Thursday, November 19, 2020

REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' - Michael and Georgiou Work to Rescue Book After He Is Imprisoned in 'Scavengers'

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 3.06 "Scavengers"

After receiving a message from Book, Burnham and Georgiou embark on a rogue mission to find him, leaving Saru to pick up the pieces with Admiral Vance. Meanwhile, Stamets forms an unexpected bond with Adira.

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.

"Scavengers" was written by Anne Cofell Saunders and directed by Doug Aarniokoski

Trust is integral in any relationship. It provides the bond the Discovery crew needs in order to overcome any obstacle that stands in their way. However, they may be bonded together more so by all of the insane and transformative things that have happened to them collectively. They all felt a duty to proudly serve as part of Starfleet. That always provided them with a guiding light. And yet, Michael has always been a rogue operative. She has pulled this ship into conflicts numerous times. She has absolutely dealt with consequences before. However, this season seems to be examining just how far trust can take these relationships. Saru and Tilly love Michael. They support her. But they also feel betrayed by her because she goes off on her own mission here to save Book. It's a mission she fiercely believes in. She doesn't think that Starfleet can sustain itself or even rebuild so long as the mystery about the Burn remains. If she can solve this century old mystery, then she can provide a service to this world that allows it to return to its former glory. Right now, she doesn't view Starfleet in the same way. It operates in a diminished capacity. Saru is more than willing to serve in whatever way Admiral Vance wants him to. He sees the value in this ship and what it is capable of doing. The Discovery may be a crucial asset to restoring some sense of peace and order in the former Federation. It still has to be used sparingly to ensure that the secret of the spore drive doesn't immediately paint a target on this new Starfleet. It can't be defeated after fighting so hard to stay alive. Michael may not think it's worth fighting for Starfleet as it currently exists. Her drive is elsewhere. She is motivated by her personal connection to Book. It's great that the show doesn't tease out their romantic connection for too long. It's completely obvious to everyone. The audience recognizes that and so do various members aboard the Discovery. They know why Michael is acting so recklessly in this situation. The narrative seals it with a kiss in the end too. It's a moment that isn't interrupted. It is briefly for great comedic effect. However, it still happens and will allow the story between them to move on to something much more engaging to watch. It wasn't great to see her deny these feelings. Them learning to trust each other largely happened offscreen. Meanwhile, the bonds on the Discovery have been playing out for three seasons now. They have a history. Trust is so easy to break though. Michael warned Saru that she may no longer be able to serve in the capacity that he wants her in. She proves that point exactly here. This may no longer be the life for her. She goes off on this mission with Georgiou. It's a success. They rescue Book and retrieve the black box full of data from before the Burn. It may provide ample information. It has to turn up something in order for Michael to rationalize her actions. Before she receives that clarity though, she deals with the punishment of her actions. Again, people can understand the argument she continually makes. If she placed trust in these relationships and wanted them to blossom, then a compromise could have been found. She rushed to judgment and broke off on her own. She is making that active decision. She knows Saru is right to demote her as well. Having that clarity may not ensure that she has learned her lesson though. She is the only one who knows that something is going on with Georgiou following the time jump. That could be scary and unpredictable too. Georgiou isn't even willing to trust her even though she broke away from her universe because of this bond with Michael. Elsewhere, the show presents Stamets and Adira as kindred spirits. They recognize each other's brilliant minds. But they connect on a deeper level by the conversations they have with loved ones who have died. It's an insane circumstance. It's one where the show shouldn't simply repeat what it did in the past either. LGBTQ+ relationships deserve to be centered around more than death. The love should be just as powerful and resonant. That may develop moving forward. At the moment though, the show is offering some character beats to suggest Discovery is getting a major upgrade where the crew plays with its new toys. That sparks joy. However, it can only mask some of the existential concerns for a short while. A leadership change has come because Michael broke Saru's trust. That will have to be rebuilt. She may think that finding these answers and being the only one actively fighting for them will do the trick. And yet, it caused so much of the damage in the first place.