The following are a few notes I took while watching Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 1. Warning: mild spoilers may be included, though I’ve tried to stay away from including anything too glaring. Either way, consider yourself warned.
In Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 1, we pick up immediately where the first season left off. The Discovery crew joins Captain Pike in attempting to unravel the mystery of seven mysterious signals appearing across the universe. One thing it’s easy to say right upfront is the show is definitely charting a bold new course. Will it ultimately be more satisfying for long-time Star Trek fans? That remains to be seen, but I can definitely say things seem to be on the right track.
Truthfully, Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 1 feels like the beginning of a whole new show. As you’ll recall, I was a fan of the first season, even though it wasn’t perfect. That being said, I feel like this season needed to be somewhat of a fresh start. The tone is lighter and more hopeful without being flippant. There’s a lot more humor mixed in with the astounding action sequences, but the stakes still feel high. Basically, the show seems to be concentrating more heavily on things they did well during the first season, while adjusting things that weren’t so great. It’s a great approach, and it works well on screen. It also doesn’t hurt matters that the special-effects seem even more impressive than last season. In fact, it’s almost like you’re watching one of the big-budget feature films. It looks really great!
The cast seems to have a lot more to do, which is a huge improvement
Right off the bat, Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 1 has us focusing on the characters. That’s a good thing, because truly it’s what Star Trek has always been all about. This is one of those points from season one that created some of the stronger moments that season two is obviously leaning into. Along with the lighter tone of the show, we have a new captain introduced who is the exact opposite of Captain Lorca. Anson Mount honestly couldn’t be better as Captain Pike, and his characterization is exactly what this crew needed. They’ve been through the proverbial wringer with an ethically-gray leader, so it’s only right they get someone now to help restore their faith.
I also thought Michael Burnham really started coming into her own as the lead of the show. We’ve seen her at her lowest, so now this season is giving us a look at her after having been redeemed. This should set the stage for her to become more of a hero character, which she definitely accomplished in Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 1. At the same time, the show also managed to do a really good job of placing her directly into the overarching mystery of the season.
I could go on and on about the rest of the returning cast and the new additions, but then this review would be pages and pages long. Suffice it to say they were all pretty awesome. I will take a moment to point out, however, that Anthony Rapp as Lieutenant Commander Stamets also stood out from the crowd.
My final thoughts on Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 1
Honestly, I thought it was a great episode that definitely set the stage for an exciting season. Then again, I was a pretty big fan of the first season, despite its admitted shortcomings. As a long-time Star Trek fan, there have always been things about the show that weren’t my favorite. At the same time, however, I believe in allowing for at least a modicum of creative leeway. Maybe it’s just the storyteller in me. I don’t know. I also think it’s important to understand that franchises like Star Trek have to evolve from time to time. As audiences change, so must the material. What speaks to one generation may not necessarily speak to the next in the same way. Just the way people binge serialized television nowadays requires changes in storytelling, all by itself, and that’s just one example.
What I witnessed in Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 1 was an exciting continuation of a franchise I truly love, tweaked just slightly to try to appease fans like myself. I have to say I truly appreciate that effort. I hope others feel the same way. What we saw tonight was a pretty great episode of Star Trek, in my opinion. I suppose if I had any complaint at all it would be that we didn’t see the adult Spock we’ve heard so much about. Seems kind of strange, considering the episode was titled “Brother,” but we shouldn’t have expected anything less. The reveal of such an iconic character is definitely something worth building toward, so I’ll be patiently waiting. I hope you’ll wait with me.