So, last week we received a tad bit more información regarding “The Burn” from Michael’s Personal Log entry during the episode’s opening prologue. I suppose logic dictates that we – or I – should have realized what would happen if all of the dilithium, everywhere, suddenly ignited in unison. But, damn, hearing the screams in the background, as all of the ships exploded, was kind of eerie. How many descendants of past Starfleet explorers perished in the blink of an eye? Probably too many to count. I’ll be curious to see if any notable casualties will be mentioned this season in forthcoming “Easter eggs” yet to be revealed.
Time, and experience, changes us all. And it looks like Michael has evolved some over the past year she’s been trekking about in the 32nd century. Whether it’s for the better, or worse, remains to be seen. But Georgiou seems to observe this growth as a positive. I loved the little pep talk she gave Michael in the corridor of Discovery. Wonder how she’ll reconcile her newfound perspective with the desire to continue on as a loyal Starfleet commander, and “true believer” of the Federation? With a significant level of difficulty, I’ll guess. Especially seeing that she is back where she initially began at the precipice of the series: as the Discovery’s “Number One”.
And speaking of Georgiou, did everyone notice that Michelle Yeoh’s name is presented as “Special Guest Star” in the opening credits? I’m thinking this is in preparation for her inevitable migration over to the “Section 31” series. However, there’s been no definitive news, post COVID, about where the show sits in the production process. Back in January of this year, Alex Kurtzman said that casting was going to be happening soon, but nobody could have predicted that one month later everything would be shutdown because of a pandemic. And just a few months ago, back in August, Kurtzman shared with Variety that the script and world-building was still underway. Killing me with all of the vague and evasive maneuvering you’re doing here, Alejandro.
Overall, I really loved the episode. Was it sappy at times? Of course. Sappiness is a key ingredient added to the recipe of most story structures we’ve seen in the Trek Universe (revisit pretty much all three seasons of TOS if you don’t believe me, or forgot). But I’ve always been a sucker for the tales that punch you in the gut, or pick at your heartstrings; and this episode had quite a few such moments: the crew’s reunion, Michael’s farewell to Book (yeah, I know it was short, but it still got me – stop judging), Adira’s and Stamets’ conversation (their back-and-forth was really cute), and the crew’s shore leave during the final few minutes of the episode. Yup, I choked up during most of them.
There’s a lot more I want to ramble on about, but tonight’s our prologue. To what, remains to be seen. I don’t have to tell y’all what’s at stake, because those of you who live in the colonies already know. And being lovers of the “Trek,” I’m gonna presume that we are all on board with the Federation ideals, and want such ideals to permeate our own reality. Cross your fingers that tomorrow brings us one step closer to the Star Trek future we’ve all been hoping and patiently waiting for.