Friday, February 1, 2019

REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' - Michael and Amanda Continue to Learn Shocking Secrets About Spock in 'Point of Light'

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 2.03 "Point of Light"

A surprise visitor to the U.S.S. Discovery brings shocking news about Spock and dredges up past regrets for Burnham. Following the asteroid incident, Tilly struggles to keep a grip on her reality. L'Rell's authority on Qo'noS is threatened.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery.

"Point of Light" was written by Andrew Colville and directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

Three episodes in, it feels like the creative team is still trying to figure out what they actually want to do this season. That's very problematic because it seems like things are shifting from episode-to-episode and even moment-to-moment. It may all play as the show trying to deliver some twist that more informs the viewer in each episode instead of just delaying everything until one huge shocking moment. However, it also comes across as very erratic. In the premiere, Pike said that Spock was on leave. In the second episode, Pike said that Spock had been institutionalized with his family not being notified. And now in the third episode, Michael and Amanda learn that Spock has become a fugitive wanted for murder. That's a complete escalation of events while still conveniently leaving Spock offscreen for all of it. It makes it continue to seem like the show is talking around its central premise this year. Amanda can provide more insight into how long these dreams of the Red Angel have been plaguing Spock. Michael can continue to tease the tragic event that destroyed her connection with her brother for so many years. And yet, the show doesn't really make any progress when it comes to actually solving its main mystery or fleshing out the character dynamics in new ways that inform the overall story. As such, it makes it very lackluster. It's almost as if Michael really doesn't accomplish anything here. Elsewhere, it's very appreciated that Tilly doesn't keep the secret of her hallucination a secret for very long. Sure, it's annoying how she still tries to live with it by herself only for it to eventually get her into trouble with Pike and Saru. That's a very forced dynamic mostly because she has built friendships with Michael and Stamets where she could go to them with concerns about what's going on with her. They are the ones who are able to rationalize that it is something that has physically manifested itself because it has latched onto Tilly. It's not her mind playing tricks on her after being knocked out by the asteroid. It's a specific response brought on by a spore that landed on her when the Discovery was leaving the Terran universe. Sure, that became obvious the moment the manifestation declared the captain had to be much paler and blonder than Pike. That really could only be describing Stamets. And yet, Tilly doesn't think of that until it is pointed out by Michael. At least he is able to do something about it by removing the leech. And finally, the Klingons make their debut for the season. Now, the Klingons were not well-utilized in the first season. There were really no stakes to the war between the Klingons and Starfleet. It was mostly happening offscreen while the main characters kept stressing the importance of victory. And now, L'Rell is the leader of the Klingons. However, her and Tyler's story here also feels like it has trouble figuring out which direction it wishes to pursue. At first, it's Tyler being unable to fit in because everyone judges him as human based on the body he now inhabits. Then, there is the yearning between Tyler and Michael when he reaches out to offer some information. Then, Tyler discovers that Voq and L'Rell had a baby at some point. Then, everything is threatened where it seems like L'Rell won't stay in power for very long. And then, everything concludes with L'Rell choosing to be the Mother of the Klingons even though that means having to say goodbye to Tyler and her baby in the process. It's the advice she gets from Georgiou, who is now working for Starfleet's Section 31. Now, any advice given by her should be taken with a grain of salt because she was a tyrant in the Terran universe. She is thriving in this world though. She can recruit Tyler to her new unit as well. All of this could be seen as essential setup for the spinoff starring Michelle Yeoh that is currently in development in CBS All Access. However, it seems more likely that it's just the setup for new conflict that these characters will have with those on the Discovery.