Angelic Paranoia

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This time with Discovery spoilers
Monday 22nd April 2019 11:50 am


After watching the whole of series 2 of Discovery in the space of two weeks, plus The Cage, I keep thinking about Pike around the time of The Menagerie (which I ought to rewatch, rather than just reading the transcript).

At first I thought that having foreknowledge of what's going to happen would mean he could think about what's going to happen and plan for afterwards. He could leave a will coded in such a way that only a few people (eg Spock) would understand. Or he and Spock could speak during a mind-meld after he's injured. Except there are a few problems with that:

  1. Spock doesn't see Pike in the flesh until a few months after the radiation leak and he's already set the Talos IV plans in motion
  2. I don't know if it's clear to Pike in the vision just how bad things are or if he's just horrified/distracted by his face melting
  3. In The Menagerie Spock speaks to Pike about his plan and Pike just keeps saying no

This line in particular makes it sound like it's not Pike's idea at all:

I know it is treachery and it's mutiny. but I must do this.

Both Pike and Spock knew that going to Talos IV was forbidden and what the penalties were. From what we know of Pike in Discovery, it doesn't seem like he'd want to risk Spock's career (not to mention his life, since it carries the death penalty) for Pike's sake.

Right at the end of The Menagerie Spock is let off with no penalty (although no way to tell if that's real or an illusion, except that he's still on the bridge of the Enterprise next episode). And then when Kirk asks Pike if he wants to go to Talos IV, Pike says yes.

And then we come to the other part that I've been thinking about.

The Talosians give Pike an illusion so he's fine again. From what we see of Vina, in The Cage and Discovery, it is her there, we're just not seeing the real her. So the illusion for Pike means that he is there, but can walk and talk. So how does he move over uneven ground? Unless his wheelchair has some clever floaty thing, what happens to the illusion of him if it gets stuck on a rock?

Also, I'm not sure his life on Talos IV will be all that long. For Pike, it still might be preferable to not being able to do anything for himself. But they say he's being kept alive by machine: he has a battery-driven heart. Presumably the rest of his body doesn't work at all either and that wheelchair hides a surprising number of machines keeping him alive.

It's established in The Cage that the Talosians can't work their technology. We don't know how much Vina knows, or any of the captives in the Talosian's menagerie, but it's probably safe to assume none of them know advanced human medicine. And Pike can't help himself. So if any of that technology in his wheelchair goes, he's dead. And I can't imagine it's built to last 50 years - the assumption would be that someone using it would either not last that long or be near enough to a hospital to get it replaced.

Worse than that - presumably he's fed by a tube. Whatever you put into that must have to be replaced from time to time. And I imagine you can't just stick mashed potato down it. Which makes his lifespan on Talos IV pretty short in reality.

So it's not really a great future for Pike, when you think about it too much. And I think about things too much...


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