Will we remember this episode? Spoilers.
This episode feels almost like a return to what Trek series used to be like – more focused on telling a thematically linked A and B story, with a few bits of plot progress folded in. Far less serial than most of Discovery, far more like TNG or DS9. Unfortunately neither the A or B quite landed – they’re OK, but both missing a piece.
The theme is probably best described as ‘recovering from Trauma’. So we see Adira learning about their memories and how they were joined. But it’s an almost entirely passive story – there is no positive act of will involved beyond a simple decision to continue moving forward in how things are being revealed. The back story is well told and acted, but it’s really a padded exposition dump.
The conflict in the A story is carried by the reactions of the Trill to what’s happening, but there simply isn’t enough done with this. We get an initial setup of ‘some people aren’t happy with this’, which is OK but a bit too ‘tell’ over ‘show’ in terms of how Trill society has evolved. And then everything works out and the conflict is resolved. A lot of potential there, but it’s not really well used.
The B story of Saru trying to work with the ship had a bit more to it, and it was nice to give a little bit more time to some of the secondary bridge crew members. I would have liked a bit more than just ‘Stamets is an asshole’ as the central conflict people are having. And the dinner party was a good concept, which maybe needed a little more space and more of a downhill slope rather than the abrupt car crash.
As an overall plot for the season I do like that Saru is learning to be Captain. He has some strong instincts, and is good in some areas, but he has a lot to learn and makes mistakes. It’s very realistic (nearly said ‘Human’, but that would be non-PC).
In terms of the season wide plot, we’ve got the Sphere data ex-machina, and a setup of a ‘collect planets for the Federation’ plot that would be a good structure for interesting individual episodes.
– From the ‘previously on’, the show has remembered about the injuries again. What a strange omission from episode 3.
– Beautiful cold open shot.
– Is the show shipping Detmer and O-O? Because I am 100% on board for that.
– They seem to know much more about the Trill from their own knowledge than was suggested last episode. More strange continuity management between episode 3 and the surrounding parts.
– Two things I saw in the credits this time (I’m normally typing as they go past) – a Vulcan salute, so Vulcan must be coming soon, and a design of the Star Fleet/communicator badge with rank pips on the side. Nice innovation.
– ‘Don’t say anything annoyingly inspirational, that drives me nuts’ – not going to get on well with Captain Saru then.
– Appropriate TNG Season 1/2 vibes on the planet Trill.
– Very rare instance of a revisit of something from Deep Space 9 (the Trill caves).
– Gray and Adira are quite a cute couple.
– Oh no Adira, not quilting, Stay away from that, that’s the hard stuff.
– Glad the ‘how is a Human doing this’ is somewhat addressed, but ‘trust’ is not a sufficient answer for me.
– “Are you OK?” “No”. Thank Goodness. I’m glad that Detmer fessed up, I just hate that type of plot.