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Review: Star Trek: Discovery – Season 2 Ep. 7: Light and Shadows

It’s becoming a trend in this season that each episode has a narrative introduction by one of the characters of the show, and this episode is no exception with Burnham talking about life and family.

Burnham deduces that there is a strong possibility that her Mother on Vulcan might have a stronger knowledge of Spock’s location and Pike agrees and grants her some personal leave.  Pike and the rest of the crew end up investigating an anomaly that has appeared and causing the Discovery to experience Timeloops.  The Discovery, trying to avoid being drawn into the anomaly’s gravitational mass, concludes that a shuttle should launch the probe.  And in true Star Trek tradition, Pike insists that he take the shuttle as he’s the more experienced shuttle pilot on the ship.  Tyler, suspecting that Burnham’s disappearance from the ship isn’t for “personal leave” but instead to locate Spock, accompanies Pike on the shuttle and they launch the probe but also get drawn into the time distortions before being engulfed within the time anomaly.  Realising that the mission has changed from a research to a rescue mission, Saru takes charge and commands Tilly to get Stamets and work on retrieving the Captain and Tyler.  Stamets likens the search for Pike and Tyler to trying to retrieve a grain of sand, in a tornado with a pair of tweezers, quite an apt description of their search.  On the shuttle, Pike witnesses a temporal view from the future where he shoots Tyler in the back of the shuttle and decides to keep that information to himself.

Meanwhile on Vulcan, Burnham recalls childhood moments with Spock and tries to persuade her Mother to help her find Spock to then realise her Mother knows where Spock is and has kept it from Sarek and reluctantly takes Burnham to Spock, who is a confused mumbling Vulcan.  Sarek has followed them and insists that Spock be handed over to Section 31 with Amanda eventually persuading him otherwise.  When Burnham explains that Spock is the key to the seven signals, they agree for Burnham to deliver Spock to Section 31 to help him.

Meanwhile back on the shuttle craft in the middle of the temporal anomaly, Pike and Tyler are at loggerheads over an idea Pike has insisted they do and rank wins and they lay down a trio of plasma bursts so that the Discovery can find them, and as they do, they encounter the probe with a full hardware and software update, trying to attack the shuttle with, dare I say it, Temporal Tentacles (well someone had to say it).  Sure enough, Stamets and Tilly locate them, and with Stamets immunity to temporal distortion, he encourages a reluctant Tilly to beam him to the shuttle he arrives just after Pike, and this time Tyler, relive the moment that Pike is shooting Tyler but he was shooting at a Temporal Tentacle that had forced it’s way inside the shuttle and was attacking both Pike and Tyler (who had just saved Pikes life by jumping in front of the marauding Tentacle by the way).  All this is happening as the probe is trying to access the computer to download whatever information of the Discovery it can find and to make matters worse, just as they’re managing to break free from the temporal anomaly, they run out of plasma.

Burnham and Spock, still mumbling to himself, arrive at the Section 31 ship and are greeted by Georgiou and Leland, who talks Burnham into reluctantly allowing him to help Spock.  Georgiou takes Burnham to one side and explains that, for 60 seconds, she has turned off the cameras so she can explain that Burnham must take Spock away from Section 31 as Leland cannot be trusted.

Stamets arrives, just in time, on the shuttle to save the day and rescue Pike and Tyler before the shuttle, and the probe, are destroyed after Pike sets off the self-destruct countdown to deter the probe.  Upon arrival at the Discovery, the probe has somehow managed to upload itself into Commander Airiam, they manage to high tail it out of range before the temporal anomaly implodes taking the ship with it.  Pike thanks Tyler for saving his life on the shuttle and they discuss that the Red Angel and whoever modified the probe were 500 years in advance.

Burnham and Georgiou have a mock fight where the conclusion is that Burnham rather enjoyed kicking Georgiou about, so that Georgiou wasn’t implicant in the escape plan. They escape and Burnham notices that Spock is muttering the same digits and asks the computer to trace the number sequence 749148 to be told it is the coordinates for a plane called Talos IV.

VERDICT: I rate this episode 8 out of 10 because it is actually a great episode it’s just that we’ve got used to being in the storyline of Burnham and Saru, Burnham’s search for Spock, Tilly and May, Stamets and the spore drive that when something slightly different comes along, ok Burnham’s search for Spock is the same as it always is, there is a viewer’s reaction to change, making the expectation of the episode higher than required.  And talking about the newly arrived Spock, like everything in this Season, characters and storylines are slowly and subtly introduced, so I love the idea that we see Spock but only a non-coherent Spock and not a fully focused and logical Spock.

I’ve noticed that this Star Trek is different to the other Star Trek franchises because the whole season is one continuing story and not a singular story per episode, although each episode does stand out on it’s own merit, this episode is gracious enough to feed the season storyline and give us a bit of classic Star Trek where classic facades are broken down.  I love the fact that at the beginning of the episode, Tilly says “Fricking amazing” in front of the Captain, who instead of disciplining her, bearing in mind Saru nearly did but gave her a sneer, Pike joined in.  He also admitted, to Tyler, that he wanted to show off at the end of the episode.  Am I missing the point?  This episode, like the crew of the Discovery, easily handled the stories within it, and setup a new one with Commander Airiam being “hacked”.  Also, and for once, Stamets is calm and focused without thinking of Culber and dragging their relationship into the episode.

Light and Shadows is a very apt name for this episode.

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