Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 2 Recap No Gods Only Starships

Filed under: slxjqrgo — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 7:49 am September 20, 2019

first_img Just like he did for Season One of The Orvile, Star Trek actor and director Jonathan Frakes came aboard this week to lend a little bit of Next Generation magic to Star Trek: Discovery. While it doesn’t entirely make up for the series’ flaws, there is an undeniable classic Trek feel to this episode. All the elements are here, I just wish he’d been given more time to stitch them all together.Burnham plays Spock’s final entry from the Enterprise for Captain Pike. She reveals that the sketch he drew of his nightmare is an exact match of the mysterious signals Starfleet is investigating. Burnham says they need to find Spock, which may not be as hard as it sounds. Pike knows exactly where he is. He checked himself into Starfleet’s psychiatric ward. He requested that his family not be told of his admittance, but Pike figures Starfleet’s priorities regarding the signals outweighs Spock’s desire for privacy. The needs of the many, right?Curiously, Burnham chooses to hide the fact that she saw the image of a red angel while trapped on the asteroid. That’ll come back to bite her later this season. Before they can continue that conversation, the bridge detects another strange signal. One too far away to simply fly to and investigate. They have to use the Spore drive. Pike comes up with an excuse for why Starfleet will probably be cool with them using it and Stamets suits up once again. We get an emotional scene where he finally addresses running into Dr. Culber inside the mycelial network. It’s a bittersweet, emotional performance by Anthony Rapp. He desperately wants to see his husband again, but he’s scared. Culber is in the mycelial network because that’s the universe’s recycling system. Stamets says he belongs on the other side of that barrier. It’s an affecting scene, and I wish it led to anything else at any point in the episode. Oh well, maybe it starts a slow burning plot that’ll last the season.Anson Mount as Captain Pike — Photo Cr: Ben Mark Holzberg/CBSStill, he climbs into the interface and sends the ship to check out the signal. There, they find a planet emitting a World War III-era distress call. They trace it to a church and figure out that it’s been running for 200 years. Even stranger though, the people on the planet are from Earth  and don’t use electricity or any technology at all. You know what that means: It’s a landing party episode! Pike, Burnham and another officer beam down to the planet to figure out why there appear to be a bunch of pre-warp Earthlings on a far away planet. No redshirts this time. They already did that joke in the premiere.The problem is once the show establishes what kind of society the landing party runs into, it doesn’t really do anything with it. We meet a grand total of two people from this society, one of whom is an outlier from the rest of society. Even the third officer they bring down because she has experience with technology-averse peoples barely gets any lines. The fun of landing party episodes is exploring the logical conclusion of a certain aspect of society or history. We don’t get that here. We find out that this society is made up of people who were saved from nuclear bombs during World War III. Whisked away across the galaxy by some mysterious force. Since there were so many people of different faiths praying when that happened, they didn’t know which god had answered their prayer, so they built there society around all of them.Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham; Anson Mount as Captain Pike; Oyin Oladejo as Joann Owosekun — Cr: Russ Martin/CBSWhat does that look like? What kind of society would that be? We don’t know, the show never tells us. We only see some stained glass windows, each representing a different Earth religion. And one depicting the Red Angel that Burnham keeps seeing. Because that’s what this episode is really about. Establishing the Red Angel as a being or force that has existed for at least 200 years. It’s about deepening this season’s big mystery, not about exploring an idea. It’s a problem Discovery has had since the beginning. It hasn’t found the right balance between telling an episode’s individual story and the seriealized arc. It wants to do classic Trek things, like debate the ethics of intervening in primitive societies, but it doesn’t give itself the time. Instead of exploring this odd society they created, the show instead focuses on the Red Angel.When we find out there’s a ring of radioactive debris about to destroy the planet, that would be a great time to explore when  it makes sense to break whatever proto-prime directive this Starfleet has. Instead, the Landing Party never hears about it. It’s left as a b-plot where Tilly figures out she can use a bit of the dark matter asteroid to push the debris away from the planet. And don’t get me wrong, that’s fun to watch. Both of these stories are interesting and very well-executed. This is still some good TV. It’s just so frustrating as a long-time Star Trek fan to see a better episode that this one comes very close to, but ultimately fails at, being.Doug Jones as Saru –Photo Cr: Ben Mark Holzberg/CBSPart of what makes it so good is Jonathan Frakes’ direction. Watching this episode brought back memories of the good parts of Insurrection. (Yes, there were good parts.) His direction lends the episode that classic Trek feel that the writing almost, but doesn’t totally earn. And Anson Mount continues to be a perfect Captain Pike. Seriously, his performance is like someone reached back in time, plucked someone out of The Original Series, and put him on screen in 2019. It makes the final exchange, where he trades the one scientist in this society a futuristic power source for a broken soldier’s camera that recorded whatever event brought these humans to this planet, so satisfying. The Discovery can’t intervene in these peoples’ evolution. They can’t bring them back to Earth. But they can leave them a little something to get started. You know? I’m starting to see where Kirk got it.Even with its flaws, it all ends in a satisfying way that further deepens this season’s mysteries. Because if there’s one thing this show is consistently good at, it’s building up a good mystery. Solving it is a little more hit and miss, but we have a whole season before we have to start worrying about that part. Pike gets the camera working and sees an image of the Red Angel appear right before the humans are presumably teleported to that strange planet. So Burnham isn’t the only one seeing it. Could the Red Angel be behind these mysterious red signals. In both episodes of this season, they’ve drawn the Discovery to people whose existence is in peril. Maybe the Angel is like a less malicious Q, drawing the ship to people in need of help.Meanwhile, after Tilly saves the day with science, she realizes the person she’s been talking through her ideas with all episode is a childhood friend. It’s too much of a coincidence for them both to have joined Starfleet and be stationed on the same ship, though. Tilly does a bit more digging and learns that friend is dead. She’s been talking to a ghost. Or maybe it’s a Stamets-Culber situation. The visions started when Tilly took a blast from unstable dark matter. Could she too be seeing into the mycelial network now? Star Trek: Discovery sometimes struggles to give us the classic Trek it so clearly wants to be, but it sure is good at asking tantalyzing questions to keep us coming back.Star Trek: Discovery streams Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS All AccessPreviously on Star Trek: Discovery:Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Finale RecapStar Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 14 RecapStar Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 13 Recap Stay on target ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Teases Troubled Patrick StewartHow Designers Achieved the Sci-Fi Sound Magic of ‘The Orville’ last_img read more