Monday, May 13, 2019

Star Trek: Discovery -- Season 1 Episode 2 (Battle at the Binary Stars)

I’d like to think that there’s a plan.  Not to life, necessarily.  I think life, in general, is random.  When it comes to episodic television, though, I’d like to think that there’s a plan.  With Star Trek: Discovery, it’s not clear what that plan is, yet.  The Klingons look totally different.  They have cloaking devices.  Spock has a foster sister we didn’t know about.  Oh, and Spock’s foster sister has apparently just started a war with the Klingons.

Michael Burnham is the foster sister and she did kill one a Klingon, although it’s probable that they were looking for a fight.  There’s this new wannabe Klingon leader, T'Kuvma, who wants to unite the houses by picking a fight with The Federation.   If not Burnham, it would have been someone else.

The fact that she was correct is irrelevant, even when lots of other Klingon and Starfleet ships show up.  Her plan was to shoot first, which Starfleet doesn’t do.  Aside from which, she also tried to mutiny, which lands her in the brig.  She escapes and does help the Captain try to take T’Kuvma alive, but that ends in failure, too.  Both T’Kuvma and Captain Georgiou die.  Burnham ends up stripped of rank and court-martialed.

This was the second part of the pilot story.  It’s enough to make your head spin, especially if you’ve watched all the previous incarnations.  As I mentioned for the first part, it’s a huge franchise, with all the TV shows, movies and books.  A few things aren’t clear, like how Burnham got her spot as first officer or why the Klingons look the way they do.

I felt that the episode was kind of weak.  Part one was the setup and part two was basically one big battle scene.  Sure, it’s an epic battle and all, but we’re getting mostly the story of how Burnham came to be on the U.S.S. Shenzhou.  (Two episodes in and we haven’t even heard from the U.S.S. Discovery yet.)

The episode ends with Burnham utterly defeated.  She has no rank or position, despite a promising career.  Even if she gets out of her life sentence, which she does, she’s the executive officer that mutinied and got her commanding officer killed.  She’s not going to have a lot of friends.

I have the first disc of Season One from the library, with a hold on the second disc.  Given that I’ve watched all of the life-action series and movies, I feel like I have great expectations for this series.  I know people wondered about Worf, given that he looked so different from the original Klingons.  I am willing to give Discovery a shot.  I can only hope that it doesn’t disappoint.

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