TL;DR – In the end, we started with a group of people on a ship in space, and over the season, as adversity after adversity piled up, we ended with a crew.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Oh wow, we have reached the end of Season One and what a season it was, there were jumps in time and space, war with the Klingons, even a sojourn in the Mirror Universe. Now all of this was like a freight train barrelling towards tonight’s finale and here we are. So today we are going to take some time to look at how the episode worked on its own, before looking at how the whole season worked as a while in an article a bit later this week.
The first thing, as always, is to set the scene, and well ladies, gentlemen, and others, we are not in a good place if you are a member race of the Federation. The Klingons are at the border quite literally as they are poised to strike Earth, and before I move on, whoever was involved in the construction of that opening shot and transition, well to you I take my hat off, well done. But never fear because the Federation has a last-ditch plan to save the day, where they will jump the USS Discovery into a cavern under the surface of Qo’noS so that they can actually chart the planet allowing them to perform a surgical strike on every military base before they know what hit them. It’s a good plan that Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook) and Sarek (James Frain) comes up with … but for one slight problem, only a small issue, no biggie … but they chose the Mirror Universe Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) to lead the exposition under the guise that she is the Prime Universe Georgiou. Anyone who knows the truth behind Georgiou is immediately suspicious of what is about to go down but Starfleet will always act above board right … right … so this is where we are at the start of the episode, the Klingons are at Earth, the Discovery is at Qo’noS and it is a race to find out who will destroy the other first. Now as we go on, just a warning that there will be some [SPOILERS] coming ahead including the discussions of the very end of the episode, so if you have not seen it you should be careful going forward.
At the start of the season, the actors, directors, and writers were still finding their feet so naturally, things will be that little bit awkward, and brilliantly they added Michael in that position so the crew would natural that the crew does not know each other very much. At the end of the season where everyone is comfortable with each other, they can use much more show than tell to explore their emotions and relations with each other. Take for example when at the start of the mission when Mirror Georgiou calls Tilly (Mary Wiseman) into her office and in a short snippet of a conversation is able to ascertain who she is and where she is from and get confirmation from Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Ash (Shazad Latif) without going into a big explosion dump. Also without prompting a little later in the episode Tilly stepped between Ash and Michael to help give her friend a buffer from the pain she is feeling, sisters have each other’s backs. As well as this, the general dialogue in the episode was so good, like the sassy clap back from Saru (Doug Jones) about how tough he is, was a riot.
This was also another episode where there were a ton of references to Trek’s past and present in the margins if you know what you are looking for. The big mention this week is the show bring the Orions back into the fold, as we explore their embassy/bazaar on Qo’noS. They now have dancing slave men #Progress, as well as the slave women #NotReallyProgressWhenWeAreTalkingAboutSlavery, also it was nice to see Clint Howard back in the Star Trek universe. As well as this, we get references to Betazed, Nausicaans and Mintaka, also a blink and you’ll miss it Trill in the Orion animated tattoo parlour. In my headcanon she is a joined-Trill in her fifth lifetime and this time she has decided to be rebellious, cast off all the Trill responsibility of living a full life for the host and having fun cavorting around the darker sides of the Galaxy before returning home a much wiser person than when she left, also with a kick-ass animated tattoo. It is these little inside references that are not enough to alienate new viewers, yet are sort of a reward for those who have been in there for the long haul, that is such a fine balance to get, but they get it right here.
As well as this, one thing I fell the episode excelled in was showing women of power in every facet both good and bad. You have Admiral Cornwell, along with Sarek, decide that in the face of utter annihilation that practicality trumps principles, and they are willing to commit genocide just to spare The Federation. However, even in these dark moments, Cornwell could be convinced that her course of action was wrong, by none other than Michael ‘[redacted] badass’ Burnham. Here she is the only one willing to do what is right rather than what is convenient to win the day, all the while knowing what the consequences would be if she lost, even if it meant attempting another coup. This is all while she is dealing with some serious issues with her own, like how to deal with Ash/Voq, and the fact that her dad Sarek may have betrayed her again. Also, though I would not exactly say she is a good role model, but there was a reason she rose to be the head of the Terran Empire, and frankly it is just great to know that at any point in Season Two that Michelle Yeoh could pop up again. Also, we have to talk about the amazing Mary Chieffo who plays L’Rell an incredibly difficult job to do when you are acting underneath all those prosthetics. By this point in the war, she might stand as the only true Klingon left in the Council but she will make everyone in the room follow her because of her force of will, oh and also the bomb strapped to her hand. So in the end of this episode, Cornwell got Burnham to give Georgiou her freedom in exchange for the bomb who she then encoded to L’Rell so she could force the Klingons to retreat back to their borders and unite as a people. Four women in power making decisions for entire quadrants, that is rare in science fiction let alone modern media and it is something that needs to be explored more.
So as it is a finale, so it behoves us to talk a little about how it ended, with a medal ceremony and Sarek making me tear up a little bit, damn James Frain you took a hard 180 from Orphan Black. One of the complaints that I have heard about the episode was that the war was resolved without any violence, ok with not much violence this episode, no big space battle, not a single big fight on the ground, and you know what I think, good. There is a time for war, and a time for peace, and now was time for the latter when the fate of entire worlds holds in the balance. I’m glad it was principles and strength of character that won the day not who can kill more of the other side. It was also an episode of goodbyes, we say goodbye to Ash who left to go with L’Rell knowing there was no real place for him on the Discovery, it was goodbye to Georgiou though I’m sure as I said this is not the last time we have seen her in the show, and with Lorca probably dead in What’s Past Is Prologue (see review) it means we have lost three of the main cast moving forward, and that is a big move to make. However, there is one opportunity that gives the show, during the back half of the season we got to know more of the bridge crew of the Discovery and I hope we get to see more of Detmer (Emily Coutts), Rhys (Patrick Kwok-Choon), Airiam (Sara Mitich), Owosekun (Oyin Oladejo) and Bryce (Ronnie Rowe Jr.) in Season Two. So at the end of the episode, Michael is reinstated to Starfleet, and the Discovery warps away to Vulcan to collect their new captain, only to get a nostalgia-filled distress call, that ends the episode, and boy Discovery do you know how to play on my feelings because that was a master class [insert sassy finger clicks].
In the end, do we recommend Will You Take My Hand? Yes, and I am pretty sure our score at the top might have clued you into the answer. It was a great end of the season, it was a great episode of Star Trek Discovery, and it was a great episode of Star Trek period, and best of all it has me deeply sad that now I have to wait a while for Season Two. I mean could I like have it now, please and thank-you … no … oh well, it can’t hurt to ask.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you seen Star Trek Discovery yet?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Star Trek Discovery
Directed by – Akiva Goldsman
Teleplay by – Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
Story by – Akiva Goldsman, Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
Based off – Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry
Created by – Bryan Fuller & Alex Kurtzman
Starring in Season 1 – Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman & Jason Isaacs with Michelle Yeoh, James Frain, Jayne Brook, Chris Obi, Mary Chieffo, Rainn Wilson, Kenneth Mitchell, Rekha Sharma, Damon Runyan, Clare McConnell, Wilson Cruz, Emily Coutts, Oyin Oladejo, Patrick Kwok-Choon, Sara Mitich