TL;DR – An episode where roosters come home to roost.
Scavengers Review –
There have been a lot of unanswered questions this season that has been left dangling. The first is of course, what or who caused The Burn that devastated the galaxy. Was it a natural phenomenon, was it an accident, or was it on purpose? The second, is what was Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) doing during her yearlong sojourn in the future? Today we get answers on one of those fronts, but also some consequences.
So to set the scene, in last week’s Die Trying we finally found what was left of The Federation and Starfleet. It had been reduced to about 30 members and is on reactive rather than proactive footing. Well, The Discovery had to prove itself, but it was clear the crew and the ship would be an asset for The Federation, but it was also apparent when it took only one shot to take it down in People of Earth that the ship was woefully out of date. Good thing then that the Discovery has just had a major upgrade, one that went “do you need your nacelles attached to the ship”? This is just the moment that an unannounced cat arrives on the scene. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
A lot was going on in this episode, but I wanted to take a few moments to talk about some of the smaller moments throughout the episode that made it work for me. The first was at the start when everyone was discovering the full extent of what their new badges can do. There is a wonder like a child’s eyes at Christmas, and everyone got a moment to shine. This is continuing to build on the focus they are giving the Bridge Crew, like a family, which is nice to see. Also, the recurring gag of Linus (David Benjamin Tomlinson) getting his personal transporter wrong was amusing every time. The scene with Grudge (Leeu) and Tilly (Mary Wiseman) where they were almost at a point of a stand-off was a delight. Finally, the sub-plot with Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Adira (Blu del Barrio) bonding over shared experiences of death was a touching moment in the show. The central thrust of this week’s episode is the plot around what happened to Book (David Ajala) as his ship arrives with him not on board. The Discovery is ordered to stay on alert for a possible deployment by Fleet Admiral Vance (Oded Fehr) and can’t go and help. Well, that does not stop Michael who secretly leaves with Philippa (Michelle Yeoh) on a rescue mission to a planet that salvages old ships. But we also get to see that whatever is happening to Philippa is getting worse.
This is a planet run by the Emerald Chain (the Orion-Andorian alliance), where slavery is the norm, and escape is not possible. The damage was shown in full graphic display when Lai (Daniel Jun) is forced to run through the border fence and instantly dies when the explosive in his neck goes off. Which is a problem because Book has one of those bombs, and Michael and Philippa have only 40 minutes to find a solution. I did like watching Philippa get to play as the big bad commanding the attention of everyone and giving Michael the room to manoeuvre.
On the ship, Tilly and Saru (Doug Jones) have worked out that Michael is missing and what that means. There is a lovely moment when they get to reassure each other of the right course of action which gets to show how much Tilly has grown over the years. Saru has to let Vance know, so when Michael comes back, even victoriously, there are consequences. Michael is demoted from her position as the first officer, which honestly feels like the right move, given everything that happened. However, it will be interesting to see what happens now that they have three black-boxes and can triangulate the source of The Burn.
In the end, do we recommend Scavengers? Well, yes. While it was a solid episode, with some cool moments, I don’t think it was the strongest so far this season. However, it did raise some interesting questions that I am sure we will see paid off at some point this season.
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.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Star Trek Discovery
Directed by – Doug Aarniokoski
Written by – Anne Cofell Saunders
Based off – Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry
Created by – Bryan Fuller & Alex Kurtzman
Production/Distribution Companies – CBS Television Studios, Roddenberry Entertainment, Secret Hideout, CBS All Access & Netflix.
Starring in Season 2 – Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Wilson Cruz, David Ajala with Michelle Yeoh and Noah Averbach-Katz, Ian Lake, Daniel Jun, Oded Fehr, Blu del Barrio, Ian Alexander, Emily Coutts, Patrick Kwok-Choon, Oyin Oladejo, Ronnie Rowe Jr., Sara Mitich, David Benjamin Tomlinson, Vanessa Jackson Julianne Grossman & Leeu