STAR TREK: DISCOVERY is a show which is consistently improving the more it continues but it's also doing so by moving away from what made you unique. The pilot introduced the possibility of a Star Trek "war" show which showed the Klingons and Federation in roughly equal measure. It promised space battles and a new look at Klingon culture. Unfortunately, we got waylaid with the "Spore Drive" plotline that was less than satisfying.
The past two episodes, however, have been classic Trek with the "Captain kidnapped by aliens" and now "An ambassador needs to be rescued" mission. In short, Discovery is moving back to what made Star Trek great but that isn't necessarily something I fully support. I feel like it's pulling back from it's firm commitment to trying something new in order to do something safe--no matter how much I enjoy said safe option.
|Ash Tyler and Michael Burnham have great chemistry.|
The most interesting plot for this episode is definitely the Sarek-Michael Burnham one. It is the first storyline which makes it necessary for Michael to be the previously-unknown sister of Star Trek's most iconic character (even exceeding Kirk). Sarek raised Michael to be the perfect Vulcan despite her being human and assumed that would be proof of how much potential humanity possesses. At least, that's my read on the character.
|I like Frain's Sarek who is (ironically) human and flawed.|
This episode, by this bit, does an excellent job of justifying Discovery's existence as part of the original timeline's continuity. It's not the only acknowledgement this takes place in the "Prime" universe as we find out the Constitution-class starship is already in service as well as the Enterprise in particular. This opens up the possibility of Christopher Pike showing up on the show and possibly a recast Spock (albeit I'd hope they'd get Zachery Quinto for the role if possible). Discovery broke a lot of rules and continuity at the start and while I was okay with this, I think these nods will help bring more continuity-obsessed Trekkies to its table.
|An age appropriate romance in Star Trek!|
So, do I think the character of Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) is actually Voq the Klingon? Yes, I'm pretty much certain of it unless Captain Lorca somehow turns out to be him. There's a lot of little hints which general audiences would miss like, "You fight like a Klingon" and him having met Michael Burnham before. I think the fact he's probably going to sleep with Michael Burnham is going to make the revelation all the more disturbing in the long run but I also believe it's going to seal the fake-Tyler's fate. Thankfully, this show doesn't seem to hesitate in killing off characters.
|The Vulcan haircut needs to be modified for women.|
In conclusion, this was an excellent episode but raises more issues than it resolves. My biggest complaint is the fact the Klingons take an opportunity of peace talks to once more engage in an act of deception as well as murder. I know Klingon honor has been flexible before but this is getting to the point it's observed more in breach than obedience. We really need someone who has some code of behavior to show up soon.