Kobayashi Marie continues its discussion of the first season of Star Trek Discovery with Episode 8 – Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
In other words, if you want peace, prepare for war.
Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum is An “Away Team” Episode!
A beautiful, digitally coloured forest somewhere in Canada stands in for the planet Pahvo, where Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), Saru (Doug Jones) and Tyler (Shazad Latif) are visiting in order to carry out a plan to disrupt Klingon cloaking technology.
Saru finds himself connecting with the unexpected lifeforms on the planet, and Burnham realises that this means that they now have to follow First Contact protocol and can’t use the planet’s naturally occurring transmitter.
An even bigger oops is when they discover that this contact has sent Saru rogue, and he’s destroyed their communicators and disrupted the whole mission. Yes, Saru! Something strange is going on because this is extremely out of character for the Kelpien. He ends up fighting with Burnham, and wow he doesn’t hold back! At one point he kicks her in the chest with one of his hooves and I swear I felt the impact from where I was sitting. Oof!
Needless to say, as we approach the mid-point of this season this is all building up to a huge conflict with the Klingons. Well, it wouldn’t be Star Trek without a huge conflict with the Klingons, would it now?
Speaking of which … L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) is up to some tricks, but it’s difficult to work out exactly what she’s up to, because she keeps changing her truth. She saves Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook) – who apparently isn’t dead after all, YAY!! – then smashes her head against the wall and tells her colleagues that she will bury her body. So Cornwell is actually dead this time?
In all honesty I’ve found L’Rell to be an awkward character to keep up with up to now. She swaps stories, flips allegiance and tells tales; I hate that I can’t trust anything she says, and I can’t work out whether her actions are entirely for personal gain, or for the greater good. I don’t even know whether I can legitimately have any sympathy for her. I’m trying really hard to stay with her, but I’m not there yet.
And so as Discovery and the Klingons are on a collision course, the only slightly fun incident his episode is when Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp), still disorientated from the latest spore drive activity, sees Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) as he emerges from the pod and addresses her as Captain. It’s a moment that is fleeting, but knowing that Tilly’s ambition lies in that direction makes her awkwardness very touching – and funny at the same time. Will she ever stop doubting herself?