Sunday, January 03, 2021

Star Trek: Discovery -- Season 3 Episode 11 (Su'Kal)

It occurred to me that Starfleet and The Federation had something like 125 years to figure out what caused The Burn.  For those that are just joining us, The Burn basically ended the use of warp drive as a major mode of transportation.  And yet, no one made any real headway on what caused it for over a century.

Then, along comes the U.S.S. Discovery.  Within a matter of months, they pinpoint where The Burn originated.  I’ll grant you that this location was remote, but you’d think someone would have thought to look at the black boxes on starships.  I’m just saying.

Anyway, Discovery goes off to the Verubin Nebula, where the find exactly one life sign, and tat one life sign happens to be a member of the same race as Captain Saru.  Sure, Saru is eager to get there and meet his Kelpian.  He even beams over to a radioactive ship to meet the guy.  To coin a phrase, you won’t believe what happens next.

We come to find out that the Kelpian, Su’Kal, has been alone for something like 125 years.  He’s had the ship’s computers and holodeck to basically raise him and keep him company for all that time.  Saru beams over with Michael Burnham and Dr. Culber.  They find that the Kelpian hasn’t developed much beyond the mentality of a child.  Getting him off the ship proves difficult.

Meanwhile, Ensign Tilly, as first officer, is left in command of Discovery.  This wouldn’t be a problem except that Dioscovery pissed off Osyraa and she promised revenge.  Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue.  It’s a big universe.  What are the odds that Osyraa would pick that moment to exact her revenge?

Well, Osyraa shows up and manages to capture the ship and jump to Federation/Starfleet headquarters.  Fortunately, Discovery has Booker to send over to pick up Burnham.  Unfortunately, Adira the human Trill stays behind in the nebula.

There are a few interesting things to consider here.  The first thing I noticed is that Saru is made to look human.  Su’Kal’s ship would seem to be one big holodeck, which allows the computer to change the appearance of the landing party.  It changes the one person who looks like Su’Kal to look human and the two humans to look slightly non-human.  Granted, the ship has suffered massive damage from radiation.  Still, it seems odd.

Grudge the Cat also pays a visit to sickbay.  It would appear that Grudge may actually be a cat.  No mention is made of her being anything else.  It’s not unheard of, even within the Star Trek universe, for a cat to be something more than a cat.  This cigar may be just a cigar, after all.

It seems that the writers for Star Trek like to take their time.  As mentioned, it took a long time for anyone to even realize that the ship existed.  (You’d think whoever sent the ship would have said something.)  Once on the ship, the landing party takes its sweet time trying to get Su’Kal off the ship.  Given that there’s dangerous radiation, you’d think someone would slap a homing beacon on him and be done with it.  They’re very aware that there’s a time limit, so why waste any?

This episode would seem to set up the last two episodes.  I’m a little late in reviewing this episode, so I’ve already seen one of those two episodes.  But I am left wondering how this season will end.  There is talk of a fourth season.  What will that look like?  I’m not sure.  It’s still not clear if The Burn can be fixed.  We now know the cause of it and there is a large stash of dilithium would could mitigate the problem, but it’s not clear to what extent.

A fourth season could see the Federation and Starfleet rebuilding with Discovery’s help.  It could also see Discovery jumping back in time or further ahead, although I doubt it.  I’m thinking that the narrative will jump ahead to a point where progress has been made, but there’s still work to do.  I guess we don’t have long to wait to see how this season ends.


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