheat.
  • I get the feeling that Saru was right, and bad things will happen to Pahvo because of their attempt to help.
  • Saru wouldn’t listen to Burnham at the Battle and beamed her away for Georgeau’s body. Now he feels the pain of that.
  • I love that Saru wasn’t exactly because of mind control.
  • I want to like the Klingon scenes more then I do.
  • It looks like good intentions will doom the Pahvians. This could be a good example of why the Prime Directive is so important.



The death penalty topic let’s me dig in a little deeper to a subject I’ve been thinking about.  What we believe is canon vs what we actually know.

For example, here is what we **know** about General Order 7:

  • 2254-Pike’s Enterprise goes to Talos IV in *The Cage*.  Because of the Talosians mind powers, Pike recommends  a quarantine.
  • 2267 – Kirk gets left behind during Spock’s mutiny and we find out that going to Talos IV incurs Starfleet’s only remaining death penalty.

Now, because of that most of us, myself included believe or believed that the death penalty is due to the quarantine and the events of *The Cage*.  We believe that, but there is nothing actually stating it.   We could someday see another ship visit Talos IV in those inbetween years, disaster occur, and starfleet then decide to enact a death penalty, since a normal quarantine didn’t work.

Or, we could see Starfleet decide to enact the death penalty because of The Cage, but take a few years to do it.   We don’t know how long it takes for Pike’s log entries to make their way thru the Starfleet halls, and with it being the only death penalty on record, it seems unlikely to have been enacted overnight.

My point is less to do with the death penalty itself, and more with the idea that filling in spots that were previously blank doesn’t automatically violate canon, and we should be cautious before saying it violates canon and verify that it does, and doesn’t just change long held beliefs.

Another example I think of is Sulu and Uhura’s first names.  Hikaru and Nyota don’t become canon until VI and 09 respectively.  Nyota especially was used in lots of Beta Canon novels, but if 09 had decided to name her something different, that still would have just been filling in a blank, not changing an established fact.

Most of DSC has been filling in blanks so far.


The aliens mind control is a cliche that I’m glad they avoided.   I look at it a little like this:

If you have bad tooth pain, and it lasts for years you get used to the throb.  You find ways to live with it, even if it still makes you more irritated.   Then one day, it’s gone.  All your pain is gone.  You would act different then your painSelf.

Saru is like that.  Like the Hulk, he’s always afraid.  (Which makes him overcoming it enough to join Starfleet very impressive.).

That fear is always there.  Informing every decision.    Then, suddenly- it’s gone.    And having no fear is as unhealthy as having complete fear.    Of course his judgement goes completely off-kilter.

What I want to know is how will this affect him going forward.   How will he be different from here out?

Overall, this is an episode I enjoyed better in theory instead of in practice.  The pacing seemed off, and the show was annoyingly short.  Nothing was wrong, but the emotional beats didn’t really land. Hopefully part two will fix that.

(And the show was better on my rewatch, when I knew what to expect. )