Thursday, December 17, 2020

REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' - Georgiou's Choices May Not Stop Inevitable Outcomes From Happening in 'Terra Firma, Part 2'

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 3.10 "Terra Firma, Part 2"

Georgiou uncovers the true depths of the plot against her, leading her to a revelation about how deeply her time on the U.S.S. Discovery truly changed her.

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.

"Terra Firma, Part 2" was directed by Chloe Domont with story by Bo Yeon Kim, Erika Lippoldt & Alan McElroy and teleplay by Kalinda Vazquez

Back in November 2018, it was first announced that CBS All Access was in development of a Star Trek series headed by Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. That was before the second season of Discovery had even aired. And yet, that prospective show has always been a possibility of happening. It's not the first spinoff of Discovery to land a series order. Strange New Worlds is coming at some point centering around the characters who were left behind in the original place in the timeline. Moreover, the Georgiou project hasn't even been given an official greenlight. These last two episodes are certainly setting up that eventuality though. The story was framed by the two writers who have led development on that series - Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt. Plus, this episode leaves Georgiou's story in a place where she disconnects from the rest of the mythology relating to this show. It absolutely had to be a difficult decision. Georgiou and Michael's bond informs both of their characters in some profound ways. Losing that relationship would mean a significant part of this show was now gone. This season has basically been establishing that this will be the end for Georgiou. She was dying from a disease that only affected her following the time jump. To save herself, she is basically tested to see how much the Prime universe has actually changed her. She has always argued that Terran is home for her. That's the universe she wants to return to. She only exists in the Prime timeline because of Michael. She gets to have this relationship with her once more even though they are radically different than the former versions they once knew. Georgiou has gotten to interact with her Michael again. She is given the opportunity to return to Terran and make different choices. She tries to break Michael to ensure her enthusiasm for a revolt against the Emperor doesn't end in death. She wants to save her daughter. She has seen a different way of life. Terran universe stories have grown incredibly one note because the characters in that world only see life in a small-minded way. A person has to be strong at all times. Weakness is only an invitation for violence. Georgiou refusing to kill Michael basically proves the revolution's point about her no longer being strong as the Emperor. Georgiou wants to change this reality. Her time with the Discovery crew has offered her a different perspective. The show basically admits that no one from the Terran universe is beyond redemption. And yet, there comes a point in the timeline where they are all too far gone. That's not really a hopeful message to send. It basically just affirms that nothing good can come from this universe as it pulls further and further away from the Prime timeline. Be happy to be in the Prime universe and not in one where this radical hatred and violence dominates all life. It only grows more dark and violent too. If Georgiou wants to make a difference, she has to go back even further. Her actions can determine how these two timelines diverge. She will be given the chance to choose which reality she wants to live in. She had to close herself off in order to survive in Terran. She saw the value of relationships in Prime. And now, she can make different choices in her life. It takes her away on her own separate journey. The Discovery crew mourns her because this is essentially a death for her in their lives. They are where they are suppose to be. Michael receives that clarity here. Booker also helps connect the ship to the emergency distress signal from the origin of the Burn. They all still have purpose. These last two episodes have largely broken away from the overall plot concerns of the season. They have been in service to this one particular character. It gives her a sendoff while also leaving the door open for more. Yes, Georgiou is a wonderful character who encompasses a broad range of life experiences. The crew have varied reactions to her being gone. It offers some peace in knowing that she found her place elsewhere. It was her choice. Michael wasn't making it for her. And yet, it's all too easy to assume that the Discovery crew will go back to making their same choices in the following episode. Georgiou is given this conclusion. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew has too much uncertainty that will only further complicate the lives of everyone living in this current century. It was a question if Michael could say goodbye to Georgiou if necessary. That's never really a problem here. It just comes with assurance that they taught each other a lot and will continue to keep their memories of each other close to their hearts.