Friday, January 17, 2020

Star Trek: Discovery -- Season 2 Episode 8 (If Memory Serves)

On the one hand, I was really excited that Star Trek: Discovery went back to Talos IV.  This was the site of the very first Star Trek pilot.  It makes sense, given that Captain Pike has taken command of the ship and Michael Burnham has finally found her foster brother, Spock.  I mean, it would have been a minor disappointment if they hadn’t at least mentioned the planet.

Add to this the buildup of the fractured relationship between Spock and Burnham.  We know it was something serious enough that they haven’t spoken in years.  But what is it?

This is one of several storylines going on.  Burnham brings Spock to Talos IV to get him straightened out.  The Talosians make a deal:  If they help Spock, Burnham shows them what transpired between them.  She reluctantly agrees.

On Discovery, Ash and Culber are each still at a loss to fit in.  In fact, it comes to blows, as Ash was the one who sent Culber to the Mycelial network.  Both walk away from the fight and Saru has to explain why, as first officer, he allowed the fight.  But it’s all good.  At least for now.

To the show’s credit, they made the Talosians look like they should have, given the increased budget.  They’re true to the original show’s look while not looking as childish.  They have the menacing look you would hope for in a race that has extreme telepathic abilities.

I’m several episodes ahead of this, so I know that Culber starts to reach out for help.  Come to think of it, Ash is also in a difficult position.  Both have been isolated for a long time.  Culber is in a different state, mentally, but both really need someone to talk to.  Culber is distancing himself, though, whereas Ash is distanced because of his actions and what he is.

I still say that the show doesn’t really use this aspect of the story to its fullest potential.  I’m seeing the inner struggle, but not so much the potential for help.

The actual rift between Spock and Burnham seems to be a letdown.  I kind of get it.  We’re being shown what kind of person Burnham is.  It also might explain why Spock never spoke of Burnham.  This is done more to set up later episodes rather than to be a major lot element in its own right. 

Still, this is one of the most continuity-heavy episodes in recent memory.  At this point, it would be safe to say that you have to have a heavy understanding of Trek to appreciate what’s going on.  Yes, it’s true to the rest of the season, but to a lesser extent.  Overall, it’s a pretty good episode.

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