Thursday, December 24, 2020

REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' - Michael, Saru and Culber Must Help a Lost Soul Whose Actions Could Create More Harm in 'Su'Kal'

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 3.11 "Su'Kal"

Discovery ventures to the Verubin Nebula, where Burnham, Saru and Culber make a shocking realization about the origin of the Burn as the rest of the crew faces an unexpected threat.

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.

"Su'Kal" was written by Anne Cofell Saunders and directed by Norma Bailey

All season long Michael has sought out answers to what caused the Burn. That mission has given her purpose. She doubted herself as a member of Starfleet. She has also gained confidence and assurance in her role in saving the universe. She could bond with the members of her crew and rely on them to share the burden this mission has placed on all of them. They want to save this version of the future. It is their present now. It's a time of darkness because the Federation was wiped out a long time ago. Solving this core mystery about the Burn won't immediately fix everything. However, Book notes that it will be a sudden expansion of the universe once more. Quadrants would no longer be cut off from one another. The channels of communication would be open to possibly flourish once more. Now, the storytelling of the season has inferred that the Burn not being an accident meant someone acted with malicious intent towards Starfleet. The organization was destroyed in an instant. People had to worry about maintaining some sense of structure instead of analyzing what exactly happened. Michael proved that the Burn didn't happen everywhere at once. She could pinpoint the origin. And now, the Discovery has landed in that location. They find a life sign on a crashed ship. The planet they find offers a new sense of hope. It has all the resources necessary to dramatically reshape the world once more. If Starfleet can control the output of these resources with the ideals that used to dictate the organization, then the universe could return to the path of peaceful diplomacy. And yet, plenty of people have corrupt and nefarious motives in this world. They have taken ahold of power and won't relinquish that so easily. Osyraa has tracked down the Discovery. She knows exactly how to destroy its defenses and take control. It's possibly the worst outcome that Tilly could have expected during her first stint in the captain's chair. Saru has travelled to the planet to rescue the Kelpien who has been stranded for over a century. Everyone completely trusts Tilly. They know she will make the right calls when the time arrives. The Discovery is trying to stick to the mission. Their shields are depleted and they hope to bring Saru, Michael and Culber back safely. And yet, they are disarmed by the new outburst that could cause implosion once more. The narrative reveals that Osyraa is the antagonist everyone should be worried about as it pertains to hopefully rebuilding the Federation. The Burn was a complete accident caused by the irrational emotions of a child whose DNA was altered. Su'Kal has survived on this planet because his mother was a genius who created the systems to forever guide him. His volatile nature also sends this danger outward to a drastic extent. When Michael, Saru and Culber beam down to the planet, they are expecting to deal with an individual on a ship. Instead, they land in an elaborate simulation. One that imagines them as different species. It's a more significant change for Saru because he is depicted as a human. That's a nice way to see Doug Jones without all the prosthetic makeup. He has long been the emotional heart of the show. Saru feels a close connection to this case now because Kelpiens are involved. They are at the center of all of this. They were fully welcomed by the Federation. They were tasked with this crucial mission. The disaster simply had widespread consequences. And now, it's up to the Discovery to stop this tragedy from occurring again. That is difficult because Su'Kal is terrified by his greatest fears. A monster plagues him in this fantasy. It's his reality though. He no longer sees the outside world as an obtainable goal. He doubts Michael, Saru and Culber are real. They are here to rescue him. That was always the end result of all of this. The program protecting him is breaking down because of the radiation. It functions enough to create more problems. But it's also a coping mechanism where it's the only life Su'Kal has known. He has a firm grip on it and won't let go. Michael wants answers. She needs to better understand what happened. When she receives that clarity, she goes away with Book to save Discovery after it has been stolen and jumps away to Starfleet headquarters. Meanwhile, Saru and Culber are left behind to deal with the emotional ramifications of trying to connect with this lost soul. That continues to highlight how Michael doesn't exactly form loving relationships in ways that are significant outside of the core plot. She got what she needed from this adventure. And now, other characters are tasked with the emotional burden of helping a person in need. That is noble for them and continues to highlight how Michael's perspective is different. It isn't always a hindrance. It can certainly create problems a lot of the time though which the show has used frequently throughout its run.