Episode three of Star Trek: Discovery’s first ten minutes involves a visit from Burnham’s Foster Mother, Klingon’s and suspected hallucinations. The crucial opening minutes of this episode set the viewer up for an expected rollercoaster of an episode, and it almost makes it, I say almost but I’m being critical here.
The unexpected arrival of Burnham’s foster mother so early in the episode suggests that the storyline may centre on her and the relationship with Burnham and Spock but then there’s Klingons (not on the starboard bow either) with the return of L’Rell and Ash, or is it Voq? With a power struggle focusing on the Chancellorship, could the storyline centre on them maybe? Yet there is something bothering Tilly, is she hallucinating her High School friend, Mae, or is Mae an alien?
I love this episode for its diversity of storyline, the three storylines run concurrently, and each have a reasonably equal share of the episode. The powerplay between Klingon Chancellor L’Rell and a leader of a Klingon House is most impressive. We see so much of the Klingons in the Star Trekverse that their culture never gets any true focus, in this episode you see how the respect and bloodlines are detailed. L’Rell is passionately resolute with her conviction to being Chancellor as well as her dedication to Ash and their son. The storyline involves deceit, love and sacrifice that would be familiar in any Shakespearean play. Love and commitment to the right thing endures throughout this storyline and it’s helped with the arrival of a classic character from the first season, Philippa Georgiou, and its arrival that happens right at the crucial point where the good Klingon’s are about to be overcome by the bad guys.
The storyline with Burnham and Amanda allows the subplot with the seven signals to continue with more focus and lets you in on some more information about Burnham and Spock’s sibling relationship. And something they have in common is the Red Angel from the previous two episodes. Spock saw the Red Angel when he was younger and it transpires that he made sketches of the Angel throughout his childhood into adulthood, and Burnham witnessed the Angel in the first episode of this season. What the Angel and the seven signals mean wasn’t established. The beginning of the episode focus’s more on this storyline than the other two and with it we find out that Spock is no longer in the psychiatric institution but that he’s murdered several of his doctors and that there is a search for him. This is found out when Amanda hands Burnham Spock’s encrypted medical file and asks for Burnham to decrypt it, but Burnham runs it past Capt. Pike and he hesitates but after a brief discussion with his counterpart at Starbase 5 (where the psychiatric facility is) he feels compelled to order Burnham to investigate further. This storyline concludes with Amanda departing from Burnham on her continued quest to locate her son.
Tilly’s storyline can only make you feel sorry for her, early in the episode she is on officer assessment and then Mae interrupts her and unlike the previous episode, the character is more antagonistic of herself and of Tilly. Tilly finally has a meltdown during a bridge assessment and realises she has a serious problem in Mae. Tilly filds Burnham in their quarters for Burnham to conclude that Tilly isn’t haunted nor hallucinating but that she might have a parasitic intrusion from when the Asteroid nearly killed her in the previous episode. A visit to see Stamets and a scan concludes that Tilly encountered a fungal parasitic spore that was manifesting in her body. A scientific attempt to remove the parasite from Tilly and we say farewell to Mae and we see immense relief from Tilly.
VERDICT: I rate this episode 8 out of 10 because its character driven and intriguing as well as necessary to the ongoing storylines. The actors looked like they were given plenty of room to develop their characters within the storyline and although the pace appeared slower than the previous two episodes, it wasn’t dull.