Star Trek Discovery: Point of Light

Chancellor L’Rell is having a hard time retaining her hold over the Klingon Great Houses, and having the not-quite-human, not-quite-Klingon Tyler by her side may be hindering more than it helps. Meanwhile, Amanda arrives on Discovery in the hopes of soliciting Burnham and Pike’s help in figuring out what happened to Spock, whilst Tilly struggles with her continuing visions of her childhood friend May.

There’s a lot going on in this episode, but definitely in a good way – it retains your attention rather than overloading it, and each strand feels like it advances the story in some way. First up, we check in with the Klingon, where, like pretty much every Klingon Chancellor, L’Rell is struggling to hold onto power. Her situation isn’t helped by the fact that Tyler’s human face inspires mistrust in pretty much everyone around her – and indeed, he’s still reporting back to Burnham from time to time. What follows is full of the usual deceit and blade swinging we’ve come to expect from the ‘honourable’ Klingons, and whilst there are a few too many crazy camera angles and a lazy deus ex machina towards the end, it’s entertaining stuff.

Meanwhile, on Discovery, we have two other plotlines to keep track of. Amanda shows up with Spock’s medical file, leading to a chain of events in which we learn that the ever-elusive half Vulcan has now murdered three people and escaped from Starbase V. This is all somehow tied in with the mysterious angelic beings, which Spock started having visions of when he was very young. There had better be a good explanation for all this, because if the character of Spock is ruined by this plotline, I’m going to be very disappointed. Although right now, the thing of most interest to me is getting to the bottom of whatever it was Burnham did to irrevocably alienate Spock, all in the hopes of protecting him from the attentions of the logic extremists. To be honest, if the logic extremists hate humans enough to target Burnham in the first place, I’m sure they’d hate a half-human like Spock in his own right.

Finally, Tilly is struggling to focus on the command program, thanks to the near-constant presence of May. It becomes increasingly clear that May is something more than just a projection of Tilly’s consciousness, until it’s ultimately revealed that she is some sort of multidimensional mycelial life form. Her goal seemed to be to get to Stamets, but to what end? And is it prime universe Stamets or mirror Stamets that she really wants? Only time will tell.

Klingon update

  • Many of the Klingons have started growing their hair, making them more closely resemble the 24th century Klingons we know and love. One particularly incongruous sight, however, was a bald Discovery s1 Klingon sporting a handlebar moustache.
    L’Rell herself looks a lot more femme this season, which is almost a shame as it was good to have some non-feminine female representation onscreen in season one.
  • Presumably L’Rell wanted to keep Voq’s child, since one imagines Klingon medicine would be pretty ruthlessly efficient when it came to contraception and abortions. Indeed, she went to all the trouble of having the child gestated “out of utero” somehow, instead of carrying him herself.
    If she did want the child that much, however, it seems surprising that he was left under what seemed to be a pretty light and ineffectual guard. And she showed amazing fortitude in managing to stay away from him for so long.
  • If I were a Klingon, I’d be suspicious of just seeing Tyler and the baby’s heads shown to me from afar, instead of seeing them executed in front of me.
  • Until his untimely death, Kol-Sha is head of house Kor – the Klingon we all know and love from his appearances in TOS in DS9.
  • Once again I must make the obligatory mention of the fact that in the TOS/DS9 era, women weren’t allowed to be Chancellor or indeed even lead a Great House without special dispensation.
  • The blades seen in this episode resemble the original bat’leth seen in Sword of Kahless.
  • Tyler and his son head for a quiet life at the Boreth Monastery, the same place Worf encountered the Kahless clone.

Other Observations

  • We never see exactly how Burnham decrypts Spock’s medical files, but maybe that’s for the best, since it means we can’t complain about whatever implausible method she would have used.
  • It’s awfully convenient that Stamets has just the right tool for ripping out a mysterious mycelial life form from Tilly. I know he’s been working with spores for a while, but it seems like a very specialised bit of kit to have to hand.
  • The command program half-marathon is reminiscent of Tuvok’s physical training regime in Learning Curve.
  • Vulcan seems surprisingly unsafe for a 23rd century peaceful utopia, what with the mention of ‘logic extremists’ who wanted to hurt Burnham.
  • We now know that both Burnham and Spock ran away from home as children. Great parenting, Sarek and Amanda!
  • Presumably Spock’s medical files were merely copied rather than outright ‘stolen’, since they are of course entirely digital. Also, as per usual, when the data is being parsed and transferred by the ship’s computer, every file flashes up on screen. What kind of operating system behaves in this fashion?
  • May’s true form getting trapped in a forcefield is highly reminiscent of the macroviruses in Macrocosm.

Summary – Point of Light: Klingons and Vulcans and fungus, oh my.

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