Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Star Trek: Discovery -- Season 2 Episode 12 (Through the Valley of Shadows)

Having a huge franchise can be a blessing and a curse.  If you don’t draw on it, you are wasting potential.  If you do use it, it can come across as namedropping.  So far in Star Trek Discovery, we’ve seen Amanda, Sarek, Spock, Pike, Number One and the Talosians, not to mention The Enterprise and Boreth.

On the flip side are Control, which is a Skynet wannabe, and the Spore Drive, neither of which was mentioned in any other series or movie.  And there’s Michael Burnham, Spock’s foster sister.  That’s at least understandable, as Spock didn’t mention his parents or half-brother to Kirk.

What can I say?  It’s been a busy season.  Speaking of which, after this episode is the two-part season finale.

So, yeah.  This episode serves as a setup.

Control is bent on getting that Sphere data.  To do that, they need a Time Crystal, which means a return trip to Boreth, where the Chancellor will put in a good word so that Pike can beam down.  It’s not clear exactly what the plan is yet, but it’s got to be big.

Meanwhile, Spock and Michael check out a Section 31 ship that has gone silent.  That’s because Control killed everyone except for one person.  Coincidentally, that person served with Michael on the Shenzhou.  There’s no way that control took that person over.  Right?

By episode’s end, it’s determined that the only rational course of action is to evacuate Discovery to Enterprise and destroy the ship.  Given that a third season has been ordered, it can’t be that easy.  Even if we didn’t know that, there are still two episodes left.

I know I keep on about this whole Control/Skynet thing.  It’s not that farfetched.  Both are AI systems that become self aware and wipe out all known organic life.  Time travel is involved and there’s a parent/child team trying to stop them.  The child is seen as a threat to the AI and the mother has undergone a major personality shift trying to stop the AI.

So, part of the story is trying to change fate.  There’s also a part of the story that involves accepting your fate.  Pike has to accept his if he wants the time crystal.  Michael will also have to accept hers in the two-part finale.  So, there’s that.

It’s not clear what Pike intends to do with the time crystal, exactly.  He can’t get it to Michael’s mother.  It would seem that he has no plans yet to build another suit.  He’s doing this not really knowing why.  However, the alternative is letting everyone die.

The second season is almost as smooth as I’d have hoped.  There are a few parts, like here, where it seems like maybe it’s a victim of one too many rewrites, but I can forgive that.  It took me the entire season, but things are starting to make sense.


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