Star Trek #1466: The War Without, the War Within

FORMULA: (Behind the Lines + The Best of Both Worlds + The Wrath of Khan) x a breather episode

WHY WE LIKE IT: Enterprise reference! Another desperate moment in history. And Tilly, above all, Tilly.

WHY WE DON'T: Stealing Carol Marcus' thunder.

REVIEW: At least Burnham knows saving Mirror Georgiou's life may be a grave error, but while the trope - people being emotionally unwilling to tell doppelgangers apart - bugs the hell out of me, it may be psychologically believable in her case. This is a human being raised by Vulcans, one who finds emotions difficult to handle or even process. So saving one Georgiou (no matter how heinous) to make up for dooming another might track. In the same way, she has the most difficulty forgiving Tyler for his Voq-self trying to kill her. But then, so does Tyler himself. I was right in thinking we'd end up with a goody Tyler who can draw on Klingon memories, but the show's intensity also requires him to feel debilitating guilt re: his betrayal of Burham and his murder of Dr. Culber. Burnham is unwilling to do what even Stammets can, which is accept new-Tyler as a separate being. Great moment between the latter two, expressing in few words the awkwardness and pain of the situation. Burnham has more chances, but doesn't take them. Even Sarek makes himself the ambassador of love, telling her things he no doubt would never say to Spock.

The one who not only forgives him, but makes an appeal to Burnham on his behalf, is Tilly, who once again represents what's best of Federation and Starfleet ideals. Just as she went to mutineer Burnham way back in episode 3, she goes to the ship's new pariah, Tyler, as soon as she's able. This is who she is. And her speech about fighting one's own darkness, about choosing who we want to be, pertains as much to Burnham's ugly break-up as it does Starfleet duty. With the evil Georgiou brought in to help strategize a plan to defeat the Klingons, we're sure to see these ideals put to the test in the finale, and just several crew members took Tilly's lead in the mess scene with Tyler, so too do I expect Burnham and co. to fight Starfleet leadership and Georgiou to do what's right, not simply what must be done.

Because yeah, these are some dire straights. Discovery has jumped home nine months after they left, and it turns out the data on the Klingons' cloaking devices wasn't transmitted before they left. The Federation has effectively lost the war, but the Klingons don't take surrenders. It seems to be genocide or bust, and because the Klingons WEREN'T united by T'Kuvma (will that turn L'Rell?), there's no one enemy to surrender to anyway. The Houses are just competing for who can cost the Federation the most , graffitiying their crests on starbases and the like. The fleet has been decimated, Mirror Discovery one of the casualties in fact (though I'm sure they can use popular survivors like Captain Killy in the future), and Admiral Cornwell reacts with real despair at the ongoing losses. I have to say, I thought for sure these events would be undone in some kind of time travel solution, but it looks like it's well and truly part of the Trek universe's history. How do you think it fits what we know?

Personally, I'm fine with it. I'm more worried about the terraforming sequence where Stammets grows a wild mycelial forest on a dead moon, as it seems a bit "Genesis project" to me (long before such a thing would become a reality), and it restores Discovery's teleportation powers when we were on the path to showing why spore drives aren't the standard (or even mentioned) in any other Trek. Oh well. The pores are definitely needed to for that crazy plan, taking the ship to Qo'noS ("for the first time since Archer's Enterprise" w00t!), under the planet's ground, no less. Of course, MU Georgiou's plans go far beyond what Burnham is thinking, and everyone should be apprehensive about seeing her on the bridge, posing as the real Georgiou, officially now having only been presumed dead. Sorry Michelle Yeoh, but your new character is too dangerous to survive long on this series. Or so one would think. With Discovery, you simply ever know.

LESSON: Once you become an Admiral, you really shouldn't commandeer a ship.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium-High - While this is a buffer or transition between major events, Tilly pushes it over the edge for me.


De said...

I didn’t have a problem with growing the mycelial forest on the dead moon since it was the only lifeform to grow. Whereas Genesis created multiple life forms, bodies of water, atmosphere, etc.

I think my favorite part of the episode was Cornwell shooting the box of fortune cookies.


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