Kobayashi Marie continues its adventure into the third season of Star Trek Discovery with Episode 8 – The Sanctuary
That’s weird. Scientifically speaking.
Another Jonathan Frakes-directed episode which gets the balance just right between all the various strands taking place this week.
And there is an immediate problem for Saru (Doug Jones) and crew which is Kwejian, home planet to Cleveland Booker (David Ajala) and his brother-in-arms (and in black leather dressing gown) Kyheem (Ache Hernandez). The planet is facing an ecological disaster at the hands of evil Aunt Osyraa (Janet Kidder) and The Emerald Chain because she first wants Book, then changes her mind and makes Ryn (Noah Averbach-Katz) top priority, for reasons which, to be perfectly honest, are not clear at all.
Osyraa currently seems to be villainous purely for the sake of being villainous; is she just a power-hungry tyrant or is there something more going on? Either way, her family (if she has any left, that is) would do well not to get in her way as she dispatches them with alarming alacrity. But if we meet her again any time soon, I hope she’s been able to find a decent hairdresser – each time we encountered her, her hair looked different. I know it’s only a small thing, but it was bugging me and if I noticed it, then something was wrong.
One of the reasons that Osyraa left abruptly was down to Kayla Detmer (Emily Coutts) who has finally found her confidence in her own piloting skills again and saved the day. We always had faith in her, and I’m glad she’s happy again – but she’s going to dine out on that story for a long while to come, isn’t she?
Detmer’s hand was more or less forced by Tilly’s (Mary Wiseman) very clever tactical suggestion of using Book’s ship, thus keeping The Federation at arm’s length from any ensuing diplomatic contretemps. She’s been incredibly inventive in her approach to science, and so I probably shouldn’t have doubted that she would be able to transfer that to problem-solving in a different capacity.
Of course, now that she’s much more bridge-based, her gap in the science lab is filled very neatly by Adira (Blu del Barrio) who finally (8 episodes in) gets to state their chosen pronouns and it is as if a weight has been lifted from them. Culber (Wilson Cruz) and Stamets (Anthony Rapp) are like two proud parents watching their offspring develop into a wonderful human being under their guiding hands. But let’s not forget that Adira is still searching for who they really are. Being part of such a long line of hosts and Trill means that they are a little lost. Grey seems to have abandoned them. I can’t help but think that Adira is going to be the key to discovering everything we need to know. It feels like it is being set up using the music that keeps appearing. If Adira can now play that tune on a cello, one they couldn’t do before becoming joined with Tal, then perhaps the answer to The Burn could also come from the buried knowledge of one of their previous hosts?
What Adira is doing in the lab is trying to decipher the coded message in a distress signal from the area which they have determined is the origin point of The Burn. Getting to that point was a team effort, which reminded me a lot of decrypting the whale song in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. I had also forgotten that Saru had superpowers – well, excessively sensitive hearing and sight at least – which were put to good use here.
My big worry this week is Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh). I love this character so much, but she is clearly unwell and very, very frightened. Although being Georgiou, she is not going to admit that or show vulnerability in any way. The prognosis doesn’t look that great at the moment, but surely 32nd century medicine has a solution? Please, we can’t lose Philippa yet again. And anyway, don’t we need her for Section 31?
So for the upcoming episode, Terra Firma Part 1, the question is – what will be the content of the distress signal? Surely that’s our next problem to solve.
Either that, or finding out whether Saru will stick with “Carry on” as his chosen phrase.