Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Star Trek: Discovery -- Season 2 Episode 10 (The Red Angel)

SPOILER ALERT:  I’m going to give away major surprises here.

There’s a line of thought that most mythology has some basis in reality.  Gods and angels could be powerful aliens.  Bigfoot could be any number of real-life animals, such as bears.  There’s even a word for it:  Euhemerism, which is the belief that actual events are distorted to the point where they become legend or myth.

In Discovery, there’s The Red Angel.  Spock saw it as a child.  The Red Angel even helped Spock.  He drew pictures of it, but it was dismissed as the product of a child’s active imagination.  Come to find out a few episodes ago that The Red Angel actually exists.  And it’s assumed to be a humanoid in a mechanical suit.

At the beginning of the episode, something comes to light:  The suit contains a bioneural imprint.  But it’s not any bioneural imprint.  It belongs to none other than Michael Burnham.  So, the crew sets off on the assumption that The Red Angel actually is Burnham.  It’s kind of a flimsy case, but whatever.

Here’s where the crew makes its next logical misstep, though.  They reason that since The Red Angel is Burnham, she’ll act to save Burnham.  Thus, putting Burnham at mortal risk will serve as bait so that they might capture The Red Angel.

Um, ok.  Is it really wise to have Burnham present during these discussions?  Wouldn’t it kind of give their plan away?  I would think they’d have her wait in the next room or something.

There’s also the cliché of having to possible actually kill her for the plan to be effective.  We all know that they’re not going to do that to such an important character.

Despite a few weaknesses, the episode serves as a good transition from Project Daedalus to Perpetual Infinity.  That may be its greatest weakness, in that the series had to get from one point to another and didn’t really have a great way to do that.  The Red Angel has to be drawn out somehow and there’s really only one way to do that with any certainty.  It’s not a great plan, but it’s hard to come up with a better one.

Dr. Culber also talks to Admiral Cornwall, who was a psychologist.  She doesn’t offer her a session, per se, but it is nice to finally see that he does recognize the need to reach out to someone.  I suspect it’s going to be a long road back for Culber.


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