Thursday, April 18, 2019

REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' - Michael and the Discovery Boldly Travel to a New Unknown in 'Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2'

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 2.14 "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2"

The USS Discovery battles against Control in a fight not only for their lives but for the future, with a little help from some unexpected friends. Spock and Burnham discern vital new connections between the red signals while Burnham faces one of life's harshest truths: the right decisions are often the hardest to make.

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 season finale of CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery.

"Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2" was written by Michelle Paradise, Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman and directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

This is a big and explosive finale. It's the kind of episode that aspires to dazzle the audience with the special effects and the big action sequences. That encompasses so much of this slightly-extended episode as well. It's the battle being fought against Control and the Section 31 ships it has taken over. At first, it seems as if the Discovery and Enterprise are outnumbered and overpowered. And yet, the finale ultimately ends with the message that different groups of people coming together to confront a seismic threat to all of them is actually enough to emerge victorious in this battle. Sure, that moment comes after the Discovery and Enterprise sustain considerable damage to their ships. Plus, the audience should question why no other StarFleet ships were able to make it to the battlefield in time when the Kelpians and Klingons could. That may have just been because Tyler reached out to those two groups specifically. Moreover, the show highlights how the mysterious signals from throughout the season were all leading the Discovery crew to the tools necessary to defeat this great threat. It feels like a summation of everything that has happened in a way too. Michael can't move forward in time until she sets the past and helps determine the current path for the Discovery. She has to revisit all of these locations and remember the importance the signals and the Red Angel have had for the crew this season. Sure, it's mostly just describing to the audience what has already happened. Meanwhile, the finale ends with the basic twists that were established in the previous episode. There is nothing inherently surprising in the execution of this finale. There is only one major death in this final conflict as well. Admiral Cornwell sacrifices herself in order to save the Enterprise from complete destruction. That's really the only moment where the audience is suppose to feel sad over the events and tragedies of this battle. Sure, that feeling also comes when Michael and Spock realize they won't be making this journey together. That was always a little inevitable though because of Spock's general placement in the timeline of the overall Star Trek franchise. This episode has to clarify why the first two seasons of the show have acted like a prequel even though the specific events have never been mentioned previously in the Star Trek canon. The vow of silence is a little ridiculous as an explanation. But that doesn't take away from the moment where the siblings are telling each other just how much they have learned from the other. They are who they are because of these relationships. That won't disappear even though Spock will never be able to talk about Michael in public again. Michael may have lost this connection but she also sends a final signal to let the entire Enterprise crew know that they safely arrived in the future and everything is okay. That's the bold new vision for the show. It aspires to explore a future that hasn't been seen before. It may not be the same version of the future where Dr. Burnham came from when she reconnected with her daughter again. And yet, they may have the chance of meeting again while the entire crew stays together. Pike, Spock and Tyler may be staying in the present but the rest of the ensemble is boldly going forward in time. They do so even though the threat from Control is completely eliminated here. That presents as a way for the show to close off this story for good without any lingering threats. But the audience has to question why Discovery has to make this leap at all? Sure, Michael has to send two more signals. Plus, she has already opened the wormhole when Georgiou kills Leland. And yet, the show ends on the message that StarFleet does not have the tools to appreciate the sphere date. That's a little weird considering this show embodies the idea of scientific exploration and understanding of the world's grand mysteries. But it's certainly a lot of fun to see Michael out in space guided along this mission as well as Georgiou's battle with Leland in a corridor with changing gravity.