[Star Trek: Discovery] S02E04: An Obol for Charon

Netflix link.

IMDb link.

Watch Date: 2019-02-09

Goodness me, this was an amazing episode. It was just as busy as the previous one, but without giving the same impression of rushing through plot points to drive the story through before the season concluded. So much happened that I might not even remember it all in the notes. But here we go:

  • We see the status quo getting restored in sly ways – Pike grumbling about how the holographs don’t work so switching back to viewscreens; and maybe the larger story arc shows why the Starfleet we know never even mentions the spore drive. Though with the Klingons it just sort of shamefacedly shuffled towards the classic look.
  • So many echoes! First Saru asks Burnham to take care of his personal log if he dies; and then the episode resolution turns out to be that the sphere wants somebody to take care of its memories before it dies. And there was another one, I think, which I can’t recall now.
  • Saru’s deathbed scene was heartbreaking, and then immediately followed up by something even more fascinating. I see Saru’s sense of wonder after losing his fear ganglia and the feeling that now his whole worldview has altered; as being a metaphor for losing faith and turning atheist. Of course, it could have nastier parallels as well – redpilling etc. I wonder if we see this further explored.
  • Jet Reno is an amazing deadpan snarker, and I hope we see more of her as the season progresses, but what’s up with this constantly fluid lead (but not main credited) cast?
  • Wait, if Saru’s planet is subject to General Order 1, but he’s a refugee… how exactly? Did his predators shoot him into space or something?
  • They trepanned Tilly? This new Star Trek is metal as fuck.
  • I could see that “You are the species which has been ruining the mycelial network” twist coming; but it was well played even so. And maybe this is the path to showing why the 23rd century never continues with spore drive tech. But after all that teasing about the mysterious asteroid being potentially able to replace Stamets, perhaps with some twists along the way.
  • My major frustration with Discovery (apart from uneven pacing) is how quickly it drops previous plot points. Two episodes ago, Stamets was ready to quit for Vulcan and went back into the spore drive only to save the Discovery (and a planet) from catastrophe. Now he’s still hanging around. This is similar to how all the cool stuff in Pahvo was never explored further in Season 1.
  • For a subordinate officer, Burnham is astonishingly direct with Pike when it comes to rejecting his plans. At least in this episode he doesn’t change his mind just because she says so.
  • Do we now have a missing Tilly? Has she gone into the mirror universe through the mycelial network? Is Stamets going to go chase her and meet bae in the process? What a cliffhanger!


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