Saturday, June 08, 2019

Star Trek: Discovery -- Season 1 Episode 9 (Into the Forest I Go)

Star Trek: Discovery began with a war with the Klingons.  It also began with its central character, Michael Burnham, betraying her captain and effectively ending her Starfleet career.  Both of these plot points have been central to the show so far.  Burnham is not only responsible for the lives lost at The Battle of the Binary Stars, but also those that died in the resulting war.

To figure out how to see through the Klingon’s cloaking device would put a serious dent in their offensive and defensive capabilities.  The crew of the U.S.S. Discovery doesn’t want to let the planet Pavlo be destroyed by the Klingons, but the inhabitants have technology that could cut through the cloaking device.

Fortunately, the crew devises another method that might work.  The catch?  The ship has to use it’s spore drive over a hundred times very quickly.  This wouldn’t be a problem except that Paul Stamets has to be hooked in.  One or two trips take a toll, to say nothing of dozens.  He agrees to do it, knowing that it could end the war.

The mission is completed, but not without complications.  Admiral Cornwell, who had been abducted by the Klingons,  is discovered on the ship and subsequently rescued.  Also, Ash Tyler is hit with PTSD, leaving Burnham to complete the mission by herself.

I will say that the series seems to be progressing better than I expected.  I still have issues.  For instance, the mission requires two huge devices to be placed on the Klingon ship for the cloaking technology to be understood.  How are Tyler and Burnham able to place such a large device out in the open on an enemy ship without someone noticing it?

The good news is that Burnham seems to be getting her sense of duty back.  For most of the series, she seemed to have given up on redeeming herself for an irredeemable act.  Here, she sees that she can not only help, but is necessary for the mission to succeed.

Conversely, we get glimpses into Tyler’s past that raises questions.  We see that he was tortured and raped during his time in captivity.  Captain Lorca has already expressed doubts about how someone could have survived that long.  This might hit at a bigger revelation.

This episode was the mid-season finale.  As such, it ends on an interesting cliffhanger.  Stamets promises one more jump, which leads them to a destroyed Klingon cruiser where a Federation starbase should be.  Yes, it’s the Mirror Universe.

So, I guess that means I’m in for the rest of the season.  I am more hopeful, given that the writing is getting better.  I am getting the sense that there is a bigger plan here.  I also have to see how this plays out.

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