Star Trek Discovery is back and as dark as ever – maybe a tad darker. Indirectly Will Riker is back – in the form of episode director Jonathan Frakes (he also directed an episode of The Orville last year). Quite whether is was Frakes or whether it was just the set-up work done in the previous episodes is hard to tell but this was a confident, exciting, upsetting and funny episode. It managed to be what the show has been promising to be: darker, more serious but still Star Trek.
A spoiler warning. Not possible to talk about this episode without LOTS of spoilers both for the episode and the show in general. So if you haven’t been watching and think that you might best not to read on much further.
When last we saw Discovery, Stamets was comatose having done one mushroom-warp too many and the ship was somewhere it shouldn’t be. If you guessed ‘mirror universe’ then you would be right!
The crew work things out quickly and if anybody says “too quickly” then watch the original Mirror, Mirror again – they take more time to work it out than Kirk did. The comedy comes from making Tilly the most dreaded captain in the Terran Empire and Doug Jones gets the best lines detailing her many sobriquets which finish with “Captain Killy”.
The Terran Empire is fleshed out a bit in an info-dump. It is xenophobic and has an Emperor. A slight departure from canon as the original mirror universe had Spock as a senior officer of the Enterprise but heck, this could be the next mirror universe over.
For Captain Lorca haters he gets put in a torture booth – so something for everybody this episode…
…except for Doctor Culber fans. Things go not good there. A shocking event – it is OK for characters to die but to kill off one half of the only stable romantic relationship and the first gay couple in Star Trek is problematic. We’ll see – there maybe more twist and turns yet and of all the places to get killed, a starship medical bay is the best to maybe get unkilled.
Speaking of which, Tyler is pretty much confirmed as being a drastically modified Klingon and almost certainly Voq – the visionary Klingon who took on the mantle of unifiyingthe Klingon’s only to be deposed in a coup. As a character, Tyler is close to working as tragic figure – a deep cover Klingon spy (probably) whose cover identity is genuine. Yes, it is much more angsty than normal for Star Trek but it’s kind of…I don’t know…I want to say ‘Goth’?
Speaking of angst…Michale Burnham gets to kill a former crewmate who she had seen die previously, so Tyler doesn’t get all the angst. Of course, this is the evil mirror version of her ex-crewmate but still.
- Episode 9: Into the Forest I Go
- Episode 3: Context is for Kings
- Episode 10: Despite Yourself
- Episode 4: Seriously stupidly long episode name
- Episode 2: Battle at the Binary Stars
- Episode 6: Lethe
- Episode 8: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
- Episode 5: Choose Your Pain
- Episode 1: The Vulcan Hello
- Episode 7: Seriously WTF Discovery Scriptwriters? [revised title]
Bits and Pieces
- I like that Dr Culber gets to list a whole bunch of test starfleet does to spot Manchurian candidates, dopplegangers and people in disguise. Not that any of them included a basic DNA test apparently.
- No, the Mirror universe doesn’t make sense the more you think about it but that’s canon. The same people end up in more or less the same places but evil. How does that work? It doesn’t – don’t think about it. Sshhhh.
- Maybe that shuttle pilot from Episode 3 is the Terran Emperor. I hope so.
- Stamets is having visions and uttering dire warnings about a palace.