TL;DR – Not the show’s strongest opener but still an interesting start to the season
Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this episode.
Star Trek: Discovery Review –
Well … this was probably not the welcome back that anyone wanted, with a completely botched move for the show from Netflix to Paramount+ in international markets. However, after much annoyance, those outside North America are finally getting our look in at the new season.
So to set the scene, at the end of That Hope Is You Part 2, the source of The Burn was located in the form of Su’Kal (Bill Irwin), a scared child left alone on a dilithium planet. Now that there is no chance of a new Burn, the Federation is starting the extended effort of reconnecting with the galaxy. One such trip was to Alshain IV when discussions with Emperor Lee’U (Alex McCooeye) fell apart immediately after discovering that Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Booker (David Ajala) hold a monarch hostage in their ship. We will be looking at the episode as a whole from here, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
This was an exciting start to the season, in that we get for the first time in a long while a story all to themselves. There is no setting up another show. There is no significant shift across time and space. For the first time in a while, this is a show building upon its own foundations, which means that potentially everything is up for grabs. Given the title of the first episode is all about unavoidable loss, I think there will be much more of that this season, even if the episode ended in complete destruction.
One of the new touches this season is the introduction of the head of the Federation in the form of Laira Rillak (Chelah Horsdal). Given everything we got last season was just Starfleet, I am happy to see that we are broadening this up to the whole Federation now. It also helps that Chelah Horsdal is an instant impression on the show with her presence. The character is a good foil for Michael because they come from different epistemological positions. It is also good to see that we are starting with the crew being the crew this season rather than having to build that up again.
The big bad this season, which we see explosively in the end, is a gravitational anomaly that can pulverise moons and displace planets. This will mean that the big driver for two seasons in a row will be a natural phenomenon, though much like last season, I doubt it is as simple as that. They do show us just how dangerous a threat it is right at the start as it obliterates Kwejian, but only time will tell if this is compelling enough to survive the whole season.
In the end, do we recommend Kobayashi Maru? Yes, we would. I don’t think it is the strongest opener the show has had. However, it was still an interesting episode of Star Trek, with the excellent production values that have set the show apart.
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 – Olatunde Osunsanmi
Written by – Michelle Paradise, Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman
Based off – Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry
Created by – Bryan Fuller & Alex Kurtzman
Production/Distribution Companies – CBS Television Studios, Roddenberry Entertainment, Secret Hideout, Paramount+.
Starring in Season 2 – Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Wilson Cruz, Blu del Barrio & David Ajala and Oded Fehr, Ian Alexander, Chelah Horsdal, Bill Irwin, Emily Coutts, Patrick Kwok-Choon, Oyin Oladejo, Ronnie Rowe Jr., Sara Mitch, Raven Dauda, David Benjamin Tomlinson, Leeu, Durban, Orville Cummings, Luca Doulgeris, Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll, Ache Hernandez, Vanessa Jackson & Alex McCooeye