This is my recap of episode fifteen and the Season One Finale of Star Trek Discovery, Will You Take My Hand?
Season 2 is confirmed and on its way in 2019 so we have a lot to look forward to, so dust off your “Starfleet Guide to Averting Atrocities by Committing Genocide Policy Document” and let’s do this.
Episode Fifteen –Will You Take My Hand?
This blog contains spoilers so if you haven’t watched episode fifteen yet – What are you? A green-blooded hobgoblin? This review will definitely contain spoilers for episode fifteen, so look away now, this is your last chance! Ready, the review is below the photo, so let’s go.
Damn it man! I’m a writer not an Orion Arm’s Dealer
The episode opens with the Klingons approaching earth and things looking bleak for the Federation. Evil Georgiou does nothing to play the role of Captain as she is horrible to the bridge crew and makes quips about eating Saru. Burnham is finding it hard to play along with the charade and she challenges her evil step-mommy in front of the whole crew. Burnham and Georgiou have a frank walk and talk and the emperor tells Burnham she has no follow through. Georgiou bristles with menace and Burnham plays along for now, but this definitely qualifies as the worst idea Starfleet has ever had.
Georgiou attempts to acquire information from L’Rell by beating it out of her. Michael puts a halt to it by suggesting they use Tyler as an alternative source of information. Georgiou calls Tyler a half-breed doubting his usefulness. Tyler is tying a knot as it reminds him of his human childhood. He agrees to help them, accessing his Voq memories to infiltrate Qo’nos. This starts a partial mending of Burnham and Tyler’s relationship. Georgiou decides to put Ty-Voq on the away team, partly because he is useful and partly because she knows it will upset Michael. She also takes Tilly along because she had so much fun with Captain Killy subjugating the Betazoids. Tilly always brings a lightness and humanity to Discovery and she does the Terran salute, and Burnham tells her not to do that.
“‘You will know Fear because it speaks very fast and it speaks very loud…”
They dress as “low-life” and head to a sector of Qo’nos run by Orion pirates to try and find the location of a cave where they can release a mapping drone. They split up to gain the information they need and Tilly tells Burnham she recognises how difficult it must be having to work with Tyler again. The episode is good at being action packed but also finding the time to have these moments of character development, Tilly may have forgiven Ash but she also gets it from Burnham’s perspective and it’s nice to see this friendship develop. Georgiou’s method of obtaining information is to hire a couple of local sex-workers for some “me-time.” Meanwhile Tilly accidentally gets high and when she awakes from her drug haze she checks the drone and realises that it in actual fact it isn’t a drone and that Georgiou is planning on exploding a bomb that will ignite the dormant volcanoes on Klingon; obliterating most of the Klingon homeworld.
Burnham and Tyler play a Klingon gambling game and Ash reveals some things about Voq. Burnham tells him how her parents died and Tyler says that it is no wonder she hates Klingons and hates him. She remarks that if only things were that easy. She reflects on the fact that all species deserve to live their lives and although she found it hard to see Tyler get his Klingon-on she grows to accept that Ash is still there and that the course of action that Starfleet has set them on is not right.
Tilly calls Burnham to tell her what Georgiou is planning but she is discovered and the mischievous ex-empress knocks Tilly out. When she comes around she finds Tyler and Burnham and they attempt to stop her. Burnham calls Discovery revealing that shockingly Georgiou’s orders have come from Starfleet, she has not gone rogue. They contact Starfleet and give Admiral Cornwell a lecture in Federation principles, in doing so she convinces Cornwell to try something different, she tells her that we cannot commit genocide. Cornwell tells them “We don’t have the luxury of principals”, but Burnham insists that’s all we’ve got. The whole crew threaten mutiny and Cornwell agrees to their plan.
Burnham confronts Georgiou and challenges her to kill her and interestingly she cannot do it. She offers Georgiou her freedom and she then hands over the bomb’s detonator to L’Rell asking her to use it against the other Klingon houses, holding them to ransom and allowing her to take charge of the Klingon empire. She agrees and the Klingons abandon their attack on Earth to deal with the conflict that is now happening on their home world. Georgiou leaves and it is a fun thought to think that she will still be running around the universe, so hopefully we will see her again.
“I might as well be a dog on water-skis”
Tyler decides to go with L’Rell, to act as an emissary, a bridge between the humans and Klingons. He hopes he can help bring peace. I am not sure about this decision, after he has gone through so much to retain his humanity. Before he goes he reconciles with Burnham, she tells him that she can see him now, all of him.
Burnham and crew are awarded medals for bravery from Starfleet high command and given a standing ovation. The war is over. We then cut to Burnham having an emotional reunion with Amanda and then she speaks with Sarek who admits that he played an unfortunate part in almost making the wrong decision. The issue around Sarek isn’t really resolved for me in this episode, for him to be part of sanctioning genocide seems distinctly un-Sarek and his “well that was awkward, sorry.” half apology doesn’t fix my perception that there is something not quite right about him. This is no reflection on James Frain’s portrayal (I think it’s great) but more the lines he is being given and the things he is being shown to have done, don’t add up. As I mentioned before in some of the expanded universe novels Sarek is revealed to have a slightly shady past, so maybe this is something the writers are aware of and they are building this into the characters’ back story.
The award’s ceremony appears to take place in Paris, so I wondered whether this means the HQ for Starfleet is now there and if so, what happened to San Francisco? Stamets declares that Starfleet are looking for a non-human interface for the spore drive so for now they have to travel the old-fashioned way. Burnham’s record is expunged and she is re-instated, a just reward for all her efforts. Sarek reveals he is to travel with the Discovery back to Vulcan where they will pick up their new Captain. So is the new Captain a Vulcan? Or is the new Captain going to be prime Lorca? We will have to wait some time to find out and we also have to wait to find out why a very famous ship has hailed them asking for help.
Hailing Frequencies Open