This episode is a plethora of farewells and fond ones at that. The start of the episode is a visual of Sarek and Amanda on the shore of a lake or ocean with Sarek meditating and then opening his eyes and saying Michael, it’s not until later that you understand that he’s had a vision of the future. As we left it in the previous episode, The Discovery is to be destroyed; all personnel are reflecting on their own time with Discovery as they leave to board the Enterprise to enable the Discovery to self-destruct. Before she relocates to the Enterprise, Burnham is preparing the move of the Time Crystal but can’t help checking out what it has to offer, and she sees ControLeland wipe out the bridge crew and the vision stops just before ContrLeland kills her. With the bridge crew, aboard the Enterprise and on the Enterprise bridge which is an astounding homage to the original Enterprise bridge, truly amazing with all the same sounds, colours and even the hand-grips in the turbolift, they await the fate of the Discovery. The countdown begins and the most expected unexpected moment in the current season is that the Discovery didn’t destruct. The surmise is that the Sphere Data has integrated itself with Discovery and thus rendered any destruction attempt futile.
With the arrival of ControLeland imminent, the fifth signal arrives in time for the Discovery to shoot off to the planet of Xahea which Tilly enthusiastically informs the Bridge Crew of her friendship with the planet’s 17-year-old Engineering obsessed Queen, Po. Po helps fill in the gaps for the mission that all have agreed is the only way forward, to send the Discovery into the future, the only place that ControLeland can never get to the Discovery. All this is achieved by making another Angel suit to Burnham’s DNA and, using the Time Crystal, establishes a wormhole and “tows” the Discovery through it on a one-way mission.
As I said earlier, this is an episode of farewells, or at least the setup of farewells. Pike is to re-join the Enterprise, Culber and Stamets look as though they are going their separate ways, although I think this is a red herring, there is much to explore in their relationship than a farewell. And Burnham isn’t exactly on a suicide mission as most of the bridge crew decide to remain on Discovery and support her, including Tyler. Although Tyler does take Burnham to one side, and tells her that he has to join Georgiou at Section 31 to fight the cause of the good, it is an emotional farewell and one that exonerates the Tyler character as I think that throughout this series Shazad Latif has had underwhelming storylines that do not allow him to perform to the potential that he has as an actor.
I mention at the beginning that Sarek had had a vision of the future, as there is no ship communications as ControLeland is monitoring them, and he and Amanda appear on the Discovery, their arrival somehow baffles me as it’s out of place amongst a battle stations situation but all things aside, they get to say farewell to Burnham and they have their moment. After which, Burnham goes back to her quarters to learn more from her Mother about the suit until called by Pike to the bridge, and it’s here that Tilly and Burnham have their farewell embrace. Tilly entices Burnham to a meeting in a walkway with the bridge crew who can’t leave her on her own, so they all make it clear that they will be in Discovery following her. This is quite a pivotal moment as it now opens up the possibility of what the 3rd season will bring, although Spock is in the bridge crew but obviously, we all know that he will end up on Enterprise somehow. And Tyler too is amongst those present but takes Burnham to one side to say his farewell as he is going to be joining Georgiou in Section 31 when they defeat ControLeland. Tilly and Jet Reno along with Stamets realise that the charging of the Time Crystal is taking too long and that the only option is to remove the crystal from the cage and Jet decides that she will do it alone because those present will all see their own future. Jet sees a future, much like Burnham did, when she releases the crystal.
Pike’s last duty is to tell the Bridge Crew how much he respects them. There is a lot of maritime tradition involved in this episode and a lot of military standing too and respecting each other, it’s nice.
Pike joins the Enterprise just as ControLeland’s ships arrive for the kick-off. Battle Stations, shields raised, and Saru in command of the Discovery, bring it on!!
Queen Po helps devise a method to harness the power needed for the Time Crystal to work but it does open up to some issue that the power required will exhaust the spore drive and it won’t be able to replenish until long after ControLeland arrives. So, it’s agreed that this is a one-way mission.
VERDICT: I rate this episode 9 out of 10 because it’s the penultimate episode and thus the bridesmaid to what I hope is a 10 out of 10 finale. The farewell’s, the naval tradition, the friendships, the relationships, and the respect. It’s not too much, it’s just right. I love the fact that this is such a critical episode even though it’s part 1 of 2. There is so much introduced for further possibilities, a Section 31 spin-off, a Pike’s Enterprise spin-off, although I’m convinced that Anson Mount will be in the Discovery 3rd season as I’ve seen a recent tweet that they’re currently filming, both him and Sonequa together, but lets not be too quick on the conclusion, it is a tweet after all. Then there is the Rebecca Romjin situation that she wouldn’t just be in this for a couple of episodes as Number One, which leads me to think that there may well be a definite possibility of a Pike’s Enterprise.
I’m off to see Part 2 now!!