TL;DR – We get to see what Discovery will be exploring for the first half of the season, and it is an area Star Trek does not often venture.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
There are some areas of discourse that Star Trek has not really delved all that much in to in its fifty odd years, and one of those is faith. Now, of course, there are references to it in The Original Series and Enterprise, and we do get more of it in Deep Space Nine, but still, the show has been very hands off. Well, last week in Brother we dipped our toes into faith, well today we dive all the way in.
So to set the scene, Captain Pike (Anson Mount) is continuing to command the USS Discovery to find out what the deal is with these red lights that appeared with purpose across the galaxy. Today they have found another red light but this is deep into the Beta Quadrant 100s of years away at maximum warp. There is no way any ship could get there, but then no other ship has the Spore Drive. So off to the Beta Quadrant, we go, and nobody was quite expecting to find what they find. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
said this last week, but I also have to say it again today, the visuals on this
show are absolutely beautiful. That opening shot of the Discovery emerging from a cloud, I mean it took my breath away.
This is continued throughout the episode, both practically, with the Church’s
stained glass windows, and digitally with the ringed vistas. It is a production
value that really shows on the screen and I really do appreciate it.
Also to add on what I said last week, but damn if Anson Mount is not one of the best casting decisions on TV this year. He is compassionate, caring, but also instantly can take command when he needs to. When he talks about General Order 1, you feel the conviction behind those words. When he dived on the phaser very nearly killing himself, it felt like both what a captain would do and also something Pike would do. However, he is also not one to show that he has all the answers, while he commanded that the crew not reveal that they are from Earth, you could see it pained him to lie to the one person that worked it out.
add to this, it was also great to see just how far Saru (Doug Jones) has come
as a commanding officer. Today he rallied the troops, reprimanded and then encouraged
Tilly (Mary Wiseman), worked to save a planet, and did not get frazzled when everything
was falling apart. Speaking of Tilly, it was great to see more of her character
growth today, she is not only someone who is starting to come up with the
solutions that save the day, but she is also
driven by a need to help those around her that are in pain. All of this
combines with the crew working as a team to doughnut around the planet.
Now the one thing this episode is touching on is faith, and each of the characters approaches it differently. For Owosekun (Oyin Oladejo) she was brought up in a family that did not believe in a faith, though she did grow up in a Luddite Collective. Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) grew up on Vulcan, but she is familiar with all the major Earth religions. With Pike, he grew up with a father that taught both science and comparative religions, and while he does not delve into his faith, there is a lot of subtext about his past on show. Was it divine intervention that brought the people to New Eden? Is there are the difference between the divine and those alien races that have the technology to teleport a church, and the hundreds of people inside it halfway across the galaxy? Did the aliens/divine presence/whatever call them across the galaxy just to save the people they once saved themselves or was it a test? This was all wrapped in the conundrum of how do you approach a pre-warp civilization when that pre-warp civilization came from Earth? Also, was Tilly’s apparently very dead childhood friend May (Bahia Watson) just a figment brought on by her head injury or something more? This was an episode of questions, of which we do not yet have the answers.
In the end, do we recommend New Eden? Yes, yes we do. This is Star Trek at its best posing difficult moral questions, engaging in philosophical debates, and kicking ass while doing it. If this is a barometer of where this season is heading, well count me in.
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.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Star Trek Discovery
Directed by – Jonathan Frakes
Written by – Vaun Wilmott, Sean Cochran & Akiva Goldsman
Based off – Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry
Created by – Bryan Fuller & Alex Kurtzman
Starring in Season 2 – Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Wilson Cruz & Anson Mount with Sheila McCarthy, Andrew Moodie, Bahia Watson, Hannah Cheesman, Emily Coutts, Oyin Oladejo, Patrick Kwok-Choon, Ronnie Rowe Jr., Raven Dauda & Julianne Grossman