This week Discovery digs deep in the lore of Star Trek going back 828 years (or 29 in real time) to a classic STNG 2-parter simply titled Unification I and II.
The story, well after Burnham’s rogue adventure and her subsequent demotion, it seems that she is now more determined than ever to reveal the truth about the Burn. Frankly I find it funny that Star Fleet has been putting out fires for nearly 120 years but that’s besides the point isn’t it? So, with her new found knowledge from a starship black box, Burnham learns from Star Fleet that the Vulcans have left the Federation because they believe their alternate Warp tech may have been the cause of the Burn. In the mean time, in following the teachings of Spock, they reunified with the Romulans on Vulcan, now called Ni’Var. So, of course, Burnham is asked to go to Vulcan and negotiate for the tech because, well, she is Spock’s sister after all…
Is it a ‘Good’ Episode? SPOILER CITY HERE!
When I first watched this entry I was overwhelmed by the sheer nostalgia that had just been injected into my veins. This is a tremendously emotional episode that really dives into the mythos of Star Trek connecting not only STNG and Discovery but finally giving Michael Burnham some closure about the fate of her brother. This was both a tremendous moment and also where the problems lie.
You see, the existence of Discovery and Michael Burnham’s connection to Spock was literally wiped from the records when the USS Discovery was ‘destroyed’. This was the explanation for why Spock never mentioned Burnham and gave this series some relevance in the whole timeline thing. However, somehow, the Vulcans and Romulans of Ni’Var not only fully accept that Burnham is the sister of Spock but seem to already know about her. Not one, NOT ONE, of them question her veracity even though she was essentially erased from history. Sure, maybe one of them looked into the Vulcan Science Academy records and found Burnham’s transcripts but why not at least mention this? These Vulcan’s errr… Ni’Varians?… are just like…okay, you’re Spock’s sister, cool, he’s like a God to us now so yeah let’s talk! Then things get even more complicated when none other than Burnham’s mom shows up as a member of the Qowat Milat (remember them from Picard?) and it’s just a, ‘sure this is convenient’ moment. I mean…she was a Federation member and a Scientist so why would she join the Romulan Ninja Team? Seems a stretch.
Then, THEN, we get a really strange moment where the lowest ranking bridge crew member is promoted to First Officer, but sure, whatever, it’s Tilly so why not. Saru is all about bending or even breaking protocol and giving an Ensign fresh out of the Academy command over his ship…yeah..no.. Don’t get me wrong, I have grown to love Tilly but this seemed more fan service than realistic plot progression. No Captain in his right mind would give an Ensign, no matter how deserving the second in command position. Sure, maybe promote her to Lieutenant and assign Stamets or Detmer as his Number One, but really Saru…showing a little favoritism are you? I mean, Ensign Kim on Voyager didn’t get promoted in the entire SEVEN YEARS he was on that ship, so yeah… seems a stretch.
All that aside, even though it doesn’t seem like it, I really did enjoy the episode for what it was. Romulus and Vulcan have finally united as was Spock’s dream. He succeeded giving his life a sense of closure that was denied for so long. I do find it interesting that the events of his death were not shared and that the fact that Romulus was destroyed in the process was never brought up but we did get a wonderful cameo from Nimoy himself using footage from Unification II. So, yeah, that was pretty awesome.
All in all, this was a great midpoint episode that, despite it’s many plot holes and strange choices, I am still looking forward to seeing where the series goes from here. Any theories as to the Burn’s origins? Please comment below and let’s discuss! Me, I think it is all Burnham’s fault…remember the Red Angel suit? Yeah…where did it go when she sent it through time to self destruct? yeah…I think so too.
Gleanings, Questions and cool bits: (slight spoilers here)
- I still think the nuFederation is hiding something. I swear…they seem way too hung up on the small stuff. I get the feeling that they will be the real enemy at the end of all this.
- Is it just me or is Burnham weekly cry session becoming almost a trope. It’s almost like the writers of this series have been watching My Hero Academia and like that Deku literally cries every episode, so much in fact that it has become a plot point. Seriously Burnham, being emotional is cool and all but let’s ease up shall we?
- So the sisters of the Qowat Milat bind themselves to lost causes but, so far, both causes we have witnessed them binding themselves to have been ultimately successful….so… they aren’t really good at identifying lost causes are they?
- We get to see Saru being all Captain-y as he talks to the Vulcan ambassador so the dude is good at diplomacy.
- The Temporal Accords keep being brought up…I have to wonder if the Suliban will return…or were they the cause of all of this? Is Discovery Season 3 finding a way to wrap up the loose ends of Enterprise? hmmmm
- As usual, some peeks at next weeks episode below….looks promising!
Thanks for reading the SciFi TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you! Some teasers of next weeks episode below!
As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!
Late To The Game 10/15/2020
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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