Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Star Trek: Discovery -- Season 3 Episode 7 (Unification III)

It occurred to me that a 930-year jump is not insignificant.  The crew of the Discovery is so far in the future, it would be like someone from the Norman invasion of England coming to our time.  I bring this up because Spock gets a cameo in this episode, which is called Unification III.  This would be like one of us talking about William the Conqueror.  I want you to consider that for a moment.

You see, the central aspect of this episode is that Michael Burnham has to go to Vulcan.  Except they call it Ni’Var now, because Romulans are living there.  It looks like Spock’s efforts in The Next Generation paid off, even if he never lived to see it.  But that’s not why she’s going to Vulcan.  She needs information on The Burn.

Burnham has three points of reference as to The Burn’s cause.  She determines that the Burn happened at one location and spread out rather than happening all at once.  However, three points of reference only narrows down where that point of origin is.  Like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, Burnham needs more input.

The Vulcans had this experiment called SB-19.  In an effort to find alternatives to warp drive the Federation pushed Vulcan to conduct an experiment that may have caused The Burn.  The Vulcans blamed themselves, withdrew from The Federation and didn’t share the information.  It’s up to Burnham to play on the fact that she’s Spock’s sister.

The whole thing seems a little odd to me.  It’s like someone showed up today and claimed to be William the Conqueror’s sister.  Any sense of who William the Conqueror is reduced to legend and fable.  Anyway, Burnham goes through a bit of an inquisition, learns a valuable lesson and gets the information in spite of it all.

On top of this, we finally find out what happened to Burnham’s mother.  She ended up on Ni’Var and joined that Romulan candor sect from Star Trek: Picard.  She basically throws her daughter under a bus during the hearing to get the SB-19 information, citing honesty and everything.  Michael is forced to face some hard truths.  It’s little wonder that she resists and feels betrayed.

It’s also notable that the Vulcans aren’t relieved that The Burn isn’t their fault.  I know.  Vulcans don’t show emotion.  And there are other considerations, like The Federation was pushing them to do something that they knew wasn’t a good idea.  A hundred years later and the Vulcans are still saying we told you so.

Meanwhile, Tilly is made first officer.  Sure, she’s an ensign.  She was on the command track and all, but she seems a little inexperienced to be the executive officer, even if temporarily.  This could be an attempt to develop the character.  Even if she doesn’t permanently become executive officer, it will give her a chance to grow.  I would think she’d at least get a promotion.  Maybe later on, she will.  It would make more sense to hold off on that.

One thing stuck out while looking at information about the episode.  Vulcan’s new name is Ni’Var.  What’s this thing with apostrophes in names?  In text, it usually denotes a contraction.  Cannot becomes can’t.  Is Ni’Var a contraction for something?  Phonetically, I wouldn’t think it makes any difference.  I don’t know if it’s to show that it’s different than something else.  How do we get these random apostrophes?

It’s also still not mentioned what happened to Remans when Romulus exploded.  I think I may have caught a glimpse of one, but I can’t be certain.  It’s just as well.  The whole Reman thing seemed like a contrivance to begin with.  It’s something else that Star Trek brought into the fold only to abandon after one use.

I can’t wait to see how this season ends.


IMDb page


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