Thursday, November 12, 2020

REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' - The Discovery Crew Finally Reunites with the Leadership of Starfleet in 'Die Trying'

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 3.05 "Die Trying"

After reuniting with what remains of Starfleet and the Federation, the U.S.S. Discovery and its crew must prove that a 930 year old crew and starship are exactly what this new future needs.

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.

"Die Trying" was directed by Maja Vrvila with teleplay by Sean Cochran and story by James Duff & Sean Cochran

For the Discovery crew, they placed all of their hopes on finding what remains of Starfleet. They had to believe that the Federation still existed. They just had to find it. That would provide them with guidance after landing in this foreign new time period. Even without it, they could abide by the principles that once defined this world. That could have created the expectation that Starfleet is nothing like what has always been portrayed on Star Trek. That's not the narrative direction the show opts to portray though. Instead, it depicts an organization that is lessened in its influence. It's no longer a player power in the world. It's not spreading its influence as the pinnacle for all that is good and lawful in the universe. It's not a moral standard for how various species should conduct themselves. Now, they are simply dealing with problems as they arise. They can only focus on the present because they have to pool all of their resources just to address those problems. They can't monitor the system at large. They have to do as much good as they can in the sector they currently occupy. It's meaningful for the officers who do the work. And yet, it has left a void in this world too. Most societies believe that Starfleet had disappeared entirely over the last century. All of this hard work is simply triaging problems instead of attempting to build something sustainable once more. As such, it creates a story wherein the current leadership of Starfleet could learn something from the Discovery crew. They came from a different time. It was a different era for this organization. There are still surprises. More planets joined the Federation after Discovery left. Saru and Nahn feel comfort and pride in their respective home worlds. But again, so much distance exists amongst the planets and the organizations fighting to survive. Discovery has an advantage because of the spore drive. It becomes an asset because of this special technology. That makes it valuable. And yet, its crew may not be in the best mental place to man the various missions its leaders want to embark on. Detmer continues to struggle with this trauma. Michael is focused on her sole mission for answers and is more than comfortable being aggressive instead of diplomatic. Saru does his best to guide this journey for his crew. He wants to protect them while still offering a way to merge with this new society. The Admiral now in charge of Starfleet doubts the story that this crew is telling. He knows just how dangerous time travel can be. Wars have been fought over it. Starfleet and its influence was destroyed and people are no closer to answers than they were a century ago. He has to be wary of people arriving with a fanciful story. He has to learn to trust them because they too want to help the people enduring hardships at this time. It's because of the Discovery technology and the unity of the crew that a cure is made to save lives. That presents the argument for why this crew is valuable and needs to stay together. They have to cope with this experience as a crew. They may be shaky. And yet, their strength comes from one another. Michael recognizes the power of Starfleet comes from the people she serves alongside. She cares about them. She reaches out to ensure that they are okay. Now, the narrative has continually pointed out that several individuals aren't. That is very profound with Detmer. And now, Georgiou is caught staring off into space. It's odd and meant to suggest something uncharacteristic may be going on with her. She is the only one who gets to interact with David Cronenberg's expert on the Terran universe. That could be significant. But it may also prove that those with the hardest edges also have vulnerabilities that have evolved over time. Nahn steps away from the crew knowing her destiny must take her back to her home planet. The crew will see her again because Rachael Ancheril is a series regular this season. And so, the power of that moment is lessened a little bit. And yet, this is still a transitional episode that reflects on what could be once more for Starfleet if the spark of its ideals can be allowed to spread throughout the world with the right nurturing and tools. It seemingly only takes an inspirational speech from Saru about hope and seeing the stars once more with an invigorated perspective. That's a nice sentiment. One that unifies this world and its characters. It still feels like the show building up something instead of fully embracing what currently is. A good sentiment instead of engaging drama.