After two seasons of being overshadowed by Star Trek canon, the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Discovery sets up what will hopefully be a grand finale and offers the writers a chance of narrative freedom. As much as I’ve loved the call backs to the original series, I hope season 3 is less shackled.
As the title indicates, this episode deals with the fallout of Through The Valley Of Shadows, with the Control-possessed Section 31 ships on their way to the Discovery. The Enterprise has joined her and an evacuation is underway – the plan to destroy Discovery and the Sphere data with it.
Of course, the self-destruct doesn’t work as the Sphere data protects itself. The crew should really have seen that coming, but apparently not and so all the time spent preparing was wasted. In fact, much of this episode is little more than a prologue to the final episode. Goodbyes are said and emotional strands are tied up. It all feels very temporary and up in the air.
Maybe I’m being too harsh. This episode was always going to miss the punch of Pike not just discovering his future but choosing it, though the crew members choosing to accompany Michael does come fairly close. However the one person she really wants with her – Ash – decides to stay behind in order to stop anything like Control happening again. Assuming the Discovery does travel 950 years into the future, of course.
But the plan did mean that the plot once more centred on Michael and her annoying desire to save the universe no matter what. At least with Georgiou pointing out that the plan suits Michael’s martyr complex, it seems the writers are now aware of this and plan to leave it behind. It needs to be, in order for the show to survive because Star Trek has always been about the crew and not one person.
The future strikes me as the best choice, though Spock is still on the Discovery, so I’m not sure the jump will be as permanent as I believe it should be. As I believe it needs to be. After all, if the ship stays in its present timeline, then we know the outcome. It’s already been revisited in Pike’s vision. So surely the best course is the unknown and the unwritten Star Trek canon?
We shall see if that’s the mission to come.