Star Trek Discovery: Perpetual Infinity (S2E11)

No major twists this week but the episode takes a similar pace as last week’s episode. This steadier pacing of episode is letting the actors play to the their strengths. Sonequa Martin-Green has always been one of the strongest assets of the show and has coped brilliantly with some of the absurd situations the script writers have thrown at Michael Burnham. This week she gets to deal with even more emotional trauma and less than stellar parenting when she meets her time-traveling mother. Even Spock appears moved and at least looks like he might think about shouldering some of the emotional labour that Michael’s two sets of parents have managed to dump upon her.

The wider plot is mainly a bunch of stuff that happens. I see in some other reviews (e.g. the Mary Sue review) that some saw this episode as a return to Season 1’s bad habits. I didn’t find that, if anything it looked more like an episode of a show that has a much better understanding of what it is: a set of flawed but deep people dealing with space nonsense played by a set of actors who really know how to convincingly carry that off.

Ash and Georgiou get their own side action as they get caught up in Section 31’s compromised situation with sinister future AI Control. Everything, of course, goes very badly for everybody but really, given the legitimate excuse of a time-travel plot, events actually had fewer holes than usual.

Only one substantial twist, and it’s not much of a spoiler, Red Angel/Michael’s Mum has no idea what the mysterious red signals are. So that particular plot mystery is re-instated.

Rankings

  1. An Obol for Charon (e4) – Classic Trek on a magic mushroom trip
  2. Point of Light (e3) – season one Discovery is back for revenge
  3. Brother (e1) – an action orientated fresh start for the Discovery crew
  4. Perpetual Infinity (e11) – Mistakes were made, repeatedly
  5. The Red Angel (e10) – the cast gets an episode to catch up with the plot and trap the Red Angel
  6. If Memory Serves (e8) – A sequel to The Cage and a prequel to The Menagerie
  7. New Eden (e2) – The Next Generation of The Next Generation
  8. Saints of Imperfection (e5) – Let’s get the old gang back together!
  9. Project Daedelus (e9) – Airiam we will miss you, though we barely got to know you
  10. Light and Shadow (e7) – Michael goes one way, Discovery goes another
  11. Sound of Thunder (e6) – Non-consensual medical procedures on a whole species

Bits and Pieces

  • A Tilly-lite episode this week. We do get to learn that her second favourite law of physics is Newton’s Third Law. Saru presents us from learning her first but I would guess its the Second Law of Thillydynamics (the amount of Tilly in an isolated episode always increases leading to a state of Tilly equilibrium.)
  • So there’s some obvious Borg speculation about Control. I suspect this won’t end up being Genesis of the Borg.
  • The softening of Georgiou is a bit disappointing. Obviously an on-going character can’t be as thoroughly evil as she was as Emperor but she shouldn’t become too nice.
  • The various Red Angel interventions make some more sense now and Michael’s mum has been retconned into watching over her in Season 1 also. Her intervention on Saru’s homeworld is less obvious though.
  • The mess up with the genetic signature from the Red Angel was just handwaved away. In short: they just don’t really know what they are doing with all this DNA stuff 🙂
  • Cora’s review is here http://corabuhlert.com/2019/03/29/star-trek-discovery-jerks-the-old-tear-ducts-in-perpetual-infinity/
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13 thoughts on “Star Trek Discovery: Perpetual Infinity (S2E11)

  1. I don’t know whether the Borg theories will pan out. But between the nantes and the line ‘struggle is pointless’ (ie ‘resistance is futile’ run through a thesaurus) I’m pretty sure the writers are trying to encourage this speculation.

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    1. I’m hoping it’s purposeful misdirection, since everyone guessed the plot twists of Lorca and Tyler last year…

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  2. I think the Seven Signals will turn out to be the Last Seven Jumps of the Magic Mushrooms, as Discovery will be drawn into the circular timeline of planting the signals it will respond to.

    Also, Admiral Cornwall must be one heck of a therapist, as they reinstated Dr. Culber to duty after one conversation with her.

    Yeah, they can’t soften Georgiou too much, as Michelle Yeoh is so good being a sociopathic sentient-eating murderer. But at the same time, they really can’t have a sociopathic sentient-eating murderer as the star of their show.

    Also, wasn’t it great to have two Asian women, each with their own lives and storylines (and not centered around any men) dominating the screen? That scene with Michelle Yeoh and Sonja Sohn gave me goose bumps.

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    1. That scene with Michelle Yeoh and Sonja Sohn passed not only the Bechdel test but also the POC equivalent. And if there is a Bechdel test equivalent specifying women over 50, it passed that one as well. And it was an awesome scene.

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    2. Uhm, a comment of mine seems to have been phantomzoned and I’m currently getting a long lecture on vegans conspiring with Al Jazeera to eliminate farmers, meat, guns and the American way.

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  3. Perhaps I’m being dense, here, but why did Philippa the Merciless waste all that time ineffectually pummelling Borg Garibaldi, when all she needed to do was break the data download device? One phaser shot would have done it. And she knew exactly where it was, she put it there….

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    1. Because they wanted to give Philippa the Merciless a chance to show off her mad martial arts skills. And unlike Harrison Ford during that famous swordman shooting scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Michelle Yeoh was willing to go a few rounds with Leland.

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    2. I hope the Borg have nothing to do with this. It would devalue the universe if the one race that is truly different (or was when they were introduced) was created by humanoids. Its not always clever when you reference the future, sometimes its just illegocial.

      -I found the solution to the biosignatures especially lazy .- “Mothers, Daughters? Who knows the difference, really?”
      -The fight with the empress would have been more interesting, if I wouldnt have known about the spin off series…
      – I am OK with this episode, it was decent, but I would be happier with it if they would have wrapped up the AI-thing. Another improbable escape, this time by Leland? And taking his crew with him or not? This series start to feel like Hide & Seek…First Spock then red angel, now Leland. Reminds me Roleplaying campaign (Find this guy somewhere on the planet!)

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    3. She was trying to keep Leland/Contact away from killing Michael and expecting Ash on the Section 31 ship to be stopping the data transfer (which he could not because he’d been stabbed and was making his way to an escape pod. Kind of mean to the rest of the Section 31 staff on the ship.)

      This was a tolerable if predictable episode that did not make me want to throw things at them. Sonja Sohn rocks.

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