Last week I was speculating the rather lackluster episode was a result of the need to set up an epic installment this week.
I was….almost right.
Last week’s episode was definitely setup, and this week’s episode was certainly one of the better ones. It even solved my major problem with the series as a whole…albeit in the laziest manner possible.
SERIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD…
My general opinion on Star Trek: Discovery is that it’s an amazing series, and far exceeds my expectations. My only issues with it have been the inconsistencies and continuity issues, and even there the only real reason I have a problem with those is that they could have been so easily avoided. Many long-term Trek fans have been so irritated by the blatant and numerous discrepancies between established Trek canon and the Discovery series, they’re unable to see past them and appreciate the show for its many positive attributes.
I am (usually) capable of pushing past these issues, with the occasional episode (like last week’s), that makes it so in-your-face it’s difficult to ignore.
But this week finally addressed the issue head on, with a get-out clause that basically retconned every incontinuity issue by saying it never really happened.
At least, not in our Trek universe.
Apparently the spore drive also has the capability to taking you to parallel universes. Which not only means that this week’s episode predictably ended with the ship in another universe, but also opens up the possibility that everything we’ve seen so far hasn’t actually happened in the established Trek universe, but a parallel universe.
Which means they can basically do whatever the hell they want and it’s totally explicable.
Like I said, a lazy way out, but a way out at least.
It also means we might actually have been watching the Mirror Universe this whole time, without realising (this doesn’t seem likely but still, possible).
Into The Forest I Go was a great episode. A little predictable, but full of great shots, plenty of action, some very cool moments and general coolness. Stamets was, as usual, awesome and there were some very touching moments between him and Culber, but also some baffling ones between him and Lorca.
Who appears to have spontaneously developed a soul this episode.
The episode also very elegantly handled Tyler’s PTSD. Speaking as someone who has found themselves in post-traumatic ‘shock’ on more than one occasion, I found his scene very relatable, extremely well done, and a welcome break from the tendency of a lot of sci-fi and fantasy to gloss over the uglier aspects of mental illness. I was wondering if they were going to deal with the fact six months of torture and rape couldn’t possibly be sitting well with Tyler mentally. Between his affable, smiling personality and the developing relationship between him and Burnham, it was starting to feel like a case of ‘he’s home so all is well again’.
Not only did they portray his reaction very well, they didn’t immediately fix it with a kiss and a hug from Michael. Instead, they had a very emotional conversation in which Burnham listened intently, didn’t say anything foolosh, and responded to Ash’s assertion he was simply happy to be alive by telling him that she was also happy he was alive.
No telling him it would be fine, no immediately and inexplicably hopping into bed together immediately after discussing seriously traumatic events. Just two people acknowledging life is really hard, and damn complicated, but sometimes in the middle of it you find someone who gives you hope that it’s not the end of everything.
For me it was an excellent episode with a few really random elements. The main one was why on earth they would take sensors on a covert mission that have brilliant flashing blue lights on them, and talk back to you more than Alexa and Siri combined. Lorca didn’t quite ring true for me this episode either, there were a few moments that seemed oddly out of character for him, one of which being his big speech…it was a good speech, it just didn’t strike me as very natural for him.
Overall it more than made up for last week’s rather disappointing episode, and effectively rebooted the series mid-season.
Aside from anything else, I was absolutely convinced there was nothing in the whole ‘Tyler is really Voq’ theory (if you’re unfamiliar with that it goes like this: Voq disappeared, Tyler appeared, and the common thread between the two is L’Rell). I found this to be a very predictable course for a character with the potential to be a lot more interesting for many other reasons. I really didn’t think there was anything in it.
Now…I’m really hoping it isn’t true, but if it is I might not be as bad as I thought it would be. Certainly if it is the case he has absolutely no idea that it’s the case. THAT would make it very interesting.
Just as we thought we knew what Discovery was all about, turns out it’s about something completely different.