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.
Love Han x