Thursday, October 29, 2020

REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' - The Discovery Crew Arrives on Earth to See How Much Things Have Changed in 'People of Earth'

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 3.03 "People of Earth"

Finally reunited, Burnham and the U.S.S. Discovery crew journey to Earth, eager to learn what happened to the Federation in their absence.

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.

"People of Earth" was written by Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt and directed by Jonathan Frakes

The U.S.S. Discovery is out of place in time. The new people the crew interacts with comment on how the ship is full of ancient technology. And yet, the Discovery was out of place in its original time as well. The spore technology still amazes the engineers in the new time era. When Adira scavenges through the spore drive, it is still a mystery. It's wondrous and amazing when Stamets presents himself as the control patrol. It's a marvel that reveals so much was capable in the past. It can still inform the future and inspire greatness to occur. The entire system has largely given up on the ideals of Starfleet. The Federation was wiped out almost entirely during the Burn. Earth has essentially cut itself off from the rest of the world in order to protect its resources. It is a frequent target of pirates and raiders. Michael learned so much during her year in this time period before her friends arrived. However, so much is still new to her. Her travels were limited because of the lack of resources. She and Book have a short hand now. They work together well. Everyone assumes that they are a couple. They are certainly awkward when that conversation comes up. However, Michael is simply trying to repay Book for helping reunite her with her friends. And yet, it's still strange for Michael to be back on the Discovery. When she returns, she does so with the knowledge that Saru should be named Captain. He has earned that title. Plus, he is completely devoted to the cause of protecting this ship and its crew while upholding the ideals of Starfleet. Michael has always been a force of nature who goes off on her own adventures. She is so often the key to unlocking the great mysteries of the universe. She sets the Discovery on the path to discover what led to Starfleet's destruction a century ago. That is important to everyone involved. Plus, they can still present themselves as a noble crew for the cause. They believe the honor and recognition of the Starfleet morals is enough to persuade anyone to trust them. And yet, that kind of trust is hard to build. That is especially true in a world that has walled itself off. It has embraced a mentality of shoot first and ask questions later. That has led to more human suffering. The leaders of Earth didn't know that the refugees on Titan were struggling to survive. All they saw was pirates hoping to exploit any weaknesses to steal valuable resources. This is a strange and foreign world to the Discovery crew. They hope that some landmarks from their time are still present all these years later. And yet, they don't know what to expect upon returning home to Earth. Things could be so different. The lives of everyone they've known ended a long time ago. That sacrifice is now starting to be felt by the crew. Michael has had some time to reflect and adjust. That may make her more susceptible to Georgiou's view on the world. It's one where living a life in service to a cause is exhausting and possibly futile. Michael is more effective when she is going rogue and trusting in other people. She knows Saru will follow his instincts as a Starfleet officer. She has that trust. But she doesn't tell him her plan. That creates tension wherein Saru and Michael need to discuss what their bond will be going forward. Michael wants to find her way back to Starfleet. She is determined to find the answers to this grand mystery. It's important to her. She won't abandon the ship or her friends. She has to be amongst them once more. She says goodbye to Book. This won't be the last she sees of him this season. Their paths are destined to cross again. And now, Adira has joined the crew to provide the next set of clues. This is all storytelling that is largely working one piece at a time instead of building something much larger. It works for the moment. It's still rather basic in how it displays diplomacy as a necessary tactic in order to bring civilizations together. However, the world needs that lesson over and over again because it too is needed in every day life. Plus, the final moment of Tilly and the other members of the Bridge crew enjoying the familiarities of Earth helps buy into the honest beauty of how life is connected. Time and space may separate the human experience. However, these beautiful moments of intersection can still arise. People just have to take a step back and appreciate them. That too is necessary in order for the audience to see these characters as more than just devoted to the plot points making up some grand mystery.