TL;DR – An episode that balances the personal with the large scale story and that was a delight to see.
Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this series.
The Sanctuary Review –
We are starting to get to the pointy end of the season for Star Trek Discovery, and many of the story beats that have been thrown out there have begun to come home to roost. Today we get to see three stories based around different members of the crew as well as our first primary interaction with the series apparent big bad.
So to set the scene, in last week’s episode, we got to see the fruits of Spock’s (Leonard Nimoy / Ethan Peck) labour with the Unification of the Romulan and Vulcan people. But more than that, it was a turning point for Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) in where she wanted to find her home. This week, things get turned on their head, when Book (David Ajala) receives a message from his home pulling the crew, Discovery, and The Federation into a direct confrontation with the Emerald Chain. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
This week we get three intertwined stories, which does many things, but chiefly it allows us to spend more time with different crew members as we start to settle into this future world. The first involves what is happening to Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh). We have known for a while that something is very wrong with her, and this week she finally sought medical advice from Culber (Wilson Cruz) and Pollard (Raven Dauda). We start this episode with a verbal dual between Georgiou and Culber, which was a delight to watch, as it gave both actors the room to stretch their talents. But this raises a lot of questions, what is in Georgiou’s past that is traumatising her so, and what caused this to come to the fore now.
The next story involved The Burn, as Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Adira (Blu del Barrio) work to combine the data from Ni’var with the data that Michael already got from the black boxes. Using the data they were able to triangulate it to the Verubin Nebula, which at the core had a Federation distress signal emerging from it. While this is happening, we got to spend some time with Stamets and Adria as they talk about their lives and fears with Stamets taking on the role of a space-dad figure, well space-dads with Culber. There were some touching moments here, and it was nice that the show took some time in what was a packed episode to find these moments.
Finally, the main story for the week was Book going back to him home planet Kwejian, after getting a message from his brother Kyheem (Ache Hernandez) that something was wrong. Here we get to see the modus-operandi of the Emerald Chain, taking advantage of the chaos to profit through exploitation. Indeed, our first meeting with the head of the Chain, Osyraa (Janet Kidder) has her killing her nephew Tolor (Ian Lake) for his incompetence in Scavengers. The crew has to work within some pretty fine margins when Osyraa interrupts their mission on the planet and demands the return of Ryn (Noah Averbach-Katz) or she will devastate the planet. All of this leads to Ryn and Detmer (Emily Coutts) using Book’s ship to take out the cruiser and save the day. I was concerned for Detmer’s safety until Grudge (Leeu) appeared and well there was no way they were going to kill off the cat.
But it is in this story where something coalesced that had been brewing in my mind for a while. We know from the Short Trek Calypso that at some point in the future some version of The Federation (the V’draysh) is an antagonist. Well the more we have seen of the current Federation and Starfleet, the more it seems that something is amiss. Georgiou started to have her issues after she met with the organisation. At least three of the founding members have left the organisation with the Andorians having it as a bogeyman. While you might be able to frame that around propaganda from the Orions, you can’t use that with the Vulcans. Now we find that at the centre of The Burn is a Federation distress signal. I have a feeling that at the end of this season, we will find that something is rotten to the core. The question then becomes does the Discovery try and fix it from within or does it do rogue and create a new organisation based on the original foundations. This is just speculation on my part, but I think we are heading in that direction.
Before we go, I did want to flag two interactions that bookended the show that was a delight to see. The first was Saru (Doug Jones) and his new first officer Tilly (Mary Wiseman) going through everything they needed to do for the day. It was an odd choice to pick ensign Tilly to be the first officer, but here we see that it was a great choice. On the flip side, we got to see Michael talking with Leto (Luca Doulgeris), Kyheem’s son about the big lizard and I don’t think that was scripted, but Sonequa Martin-Green was working with the young actor and it was a delight.
In the end, do we recommend The Sanctuary? Yes, yes we do. It was a blast that managed to work the small personal moments with furthering the overarching story and the big action sequences. As we move forward, I have a feeling that a big reveal is about to drop, and the status quo is about to collapse.
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 – Kenneth Lin & Brandon Schultz
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, Ache Hernandez, Janet Kidder, Ian Lake, Luca Doulgeris, Oded Fehr, Blu del Barrio, Emily Coutts, Patrick Kwok-Choon, Oyin Oladejo, Ronnie Rowe Jr., Sara Mitich, David Benjamin Tomlinson, Raven Dauda & Leeu