Star Trek: Discovery Review by John Keegan

Star Trek: Discovery 1.08: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Star Trek: Discovery 1.08: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Written By:
Kirsten Beyer
Directed By:
John S. Scott

It probably comes as no surprise that the episode of Discovery that most resembles the Trek we know and love was written by one of the current crop of novelists.  Kirsten Beyer has managed to make further adventures of the Voyager crew interesting, so why not do the same for the characters and world of Discovery?  And it works because it harkens back to concepts from the original series.

 


 

The idea is simple: the crew finds a planet with natural broadcasting capabilities that will enable Starfleet to overcome the Klingons’ current cloaking technology.  When an away team is sent to the surface, it turns out that a somewhat non-corporeal species is responsible for that capability, but they wish to compel the crew (through control of Saru) to avoid the conflict entirely by staying on their planet.  In a nice twist, resisting that compulsion convinces the entities that they cannot stand apart from the way, and they call for the Klingons to join Discovery in orbit, intent on forcing a resolution.

 

It’s a solid cliffhanger, and I can see why the original plan was the end the first half of the season on this note.  This is something of a callback to entities like the Organians from the original series, though a bit less “grounded” in what was the familiar in the 1960s.  But it also brings up an interesting point: there are  ton of “more advanced” species in the galaxy and universe that see the Federation/Klingon conflicts as childish and unnecessary, which is precisely in the vein of Trek as a whole.

 


 

It would be so much more effective, I think, if the changes to the Klingons wouldn’t feel less and less necessary.  They are actually getting to the point of being intrusive, even as the crew of Discovery and their technology is quickly proving itself to be self-destructive in nature.  The apparent issues of continuity are quickly resolving themselves, yet that won’t help the Klingon situation if some work isn’t done to revert them to something less distracting.

 

It's not simply that the Klingons have a large role in the story; there have been a ton of Klingon stories over the decades, and many of them are considered classics.  And yet, it seems like some find them too familiar and friendly now, so everyone keeps trying to “re-envision” them.  It goes from being somewhat complimentary in nature to discordant.

 


 

Stamets is also having severe issues, something hinted at in the previous episode, and that makes it seem very likely that the benefits to be gained from the spore drive will ultimately be outweighed by the ethics of slowly killing living beings to make it function.  It’s the kind of dilemma that meshes well with the “what is acceptable in wartime” aspects of the story, and also fits well into the Trek mold.

 




Our Grade:
B
The Good:
  • Much about this episode felt like classic Trek
The Bad:
  • The Klingon scenes were distracting and broke the pacing of the episode

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Star Trek: Discovery by - 11/7/2017 12:40 PM42 views

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