Welcome, one and all, to my continuing ‘Quick Thoughts on Star Trek Discovery’ series. Today’s episode, ‘If Memory Serves, sees us head back to the planet shown in the ST:TOS pilot episode Talos IV. Let’s see how the retro visitation progressed things.
- We opened with a flashback to the TOS pilot. That was nicely done, and hearing the old theme song raised a smile. Throughout the episode, we got some snippets of Pike’s time on Talos IV. His memory of interaction with Vina was a nice little touch and made sense as a tool to ensure that Pike acted as the Talosians wanted. Pike also had plenty of opportunities to further show his character this week. His conversations with Tyler carried on the more open relationship between them from the last episode. They were also used as tools to demonstrate his trust in his crew. In particular, I like when he made the decision not to follow orders from Section 31 while still trying to deal with the ‘crisis involving his crew’. Another good showing from the Captain.
- Speaking of Talos IV, I loved how it actually looks like a planet from an old episode, with the terrain looking like a quarry. The new-look Talosians were also nicely done, adding some modern touches with the noses, but not being so far removed from the original design as to be unrecognizable. As a species, there seems to be little malice in them, but the way they work does come with a sinister edge all the same. That’s a good balance to achieve.
- Georgiou continues to fascinate as well. It’s quite clear that she’s trying to get above Leland in the pecking order, and she is intentionally placing herself in positions where she can demonstrate her worth. Or, in the case of the end of the episode, placing Leland in a position where he will seem less capable than she. She comes across as the master manipulator, and her continued involvement is the Discovery Season One feeling thing of the season so far. That’s an important link, I feel. The question is, how long will she stay one step ahead until someone overtakes her?
- Hugh and Stamets clearly have a lot of work to do. Hugh has all his memories, but nothing connects with his senses any more. In a way, this makes sense. If you were to heal a damaged brain Deadpool style, you’d actually lose all the memories of how the body works that you learned through natural growth. Here, Hugh has kept the memories of his personality, but his body doesn’t have the same attachment to them. You could see his clash with Tyler coming very early on in the episode, and I’m glad it finally happened. I just hope and Stamets can find a way to move forward together.
- We finally get to see the thing that caused the rift between Spock and Michael Burnham. That whole scene was well done, and does a great job of showing how Spock came to be the way he is in terms of general personality. At the same time, you can understand why Michael acted the way she did. Their sibling relationship remains rocky, but I like it. It was good to see proof that Spock did not kill anyone too.
- We also get some more clarity about The Red Angel, learning that it’s human and that it saved Michael’s life when she was a kid by working through Spock. It knowing the future makes me think that it acted in that way to ensure that this timeline plays out to this point so that it can intervene again. That could be because Michael was needed to find Spock or because they will need to work together to prevent the end of days vision that it showed Spock. Whether that is proof that fate can be changed or that the Red Angel is simply a catalyst for proper order remains to be seen.
- There were some other nice little touches in this week’s episode too. Saru’s explanation as to why he let the fight between Hugh and Tyler continue, as well as his acceptance that he may have acted differently prior to his own evolution, was excellent. I also liked that Airiam is getting her name used more now as it elevates her to being a proper character. Oh, and the theme music has been really sticking with me too. The way it moves from an old school ST;TNG feel to a modern piece is great!
- In all, this episode answered a few things but felt like it left more questions open, but in the best possible way. I really enjoyed it.
So, those were my thoughts, but what about yourselves? Are you watching Star Trek Discovery? How are you finding this second season? What did you make of this episode? Let me know in the comments below.