Star Trek Discovery: Terra Firma, Part 2

Philippa Georgiou has returned to the mirror universe, to the days after Mirror Burnham tried to assassinate her. But this time around, Georgiou is trying something different – instead of immediately executing Burnham, she attempts to rehabilitate her adoptive daughter. But can the lessons in compassion and mercy that Georgiou absorbed aboard Discovery really help her in the vicious and unforgiving mirror universe?

After a solid and enjoyable first half, I have to admit that ultimately, I found part 2 of Terra Firma a bit disappointing. The bulk of the episode picks up where we left off, with Georgiou sparing Mirror Burnham’s life in the hopes of finding a less bloodthirsty way forward for the Empire. Naturally, those of us who have watched television before are suspicious of what may happen – can Burnham really be rehabilitated, or will she inevitably betray her mother again? Does trying to impose peace on a violent regime ever end in anything other than bloodshed?

As one might expect, things don’t pan out well for Georgiou, with her actions ultimately leading to her untimely death. Is this the end for her? Of course not, because as it turns out, it was all a test set by Carl, who was in fact the Guardian of Forever. Yes, points go to my occasional viewing companion for correctly guessing Carl’s true identity. Well done.

Anyway, naturally Georgiou passed the test by not being quite as much of a cold-blooded, heartless killer as she used to be. She no longer quite belongs in the mirror universe, but nor can she stay with Discovery, and so Carl’s only choice is to send her somewhere where she can become the star of her own Section 31 TV series. With that in mind, Carl sends her off to an unknown destination, with an almost fourth-wall breaking promise that she will have plenty of fun and exciting adventures when she gets there. Tune in soon for an all-new TV experience, kids!

With Georgiou gone, suddenly everyone is all misty-eyed and nostalgic for the good old days when she lived on Discovery. No one has a bad word to say about her – apparently they enjoyed her insults and general lack of regard for sentient life. I was already struggling a bit with the cognitive dissonance of Georgiou being both a genocidal despot and a beloved member of the Discovery crew, and this scene really dialled that up to eleven.

Other notes

  • In previous blogs I’ve complained that everyone on Discovery seems to be either a scientific or engineering genius. Now even Book is joining the ranks of super-smart techies, as he helps the crew with their efforts to connect to the Khi’eth.
  • Speaking of which, I was somewhat hoping that the identity of the ship trapped in the Verubin Nebula would involve some amazing plot twist. Finding out that it’s just a random Kelpien ship is a bit disappointing.
  • Will Georgiou’s history with the mysterious “San” be fleshed out in the Section 31 series?

Summary – Terra Firma, Part 2: Let’s all wish Philippa Georgiou good luck in her new series.

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