Thursday, October 22, 2020

REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' - Saru and Tilly Make First Contact with the Future as Georgiou Sees Danger in 'Far From Home'

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 3.02 "Far From Home"

After the U.S.S. Discovery crash lands on a strange planet, the crew finds themselves racing against time to repair their ship. Meanwhile, Saru and Tilly embark on a perilous first-contact mission in hopes of finding Burnham.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"Far From Home" was written by Michelle Paradise, Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman and directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

In the premiere, Michael had to quickly find her way in a strange, new world after time traveling hundreds of years. And now, the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery has to do the exact same thing. As such, the stories have to be dramatically different from one another. The structure at the start of this season is to show off just how alienating and different the future can be when making such a brutal landing in it. The crew is immediately forced into conflicts in this area. There is no guarantee that their hard work will actually pay off in the end. All they can do is keep hope alive. They remain guided by the principles of Starfleet. They land in a future where the Federation no longer exists. Some portions of the population still hold out hope that such a unifying peace could return to their lives some day. Others gave up on such an idea long ago. It didn't help them survive in the worlds they were currently living in. When Saru and Tilly make first contact with the future, they do so believing in the procedures and ideals. They are greeted by miners forced into servitude who are terrified about what could possibly happen to them. This is a dangerous planet. One where the ice is parasitic and especially lethal at night. That adds some intensity to the repairs necessary on the ship. It creates a sense of urgency as Stamets races against the clock to fix the one broken piece derailing their communication system. That overall side plot is a little tangential and not all that engaging. It mostly states how everyone in the crew is physically fine after the fight with Control. However, they are still in pain because of that. Jett gets to play that for the comedy. Meanwhile, Stamets is simply stubborn. He has to be the one to crawl to the panel to the fix it. That makes it dangerous when his wounds open up once more. Culber has every right to be furious with him. And yet, that's all the dimension there truly is to this particular story. In the main plot, it's all about the battle of ideologies between Saru and Georgiou. She believes that they must attack. They have to present as strong whenever encountering a new species. They always must be ready for battle. They have to strike before they are hit first. That was how she led and conquered. She may actually thrive in this new world order because the Federation doesn't exist to offer a sense of authority. She clashes with Saru's leadership. She doesn't agree with his principles. From her perspective, he repeatedly falls into traps where criminals are more than able to take advantage of his peaceful nature. He does negotiate. He does so in good faith though. He acknowledges the devastation the ship brings to this planet. A true believer in Starfleet dies because he is willing to help. And yet, Saru's actions inspire others. The chains are broken. He succeeds in empowering this community. He is aware of that larger picture. He understands that one man's sense of justice is different. It still has to be respected no matter what. It's not up to him or Georgiou to decide what fate should befall the man who has abused this community. He believes in the ideals of diplomacy no matter what. His efforts are continually rewarded too. When the Discovery is picked up by a mysterious ship, Michael is the savior on the other side grateful to have finally found her friends. A year has passed for her which should make her character journey more complex than when she was last seen. She has had time to adjust to this time period. She has a good lay of the land. And now, the entire crew is reunited. The future remains unclear for them. And yet, it's likely that some conflict will arise that forces them into action. Their determination to bring peace and prosperity to the galaxy will guide them as they try to offer a better world. But they are still functioning as people removed from this society trying to dictate how it should operate. Starfleet has had its problems. It brought a unifying and peaceful presence too. It offers hope. But now, it's up to this particular crew to prove just how society should function if they have the right tools to accomplish that. They may not considering Georgiou still commands attention. These characters are imperfect. Their core functions to the plot still remain rather basic. The introductions are out of the way now though. And so, the path is wide open for whatever comes next as this time period still holds so many vast and complicated mysteries.