Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Ep. 6: The Sound of Thunder is all about you Saru, it’s a wonderful, and sometimes dark, episode. I’ll forgo my usual full explanation of the episode, but in brief detail, the episode starts with a debate over the intentions of the Red Angel between Burnham, Pike and Ash, with Ash speaking on behalf of Section 31 stating the Red Angel cannot be trusted and Pike and Burnham defending that assumption on the basis that there isn’t enough information or knowledge on the Red Angel yet and then they are interrupted by the bridge informing them that one of the mysterious signals indicating that the Discovery must go to the planet of Kaminar, which just happens to be Saru’s home world. Upon arrival, Saru and Burnham beam down and locate Siranna, Saru’s priestess sister. Sparking off quite an emotional reunion. Sensing that Saru is on the planet and that he has survived Vahar’ai (where Saru lost his ganglia in episode 4) the Ba’ul, the other species that co-exists with the Kelpien’s on Kaminar (well I say co-exist but it’s definitely not a match made in heaven as you will very soon find out because the Ba’ul seem to have the upper hand on the planet) cause Burnham and Saru to beam back to the Discovery.
The Ba’ul send a fleet of sentry ships to intercept the Discovery and hail the Discovery and try to force Pike to hand Saru over to them, but he refuses and in turn causes Saru to challenge and inform the Ba’ul that he knows what they have done for centuries and insists on Pike letting Saru surrender for the sake of his ship and his species. Saru, somehow beams himself down to the planet surface to save his sister, but they are both captured by the Ba’ul and they are taken to a Ba’ul citadel. Working on the fact that the sphere may have held information on Kaminar, Tilly and Airiam search through the information that the sphere gave Discovery and they learn that historically, the Kelpian’s were the dominant of the two species and nearly caused the extinction of the Ba’ul and now the Ba’ul are the dominant species. With the more confident and less cautious and equally less afraid Saru post-Vahar’ai they conclude that the Ba’ul are terminating the Kelpien’s after they have undergone Vahar’ai because they are less subdued and thus a threat.
With Saru and Siranna both being held captive by the Ba’ul, Pike, using Ba’ul’s technical network, instigates a global Vahar’ai on every Kelpien. This in turn irritates the Ba’ul, to put it lightly, and they retaliate with initiating the genocide of all Kelpiens. Causing the crew of the Discovery to hastily try to stop this from happening but before they can the Red Angel appears at the quarters that Saru and Siranna are in and renders the Ba’ul technology inoperable and this allows Saru and Siranna to escape and join a very confused race of Kelpien’s who don’t understand what has happened. With Siranna choosing to stay on Kaminar to help her race evolve and continue and find a way forward with the Ba’ul. With Saru getting a close inspection of the Red Angel, Saru is able to give Pike and Burnham a detailed report explaining that the Red Angel is humanoid and wearing a technologically advanced suit.
The world of Kaminar is just delightfully portrayed as like Earth but with a multitude of colour and we see that the Kelpien’s live in quite primitive and less technological habitats. The Ba’ul are far more technologically advanced and a very much not as humanoid as the Kelpien’s are. The Ba’ul are more sinister looking and I really don’t think we have heard the last of them.
VERDICT: Overall, this episode, has equal amounts of light and dark, with the crew of the Discovery in the middle doing the right thing as usual. I love the fact we get to learn more about Saru’s family, life and evolution. We have heard so much of Vulcan and the Vulcan life throughout Star Trek that it’s refreshingly nice to learn about another Star Trek species.
The continuing snippets of more information on the Red Angel is filtered through just great and this episode fires off just enough information to keep me satisfied and keen to watch the next episode.
There is a wonderful narrative from Saru at the beginning and end of the program that contains quite apt, for the program, thoughts and observations. And as the opening narrative concludes, Saru is in Sickbay alongside a deep in thought Doctor Culber with his newly built body, which, to the amazement of the doctor scanning him, has no imperfections not even a scar. Stamets is with him, proud and happy to have him back but the Culber is hesitant to his touch. I hope I’m wrong but this could be the prelude to another subplot where Stamets is the recipient of a “Dear John” from a possible non-gay Culber, but I do hope I’m wrong. Saru, on the other hand, has learnt more about his species than ever before and is experience a completely new life without fear and with a new defence mechanism in place of the ganglia, which we will no doubt find out more about as the season continues.