Trekathon 768: The Red Angel (DIS)

March 22nd, 2019

Season two of Discovery turns into the final straight. Spoilers.

A flat episode for me, with not a lot to compel my attention.

Discovery has been struggling a bit with the overarching plot this season. This struggle manifests with a lot of episodes that are packed with mechanics for the overarching plot. The first season tended to spread these mechanics out a bit, here it’s really the whole plot of the episode.

The central story is pretty stupid. There’s never any really strong reason explained for why capturing the Red Angel is a good idea, and plenty of indications that it’s a bad one. We have a long drawn out ‘Burnham suffering’ scene with no dramatic tension, because we know perfectly well that we’re not losing the central character of the show partway through a season.

Other than that the episode is really just exposition dusted with technobabble. Classic technobabble is the form where we just have the characters talk about a problem in cryptic terms, and then come up with a cryptic solution. It’s really just wasted space. For instance, the solid minute devoted to ‘how to power things’. It’s a real shame as it comes at the cost of using the time to develop character and relationship.

The one bright spot in the episode is the Spock/Burnham relationship, which has another strong scene that advances our understanding of the relationship, and its current position. The only problem I see is that it’s becoming harder and harder to explain why Spock never mentioned Burnham in the original series. Or Sybok.

Quick hits:

  • Despite all the deaths there are actually not very many funerals in Star Trek. I think this may rival Spock’s for screen time

  • So. Much. Technobabble.

  • Time Crystal??? Blurk, can’t we at least come up with a Trekkier name.

  • Leland’s dark history with Burnham pays off. It was not very compelling.

  • Culber trying to apologise to Stamets just before the big trap seemed particularly stupid.

768 down.