TL;DR – This week, we discover just how stuffed Discovery is this season.
Disclosure – I paid for the Paramount+ service that viewed this episode.
Star Trek: Discovery Review –
There are many things that you can prepare for in life. But at any second, something entirely out of the realm of your understanding could snatch you away. As a species, we like to ignore it, even though we all kind of process that reality on any given day. Well, what happens if that something is a black hole five light-years across that likes to pummel planets into dust?
So to set the scene, at the end of Kobayashi Maru, disaster strikes when they save the space station crew. Still, while that is happening, the entire planet of Kwejian is obliterated, killing everyone and everything on the surface. This hits Book (David Ajala) the hardest because he had just started to reconnect with his family on Kwejian. Well, when you have an unknown anomaly, what is the first thing you do? Study it, which is what Discovery is sent to do before panic erupts across the galaxy. We will be looking at the episode as a whole from here, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
A lot is going on in this episode, but the one area I want to focus on is how it explores grief. There is a lot of grief to go around this week, and everyone is processing it differently as one would expect, and also as the show is at pains to explain. For Book, there is the grief of what could have been. What could have happened if he had just had his brother and nephew join him on the ship. His past is literally haunting him as he was, and he is powerless to do anything but stew in his anger at the situation. David Ajala gets to show off his acting chops as you see the character slowly come to terms with his loss and having to have awkward small talk with Stamets (Anthony Rapp). But he is not alone. The deaths from last week have also had a significant impact on Tilly (Mary Wiseman) and Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). The latter of which is processing being called reckless by the Federation President Laira Rillak (Chelah Horsdal).
While there is a lot of grief this week, critical calming influences have also come in the form of Saru (Doug Jones) and Hugh (Wilson Cruz). Hugh is told that he is a light touch with his patients, which is accurate, and it helps ground everything from going too far out of reach. Then there is Saru, and bless Doug Jones, one of the great actors of our time. He is stuck under layers and layers of prosthetics, and yet he can make every moment feel considered. I am glad they have brought him back onto the Discovery. The show needs both these characters and, to an extent, Charles Vance (Oded Fehr) to help provide that centre of humanity in a sea of sci-fi wackiness.
In the end, do we recommend Anomaly? Yes. I liked how it played with gravity, which much have been an interesting filming day. I liked that it dealt with both the emotion and the science of what is going on. I liked that the solution of windsurfing out of the anomaly was both completely stupid but also peak-Star Trek. I also liked that this is a very different threat than we have faced before.
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 – Anne Cofell Saunders & Glenise Mullins
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, Tara Rosling, Annabelle Wallis, Emily Coutts, Patrick Kwok-Choon, Oyin Oladejo, Ronnie Rowe Jr., Sara Mitch, Luca Doulgeris, Leeu & Durban