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Star Trek: Discovery Review – ‘There Is a Tide…’

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After last week’s excellent trip inside the Verubin Nebula, that cliffhanger gets another cliffhanger that focuses entirely on what’s happening on the hijacked Discovery. Saru, Culber and Adira, still trapped in the nebula with the clock ticking, will have to wait until next week. But in the meantime, we get a Jonathan Frakes-directed two-fisted tale in the spirit of The Next Generation’s “Starship Mine,” as Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) works from the shadows to take on the hostile force that has coopted her ship.The Emerald Chain’s leader Osyraa (Janet Kidder) has taken command of the Discovery and, as the episode starts here, she’s got the crew on her flagship the Viridian simulating an attack on the Disco in order to get inside Starfleet’s shield barrier. As the Federation ship seems to be in distress, it’s the perfect way to infiltrate her enemy’s base of operations and attack. Except… she doesn’t attack once inside.

It turns out Osyraa wants the Emerald Chain to join forces with the Federation, as the Chain’s dilithium shortage will soon leave it vulnerable. This is an unexpected turn of events, and it gives Oded Fehr’s Admiral Vance a good amount of screen time as he finds himself in talks with his enemy/possible new ally. Fehr has been a nice addition to the Discovery roster of players, and here not only does he convey Vance’s need to do something to change the course of things for the Federation, but also that the principles of Starfleet haven’t changed in 900 years, no matter how tough times have gotten.

The breaking point for him in these peace talks is that Osyraa refuses to stand trial for the crimes she has committed. “The past cannot be undone,” she says. “But it can be made right,” Vance counters. Even Osyraa, who has been a pretty one-dimensional villain so far this season, gets a little shading in these scenes, as we realize that she is trying to build and maintain something. As she points out, they all had to make hard choices because of The Burn.

Elsewhere, in the bowels of the Discovery, Michael is sending people out airlocks and otherwise messing with the Emerald Chain forces that are onboard. It’s Disco by way of “Starship Mine” by way of Die Hard, and it’s lots of fun. Frakes’ kinetic direction keeps things interesting, like in the early scene where Book and Burnham crash their ship into the Discovery’s shuttle bay, and we’re given succeeding push-in shots of the ship and the Disco from different angles until… BOOM.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 – Exclusive Character Images

Michael’s adventure also ends on a real gut-punch, where she realizes she has to sacrifice her friends back in the nebula in order to keep the spore drive out of Osyraa’s hands. This leads to Stamets (Anthony Rapp) begging her to go back to help Hugh and the rest while she ejects him from the ship (and to safety) in an energy capsule of some kind. “We came to the future for you!” he yells. “We followed you! Hugh followed you!” Great stuff from Rapp and Martin-Green as we finish out our second cliffhanger in as many weeks.

Questions and Notes from the Q Continuum:

  • We knew the Sphere Data was gonna show up again, and the DOT-7 worker bots have been conspicuous by their presence in the opening credits all season, so it makes sense that it is presumably gonna help save the day while inside them.
  • And that’s the end of Noah Averbach-Katz as Ryn, Book’s Andorian buddy. Feels like he deserved more.
  • Jake Weber returns as Zareh from the second episode of this season, but he still doesn’t have a ton to do.
  • Haven’t seen Michael use the Vulcan nerve pinch in a while!
  • It probably would’ve been easier for Osyraa to just hail Admiral Vance and tell him she wanted to get down to some peace talks, right?
  • Vance finally said what we’ve all known for decades: Replicated food is basically shit.

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