Trekathon 752: What’s Past is Prologue (DIS)

February 8th, 2018

Whoops, running a bit late. But finally caught up with the 29 Jan episode of Star Trek: Discovery. Spoilers!

In some previous episodes I’ve complained about padding and not much happening. This episode I was thinking ‘wow, must be nearly done’ only to see 20 minutes left in the episode. Finally into the end game, using the pieces established in all the previous episodes.

Overall this I thought this was just an incredible episode. Beautifully paced, packed with surprises, some great action scenes, and great performances. And still a few interesting threads for the remaining two episodes of the year.

I liked the plot setup on the Emperor’s ship – Mirror Georgiou versus Lorca, with Burnham running around a la Die Hard. The battle scene between Georgiou and Lorca was a lot of fun, as stupid as it was if you thought about the logistics involved for more than a few seconds. Minions are there for a reason, people!

Establishing the ‘stakes’ for the mycelium network felt both like a very old school TNG, and honestly a bit over the top. I don’t think it needed to be ‘all life in both the universes’ to make us care enough. And it undermines Burnham’s offer of sacrifice – if she’ll die anyway there’s not much sacrifice involved in offering to bring the shields down.

One area I found disappointing was the lack of reaction to Lorca’s betrayal/deception, particularly back on the Discovery. This is a pretty disorienting thing to happen, and it passes pretty unremarked. On the other hand the relationship between Burnham and Mirror Georgiou built nicely on a season of character development, and felt very plausible.

Quick thoughts:

  • “One year, 212 days” – so Lorca has been around a while in the ‘prime’ universe (long enough to engineer the war, say), but not long enough that he really knew Admiral Bob.

  • I was hoping from the title for a flashback episode. That would have been fun, but I suppose it would have been hard to involve a lot of the main cast.

  • An unsustainable energy source being abused and polluting the universe? Egotistical terrans? Starting to wonder if I might be living in the mirror universe to be honest…

  • The Mirror Universe has always been associated with some over the top acting and scenery chewing, but it felt like a bit much in the tone of Discovery.

  • I did like that they were able to use the bread crumbs on Lorca’s betrayal to move the Discovery crew on to accepting the revelation on his true origin without too much time wasting denial.

  • The Emperor has a trap door to drop people into the big star shaped thing? Come on!

  • Once again Discovery goes in a surprising direction – I was really expecting some ‘this is the other Stamets’ confusions at one point, but they got past that very quickly. Bringing Mirror Georgiou back despite her setup for the ‘heroic sacrifice’ scenario was another good one.

  • Saru is without question my favourite character of the season. The most genuinely new direction for a Trek crew member in some time. The ‘inspiring speech’ scene was wonderful. I hope he stays on as Captain. Tilly is a close second (yes, I know what I said in my review of Context Is For Kings, she grew on me).

  • The mirroring of the climactic fight versus the Klingon ship scene in Episode 2 was a lovely piece of work.

752 down. And one more to catch up to the current episode, later today.