Thursday, March 21, 2019

REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' - Michael Learns Shocking Information About Her Past and Future in 'The Red Angel'

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 2.10 "The Red Angel"

Michael is stunned when she learns her ties to Section 31 run deeper than she ever fathomed. Armed with the identity of the Red Angel, the U.S.S. Discovery goes to work on its most critical mission to date.

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.

"The Red Angel" was written by Chris Silvestri & Anthony Maranville and directed by Hanelle Culpepper

This hour features a plot so stupid that it actually works. It has to. Otherwise, the main characters would look like a bunch of idiots. That can never be the perception that the audience has of them though. So no matter how insane this plot to kill Michael is, it still ultimately has to succeed in luring the Red Angel into a trap. That's seemingly the only way for the season to move its overall story forward. And yet, the show doesn't really do a solid job in underlining the urgency of all of this. Yes, there is a threat in the future where an artificial intelligence will wipe out the entire system. Starfleet is wise enough to suspect that their systems may still be compromised after Control was infected at Section 31 headquarters. However, this hour also highlights an arrogance amongst the Federation in which they have to be the ones to solve all of the great mysteries of the world. They have to be the ones to make remarkable advancements in technology. This hour just casually drops the idea that Starfleet and the Klingons have been waging a Cold War over time travel technology for decades. It's the reason why Michael's biological parents were killed in the first place. They were working on this secret program for Section 31 and Leland. His carelessness got them killed because the Klingons could track a time crystal back to their location. Michael has a right to be angry. The conversation that she has with Spock afterwards is very insightful and meaningful. It further enhances this dynamic that proves that they are siblings who bicker but still support one another. Spock is more than willing to point out Michael's self-importance. She has to be the one to save the universe from these grand threats. It certainly lines up with everything that has happened over the course of the show so far. It's what allows everyone to buy into the idea that some future version of Michael is actually the Red Angel. That proves that time travel exists and was created by Starfleet for this exact purpose. But now, everyone on the Discovery sees the importance of capturing the Red Angel in order to learn everything about the threat they are facing in the current timeline. Of course, it's foolish and feels incredibly rushed. They believe that Michael can be the bait for this trap because the Red Angel appears whenever she's in danger. Of course, this story brings her closer to death than she was in the previous two times that the Red Angel interfered. Plus, it's strange how the Red Angel would have reached out to Spock as a child in order to save young Michael from the dangers of the Vulcan wilderness. All of this unravels so easily with the slightest pull. As such, it's becoming clear that the creative team really didn't put too much thought into the overall story this season and if it all made sense. Instead, it is just a bunch of plot complications and developments that hope to keep the audience entertained and nervous. It's a big idea that Michael's mother is still alive and actually the Red Angel. It presents as a new complication. And yet, it's also playing straight into the hand of this faceless antagonist that wishes to destroy the world. The Discovery crew don't know enough about time travel and just rush into this stupid trap in order to get information as quickly as possible. The show is rushing things and it shows considerably. Sure, it may still open the episode by holding a funeral for Airiam. That is significant. However, it also proves that the show will continue to prioritize plot over character no matter how effective the previous episode was by doing the exact opposite.