Old-style Discovery comes roaring back with a vengeance and a bloody bat’leth. Spore drive, parasites, Klingon man-buns, Ash Tyler, black-ops Star Fleet, hallucinating Tilly, grimdark space-opera — its a week for the weird and wacky on Discovery and I love it.
It’s all story arc this week. Michael is looking for Spock and in a twist so is Spock’s mum. Meanwhile, Ash Tyler is starring in Game of Thrones: The Klingon Years as he struggles with his new reality and seeks to support L’rell as she attempts to unite the now much hairier Klingons. Meanwhile, meanwhile, Tilly is being harassed by the annoying ghost of a former school mate.
The three story lines power on intriguingly with their own twists. The resolutions push the story on in interesting ways which I won’t spoil but which aren’t massive surprises. What’s good here is the confidence with which the episode handles the story. The tone is quite different from last week’s TNG style episode but it didn’t have that same tonal-whiplash that Season 1 Discovery suffered from. A big part of that is the clearer separation between the Discovery crew and the darker elements. The imperial machinations are on the Klingon home world and feature characters that we know (Tyler/Voq and L’rell) but who are distinct from the crew.
Speaking of which, while we no longer have Lorca, Michelle Yeoh is back and she has her own spaceship and mission. The idea of the darker, uglier side of Starfleet isn’t new to Trek and it was one of the fascinating ideas from Season 1. However, the show really didn’t know what to do with it and the concept clashed with the more classic Star Trek elements on board the Discovery.
A cast and plot-lines that extend beyond the titular ship is something we’ve seen before, Deep Space 9 in particular with its more stationery setting had characters follow storylines beyond mere away-team adventures. We’ll see how well Discovery can maintain this division. The director (Olatunde Osunsanmi) directed the episodes I ranked second and seventh from last season (Episode 13: What’s Past is Prologue, Episode 4: “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry”) both of which were decent episodes but like this one were in the style of chapters in a longer novel more than the classic Trek-style of short-story using familiar characters. Maybe of a mix of Frakes-like episodes and Osunsanmi-like episodes might help Discovery be both its own gonzo-take on the Star Trek universe.
- Point of Light – season one Discovery is back for revenge
- Brother – an action orientated fresh start for the Discovery crew
- New Eden – The Next Generation of The Next Generation
Bits and Pieces
- Michael gets to BE rational not just play at being rational. She helps Tilly reason about her ghost and when trusts the Captain to help her hack confidential medical records.
- I’m glad the Tilly ghost thing got some resolution this week.
- The idea of people being involved in the spore drive being sort of the Captain was a theme from last season as well.
- Georgiou gets to be a bad-ass and L’rell gets a great line when she adopts her more fearsome title.
- Hairy Klingons are better…but the rationale that Klingons shave off all their hair during wartime doesn’t help continuity any better. It only raises more questions.
- Hairy Ash Tyler is better and that’s an impressive beard.
- The Spock family is just a hive of emotional abuse. The whole concept of Vulcan rationality is a thread that when you pull on it with any seriousness just falls apart.
- Speaking of which, the ‘red angel’ directly intervened in Spock and Michael’s childhood for those speculating on what’s going on.
- Sorry but ‘logic extremists’ is both absurd and wonderful. “Yeah but if they are so committed to logic why do they do such stupid things?” you might ask but then I can point to Ayn Rand followers and the likes of Stefan Molyneux who genuinely think of themselves as extremely committed to ‘logic’ and who can’t string a syllogism together. I’ll assume Vulcan has the same.
- Cora’s review is (as always) worth reading http://corabuhlert.com/2019/02/02/star-trek-discovery-suddenly-remembers-that-season-1-existed-with-point-of-light/#more-28600