Kobayashi Marie Long Reads/Series

Kobayashi Marie #28: Star Trek Discovery Sn. 2 Ep. 13

Kobayashi Marie

Kobayashi Marie continues its adventure into the second season that is Star Trek Discovery with the first of a two part season finale Episode 13 – Such Sweet Sorrow (Part 1)

“Orange? Really?  Ugh.”

William Shakespeare famously wrote “Parting is such sweet sorrow” and so the obvious question this week is … from whom are we parting? Is it Discovery itself? Some of the crew?

Before the episode starts properly, the re-cap includes Sylvia Tilly’s (Mary Wiseman) encounter with Po (Yadira Guevara-Prip), a character only previously met in the Short Trek episode Runaway. It presumes that viewers have watched the minisode – so if for some reason you haven’t, then you may be a little confused. With the way Star Trek Discovery is being distributed, I don’t think you can assume everyone *has* seen the Short Treks; for example, here in the UK they weren’t available to view for months after their US release. In fact, Netflix gave us no indication during this time that we actually *would* be able to see them (legally). They appeared very shortly before the start of Season 2, and are notoriously difficult to find – you have to scroll down to the very end of Season 2 episodes, then keep going beyond the trailers for Season 2, and eventually you’ll find them. If you didn’t know they were there, you’d struggle to come across them.

But I digress. 

This is the moment when we truly get to experience USS Enterprise – and not only that, we actually walk on board the ship itself with its Captain (Pike – Anson Mount). It’s like he’s actively invited us to join him. The first time Enterprise appears next to Discovery there’s a beautiful Star Trek TOS music cue which we get again once we’re on board.  The evacuation walkways look amazing, as does the bridge of Enterprise in its full glory. I loved the fact that their communications officer was sporting an Uhura-style ear-piece too.

Let’s just take a moment though to acknowledge that before we boarded, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) touched the time crystal herself and saw something not very pleasant. What fate did she seal? Jett Reno (Tig Notaro) also seems similar flashes later on, so either this is going to end badly, or perhaps, just possibly, time is fluid and not fixed?

After much trial and error, it’s established that destroying Discovery is going to be impossible as the data is protecting itself, and Burnham decides that Discovery needs to be sent to the future using the time crystal to prevent Control getting the data. Going into the future also made me wonder about a connection with the other, most mysterious Short Trek called Calypso – but the jury’s still out on that. The lone survivor in that minisode does still have a scar which the computer left him as it seemed to have sentimental value – just like Culber (Wilson Cruz). Is that ship’s computer Zora something to do with the data that’s been collected?

So now Burnham’s going to do something stupid with the crystal and the suit to get Discovery into the future. Spock calculates that, as her mother maintains she wasn’t responsible for the signals, then Michael must be and will be able to get back somehow. Hmm. Sounds simple enough.

The fifth red signal takes them to Xahea, where Tilly knows Queen Po (remember?). I actually like this character a lot, and her put-down of Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) is perfect:

“One of the fun things about becoming Queen of the most politically relevant planet in the galaxy is that I don’t have to listen to any snark. I made it an actual law.”

Once again, the Vulcan khatra connection between Sarek (James Frain) and his daughter Michael is activated and so Sarek and Amanda (Mia Kirshner) have come to say goodbye. It’s extremely emotional, but I had just one tiny niggle with the editing choice. Amanda hugs Michael – but it cuts away just as Sarek pats her on the back. I think we needed to / deserved to see just a little bit more here – Sarek joining the hugging (however awkwardly) because he knows it is logically what Michael wants and needs. That would have been a nice touch.

Other crew members are also saying their long-distance goodbyes to friends and family, and it’s all very poignant. They’ve decided to go with Michael. Except for Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif). Against a beautifully lit set they have a final dramatic goodbye which had, and required, few words.

But I wonder what Tyler is up to?

Kobayashi Marie will be back on Friday with an all new column for Season 2 of Star Trek Discovery

You can catch up on the prior columns here!

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