The crew of Discovery finally discover the cause of The Burn and…well…it’s not exactly what we were expecting… or even hoping for.
Is it a ‘Good’ Episode? LOTS OF SPOILERS
There is something in drama and storytelling known as Chekhov’s Gun. No, I am not talking about the young Russian officer on board the USS Enterprise and his phaser, I am talking about a simple rule that states every element of a story must be necessary and all irrelevant elements should be removed. This rule helps to prevent false promises and remove any sense of betrayal of what could be but will not be. Simply put, if a gun is seen in act one of a play, it should be fired in act two. Before Star Trek changed into an ongoing narrative, this principle could be toyed with, as the events of one episode had little baring on that of the latter ones. However, this is not the case with modern Trek, especially Discovery, and so it is all the more important for Discovery to not establish anything that is irrelevant or simply for ‘added flavor’. This, sadly, is where this series has failed when it finally reveals the source of this season’s macguffin, The Burn.
From the start of this season we have had hints and clues as to what could have taken out all of the Dilithium in the galaxy, causing it all to fall into state of absolute chaos. There were numerous moments where it seemed the writers were pulling on past events to create something larger than itself, from Philippa Georgiou’s mysterious illness to the strange tune everyone seems to know to even last weeks appearance of The Guardian of Forever, it all seemed like a puzzle piece in the 10 billion piece jigsaw puzzle that was presented. This season has built a greater mystery by laying out clues that would have made Agatha Christie proud, heck it was even hinted that the Federation itself may have been involved as they had not seemed interested in discovering it’s source in over 100 years. Unfortunatly, all those clues were just a mass of red herrings as when the answer is finally give and it is basically the result of a temper tantrum from a mutant Kelpian…well, to say it is a significant disappointment is an understatement.
Apparently a Kelpian ship found a planet made of Dilithium but, due to the radiation they all were doomed die…except for a Kelpian kid who had mutated as it grew and now has powers to disrupt dilithium. The kid has been raised by holograms, is lacking any and all social skills and is tormented by a holographic creature. The program wants him to be rescued but he…well, he isn’t so keen on it. Then Discovery is stolen by Osyrra and the Emerald Chain and we are left wondering if things will work out in the end. Of course they will since this show is called Discovery but man series plays around doing nothing until suddenly it all comes to a head.
Overall, Su’Kal is an episode that has a lot going on that ultimately sets up the final two episodes. Saru and Kulper are left to care for the insane man child Kelpian, Book and Burnham are left alone as they watch Discovery jump away and…Discovery Captained by Tilly is stolen by the Emerald Chain and will likely be used to destroy the NuFederation. So, with only two episodes remaining well, this better have a much better payoff than a Kelpian temper tantrum or I fear this series might make history as the shortest running Modern Trek series since Enterprise.
Gleanings, Questions and cool bits: (slight spoilers here)
- We get to see Saru as a human because of a hologram…so there is that.
- A planet made of Dilithium. I thought…okay maybe someone resurrected the Genesis program and it failed spectacularly….no just an all powerful Kelpian kid.
- Tilly doesnt get to be a Captain long but man, she has more command presence than Saru does any day.
- Oh and Gray comes back to talk with Adira. Apparently Gray was feeling…disembodied? I dunno.
- Oh and dont forget, some shots of next weeks ep below…
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!
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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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