Kobayashi Marie ventures into the second season Journey that is Star Trek Discovery with Episode 5 – Saints of Imperfection
Starfleet is a promise … nobody gets left behind
Picking up exactly where the previous episode leaves off, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) leaves one friend in a dire situation to run along the corridors of Discovery to assist another. It’s Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) who is in danger now, having been consumed by the pod-like object.
For all its high-stakes and quite tense action, Saints of Imperfection is very much an episode about trust, and it’s an issue which affects a huge number of characters. Firstly, Burnham. She’s still not sure whether she can trust Captain/Emperor Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) with her brother’s life, given that she is the only one who knows her true identity. Georgiou even tells her a couple of times that she’s going to have to trust her. And on top of that, Michael has to decide whether she can allow herself to trust Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) again. This is perhaps the biggest ask of all; he left her to join the Klingons, yet now suddenly he’s working with Section 31 on some black ops projects – and this one involves the heart battling with the Vulcan logic to which Michael is accustomed.
In fact, Tyler’s entrance on to the bridge causes quite a stir, understandably. He enters just as Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) is mid explanation, and the tension between murderer and bereaved could be sliced with a knife.
*This post is briefly interrupted to note that Ash Tyler looks very good in all black. That is all.*
The (for the moment) end of the relationship between Tilly and May (Bahia Watson) was very touching, as each felt a unique connection to the other which is now over. At least for the time being – but I don’t think we have seen the last of May. Although this strand goes a very long way to explaining why the spore drive is no longer in use in Star Trek TOS, a question which I’ve been asking since early in Season 1.
We learn a little more about Section 31, but only what we need to at the moment (it’s classified), and again trust is high on the agenda – with Admiral Cornwell (welcome back, Jayne Brook!) intervening to smooth the way when trust has broken down between old friends Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and Leland (full name currently still classified), played by Alan Van Sprang.
My favourite small moment of this episode was an exchange between Pike and Georgiou, with a side order of eye roll from Burnham.
Pike: “Do you like being back in the saddle?”
Georgioiu: “It’s an invigorating ride.”
Georgiou smirks, Burnham rolls eyes, Pike is completely bemused.
And so we end the episode with Stamets and Culber (Wilson Cruz) reunited! For the moment it looks like it can only be a good thing. But returning from being dead – that cannot end well.