Kobayashi Marie continues its adventure into the third season of Star Trek Discovery with Episode 5 – Die Trying
He and I were familiar; you and I are not.
We have found Starfleet and The Federation! Or at least, what remains of them in the 32nd century. The joy is widespread on the bridge as the crew takes in its new environment. But unsurprisingly, this sort of ‘homecoming’ is not going to be plain sailing. Discovery is a curiosity now, something to even be suspicious of. As we are reminded by Admiral Vance (Oded Fehr), Discovery’s very presence in the 32nd century is a violation of the Temporal Accord, and records show that the vessel was destroyed (remember the end of season 2 where the Enterprise crew all gave the same story?). So it was not the warmest of welcomes.
Attempting to gain the trust of their only tether in this new era, Discovery becomes involved in a desperate search for a cure to an illness. While there are definitely gaps in their knowledge as far as contemporary events are concerned, their direct knowledge of what is 1,000-year-old history to Vance and his team proves to be invaluable. That and the spore drive of course. That’s one piece of technology that Vance doesn’t have and I bet it’s going to really annoy him.
Vance is also interesting because he has a connection with Senna Tal – although not yet with Adira Tal (Blu del Barrio). Clearly reminiscent of Dax and Sisko from Deep Space 9, Tal and Vance may well have some catching up to do which should provide some interesting conversations.
This episode sees Saru (Doug Jones) at his most diplomatic, and a very dignified captain; he will most probably end his days as Ambassador to somewhere or other as he generally seems to be a voice of reason and balance in a period of uncertainty for Discovery’s crew. He has the respect of his Number One (Michael Burnham – Sonequa Martin-Green) even when they disagree, and we have seen that he has no qualms about keeping Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) firmly in her place.
Speaking of Georgiou, her few scenes on-screen were extremely intriguing this week. Firstly, she is able to disrupt holograms by blinking at them.
Secondly, there’s an elusive reference to some kind of genetic reason for Terrans being inherently evil. Philippa doesn’t seem to like this; she likes being nasty through her own choice, not because she is programmed to be so. But I wonder if that’s what she’s pondering when Michael catches her standing immobile in the corridor? Is she wondering about her own wicked streak? Has this caused her to rethink her own view of herself? Or is there something else going on with her?
Thirdly – David Cronenberg makes a guest appearance! Georgiou spars with him during her debrief and now I’m chuffed to bits that he is Star Trek canon. I bet Quentin Tarantino is livid! The campaign starts here to give the next Star Trek movie to Cronenberg – or even a Borg episode of one of the TV shows. Can you imagine what he would do with that?! Any episode, in fact.
We say goodbye in a very understated way to Cmdr Nhan (Rachael Ancheril). Yes, that’s right, another female crew member disappears from our screens. Her very sudden departure was highly unsatisfactory. She had a lovely goodbye conversation with Burnham but was then left behind immediately, without time to even gather personal possessions. She’d been an interesting presence since her arrival, and it felt like this episode began to scratch the surface of her home planet and its inhabitants with promise of something more intriguing to come – but it all came to a screeching halt. Although we had gleaned just enough to understand that remaining behind on the vessel was important for her and was entirely voluntary, I feel that we never really got to know her well enough before leaving her behind.
As for the other bridge officers, both Lt Nilsson (Sara Mitich) and Lt Rhys (Patrick Kwok-Choon) get to take over the bridge at some point, and Owosekun (Oyin Oladejo) has Detmer’s (Emily Coutts) back when she hesitates. Detmer’s reactions do seem to be leaning towards PTSD at this point and we still wait to see where this goes.
Speaking about things unknown, I’m now adding The Emerald Chain to the list of things I’m waiting to find out about, alongside The Burn, Where Did Book Go, Who Can See Gray, What Happened To Michael’s Mother, and What Is Wrong With Philippa. Hopefully, answers will be incoming soon.