Air Date: 14.3.2019 About: The Discovery crew infiltrates Section 31’s headquarters and suspicions arise that the crew may have a traitor in their midst. Meanwhile, Burnham tries to help Spock, but her efforts don’t go as planned.
This was an incredible, heartbreaking episode. Not only do we get to learn more about Airiam, fall in love with the character and brutally have to say goodbye.
This series is feeling more and more like a game of chess each week, and this episode is no exception. We get the payoff from Airiam’s connection to the futuristic leech and a feeling that the Red Angel story line is coming to a head.
Airiam has always been a fringe character, and while I wish we’d had more contact with her throughout the show I’m quite happy with how this episode showed her character, relationships and background. Not seeing more of her doesn’t make me feel her loss any more than I do. In fact, it makes me feel it more.
It is her relationship with Tilly that ensured I spent the last 20 minutes or so watching the episode play out with tears in my eyes. God, Tilly is just adorable and her attempt to make Airiam fight the virus that sends her on a mission to Section 31 is bittersweet. Knowing as much as we know about Tilly means we get a deeper understanding of who Airiam is. This is such a subtle and clever show.
The secondary story lines bring Spock and Burnhams relationship into focus and we say hello to Admiral Cornwall who I’m hoping will stay on board for the remaining episodes of the series.
The episode opens up on Michael’s face and wow, this is the first of many examples within the episode that demonstrates that all the actors can convey so much without uttering a word. Both Michael and Stamets break my heart in that opening scene. I do find it interesting that over the next 20 minutes or so the crew are attempting to establish that Tilly is still alive. It was something I never questioned.
The episode really brings the dialogue to the forefront; most of my notes are simply quotes; from Michael’s log insisting ‘I want to have faith. In it’s absence, only duty remains.’ and Section 31 opperative downgrading of Pike’s concerns ‘there are always lives at stake, that’s what keeps us employed.’ Of course, the most important part of dialogue comes from Pike when he informs the crew of Stamets’ plan to rescue Tilly from the mycelial network. Pike’s speech about Starfleet being a promise is a recurring theme that spans the rest of the episode and ensures the two halves join together effortlessly.
The visuals in this episode are incredible; the drop of the apple seems strangely important but regardless it was a beautiful cut. Then there was the visuals when Discovery is acting as a doorstop to the network. I want that image on my wall. It’s these clean and effective visuals that make this stand out from the rest of the franchise.
Of course, it’s the actors that make this show the addictive watch that its become. This episode had a lot of people to play with and they all bring their A game. Not only that, but the episode doesn’t feel bloated or strained. There are very few shows who could manage such a big cast in one episode without loosing some of the quality. Obviously, there are some standout performances and amazing returns, but no one flounders. The one shame of the episode is that Reno disappears from last week’s episode and I really would have liked to see her help Stamets as it feels odd.
Then, just when I can’t think the episode can get any better I start to get a sneaky feeling the monster Tilly has been brought into the Network to kill is Hugh! Amazing Hugh, who was taken from the crew mid series last year in a shocking reveal and cover up. The added blow of Wilson Cruz bowing out was that Rapp lost the person he had the best chemistry with. Yes, it gave Rapp a wonderful gift of character development but I wasn’t ready to lose Hugh. I can’t quite work out if Hugh’s return was planned or fan wish fulfillment and that is exactly how it should be. Most importantly, I don’t care either way because it’s been so well written that I believe it. It also has me thinking; is it the real Hugh or is it a clone? Most importantly, will that have consequences? I can’t wait to find out. I can’t wait to see Rapp and Cruz working together and I’m very curious as to the backlash of Ash being back on board.
This episode felt very much like a game of chess; players are being moved and ready for what I suspect is going to be an action-fueled climax. We even got an appearance of Admiral Cornwell who orders Captain Pike and Section 31 leader Leland to play nice and work together to find Spock.