Trekathon 800: Far From Home (DIS)

October 24th, 2020

Discovering more of the future. Spoilers.

Star Trek has dipped into the Western well several times, mot infamously with Spectre of the Gun& backs in Season 3 of TOS. While this episode doesn’t do anything ground breaking with the format it probably works the best, perhaps because it’s the least ambitious. It’s not a whole Western we get here, just the ‘showdown in the saloon’ scene.

Overall a good episode, but not as strong as the first of the season. There’s a lot of time on mechanics, and the one character heavy sequence (Stamets and Reno) was just a bit too grating for me. While it’s very true to their characters I just don’t like that kind of ‘people won’t acknowledge their flaws’ story.

The part that worked strongest was Zareh, who was an efficiently painted villain who was smart enough to be satisfying for the crew to defeat. As a ‘this is what the world is like’ he didn’t add much to the previous episode. Indeed, we’ve seen this kind of thing before, so the show continues to have a challenge to paint the new normal as being the universal, rather than local, condition.

One aside – I think you could flip the first two episodes of the season here with no issue – indeed, might make the ‘hang on, that can’t be Burnham’ reveal land differently. I do hope those were looks of ‘I see something wrong’ here, at least.

Quick hits:

  • Interesting that the ‘previously on’ had nothing from episode one of the season. Sets up perhaps a ‘two track’ pattern for the season or part of it.

  • For some reason I really loved the stereo. ‘Brace’ from Detmer and O-O.

  • God I love Saru. He very seriously might be the best Captain in all of Star Trek in terms of being a leader of his ship who knows what his crew need.

  • The contrast between Burnham’s reaction to there being life and Saru and Tilly’s was nicely done.

  • Poor Gene. Doing the hard gross job and getting dissed by the brass.

  • There’s an interesting symmetry between this episode and the previous – a pair heading out to barter for what they need from their ship (across a planet that looks a lot like Iceland…).

  • ‘You look like you can handle yourself’. I love Tilly, but this is really really not true…

  • I hope we don’t have a whole season of Saru vs Georgiou, that would be dull.

  • Yay, full bore Michelle Yeoh. They learnt the lessons from the past, and remembered what they’ve got in a Hong Kong action star.

  • Also yay, little repair robot.

  • The Detmer injured (concussed? guilty?) subplot disappeared weirdly for most of the episode. I do hope we’re not going to have a ‘officer feels sick but doesn’t tell anyone’ story again, those are a real drag.

800 down! Yeah, Memory Alpha says this is episode 790, but I’m using ‘syndicated episode’ counts, so I count 10 two parters as two rather than one – that’s Encounter at Farpoint, Emissary, All Good Things, Caretaker, The Way of the Warrior, What You Leave Behind, Dark Frontier, Flesh and Blood, Endgame, Broken Bow,