Waaaay again in otkriće’s pilot episode, Michael Burnham made a selection to immediately disobey her captain’s orders. This selection led to a collection of escalating crises which finally resulted in her captain’s demise. It was a strong opening assertion for any present, a seoba present particularly. I’m undecided what adopted ever actually lived up to that opening assertion, however on the very least, otkriće has by no means utterly overlooked Michael’s willingness to prioritize her personal selections over the chain of command. It’s simply that normally, that willingness is offered as proof of her heroism and common excellence. In the years since its pilot, the present has stumbled and fumbled and sometimes triumphed, getting extra coherent because it went alongside, and it’s one thing of a aid to see that lastly, in a third season which has been extraordinarily constant (no matter my complaints), that they lastly remembered there’s supposed to be battle.
“Scavengers” has Michael selecting to run to Book’s rescue over direct orders from Saru. She makes a clear, unequivocal selection to worth her personal instincts and loyalty over her captain’s orders, and whereas nobody dies from her resolution, there are penalties. Saru is extraordinarily disenchanted and annoyed by her selection, which is to be anticipated, however even Tilly (the season appears to have settled on “quirky but extremely competent Tilly,” which might be the perfect course for the character at this level) is proven to be sick of her shit. And it’s nice, it’s actually nice. Okay, I wasn’t utterly enraptured by Tilly struggling to cope with a very placid and sleepy cat, however all the pieces else? Excellent throughout the board.
I used to be a little disenchanted earlier this season to see Discovery discovering the brand new headquarters of the Federation so rapidly. It appeared like a signal of the present being all too keen to get again to some form of “normal” once more, eschewing the chances of the time soar in favor of reinstalling a distressingly acquainted established order. But within the time since, it’s been reassuring to see how the Federation has modified as a lot because it’s stayed the identical. Discovery’s reintegration into its outdated function (you’ll word that when once more it’s The Most Important Ship Of All, though given how typically the Enterprise saved the universe, I suppose that’s to be anticipated) is awkward with out turning both aspect into apparent villains, and the extra we see of it, the extra I’m appreciating how the season is establishing itself.
And that goes very true for Michael. That yr she spent away from Discovery is popping out to be much more essential for her arc than it initially appeared, underling her individualistic streak whereas making her much more reluctant to comply with together with protocol when she decides it isn’t obligatory. When Saru orders her not to go after Book (Discovery is basically “on call,” ready to see if it’s wanted for battle), Michael doesn’t even take into account obeying him. Instead, she goes immediately to Georgiou to ask for her assist. What she ne do is inform anybody else on the ship about her plans. Not even Tilly, which might be a large motive why Tilly is so upset to see her lacking.
It’s a terrific dynamic, as a result of it merely restates issues we already find out about these characters with simply sufficient added strain to make these issues turn out to be related once more. Saru even mentions how he as soon as struggled to belief Michael, a a part of their relationship I’d really largely forgotten about. Nobody is behaving erratically or randomly simply to generate battle. Even higher, there are not any clear good or dangerous individuals within the scenario. I sided extra with Saru, however the episode permits for that (would possibly even encourage it) with out providing a straightforward answer come what may. Michael succeeds in her mission, rescuing Book and getting the “black box” from a starship caught within the Burn; and he or she’s most likely proper about needing to determine what occurred within the Burn earlier than something can get again to any form of normalcy. As nicely, Discovery didn’t find yourself needing to go into battle in spite of everything. But she nonetheless ignored Saru’s orders, so he demotes her to Chief Science Officer, in a resolution that feels completely affordable and even simply.
otkriće desperately wants this sort of story growth to steadiness out its “rah rah everyone loves everyone” vibe. It’s not just like the ship instantly wants to turn out to be rife with resentment and inside wrestle. But giving main characters totally different objectives, making these objectives comprehensible, after which placing these objectives into battle, helps to be sure that the occasions when everybody ne get alongside all of the extra significant. One of the present’s largest failings is in how typically the writers will soar to a conclusion with out doing the mandatory work constructing to it. You get the large moments, the triumphs, the sudden twists, however you miss all of the context that makes these moments extra than simply memes. “Scavengers” doesn’t get slowed down in particulars, however it additionally doesn’t simply elide over them the place they could show inconvenient, and that’s a part of what makes it so strong.
And hell, it additionally offers Georgiou a highlight, which is all the time a good time. She cons her means onto the planet the place Book is being held captive in a labor camp, pretending Michael is her servant and relentlessly browbeating the Orion man accountable for the place, as is her wont. Michael helps Book escape, and the episode finds time to rapidly set up simply how dangerous issues are within the camp and likewise introduce a new character, an Andorian who tried to insurgent in opposition to his masters and misplaced his antennae as a consequence. In a notably brutal transfer, the dangerous guys then compelled the insurgent Andorian into the job of placing safety discs on the necks of latest captors, making certain everybody would hate him and ignore any new try at rebel.
This is intelligent and deft, sketched in rapidly however affectingly, and it implies that when the jail break occurs, we’re extra invested within the end result than we’d be if it was simply a matter of Book and a bunch of anonymous extras operating away. (I like Book, however the odds appeared fairly good he was going to make it out of this one alive.) The labor camp additionally establishes the Emerald Chain as main dangerous guys, and presumably this season’s major antagonist. They’re talked about throughout the Federation briefing Saru attends firstly of the hour as the principle trigger for a lot of Vance et al’s woes, and I anticipate we’ll be seeing extra of them quickly.
All in all, a nicely finished episode in a season that’s proving to be otkriće’s strongest but.
- The slight, however relatively candy, subplot about Stamets and Adira bonding over the ache of dropping a liked one was nicely acted and affecting. I’m curious if Gray pushing Adira to get extra concerned with the crew is meant to be humorous or not; the thought of a lifeless liked one bugging you to have extra a life feels prefer it might be annoying even whether it is well-intended.
- I can’t actually show it, however it felt like this episode referenced otkriće’s previous greater than the present normally does; as well as to Stamets speaking about Hugh’s momentary demise, and Saru mentioning the Shenzhou, we had Georgiou reminding Michael about her disastrous relationship with Tyler. These are all good nods. The present has been so uneven over the course of its comparatively quick life that it helps to often remind us that all of it nonetheless occurred.
- I get that it’s supposed to play as pleasant banter, however Michael getting super-defensive when Georgiou asks her if she and Book are a couple is odd. You have been hanging out with him for a yr and also you clearly have chemistry, the place’s the disgrace?
- Michael and Book do make out close to the top of the hour.
- Oh, nearly forgot: Georgiou is having unusual, debilitating flashbacks on the worst doable occasions. When Michael confronts her on this, she admits that it’s been occurring for weeks. (Michael’s speedy response: an offended, “Why didn’t you come to me with this?” This just isn’t a great way to reply to a particular person experiencing trauma, even when her trauma did nearly get you killed.)
- The operating gag of Linus utilizing the moveable transporter to present up at inopportune moments was good.
- Speaking of dangerous Michael strains: telling Saru he did the best factor in demoting her simply rubbed me the unsuitable means. I don’t suppose Saru wants her approval on this specific occasion.