Context is not just for kings.
Complete spoilers follow for this episode.
One of the biggest moments of Star Trek: Discoverys (so far) comes late in this episode, the second of Season 2, when Anson Mount's Captain Pike meets Jacob, a man whose people live all his life on one Planet has lived on the other side of the galaxy, which does not know the Starfleet, the Federation and even space travel. "Do you have a ship?" Asks Jacob Pike, who beats his wings like a half-mouth. "Do you fly between the stars?"
Pike grins in reply and says only "yes," almost embarrassed that not only is his life great, but life is for every citizen of the Federation.
Mount sells the moment by capturing himself as one of the great Star Trek actors in just two episodes. At this moment, Discovery's Season 2 transformation from dark and brooding war dramas continues into a more traditional trek story, while Pike grapples with Prime Direct ̵
It all starts when another of the red energy signals appears. all the way in the beta quadrant. That means turning up the spurs' ride again to jump where the disco crew discovers a planet whose inhabitants are descendants of people who were transported to the strange world 200 years ago … allegedly by a benevolent "red angel" who saved you from the decimation of World War I Earth.
Pike, Burnham, and Lieutenant Owosekun (Oyin Oladejo) are gazing at the planet to see if they can get any new details about the red energy signals, and Owaykun is one of those bridge officers we've always seen in season one but spent so little time with them. Here we learn that she grew up in a "Luddite collective" on Earth, which sounds like a rather interesting detail to think about, but unfortunately "New Eden" does not give the character so much more than usual. However, it is clear that Discovery is trying to improve these guys a bit, as Detmer and Airiam have also increased their dialogue by a thousandfold this season. (Detmer is my darling by the way, she got her pilot's license when she was 12!)
Watch the video discussing the cast of Ethan Peck's Spock on the timeline of Star Trek: Discovery fits. 19659006] Throughout the world, the team finds that the people of the New Eden settlement have united all the major religions of the earth in a mono-belief system. And is not that a great concept? But it's also quite amazing that Disco is embarking on the idea of Earth religion in the first place, as the series creator Gene Roddenberry generally shies away from his Starfleet characters accepting faith or any other theistic belief system. (Of course, Star Treks would later delve deeper into the idea, though this would normally be done by extraterrestrial races like the Klingons or Bajorans.)
Meanwhile, the crew on the ship have to deal with a radiation wave to extinguish the inhabitants of the planet. The visuals of these sequences are of course top notch and the action exciting. Although Tilly's guardian angel is a new puzzle, I do not quite know what I think of it. Is she a … red angel? Or somehow linked to the mycelial energy that apparently had fallen into our favorite cadet at the end of last season? Stay tuned, but suffice to say that Mary Wiseman continues to make every Tilly scene funny and whimsical.
However, by using the Spore Drive, Stamets can reveal that he found himself in dead-end Hugh's Mycelium network at the end of last season. He also admits that the idea of going back to the network could mean that he would see him again, which is pretty hard – can you just meet your dead lover? – but the episode does not have the time to pursue this idea … except that Stamets were pretty angry after his first jump.
The cast and producers of the disco discuss Pike vs. Lorca in the video above.
However, this is a problem with the episode as a whole, with the feeling that there simply is not enough running time to get worked up deep enough in certain story points. This includes Pike's mission to the planet, whose kind ends abruptly (before he makes the last visit to Jacob).
Interestingly, "New Eden" gives us a pike that is just as open to the idea. The inhabitants of the colony believe their ancestors were rescued by a deity. And maybe the captain even has personal experiences of worship (he seems to speak the language of Catholic liturgy). On the other hand, Burnham, always the scientist, must find a logical explanation for how this situation came about. "The belief they cling to is a lie," she tells Pike. "Can you prove that?" He answers.
Of course, this question of faith against science will be a big topic of the season and will go down in Spock history as well. There are no easy answers in New Eden or Earth in 2019, though Pike seems to have the right attitude after all. In an interesting contrast to his predecessor, Lorca, who was famous for "Context is for Kings" last season, Pike says, "Context can change our perspective." Pike is always open to new ideas and perspectives. Star Trekky can do little more than that.
Questions and Comments from the Q Continuum:
- This episode, directed by trek legend Jonathan Frakes, is not as conspicuous as the segment he led last season But he's pulling off two consecutive pans, so that's pretty good!
- We now know that after leaving the Enterprise, Spock had opted for a "psychiatric unit," which was not all too surprising, as the trailers for this season have basically hinted that it has been institutionalized.
- I missed it last week, but Airiam has been redesigned and is now being played by Hannah Cheesman replacing Sara Mitich.
- We also know that the spur shoot was decommissioned by Starfleet until a non-decommissioning human interface can be developed for it, which of course explains why it is included in the Fol In the past years the disco never became mainstream tech … which does not really explain why the disco crew is so willing to use them in this episode.
- Speaking of it, it seems strange that Pike would not know all about the ride and the Tardigrade, right? Of course, this is just the show that explains everything to all viewers who did not see season one, but still.
- Engineering has grown bigger! What is the new finished room / conference room that Pike uses? It is way too big to be the old Lorca area.