Fair Warning: This episode contained so many things that I adore, that judging it objectively isn’t something I’m even going to attempt. This is the episode that made me go from loving the show, to pestering people to watch it.
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Let me start by saying that Groundhog Day is one of my favorite movies and I wish people being stuck in a time loop was in every single show. It offers the perfect setting for people to have conversations they know will be forgotten and stolen moments they know can never be, which adds beautiful melancholy to an otherwise hilarious premise despite the high stakes. The killing Lorca montage was a masterpiece. It also develops relationships in a deep and meaningful way despite the limited screen time.
I don’t like rushed romances and I don’t really appreciate the shoving together of two leads at al times BUT whoo I fell hard for Ash/Michael. Thanks to the magic of Groundhog Day and the actors’ beautiful chemistry I found it believable and I love the dynamic they have as far as emotional intelligence is concerned. It’s not often we get to see the woman be the distant, awkward one that’s never had a meaningful romantic relationship before, not because she’s considered ugly or unlovable, but because she’s just not comfortable with her emotions. Tyler supported her last episode and in this one needles her along, making himself available and taking charge, but always in a frustratingly sharp but charming way. Within a few scenes Michael went from denial about her feelings to dying a horrible death and risking VIP status in a Klingon prison in order to save his life. Thanks to the magic of Groundhog Day and the actors’ beautiful chemistry I found it believable.
Michael’s an Ash’s relationship wasn’t the only one with rapid development. Poor Stamets’ efforts to help Michael in an area where he himself was obviously never an expert brought them closer in a way I wouldn’t have thought possible within a single episode so early on in the series. The dancing scene is simple but effective and warms my heart just thinking about it. It’s fun to see these previously lordly nerds smile, Michael trying to catch up to everyone else, and Stamets leaps and bounds into extreme extrovert behavior. People keep harping on about the importance of honesty in a relationship, so I appreciate the distinction Stamets makes about being honest about oneself.
Tilly continues to surprise. She is the closest thing this show has to TOS Kirk and I am living for it. Both are nerdy and capable and just enthused to be alive. They are loyal and loving, warm and mischievous, flirty and utter trolls, social butterflies and instigators, all within a single exchange. Plus don’t forget the glorious hair. I can’t wait for someone to give her more responsibility.
Yes, the way it wasresolved wasn’t explained well and had more plot holes than a field full of gophers, but the episode wasn’t about that. It was about out heroes coming together. (Though when will someone include Saru in the fun?)
Special shout out to the walk-and-talks down corridors that feel very West Wing as well as Stella’s ridiculous outfit, which I sincerely hope was a playful dig at purists.