Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Star Trek: Discovery -- Season 3 Episode 9 (Terra Firma, Part 1)

Georgiou is in a bad spot.  Her molecules are disintegrating and she has issues trusting people.   Not that it matters, though.  No one knows what’s happening to her, so there would be no way to help her.  Discovery gets a visit from Kovich, who basically states as much.  He didn’t cause the problem, as some might have suspected, but he does have some idea what’s going on.  It’s the one-two punch of crossing universes and jumping ahead in time.

That’s when Discovery’s computer chimes in.  You see, it was given vast quantities of information from a giant sphere and is now maybe sort of semisentient or something.  Anyway, it offers up a suggestion.  Go to a particular planet where Georgiou has a 5% chance of being cured.  It’s not clear what that means and Kovich isn’t quite enamored with that level of AI, but there Georgiou beams down with Commander Burnham.

They walk to a spot offered up by the ship’s computer.  It’s not clear why they couldn’t just beam down to that spot.  (Yes, it gives Burnham and Georgiou time to talk, but still…)  Anyway, they meet Carl.  Carl has a door.  When I say door, I mean just a door.  It sort of brings back memories of The Lost Room.

Carl has a proposition.  Georgiou can go through the doorway.  She’ll be free of the affliction that ails her at the moment, but that doesn’t mean she can’t die.  Carl is a little vague and enigmatic about it, but she takes him up on his unusual offer.

This is where it gets weird.  If you’ve read other reviews of this episode, you may have seen comparisons to City on the Edge of Forever and The Q.  These are not unwarranted comparisons, as Georgiou finds herself in what is ostensibly The Mirror Universe.  It reminds me of The Next Generation episode Tapestry in that Georgiou is likely being given a chance to resolve some issue from her past.  We’ve seen fragments of this in flashbacks.

Carl is also holding a newspaper.  It’s tomorrow’s paper, a la Early Edition.  In tomorrow’s paper, Georgiou is dead.  That can be changed, although Carl won’t give out any specifics.  Georgiou has to figure that out on her own.  (Being that this is a two-part episode, we’re going to have to wait.)

Much of the episode takes place in The Mirror Universe, but there are a lot of things going on.  Admiral Vance offers Captain Saru some advice.  We also find out that the ship emitting the distress call is Kelpian.  It was lost about 100 years ago, so there’s no expectation of finding anyone alive, but there is an incomplete message from a member of the crew.  I get a sense of a twist coming up.  Again, we’re going to have to wait to find out more.

Oh, and the Kelvin timeline is now cannon in the Prime timeline, so there’s that.

I’m hoping we’ll get to see Carl again.  It’s not clear who or what he is.  There’s no shortage of omnipotent beings in the Star Trek universe.  He might be Q.  He might be associated with The Guardian of Forever.  Most likely, he’s something new.  I’m curious about how Discovery knew to go there in the first place.  (It’s entirely plausible that it was Carl speaking through Discovery.)

I’m mostly curious what Carl, the door and The Mirror Universe have to do with Georgiou’s problem.  This is why I’m inclined to believe that she’s not actually in The Mirror Universe.  I’m thinking this is an exercise in enlightenment.  I half expect Burnham to say that Georgiou walked right through the door.  We’ll just have to wait and see.


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