Episode 6 “Lethe” is the first ‘status quo’ episode or at least closest to it i.e. an episode in which the crew characters each interact to do a thing that (largely) leaves their relationship unchanged. Overall it worked with lots of hand wavey stuff.
The basic plot is that Sarek, Vulcan Ambassador/Spock Dad, needs rescuing by the Discovery. To do that:
- Lorca has to break the rules and be a maverick star ship captain
- Stamets has to wave his hand at science
- Michael has to balance her Vulcan logic and human emotions
- Tilly has to be helpful
- Saru has to look worried
- Dr Culber has to marvel over alien biology
- And new guy Ash Tyler has to be a bit of an ace pilot action hero
The episode didn’t push the boundaries of television anywhere but it worked quite well. I think the series needed an episode like this in which there was a sense of a core crew doing there thing.
Visually though – wow. There were some stunning images, particularly near the start on Vulcan but also in dream/psychic sequences. Very nicely done.
Some spoilers after this, so here is a fold:
Having said all that there was an emphasis on Michael and Sarek’s relationship – which was OK but there is a retroactive effect of making Spock look like a bit of a shit. Michael was effectively his sister and her decisions (and Sarek’s decisions) impacted him. Except of course, classic Spock never mentioned a sister because storywise he didn’t have one. The show is reprising the conflict between Spock and Sarek and also Spock’s relationship with his human mother but via Michael and I’m not sure about it.
The side story that provides the change in events for the next episode, is Admiral Cornwell. Visiting Lorca because of his disobedience in attempting to rescue Sarek (which honestly seems to be the least wacky of the things we’ve seen Lorca do so far) she expresses her concern about his psychological fitness. But…it turns out this is also a romantic call between her and Lorca who end up sleeping together…which leads to Lorca revealing that he is not well rather dramatically.
There was a point where I thought Lorca was going to murder the Admiral. It was within the bounds of where the show might go. I’m glad he didn’t but the plot and the Klingons removed her instead (not dead but captured).
- Episode 3: Context is for Kings
- Episode 4: Seriously stupidly long episode name
- Episode 2: Battle at the Binary Stars
- Episode 6: Lethe
- Episode 5: Choose Your Pain
- Episode 1: The Vulcan Hello
Bits and pieces
- Crew t-shirts for the discovery have “DISCO” written on them. This is the best.
- Tilly and Michael remain a good double act.
- The holodeck/danger-room stuff was annoying for continuity with the supposed setting.
- Sonequa Martin-Green is consistently good as Michael – plausibly Vulcan like as a default mode but with emotional depth.
- I assume we are heading for a situation where Michael really SHOULD mutiny at some point but doesn’t.
- For anybody who watched the UK comedy Toast of London, Ash Tyler is Clem Fandango.
- Not much advance in the Klingon sub-plot.
- No freaky Twin Peaks stuff with mirrors this week.