Kobayashi Marie continues its adventure into the second season that is Star Trek Discovery with Episode 6 – The Sound of Thunder
This Kelpien *is* our people
The Sound of Thunder is a Saru-centric episode, and is probably much needed given that a whole episode has passed since Saru almost died, yet no mention was made in the meantime. And while this is a very strong episode in most respects, there is one aspect which, I must declare, is troubling.
In fact, this episode is so much about Saru (Doug Jones) that he even gets the opening voice-over, which has been the preserve of Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) so far. After surviving Vahar’ai and losing his threat ganglia, Saru wonders aloud “What is a Kelpien without fear? I’m losing the very thing that defines me”. But in truth, this is the episode in which Saru gets to redefine the very essence of Kelpien.
Following yet another red signal, Discovery arrives at Saru’s home world Kaminar, a class M planet outside of federation space. The red signals and the significance of the red angel provoke a hugely interesting chicken and egg type discussion between Burnham, Pike (Anson Mount) and Tyler (Shazad Latif) as to whether the red signals are causing the problems, or are alerting Discovery to them so they can save life, with even a hint at time travel being behind the mysterious red things. Or is it all coincidence?
In any case, the first indication that things are different now is when Saru aggressively challenges Captain Pike’s decisions. He fears nothing now and although he still maintains the utmost respect, he will stand up for himself and his previously deferential nature has vanished.
We accompany Saru as he goes home to Kaminar. He meets his sister Siranna (Hannah Spear) who seems remarkably OK with the fact that he seemingly abandoned his family and planet without so much as a by your leave, apart from the fact that she is annoyed that he didn’t return for her at some point.
It’s what happens next that puzzles me most. Much is made in the early moments of this episode of specifically not violating General Order One (aka The Prime Directive) when coming into contact with the Ba’ul or particularly Kelpiens on Kaminar. And yet when the crew has worked out what has historically happened on the planet, the solution which is determined seems to directly violate that very order. By deciding to speed up the biological response of the Kelpiens so that they will all begin Vahar’ai at the same time, surely that is interference beyond anything a Starfleet captain could determine? I’m very uncomfortable with this particular sequence of events.
I was, though, delighted by the fact that Siranna does get to experience Discovery and space even for a short time before parting yet again from her brother.
Sad to say however that after my comment that Tyler looks good in all black last time out, this time he’s back in Starfleet Blue. I mean, it’s fine, but it’s not the black outfit is it?
The final thing to mention, which is surely a set up for future threads, is Hugh Culber’s (Wilson Cruz) reincarnation. He is ‘pristine’, and has even lost his scar. But he doesn’t feel like the same person. I imagine this will prove very interesting in episodes to come.
And so now, we go to Vulcan for (presumably) a reunion between Michael and her step-brother.