The following contains spoilers, you have been warned.
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I am in no way a Trekkie. I have nowhere near the amount of background knowledge to consider myself one and have always watched the previous iterations of the Star Trek universe for nothing but enjoyment and relaxation. Which is why there is so much of the lore that has just passed me by.
Like Section 31.
Before last week I had no idea that Section 31 was even a thing, having missed the various episodes in Enterprise that explored them. Even though I watched the 2nd in JJ Abrahams reboot of the franchise several times, where section 31 was explicitly mentioned, it still didn’t really catch on within the dense material that I think is my brain, but is, in fact, a soggy sponge filled with electricity dampening jam.
So thank you Angela Night for providing me with a rabbit hole I happily disappeared down for a couple of days while I brought myself up to speed.
Where does this fit in with the new Star Trek? Well, Angela and others have posited that the Discovery is a Section 31 ship, an off the books kind of deal where the normal Starfleet rules don’t apply. I’ve got to admit, that as a concept excites me. Finally, something that I can really get behind. A genuinely new look at the Star Trek universe, if the writers and developers are brave enough to carry it through. A framework to explore some very interesting concepts, ones that the earlier series couldn’t approach. This may not be the series that I can share with my grandchildren, but if it develops along those lines, my kids may like it.
This weeks episode was Mary Sue time again though. The crew needed to get from point a to point b using the magical handwavium drive and didn’t have a supercomputer powerful enough to perform the math. Despite having one capable of dissembling and then reassembling two humans at once and transporting them to sickbay. Of course, Michael comes up with the solution after the dumb old chief security officer gets herself killed doing what Michael tells her not to. Everyone is amazed and surprised that the mutineer could be so brilliant, the people on the mining colony are saved, and yay, go team Starfleet!
I get it, we need to have a redemption arc for Michael, but this is the wrong way to go about it. How many more times is she going to come up with the solution to the Problem of the Week before she’s back in the Captain’s chair? On a ship filled with the very best that the Federation has to offer is she really the only one that can make intuitive leaps? I think not, seeing as how I figured out what was going to happen before the redshirt bought the farm. And I’ve got a brain filled with jam remember.
The Klingons meanwhile are doing what Klingons do best, which is act like the nobility in Game of Thrones. The Torchbearer, or Gary Stu as I’ve come to think of him, has been deposed. Cast adrift on the hulk of Burnham’s derelict ship, he’s saved, only to be told he can get everything back if he hands over his life to the Matriarchs. So he’s screwed then. Still no beauty in the Klingon speech, the fish faces are becoming somewhat ridiculous.
I didn’t hate this weeks episode, but it could have been better. I get that they want Burnham to be the face of the show and I have no problem with that. The writers could take a leaf out of the DS9’s playbook and spread the love around, give the other characters some extra dimensions.
And go with the Section 31 thing. I like that. I like that a lot.
Until next time guys