"Light and Shadows"
Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, Episode 7 – Started Thursday, February 28
Teleplay by Ted Sullivan, History of Vaun Wilmott & Ted Sullivan
Directed by Marta Cunningham
REVIEW WITHOUT SPOILER
Like Season 1, the middle of the second season is the scene of major episodes, like "Light and Shadows". Writers Ted Sullivan and Vaun Wilmott have a talented career in the Trek tradition and do more along the way. First time Discovery Director Marta Cunningham puts it together in a tight set, focused on character development and surrounded by a fun sci-fi action movie. Sonequa Martin-Green realizes this moving homecoming that was worth the wait.
Time after time
While Spock is seen as the key to unlocking the mystery of the Red Angel, Burnham meets his wish to find his brother from the end of last week's episode – and she wants to contact him before these fears of the Section 31. Convincing Pike is one of Burnham's superpowers, so she manages to get personal permission. We will resume his adventure later.
The other members of Discovery's crew remain in the vicinity of Kaminar, although they do not seem to be very interested in the impact of the Saru revolution on the planet last week. They are there to analyze the tachyon rays left by the red burst and, thanks to Tilly's insane weekly insubordination on the bridge, they know that the readings are "unbelievable". Oh yeah, trying to break with his season. But she can still go wild with proclamations such as "You know how I bypass causation violations." She also has a lot of fun making things "healthier" by putting "time" in front, as a warning that "time is passing." "Yes, her Tilly-Ness factor is up again, but Mary Wiseman is still selling it.
The situation becomes even more fun with the approach of the anomaly and the time passes on the bridge with the echoes of time and the screens go crazy, because they "do not handle well the temporal distortions ". What Trekkie does not feel joyfully hearing hearing dialogue "This seems to be a break in the space-time, captain"?
Pike is in full hero mode when he announces that he is the most qualified to fly a shuttle to the anomaly in order to launch a probe. He and Tyler remain in disagreement while the agent of Section 31 invites them into the mission, but Pike really needs to improve his game if he thinks that making this former Klingon a "big penny" will slow him down. What works when he reminds the former Voq that he is a murderer. In a moment of frankness, Tyler reveals that he does not think he can totally get rid of the inner Klingon.
When the shuttle is inevitably stuck in the anomaly, Saru takes the controls. We can now feel more the new version of this Kelpien post-Vahar'ai, free of all fear, competent and confident; without any indication, this episode of one of the potential disadvantages of a life without fear.
The bridge scenes that solve the problem are classic Trek files, containing technobable mixed with folk analogies and a dialogue of the type "it's not where they are, but when." In the end, the solution to the problem lies with the lieutenant commander. Stamets, with a reminder of "when Mr. Mudd attacked," referring to the episode of season 1 "The magic for the Sanest Man to go crazy".
In the heart of Vulcan
Michael's story takes him to his home world, Vulcan, where she clearly explains that she is there as Sarek's daughter and not as a Starfleet officer. Michael's time on the planet is rich in beautiful and varied landscapes, showing both the traditional desert places and the Sarek home in a more lush area, with rain. Some may be hesitant about this, but the cliché that foreign planets have a single homogeneous environment must be broken (although Discovery stay with Vulcans having a single haircut, because some things are sacred).
Michael's return to the Sarek house is interspersed with flashbacks about his childhood. This house is haunted for her, filled with memories of being orphaned. We also see some growth among the young Michael and Spock, after their icy encounter in the first game of the season, "Brother". They got closer together, even sharing a smile as they played chess in 3D and Michael was trying to master the Vulcan salute. Spock reveals that "emotions disturb me," he says ironically. Some of the most touching scenes of Discovery when visiting this episode at Vulcan.
Sarek is doing a hardcore Vulcane meditation called "tokmar" which is a kind of tracking beacon to find Spock, but it does not work. Michael suspects Amanda of hiding something – or someone. Spock's mother does not intend to let anyone take her boy to try to murder him, but she gives in to a warning: "That's not how you remember Spock.
Spock's research finally ends in a Vulcan sanctuary, but not entirely, as it turned out that he had grown a beard and lost his Vulcan balls. The famous scientific officer can only stammer the first doctrines of logic to try to "get down to earth", with an engraved text and a repeated sequence of numbers in the wall, A beautiful spirit-style.
After arguing about Spock and needing serious professional help, Sarek shows up to complete the unexpected family reunion. In a nice reminder of season 1, Amanda reveals that she would read The adventures of Alice in Wonderland Spock in his childhood to help him with a learning disability called "The Tak Terai" that looks like a dyslexia. In keeping with his character – because frankly he is not a grandfather – Sarek is not understanding saying "your obsession with a book on chaos has harmed our children". To say that this marriage is complex is a euphemism while Amanda talks about Sarek's love in one breath and accusing her of never respecting humans like her in the other.
As it did for the excellent "Lethe" of last season, co-author Ted Sullivan is not afraid to add lines to the sacred canon of the Spock family and Vulcan culture. In doing so, we see in these scenes the promise of Discovery as a pretext for both developing and adding additional context to the Star Trek we love. Amanda from Mia Kirshner also grew up, helping to land those moments. However, James Frain's description of Sarek is a little embarrassing because his portrait continues to feel far too sentimental.
Michael ends the impasse by revealing Spock's childhood bond with the Red Angel in Sarek. It is decided that Spock should be brought to Section 31 because they are the most capable and motivated to unravel his brain.
The octopus garden
Back aboard the shuttle, Pike and Tyler continue to argue about a strategy to escape the temporal anomaly. This conflicting dynamic with Anson Mount and Shazad Latif is one of the highlights of the second season. Pike continues to have to remind former Klingon that he is a true captain and that he does not just make suggestions. Tyler has the temerity to begin questioning Pike's motivation, suggesting he took the risky mission of catching up on the war during his five-year mission.
Eventually, they begin to wonder how they should solve their problem, otherwise their battle of wills could last forever. Tyler finally accepts Pike's authority and uses the old Ignit-the-Plasma trick to get attention. The differences are put aside when a new threat commands their attention. Like V'Ger's evil cousin who travels back in time, the probe returns, transformed into a robotic squid monster by powers unknown in 500 years. Oh yes, that's the thing! All this tension sequence, aided by funny and frantic effects and a score to match, delivers the necessary action.
On the Discovery, Stamets uses his late power to map the position of the delayed shuttle, while the four hours that pass until they are lost disappear forever. In one of the many analogies used in this episode – and Star Trek, without a good analogy to explain the technobabble – he complains of finding them as "as if one found a grain of sand in a hurricane with tweezers." ".
After Lieutenant Rhys had a moment of sympathy identifying the shuttle by identifying Pike's fuel consumption as a ruse of an old pilot, now is the time for the rescue to take action. The always amusing combination of Stamets and Tilly is doing scientific research, but even these are seeing how strange time is, with lines like "a nonlinear temporal progression is madness". In a moment with the echoes of Kirk making a leap of faith shine in the cave of Genesis Star Trek II, Stamets relies on Tilly's mathematical power to teleport to the shuttle in full distortion.
Meanwhile, the situation on the shuttle has worsened as the robo-squid probe has penetrated into the interior and is scanning the computer, which is never a good sign. They decide to blow the shuttle once Stamets erases the big thing from the scary weather and they can be teleported. But the future is not over yet, because anything that was scanning the shuttle violates the ship's system and instead of stopping it, Airiam seems to have been surreptitiously infected.
After escaping what Tilly now calls a "time tsunami," Pike is finally able to relax and chill on his deck, seemingly indifferent to what this anomaly is doing to the poor inhabitants of Kaminar. The test also added some coolness to his animosity towards Tyler, both admitting perhaps that the other is not so serious after all. The probe's attack even makes Pike warm to Tyler's warnings that the Red Angel might not be so benign. They agree that they found themselves in "a fight for the future". Both actors play this growth well for their characters, but hope it's not a bromance and we can still see the spar pair.
Back to black
Spock's story picks up Captain Leland's Section 31 ship, where Georgiou is impressed by the fact that Michael manipulated his mother to find her brother. In a spooky scene from a film by Terry Gilliam, Spock is struck by a device supposed to scan and repair his mind. Leland shows compassion, but Georgiou asks Burnham to drop a penny on his captain, revealing that his plan is to extract Spock's memory, which will make him lose his mind.
The former landed emperor himself has a deceptive plan to get Michael and Spock out of the ship, which will, of course, involve punches, kicks and a light phasing. It's deliciously unclear what Georgiou's motives are. Does she really care about Michael? Is it just a power game? A bit of both? All this has been played much more subtly than some of his ugly cartoon characters earlier in the season and this character is being fully realized, perhaps for the first time since his passing the mirror universe .
And of course, the organized fight can be an excuse to show Michelle Yeoh's legendary talents in kung fu, but it was a lot of fun. At age 56, the veteran of Hong Kong action film showed that she had what it took to make her way into her own spin-off.
After their exciting escape, Leland will not buy that Georgiou has been mastered by Burnham. The Machiavellian tension between this pair continues to intensify, which is not surprising, because a former emperor is not one to take orders. In another example of the small galaxy syndrome, it is revealed that Leland is responsible for the death of Burham's parents. Really? Michael is the head of the series, but does everything and everyone have to have a connection with her?
Leland's ship joined the squadron with other vessels of the same design belonging to Section 31; they are now chasing Spock and Michael, who are using the clever old "hide-all-under-an-asteroid" trick, proving that Michael is a fan of Star wars. Spock is still the cuckoo for Vulcan Puffs, but his mutterings are decoded by Burnham to be coordinates, only to the reverse. Do you remember this learning disability similar to dyslexia?
It may have been a bit obvious, but we still have a little surprise when it is revealed that the coordinates are those of Talos IV. There was no indication of Michael that she was even aware of the planet. And even though it took a long time to create extra tension, the computer did not mention the Starfleet number 7 general order, which forbids traveling on the planet on pain of death. Maybe Spock knows that the bubble-headed telepaths he and Pike visited in "The Cage" a few years ago are the only ones able to unravel his brain. So, the question of how all this fits into the canon is left for another week while a new research – research to repair Spock's brain – begins.
Stack mystery boxes
As we might say, now we go somewhere. The second season of Star Trek: Discovery leans hard in the mysteries. This is remembered in the opening diary of the episode while Michael says, "My mother taught me the greatest mysteries of the three. The past, the present and the future. " Discovery no longer try to hide his puzzles in big surprises as he did in the first season, choosing instead to display them all in full screen.
The Red Angel is at the heart of all the promotions of the season that will begin in the summer of 2018. Little by little, this Red Angel has been developed. This is now a new addition to the opening credits of this episode. Midway through the season, Burnham recaps by confirming that Angel belongs to the future and is "humanoid and wearing an exo suit made from futuristic technology we have never seen."
The second season is a big "who did it?" Or rather a "who is it?" Theories proliferate online by fans and the media – both serious and less serious. And it's by design: Discovery did a good job getting people to talk about the show. Although we talked a lot about Discovery imitating Game of thrones, the show seems to strive more to match the zeitgeist of the other HBO genre hit Westworld.
However, they are also dealing with the same issues that arose during the second season, when the situation became so complicated that you need a 4-dimensional map to find you there. Not only that, Discovery Keep throwing more and more mysteries into the mix. This week, we have something weird about Airiam and this new twist in Section 31 that kills Burnham's parents. We still do not know if Culber is fully himself and we have the same question for Saru. Remember, the big question is why Michael and Spock quarreled and why he never spoke to her again.
Hopefully, now that we are at mid-season, they are starting to solve these problems and to put up some of the missing pieces of this big puzzle because if they continue to get fat, they risk doing some of the series a mystery show and forget the heart of the series with the characters and the sci-fi game of Star Trek.
Pike is pike
Captain Christopher Pike has been an amazing character this season and has certainly been a big hit with fans. His charming mix of aww-shucks and stoic command helped the fans and crew pass to captain Lorca, who did the bad in the second half of season 1.
However, Pike's characterization has sometimes been mixed during the season, with his skill level and sense of order growing. "Light and Shadows" showed Pike at his best, reinforcing him as captain, adding some nuances to the character and completing it.
The problem with Pike may simply arise from the way he seems to be a different person when Michael Burnham is in the same room. Since she was on leave this episode, he was free to be the man he should be, his warts and everything. However, often when Burnham – who is the main role of the series – is around, Pike can often feel like a useless foil, unlike Burnham.
Pike is not the only character in the series who seems to lose the agency when Michael shows up, but it may be more serious than when she is not present. One of the goals of Season 2 was to make Burnham a more accessible protagonist, and they have mostly succeeded. But this does not have to be at the expense of other characters.
Worth to wait
If "Light and Shadows" is not the best episode since the premiere of season 2, it's certainly one of the best. Even with the bifurcated story, the multiple threads fired and a shorter runtime, it all came together in a nice, coherent piece of Star Trek. As can be expected from Ted Sullivan and Vaun Wilmott – who is also a fan – the episode was filled with reminders of the Trek tradition, but he mostly linked many elements to the within Discovery own internal consistency of the two seasons.
This was the first episode of Discovery led by Marta Cunningham, who impressed by drawing solid performances throughout. His quieter pace was welcome for more emotional rhythms, while being able to do it for action without relying on camera tricks. Guest star Mia Kirshner stands out by adding a new dimension to Amanda. Sonequa Martin-Green has also worked a lot. It's still too early to get an idea of Ethan Peck's Spock, but given the goals he had to work with, the indications are good. Mary Wiseman is always a delight, but writers rely too much on her to make things lighter.
Star Trek: Discovery continues to get better and better, and we are now moving to the second half of season two. This episode made it possible to cross several arcs and ended, thankfully, to Spock's teasing, which became more and more tiring. With tight writing, impressive effects, evocative sound design and convincing acting, "Light and Shadows" was almost everything.
Random thoughts, connections, Easter eggs and more
- At 40:14, it's the shortest episode of the season so far.
- This is the first episode in which former screenwriters Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg are not recognized as executive producers.
- This is the first episode with James Duff credited as executive producer. He joined the series shortly after Harberts and Berg were released.
- The husband of the director, Marta Cunningham, is James Frain (Sarek).
- Even though the USS Discovery was in the vicinity of Kaminar during most of the episode, there is nothing to indicate that they or another member of the Federation is monitoring the Kelpiens and Ba & # 39; ul after the radical transformation of their relationship with Pike and his team initiated in "The sound of thunder".
- Spock's shuttle was found in the Mutara area, home of the Mutara Nebula, and the future home of the planet Genesis of Star Trek II.
- Pike out in front of the ship in a shuttle to cope with a time anomaly reminiscent of TNG's "Time Squared".
- Amanda notes that the "katra stones" in the sanctuary prevented Sarek from feeling Spock. It is unclear whether there is something new or a different name for katric bows.
- The design of the future probe reminded the sentries of The matrix
- This episode has highlighted some elements of the old school analog shuttle shuttle Discovery.
- Like other episodes of this season, the sound design also evokes other elements of the TOS, such as the sound "Distortion engines make efforts" when the shuttle was out of control.
- The shuttle also demonstrates a new capability when it deploys a kind of armor, much like the 25th century technology that Janeway used in the future. Traveler final "End of the game."
- The fact that Pike uses the plasma of the shuttle to ignite reminds one of Spock in TOS "The Galileo Seven".
- Tyler's rank is defined as specialist. He has not been reinstated, although he is part of Starfleet Intelligence. Michael Burnham was also classified as a specialist in the first season, until his command rank was restored during the season finale.
- The sanctuary of the Vulcans had a replica of Kir'Shara – or the Vulcan Bible written by Surak – as can be seen in Business"Kir'Shara".
- Amanda reveals that her family enjoys diplomatic immunity from the law of the Federation because Sarek is ambassador.
- The Section 31 Spirits Digitizer can be based on the Klingon Mind Scanner, or maybe the Klingons got the technologies from Section 31.
- The Leland Section 31 Vessel Register is NCIA-93.
- The coordinates of Talos IV are 749 Mark 148.
Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the United States on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and is broadcast on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.