Brief Thoughts On Star Trek: Discovery, Episode 14

by Erik Amaya

 

"The War Without, the War Within" -- Episode 114 -- Pictured (l-r): Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham; Jayne Brook as Admiral Cornwell; Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou; James Frain as Ambassador Sarek of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Jan Thijs/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

Last week, Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) told Lorca (Jason Isaac) that if he had made himself known to Starfleet and ask for help, they would’ve aided him in finding a way to return to the Mirror Universe. And now, Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook) has proved this would not have necessarily been the case. Or, at the very least, Cornwell’s refusal to help Emperor Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) return to her native dimension indicates just how bad things have been in the nine months since the Discovery was destroyed.

Well, at least since the I.S.S. Discovery was destroyed — sorry, we’ll never see Captain Killy — and the U.S.S. Discovery slipped into another reality.

But those months have clearly worn Federation morale down and left Cornwell a more desperate individual since the last time we saw her. Then she learns Lorca was a Mirror imposter and she assumes Prime Lorca, “her” Lorca, is long dead. But she pushes all of that aside to get back to Starbase 1 only to find it has been overrun by one of the Klingon Houses. Things are not looking good, so you can forgive her for accepting the unorthodox battle plan Burnham and Georgiou offers her: taking the fight straight to the Klingon homeworld of Qo’noS (pronounced “Kronos”).

The plan, as we learn, is to jump Discovery into the planet itself and release surveillance drones to map the planets key military installations. It’s a fair plan for anyone not bred with Federation ideals. So, to me, it is definitely reasonable; particularly with Klingon forces making their way to Earth. But direct attack is outside the normal SOP for Starfleet. Particularly when you consider Cornwell accepting whatever plan Georgiou and Sarek (James Frain) cooked up after Burnham presented the recon operation. We know one of Georgiou’s conditions for aiding Starfleet was freedom, but it also seems she asked to take Prime Georgiou’s place. A move that may lead to something more ruthless than even Burnham can conceive of. But more on that next week.

Instead, Iet’s consider Burnham and Tyler (Shazad Latif) for a moment. They were a good couple, but Burnham has every right to be done with him. For Tyler’s part, he’s sort of a new man with the memories of Voq and the earlier Tyler. That complication makes it difficult to dismiss him entirely; even if Burnham is correct in saying she can only see Voq in his eyes. That’s an amazing place to take Star Trek and these are the characters to take us there. Nonetheless, there is an air of finality in Burnham’s final moments with the new Tyler. Hopefully, if he survives into next season, his story will be about integrating his two halves into a new personality. Can man live half-human and half-Klingon?

Okay, Worf sort of proved it is possible, but he had a lot of unacknowledged rage about it. And B’elanna Torres had a few identity crises on Voyager.

So Stamets (Anthony Rapp) just keep rollin’ on, even if he did have a chance to give Tyler a little twist of the knife. This week, his amazing techno-wizardry was Terra-forming a planet for his last batch of micilia to propagate. It seems that was always his plan, but his cohort in the spore-drive experiment always wanted to hold the strain hostage. For all the troubles Stamets has been though, this definitely felt like an opportunity for renewal. He can still do wonders even if he’s in a great deal of grief. Come to think of it, it is sad that he hasn’t had a proper chance to mourn Culber (Wilson Cruz) in a more direct way. But things have been non-stop since they jumped universes. Maybe in the second year, he’ll come to some sort of closure.

That’s assuming, of course, that the war ends next week. The Qo’noS plan could end it definitively, but it seems that would cost Cornwell and Starfleet much of its soul. And considering that soul was the thing Burnham discovered in her journey thus far, protecting it could mean she will disobey Georgiou’s orders again. That definitely seems to be her destiny.

Star Trek: Discovery streams Sundays on CBS All Access.

Erik Amaya

Host of Tread Perilously and a Film/TV Writer at Comicon.com. A contributing writer at CBR, Fanbase Press, Monkeys Fighting Robots and Rotten Tomatoes. Voice of Puppet Tommy on The Room Responds. A seeker of the Seastone Chair and the owner of a Legion Flight Ring. Sorted into Gryffindor, which came as some surprise.