Thursday, January 7, 2021

REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' - Michael and Saru Must Forge New Connections to Save the Entire World in 'That Hope Is You, Part 2'

CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery - Episode 3.13 "That Hope Is You, Part 2"

As the Emerald Chain tightens its grip and the mystery of the Burn is finally solved, Burnham and the crew have one last chance to save themselves - and the Federation.

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 season finale of CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery.

"That Hope Is You, Part 2" was written by Michelle Paradise and directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

The Discovery crew disconnected from their time. That brought them closer to each other because they were the only people in the universe with the same experiences. That connection has been valuable. This time period has asked them to serve as officers of Starfleet in new ways. The season ends with them offering hope to an entire system. With the discoveries they've made, they can radically change the world. They can bring the disparate systems of the world together once more. Osyraa made the case that her influence and the respect of Starfleet coming together was the only way to offer a better future. She walked away from the negotiating table because her personal standing in the world was in danger. She spoke as a representative for a form of government that has now existed. And yet, she forces the world to bend to her will. She takes everything through brute force. It's destructive and explosive. She sees no reason to deal with any consequences. She has taken the actions to secure more power and influence for herself. Even her allies turn against her. Dr. Aurellio believed that she was a kind and generous soul because she presented in that way in their interactions. He has seen one glimpse of her life. And now, he is forced to embrace something new entirely. He has to be willing to conduct torture in order to appease her interests. The Discovery crew has to rally together against incredible odds just to retake their ship. It's a mission they are all willing to give their lives to. They would die in service of this ship. That is the oath they took. They have profound connections to one another. They don't want to see another fall. But the job needs to be done to ensure that the precious resources of Discovery don't fall into the wrong hands. The crew is armed with information. They know the precise location that can provide life-sustaining resources to the entire galaxy. They are fighting to get back to Saru, Culber and Adira in time before they succumb to radiation. Peace and acceptance has to be found amongst the individuals to ensure a better future for all though. Su'Kal mourning the death of his mother caused the Burn. It happened because of his genetic makeup that bonded with the resources of the planet. He has been protected and sheltered. He has been cut off from all forms of society. His mother made this program to keep him safe until Starfleet arrived. She knew he needed to return home. And now, it's scary to confront that reality. He can't live in the fantasy anymore. Sure, it's convenient that he has survived for a century and now his ship is breaking down at the precise moment the Discovery returns to save everyone onboard. That amplifies the dramatic stakes just to ensure that every aspect of this finale is entertaining. But it's much more visceral as Saru does his best to bold with this Kelpien who has never known a different world. The outside reality has its fair share of challenges as well. Forming this connection offers security too though. Saru speaking up about himself and his place in the world helps guide this lost soul on the necessary path. That is just as generous as the mission of Starfleet that Michael captains at the end of the season. This finale overwhelmingly states that humanity needs connection. We need to feel like we belong to something greater. We express ourselves through the bonds that we foster and grow. It's difficult. It's easy to feel disconnected. It's easy to fall prey to the corrupt influences. This world has lived in darkness for a long time. Osyraa's death is positioned as a turning point. After that, Michael can quickly regain control of the ship. It still takes a bold move by Book to emerge safely from this conflict. It's a leap of faith. Michael trusts him because of the love they have found together. It's also a necessary action because everyone saw Stamets as a navigational system instead of human being. Michael and Admiral Vance clashed this season. And yet, they agreed when it came to protecting Stamets at the expense of his pleas for protecting his family. It's meaningful when Culber offers support to Gray as he fears being invisible in this world once more. Again, it's a scary prospect. This family has each other. They thrive together on the Discovery. They are now alienated from the captain though. Michael accepts that position. Saru is now off on his own journey to find his place in this world. He does so because of the bond he forges with Su'Kal. He has the freedom to see the beauty this world can now offer. Meanwhile, Michael feels the call to be of service. The pieces come together for the Federation once more. It's seemingly a simple ambition. But it also highlights how this universe just needed the right perspective to come along and remind people of the greatness that comes from fostering the best in one another. That message comes across clearly even though this finale is jam packed with so much action. It's simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting.