Thursday, February 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' - Spock Is Found But Isn't the Person Michael Has Always Known in 'Light and Shadows'

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 2.07 "Light and Shadows"

In researching what's left of the Red Angel's signal over Kaminar, Pike and Tyler end up in battle with time itself. Georgiou has a few tricks up her sleeve for Leland and Section 31.

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.

"Light and Shadows" was directed by Marta Cunningham with story by Ted Sullivan & Vaun Wilmott and teleplay by Ted Sullivan

There was the assumption that this season would really snap into focus the moment that Spock actually joined the narrative. Well, that's not inherently true which is pretty disappointing. Ethan Peck makes his first appearance as Spock here. It's not just some brief cameo at the end of the episode either. Amanda found him and is keeping him hidden on Vulcan. Michael can tell she's lying and demands to see him. But this episode really doesn't serve as a proper introduction for Spock into this story. He still presents as a mystery that needs to be solved instead of as a character with his own unique perspective. Michael is trying to crack the code he is saying and writing on the walls. She can clearly see that he needs help. The logical thing to do would be to turn him in so that he could receive the best medical treatment Starfleet has to offer. That's not what occurs though. Instead, Michael and Spock end up in the custody of Section 31. Leland continues to present as a nice and noble guy who can be trusted. And yet, Georgiou claims that he plans on torturing Spock for information by pulling his own memories out of his head. Now, it's unclear whether or not Michael and the audience should trust what Georgiou has to say. She has her own agenda in all of this. She wishes to be the one running Section 31. She believes she's in control and doesn't respect the chain of command. In the end, she seems to get her wish too by proclaiming her leverage over Leland by knowing that he killed Michael's biological parents. That could be a damning reveal. However, it doesn't really feel like it should be a priority at the moment. Instead, it's much more pressing to see Michael and Spock as fugitives together. They are running from the law. She conveniently cracks the mysterious numbers he keeps saying as well. That means she has a destination to go to in the hopes of helping her brother. It will mean something significant. And yet, she does so without informing any of her friends on the Discovery. They are dealing with their own problems at the moment. But Spock and the Red Angel are connected. That's why Tyler is still aboard the Discovery. This ship is suppose to be coordinating their efforts with Section 31. That may be part of the reason why Michael doesn't return. This is personal time for her to save her brother during his time of need. She wants to help him understand his life in a way he never has before. That may be a daunting task especially when fighting against the Red Angel. That creature is confirmed to be a time traveler from the future. It has technology that the Discovery can't understand completely at the moment. It's miraculous but also terrifying. Tyler made the suggestion that the Red Angel and the future it comes from may not be friendly. That's certainly the assumption given that Tyler and Pike are trapped in a time disruption and attacked by their own probe which has been modified by someone 500 years in the future. It's a virus that wants to quickly spread through the Discovery. That may be a lingering threat as well. It does lend some support to this idea that the future is meddling in the past for some nefarious reason. But again, the show will have to be more upfront with what exactly is going on in order for the audience to be invested. Tyler and Pike do get to bond a little bit here while counting on Stamets for a miraculous save. However, it also mostly feels like the show keeping those characters busy and in danger while Michael finds Spock and deals with Section 31.