The following are a few notes I took while watching Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 11. 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 11, Burnham experiences an expected reunion she has longed for. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go quite as she’d imagined. Meanwhile, Georgiou and Tyler sense a disturbing change in Leland.
Going all-in on exploring the idea presented by last week’s crazy twist, this episode felt really emotionally raw. What we saw tonight – in its bones – was an hour of character drama, exploring the relationship between a long-lost mother and daughter. It was just another example of just how great Star Trek Discovery can truly be when it applies itself. It’s strange because I was never NOT a fan of the show, but this second season overall has just been phenomenal.
Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 11 presented information to the audience in a way that enriched the character moments.
I thought it was a really nice touch to dole out the details of what’s been going on with Dr. Burnham’s time shenanigans through Michael’s perspective. Last week, I feel like they really leaned into the exposition when it came to explaining things to the audience, and they could’ve done the same in Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 11. Instead, however, I feel like they chose a much more productive way of telling the story.
We all know that Michael Burnham is supposed to be the main character of this thing. Of course, it doesn’t always come off that way, simply because Star Trek lends itself more to ensemble storytelling. Old-school Star Trek, likewise, was supposed to be all about Kirk, but that quickly changed. More and more, fans became interested in myriad other characters, allowing the story to branch out in almost limitless directions. Later, Star Trek: TNG just hit the ground running as if this were understood from the get-go. Ditto for every other iteration thereafter.
None of that stopped them, however, from saying from the beginning that one of the reasons Discovery was going to be different was because the focus was going to be the female first officer, rather than the captain. All that being said, we shouldn’t argue with the results. I think the show works great, just as it is. Still, it was great that they allowed Michael’s mother’s journey to play out largely through her emotional responses to learning about it herself. This approach in Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 11 really made the character moments stick for me. I thought it was a great choice on the part of the writing team.
Tonight may have given us a glimpse of the future of Star Trek Discovery
Could it be that Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 11 set the stage for where the entire series is headed and not just the current season? I’m starting to get the feeling that’s the case. To understand where I’m headed with this it’s important to look back on the series of Short Treks that aired before the current season. Bear with me and I’ll try to explain.
These were short 10-15 minutes self-contained stories that basically played like shortened episodes. What was interesting about them was we were told they essentially provided background to the characters in Season 2. So, we know that they weren’t simply filler material. For instance, the one centered on Saru was literally a prequel to the episode where Discovery visited his home planet. Likewise, the one about Tilly involved her discovering and assisting an entity only she could communicate with. Sound familiar?
Here’s where things get really interesting. Another one was about a guy awakening aboard a deserted starship with only the ship’s AI to keep him company. It turns out the ship is the U.S.S. Discovery and this all takes place 1000 years in the future. More detail than that you can research for yourself, but it struck a chord with me when Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 11 placed such a large focus on Dr. Burnham being essentially lost in time with Michael vowing never to give up trying to find her.
Could this be where the show is ultimately headed? Could the Discovery be about to become lost in the timestream somehow? Is this another way to reconcile these characters/technology never being talked about elsewhere in Star Trek canon? I can definitely see that being the case ultimately. I’m just hoping they aren’t about to jump into that immediately. Personally, I would much prefer a few more seasons taking place in the current timeline.
Some other random thoughts concerning Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 11
First of all, I don’t understand the mechanics of why Dr. Burnham has had so much trouble. How is it she accidentally jumped 950 years into the future, yet she can accurately jump to perfect pinpoints throughout the timeline later? Did she just get better at it or something?
And secondly, I feel like maybe the whole thing with Control and Leland is somehow attempting to form an origin story for the Borg. Don’t get me wrong, I might be way off on this. The pieces are in place if you think about it, though. Tonight’s episode showed us Control taking a human host through the use of nanites, much as we’ve seen happen to those taken by the Borg. There was also that exposition, where it explained how communicating via holograms was limiting and how it really needed a flesh and blood body in order to interact. Again, I could be way off. It’s just something that clicked in my head. What do you think?