Well, for better or for worse, friends, we have made it – the second season finale of ‘Star Trek Discovery’ is upon us. Why delay – let’s dive right on in.
WARNING: Spoilers for this episode of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ lie ahead, obviously. If you haven’t seen the episode and don’t wish for any of its content to be spoiled for you, the time to turn back is NOW!
RECAP: Whereas last week’s episodelast week’s episode was criticized for having “not enough” going on – just a bunch of overly-dramatic goodbyes and questionably-unintelligent choices by trained Starfleet officers – this week’s installment is so damn busy, it’s headache-inducing. Literally with everything that happened on-screen, I have an observation to share – so let’s jump right to the Observations section, which will serve double-duty this week as a running Recap as well.
- The first thing I quickly noticed about tonight’s episode is that it seemed to be presented without closed captions for the hearing impaired or those of us who like to “read along” to make sure we’re not missing any key words, names, etc. About five minutes into the episode, the captions started appearing – but they were five minutes behind the scenes they were appearing with, and stayed that way the entire episode, likely causing major confusion and making the episode near-unwatchable for those with any sort of hearing impairment.
- The crew is rushing around making final preparations for battle. Gee, they probably wouldn’t have to rush so much if they hadn’t spent all of last episode writing tearful letters home or intently staring at and/or kissing each other.
- The action picks up right where last episode left off – but why would Section 31 ships, especially 30 of them under the control of a “ruthless” AI, just sit there and watch Enterprise launch all its “fighters?” More piss-poor choices from supposedly the smartest AI ever made.
- Also – where the hell did Enterprise get fighters and, almost as ridiculously, all of these trained fighter pilots? It’s been established that starships like Enterprise and Discovery only carry a small complement of shuttles, so I have no idea how these other ships – as Georgiou tells Control, “over 200 ships” – have come from.
- This space battle is a hot mess of frenetic pew-pew action that shows the writers don’t give a damn about logistics, physics, or anything even close to reality in a tactical situation such as this. The whole thing looks like it was conceived by JJ Abrams and directed by Michael Bay.
- What a dramatic AI this Control is – such flourish in the conversations with Georgiou and the rest of the Starfleet personnel. It’s worth noting that, as Control stands right now, it’s able to control 30 starships and hundreds of “fighters” all while still actively searching for the Sphere data – it seems pretty damned advanced to me, why does it even need the data again?
- Also, everyone’s really crappy towards Leland – wasn’t he just the unfortunate human that was randomly chosen by Control to be, uh, assimilated? It’s not like he personally is trying to take over the Federation right now. Show some compassion, people!
- Oh joy, the return of the dumb TARDIS-style turbolifts, where Discovery is somehow magically bigger on the inside to accommodate these Willy Wonka type of trips around the ship.
- Time to call total BS on the Klingons and the Kelpians (what) arriving to offer reinforcements. As the creative team has gone out of their way to remind us over the last few episodes, COMMUNICATIONS ARE JAMMED and that’s why Enterprise and Discovery are isolated from Starfleet… right? Sure, Ash went and got L’Rell – but did they swing by Kaminar, too? No, they CALLED them 0 which means that they could have CALLED Starfleet – or better yet, Amanda and Sarek could have CALLED Starfleet the second they left from their “tearful goodbyes” last episode. UGH.
- Time, as always, is of the essence in this whole situation – so yes, Spock and Michael, take your sweet time standing, posing, and staring in the shuttle bay while you get ready to “launch.” We’ll wait.
- In Michael’s “premonition,” Control/Leland came onto Discovery’s bridge and killed everyone with a single shot to each of them… in real life, he only hit one main character (Owosekeun), and it was a glancing blow. Worst. AI. Ever.
- Enterprise is taking heavy damage… Pike orders the exterior to be fixed on the fly by… robots? lolol okay, Enterprise has R2-D2 units now?
- Why is literally everyone in Starfleet calling Rebecca Romijn’s character “Number One?” Admiral Cornwell has absolutely zero reason to call her this. Stop pretending like you give a damn about canon, creative team, and just give the character a name like every other person on the ship.
- There’s an undetonated torpedo stuck in Enterprise’s hull… why is this such a big deal? Cornwell says you have 15 minutes until it ‘splodes, so just get your R2-D2s to pull it out and chuck it into space. Problem solved. Or hey, let’s beam it into space. Or hey, let’s have Starfleet stop committing the heinous and plot-driving act of only putting emergency release levers inside of the rooms they are needed for -makes way more sense to put those levers on the outside of rooms, so no one has to valiantly sacrifice their lives, right?
- Cornwell sacrifices herself for the ship, just to stay in the room and pull the lever. Again, THERE ARE LITERALLY ROBOTS ON THE HULL THAT COULD COME AND DO THIS.
- Side note: any chance Cornwell got pulled into the Nexus upon the explosion? :-P
- How did Enterprise beam Spock with their shields up? If they dropped their shields, then why didn’t Discovery just do that, since their shields were already shredded at this point? More conveniences of writing, hooray!
- Back to Control: you’re saying that it is a dumb enough AI to put all the eggs in the Leland basket in terms of controlling the armada and its own sentience? Why would killing Leland’s body be the ultimate end of Control – it wasn’t when Gant was killed a few episodes back…
- And and and: if Control is “neutralized” and defeated, why the hell is Discovery still going to the future, then?
- Don’t even get me started on the whole “Burnham sent the Signals to herself” crap. It’s clear the writer’s room thinks that she is, unequivocally, the most important person in the entire galaxy.
- While I appreciate the attempt at the canon-correcting retcon of “no one will ever mention Discovery or the spore drive or the big fight or generally anything to do with any of this ever again,” there is absolutely no way this will work. There are other civilizations involved that the Federation does not control, and the entire galaxy watched these events unfold… you’d have us believe that someone like the Klingons (not to mention any other species out there not under Federation control) would just agree to keep all this quiet forever, “just because?” Pure nonsense.
- At the very conclusion of this episode, we got 4 minutes of a Pike-led Enterprise-centric show, and it was the best 4 minutes of the entire damn season.
CLOSING THOUGHTS: CBS, hear me: it’s fine if this series ends right here and right now. Don’t feel the need to explain to us where the ship went.
Honestly, this “flash-forward” thing seems like what should have been done with this series from the get-go, and what I (among others) have said for quite some time now: set it in the future! You want to feature cutting-edge tech and tell “bold new” stories, then go somewhere that fans haven’t been before. Perhaps this move is reflective of the new creative team’s desire to separate themselves from these first two seasons, and that’s fine. An admission on their part that “yeah, we screwed up, probably shouldn’t have tried to squeeze a show in here pre-TOS” would be appreciated.
We’ll see what the future holds for Discovery, friends. For now – it’s been fun discussing and venting with you.
PRINCIPAL CAST FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE:
Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
Doug Jones as Lieutenant Saru
Anson Mount as Captain Pike
Anthony Rapp as Lieutenant Stamets
Mary Wiseman as Cadet Tilly
Wilson Cruz as Dr. Culber
Ethan Peck as Spock
‘Star Trek: Discovery’ will return with a third season on CBS All Access on an as-yet-unannounced date.