The following are a few notes I took while watching Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 2. 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 2, a new signal appears, prompting an emotional return to the mycelial network. This leads the crew of the Discovery to a complex ethical dilemma involving a pre-warp culture. Meanwhile, Tilly’s overeagerness lands her in trouble. However, when the planet – and Discovery’s landing party – faces a dire outcome, she’s instrumental in saving the day.
A welcomed sense of familiarity
This was the first of what will be a couple of episodes this season directed by Star Trek alum Jonathan Frakes, and you could feel it in the quality and attention to detail. In truth, this was a really great episode that felt like classic Star Trek. Not only did it involve the kind of ethical problems often explored in Trek, but there was even an away mission. And not just an away mission, but an honest to God change your clothes and don’t tell any of these people we’re from outer space kind of away mission.
That’s something that feels like all old hat to the typical Star Trek fan, but it’s mostly been missing from Discovery. It’s almost strange how the simple act of adopting a more typical Star Trek episode structure can change things. It definitely worked, though. Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 2 really felt like the Star Trek I’ve been enjoying most of my life. Possibly more so than Discovery ever has before now. In a word, it was awesome.
The mystery deepens in Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 2
The writers are doing a good job of immediately adding depth to the whole mystery surrounding the red signals. This was introduced effectively last week, but didn’t resonate as strongly to draw me in. Tonight’s episode went a long way toward adding a whole additional layer to the burgeoning mythology, however. This whole season is supposed to be based around a theme of science versus faith, and I can definitely see that shining through in Star Trek Discovery Season 2 Episode 2.
To put it plainly, the idea Discovery was lead to that planet just in time to intervene and avoid an extinction level event and it not be part of some greater plan is ludicrous. Call it divine or extraterrestrial or whatever you want. I’m just saying there’s no way it’s a coincidence, and I think it’s pretty clear that Captain Pike agrees. In fact, I thought it was really great having him quote Clarke’s Third Law. For me, this brought a lot of perspective to what I imagine we’re going to see debated throughout the season. Additionally, the footage retrieved from the planet, depicting the mysterious Red Angel appearing on Earth centuries ago was intriguing. Consider me officially drawn in by the central mystery of the season.
A missed opportunity for a poignant story point, in my opinion
There was one thing I thought might have represented a bit of a missed opportunity for the writers. When the debris from the planetary ring – essentially a bunch of radioactive asteroids – were redirected by clinging to the dark matter asteroid released by Discovery, I had a thought. The first thing that popped into my head was that they would congeal together, held by the immense gravity. This was an opportunity for the people of New Eden to be left with a lasting reminder of Discovery’s visit. Namely, they would have had a moon that would have eventually smoothed out to be much like that of Earth. Needless to say, such a body definitely would’ve been captured by the planet’s greater gravity and become a satellite. That much goes without saying, just from a scientific perspective.
In my opinion, that would’ve created a nice bit of synergy in the story. It would’ve been something shared both by the people of Old Earth and those of New Eden. I envisioned the final moments of the episode including Pike talking a bit about how the sudden appearance of the moon would probably make its way into their evolving cobbled-together religion somehow. Alas, either I was completely off-base or some things got left on the cutting room floor during editing. Anyway, I just thought it might have been a nice way of sort of bookending the story.