I have to agree with most of what you had to say Matt. Its a strange new world of Star Trek. Dark and pessimistic, not the upbeat, anything is possible Trek we are used to. The Federation is a shadow of its former self, having seemingly gone to Hell in a handbag after the events of the Hobus supernova. I think the folks behind it have overcooked that aspect of it slightly. The acting, however, is stellar. It is a joy to watch.
Pssst its the Zhat Vash, not the Tal Shiar , but don't tell anyone! ;-)