Trekathon 828: Choose to Live (DIS)

December 3rd, 2021

Star Trek goes pro-choice. Spoilers.

I think this is something of an experiment of an episode – there’s not any big momentous ‘save the galaxy’ events going on. Instead there’s an A-plot that serves some of the themes of the season, plus a series of backup plots that advance the secondary stories of the season. Overall it worked, although there are some bumps along the way.

It’s a good old fashioned Star Trek A-plot, albeit with a little too much ‘Burnham saves the day’. The SF premise at the centre, of a colony ship needing restoration, has a good sense of wonder to it, and the call back to the Qo’wat Milat and their beliefs also works well.

In terms of the B-plots:

  • Gray gets a body – interesting to see how this goes, but it’s hard to see where it’s going. Undermined a bit by false jeopardy – we know that they’re going to be OK.

  • Tilly is feeling lost – while it feels a bit like it came out of nowhere, it’s well implemented and it’s nice that there isn’t any big ‘Aha’, just moving forward a little.

  • Book gets a bit over his home planet being blown up. A little at least. Nicely done, and with some real feeling emotional resonance.

  • Mystery thingy is still a mystery.

Strongest episode of the season so far, and something that only works in heavily serialised story telling.

Quick hits:

  • From the previously on “this anomaly threatens us all equally” – no, really it doesn’t. If you’re closer to the thing it’s more of a threat, simple astrography.

  • More whisper talking. Is this an attempt to cater to the ASMR crowd?

  • More scale messiness – 12 AU is approximately 1.5 light hours, or 0.02% of a light year.

  • The shot toward the end with Tilly and Burnham is the first time I’ve really seen how much taller Tilly is.

  • “Choose to Live” is a great saying, another T-shirt I need.

  • For reasons I won’t explain here, the whole orchestra analogy gave me some flashbacks. But I did like that the cellists were drunk.

828 down.