Warning: SPOILERS abound below. If you haven’t watched the episode just yet – Stop. Don’t. Come back….
The crew of the Discovery are alive! Safe (somewhat) and sound (nothing but mere flesh wounds and slight cases of PTSD), nestled uncomfortably in their damaged ship. I mean, sarcasm aside, we pretty much knew that they’d all make it to the other side relatively unscathed – for now, that is (except for Leland….he’s definitely dead). But where is the “other side,” you might inquire? Well, it ain’t Kansas, and it sure ain’t Terralysium. Turns out, the planet never had a proper name. However, the locals refer to it as “The Colony” (more on these locals in a bit).
Transportation through the wormhole wrought some fairly significant damage upon our star flagship, and time-traveling wasn’t anything like Kirk described in his captain’s logs when he went galivanting around 20th century San Francisco. Some of the crew are the worse for wear, but all in all, they arrived with their bits intact. The only crewmember who seems to have taken the trip harder than anybody else is Keyla Detmer. What can only be described as possible PTSD, we see her shambling about the ship in a zombie-like daze. None of the medical crew seems to take notice except Culber, something I’m sure will be further explored in upcoming episodes.
With time running out for the integrity of the ship (and crew) because of the parasitic ice Discovery crash-landed in, Saru and Tilly venture out in search of help (Tilly detected 50 life-signs, as well as warp-capable ships). However, thing is, even on Earth (specifically in Middle America), most “locals” don’t take kindly to strangers. And planets in the 32nd century are no different. But the charm of Tilly ultimately prevails, and the few inhabitants she and Saru meet in the nearby “dive bar” are quickly won over; mostly because the mystique surrounding the Federation is still strong amongst the few “true believers”.
All seems to be going well between our Discovery crew and the locals when misfortune rears its ugly mug. Zareh, the local courier, and self-anointed overlord of the surrounding hood (played perfectly by Jake Weber) shows up and immediately begins swinging his man-junk around so everyone within earshot knows – or is harshly reminded – who’s in charge. That is, until Georgiou herself arrives and makes short work of him and his posse (when in doubt, always send in a Terran woman). TrekMovie.com’s podcast review of the episode nailed it when they said that the whole scene played out like a sequence from an old “Western”. However, I totally dug it. There was some great back-and-forth between Saru and Georgiou that I just couldn’t get enough of, and seeing as they each have diametrically opposed methods on how to go about doing just about everything, it’s going to be interesting seeing them bump heads throughout the season.
All of this eventually led to the big surprise at the very end that we all kind of knew was coming, yet was still emotionally satisfying to watch: Michael and Book rescuing Discovery in a tractor beam from the death throes of the parasitic ice. And the twist, which we also kind of already figured out, as well, or knew there was gonna be something like it, was that Burnham exited the wormhole a year prior to Discovery’s arrival, and had been searching for her crew the whole time.
There was a lot to enjoy in this second installment, with the promise of a lot of elaborations and continuing plot points to come….hopefully. But the most interesting tidbit was the connection it made to the Short Treks episode, Calypso. During the exchange between Saru and Zareh in the bar, Zareh drops a name that we first heard in Calypso: V’draysh.
Saru: Uh, we will get further using the common tongue.
Zareh: Any captain with some miles on him – even a V’draysh captain – would know Pidgin.
And in Calypso, Craft says the name when speaking to Zora about the escape pod she found him in….
Zora: Your wounds were pulse burns. You had a suit of heavy blast armor and a well-stocked weapons rack. You’re a soldier.
Craft: A reluctant one.
Zora: And a crafty one?
Craft: Eh, I had my moments.
Zora: Like when you stole an escape pod from your enemy? I scanned the pod’s media log. It was equipped with a library of 542,000 media files. You watched one of them 811 times, suggesting that….
Craft: I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off. The V’draysh, they prize things like that, relics from the long ago. It was torture.
Zora: V’draysh. Those are your enemies?
Michael Chabon, Calypso’s writer, confirmed via Instagram back on November 8th, 2018 (the day Calypso premiered) that “V’draysh” is a term used for the Federation (the plot thickens).
If Calypso takes place 1,000 years from, presumably, the 23rd century, then that would place the events of the Short Treks episode a few years ahead of when Burnham arrives through the wormhole – in the 33rd century (remember, she arrived in 3188). TrekMovie.com’s podcast theorized that, at some point in the seventh season of Discovery (cross your fingers, nerds), the crew makes it back to the 23rd century, and either leaves the ship in the future, or, hides it some place in the past (their present). If it’s the former, then Calypso would take place 1,000 years from the 32nd century, and however Burnham and the crew repair and reform the Federation, some of it – or all of it – doesn’t stick in the end. If it’s the latter, then the ship would have to go back with the crew, and eventually be abandoned in a secret location (or a nebula, as TrekMovie.com suggested) that would hide it for all time. Either one of these is plausible, but a tad too simple for the writing style of the show’s proprietors, I think.
Look at us, already discussing and postulating theories on how the series will conclude. We’re a hilariously ridiculous bunch. And what’s even more hilarious and ridiculous is the woebegone appearance and sudden emotional state I’m currently experiencing caused by the ending of a series that hasn’t even happened yet. *sniffles*
Let’s end on a considerably more uplifting note – two, actually. CBS has announced that the fourth season of Discovery has, in fact, been greenlit, and will commence production in Canada on November 2nd (under strict COVID protocols). And this week sees the return of our boy, Jonathan Frakes, to the director’s chair. Yessss….