This episode was a confused mess, that nonetheless was saved thanks to exceptional performances by the entire cast, which made me forget my ire over the entire set up. Also hey! I’m alive, all caught up, and trying to get these done this week so I don’t fall behind again. Prepare for a few reviews in a row.
(here’s a link for anyone having a problem with the embed)
-They were trying to infiltrate Section 31 headquarters in order to get security clearance back. This makes no sense because even though wanted, Pike and Cornwell must have a colleague willing to look the other way and provide them with information using their own codes. Heck, Cornwell could have taken it higher up the ladder, and though bureaucracy doesn’t usually make for riveting television, it would be more realistic.
-Star Trek is about how cooperation is preferable to isolationism and this episode fails to respect that philosophy. Perhaps, you say, they were wary of any communications being tracked. How’d they communicate with Cornwell then, my lovelies?
-Then we have the infiltration itself. Infiltrating a fully operational espionage agency is a pipe dream to begin with. Just declaring themselves and demanding to be heard is even more ludicrous. I know Pike’s one to knock, but what welcome was he expecting from an organization that wants to apprehend two of his most valued crew members and rip one’s brain apart for the greater good. It was adorable how everyone was shocked they’d dare attack a starship though. It was fantastically optimistic and I wish I had that kind of trust in the world.
-I also like the way Enterprise’s absence from the war was finally addressed. The reasoning behind it and the way Cornwell responded to Pike’s righteous idealism was beautiful, funny, and poignant all rolled into one. Love that combo.
-Plenty of Sci-Fi deals with dystopian scenarios surrounding technology. Borg aside, cause honestly they’re a much longer conversation, to me Star Trek has always been about the promise of science and exploration, and how technology helps humanity be the best it can be. I’d rather the villain be a representation of the worst of humanity, how we are twisted by our fear, how sometimes we love too greedily. As it is an A.I. that thinks the greatest threat to humanity is humanity itself is #mood.
-It would have been a different story if we delved into the fact that we have an algorithm that people follow without question. Georgiou briefly brings this up, but it’s just (nicely planted) foreshadowing coming from a Terran dictator. In a world where social media and search engines essentially control what we see, it could have been a fun little parallel. (In case it wasn’t immediately apparent, fun should be read in the most tired, sarcastic of voices.)
-I feel utterly cheated by the show’s decision to give Airiam a backstory and meaningful relationships within our wonderful cast of characters only to have her die. It was a cheap ploy to get us to feel for her, something you’d expect the producers of a reality show to pull. Plus, anyone with the briefest of grasps on how writers work would have guessed she was about to die. The moment we saw that video her fate was sealed and I was spoiled. They should have introduced everything sooner and over the course of the season, or not bothered. I cry every time Michael cries anyway, I need very little context.
-Speaking of, the cast was stellar as always, the ladies especially.
-Highlight of the episode was Spock and Michael’s chess game and the way he hurt her with the truth. More of this please. (Not Michael in emotional distress; more character development through organic interactions.)
Live long and prosper. <3