Here we are. Roughly one-third of the way through the season of Star Trek: Discovery, and so far this entire season has focused on Identity. Who are we? What is our purpose? With Discovery almost 900 years out away from everything they knew, they need to find a way to fit in to the new galaxy, a galaxy devoid of the Federation. In episode 5, they may not find all the answers, but they emphatically state – We Are Discovery!
The tale existed when the first cities formed and will continue on as long as we have different societies. The small town/country kid goes to the bigger town/city and struggles to fit in with the hustle, bustle and different ways of their new surroundings. Discovery is a ship that went from ahead of her time to 900 years out of date. They do a good job showing this last episode when Discovery docked. The crew talks about bio-engineered ships, holographic ships and ships they could not even identify. They left an age where transporters were new and now reside in a galaxy with personal transporters. How does a ship and her crew, who are 900 years out of date, fit in? Simple. By being who they are.
Discovery may be ancient, but she and her crew hold an ideal that no longer exists. The Federation was wiped out. So too were their ideals and beliefs. Discovery in her ancient ways represents these lost ideals, and by the way this season is using her, will resurrect them in this current time where they are needed most. As the old stereotype goes: The farm kid may not have city knowledge, but they carry with them a heart and work ethic foreign to the big city.
We Are Discovery – We Don’t Quit
I really have to start out with this observation. After 5 episodes I think it can be safely stated. The people of 3188 are ASS-HOLES! We finally meet the leader of Starfleet and he turns out to be the biggest jerk Discovery has met yet. At his first inclination, he separates Discovery’s crew, interrogates them like they came from a mob family and decides to remove all of them from Discovery and send his own people in to figure out how Discovery works. I get being cautious, but this guy’s terrible!
Thankfully for Discovery, a mission exists that fits Discovery’s uniqueness, aka- the spore drive, and the crew, minus Saru, gains the chance to show their true colors. In the process they prove they can not only do the job, but their character makes them a great team. As Cmdr Nhan says, “Dysfunction aside. You all make a pretty good team.” Leave it to Reno to also have the perfect response “Dysfunction is the team.”
Of course sacrifices are required and how Discovery and her crew deal with these sacrifices also shows the quality of their team. I really liked the story and conflict it posed. Discovery tries to save people still alive, but in order to do so they must ask someone to give up on the hopes his family may one day live again. The dilemma really hits home, and of course Burnham becomes the perfect vessel for the message.
We Are Discovery – Quarterback Controversy
I cannot help but wonder if there is a quarterback controversy brewing. Football fans know the struggle. A team has a good quarterback at the helm, but a younger quarterback sits in the wings. Every move, every mistake becomes highly questionable for the starter, and often fans begin to clamor for the back-up despite being unproven. Switching may improve things, or it may lead to a darker hole.
The scene where Burnham takes Discovery out really makes me wonder if that is happening here. Saru commands the Discovery. Both he and Burnham agree with the current set-up, but watching Burnham command the Discovery leads me to think something could be up. She did it too well and too natural. Burnham was born to lead and command. Having her as the second in command seems like an absolute waste. Given her more roguish nature now, could a feud develop between Saru and Burnham as the season goes? Or could Saru’s days be numbered? As much as I like Saru, Burnham needs to command Discovery.
We Are Discovery – Interrogator to Empress Queen 3 – Check?
If you watch closely, two scenes appear to set up future conflicts with the crew in the story. The first revolves around who else – Georgiou. Whether it be physically, mentally or anyway you wish to cut it, when Phillipa Georgiou walks into a room she controls what happens next – until now. I re-watched this scene several times it was so good. Georgiou knows everything about holograms, even how to deactivate them by batting her eyes, yet a serene and emotionless humanoid with glasses sits quietly at the end of the table, saying nothing. Who wears glasses in the 32nd century?! Someone who can match wits with Georgiou. That’s who.
Their back and forth is incredible. For the first time a conversation ends and we get the impression Georgiou was just talked into a corner. That should not be possible! yet later in the episode, we find her standing stone cold silent and unmoving as Burnham attempts to talk with her. The conversation with the interrogator clearly shook her to some level. I can’t wait to see where this leads.
The other little nugget comes back to my girl Lt Detmer. Once again she plays an extremely small yet pivotal role in an episode. Discovery does not succeed without her piloting skills, but her expert maneuvering clearly leaves her shaken. Between her trauma and being part cyborg, I really think showrunners are setting up an episode just for her. I continue to say she is perhaps the most underutilized character on the show.