Star Trek: Discovery Review by John Keegan

Star Trek: Discovery 1.15: Will You Take My Hand?

Star Trek: Discovery 1.15: Will You Take My Hand?

Written By:
Akiva Goldsman, Gretchen J. Berg, and Aaron Harberts
Directed By:
Akiva Goldsman

The biggest task this season finale had to achieve was closure.  It had to take all the major plot and character threads and bring them to something close to a point where the writers could take some time between seasons, see what worked and what didn’t, and pave a way forward.  It’s not at all unlike what every Trek series since the original has had to do after some struggles in their first seasons, so it’s not necessarily a new challenge.

 


 

On the whole, the season ends with the end of the Klingon War, forged out of cooperation vs. conquest, and the crew of the Discovery moving on to a new mission.  The peace was brokered by Burnham, so she gets closure on the war that she started by helping place the first stones on the path to the bridges to be built in the centuries to come.  It all hangs together rather well if one ignores how close the Federation came to violating its own ideals in the name of winning a war that is far too expansive to result in the mildly simmering tensions a decade later.

 

It’s fine for the foray into the Mirror Universe to have taught Burnham an important lesson, that the brutal means championed by those like Empress Georgiou are not the right choices for the Prime Universe’s Federation.  The problem is that she literally has to go up against the whole of Starfleet and even Sarek to drive that point home, and that undermines a great deal of the character of the Federation and specific characters in the process.  It’s building Burnham up by tearing everyone else to shreds.  (Also, Sarek smiles far too much for a Vulcan!)

 


 

Meanwhile, it’s interesting to note that Qo’nos (at least the part of it that we get to see) is basically a den of impropriety and aliens that doesn’t really seem to do much to explore the truth about the Klingons and their society.  At least, it might have been time better spent on more details about the schism between the major houses, since that had been mentioned several times as a factor that was complicating and escalating the war.  It’s also at the heart of how the war is more or less resolved, so having very few Klingons in an exploration of their homeworld (even a very specific spot on the Qo’nos) is strange.

 

It actually begs the audience to consider more and more how the Klingons we see in Discovery don’t seem to match up well at all with any of the versions we’ve seen in the rest of the history of the Prime Universe.  Previously, there were comments about Captain Archer’s visits to Qo’nos, which means the episodes and scenes from Enterprise that explicitly line up with the established lore of Next Generation and subsequent series is supposed to be related.  It’s not just updated makeup effects and appearance; there are elements of history and culture that are radically altered.

 


 

One very interesting plot point is that Empress Georgiou is essentially unleashed upon the galaxy, which means that there is a good chance she’ll show up in the future.  At least, one would hope, because there is still the open question of where the Lorca of the Prime Universe might be.  It would be very interesting to see if Jason Isaacs is still part of the equation in the casting rumors for the second season.

 

One final note: it’s hard not to be of two minds when it comes to the presence of the Enterprise in the final scene.  On the one hand, it’s interesting to see how they re-envisioned the appearance for this entry, and there is a thrill to the idea that it could be more than a teaser.  On the other hand, it would have been a really good way to end the story of this Discovery completely, since the table has been cleared and this passes the adventure baton to Captain Pike.  But perhaps that says it all when it comes to Star Trek: Discovery; despite all the fun of a new series in the franchise, this first season leaves a lot of fans wary and perhaps a bit jaded by the sloppy storytelling and questionable character arcs.


Our Grade:
B
The Good:
  • The first season finale manages to wrap up most of the plot and character arcs
  • It was fun to see the Enterprise!
The Bad:
  • The Federation has a lot of explaining to do
  • It’s still very hard to figure out how this Klingon culture fits

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 - 2/12/2018 4:04 PM253 views

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