The latest episodes of Star Trek: Discovery “Su’Kal” and”There Is A Tide…” had a lot of action, a lot of emotion, and a lot of desperation. Some very tough calls are being made by the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery. And a true test of character and strength is taking place.
The Source of The Burn
We are finally starting to understand what caused The Burn. The away team sent to rescue the Kelpien orphan consisted of Captain Saru, Commander Micheal Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), and Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz). The orphan named Su’Kal has been living for over 125 years thanks to the Holodeck programs that his dying mother created for him. The programs were intended to protect, teach, and provide care for him until the rescue team arrived.
The source of the Burn was revealed to be the orphaned child. He was still in his mother’s womb when their ship was stranded on the dilithium planet and his body has somehow evolved and adapted to the planet. Whereas everyone else on board died due to extreme radiation poisoning. When the team attempted to rescue him they make the Su’Kal feel scared and threatened and his emotional reaction set off an energy wave event similar to the first burn.
Can Micheal get the information out before it happens again?
Micheal needs to get this information out to the rest of the federation before it happens again. It appears the Burn was caused by the child and affected all dilithium everywhere. Possibly the first burn occurred when he was a young child and may have marked a traumatic moment for him. Possibly the moment in which his mother died. This may also explain the lullaby that was embedded in the frequencies of the signal of the burn. Could it have been a lullaby that his mother sung him?
In an interesting choice in the writing on the show, when the away team arrives on the planet where the orphan has been, the computer has changed their appearance to make them look more like the holograms in the programs created for the child. The computer is trying to protect the child from being scared or overwhelmed by their arrival. Micheal is made to look like a Trill, Dr. Hugh a Bajoran, and Saru like a human. I’m not sure why they did not allow Saru to look Kelpien, since the child is Kelpian and has seen other Kelpien holograms. But it was nice to see actor Doug Jones’s face. Wilson Cruz’s Bajoran looks did give off some My So-Called Life vibes.
An unlikely alliance
Admiral Vance (Oded Fehr) has agreed to meet with Osyrra ( Janet Kidder) in an effort to negotiate the safe return of the Discovery and its crew. Although she has some seriously troubling methods for negotiations, she offers Vance a real opportunity for peace. It is an opportunity that is reasonable and something worth considering. But as a show of good faith and as a way to heal wounds, Admiral Vance asks that Osyrra allow herself to be tried for her crimes.
Micheal takes matters into her own hands
Once again, Commander Michael Burnham has assumed she knows everything and takes the lead in situations that maybe she shouldn’t have. In the episode “Su’Kal”, Micheal questions if Captain Saru (Doug Jones) Saru will be able to make the right decisions for the crew of Discovery because he is emotionally compromised. She believes that on the mission to save a stranded Kelpien, Saru may not be able to make the best decisions. For a demoted first-officer and former court marshaled first-officer, she has some very questionable strong opinions.
It seems like Micheal has forgotten all the times she has made decisions where her emotions got in the way, and all the unsanctioned missions that she went on, all the while Saru has always performed admirably as Captain. But maybe she’s speaking from experience here and just trying to be helpful. In this latest episode, even Lt. Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) calls her out on her double-standard behavior. When it’s for her own cause, she is willing to defy orders and jeopardize missions to get what she wants. But when Stamets tries to rescue his family from the dilithium planet that they are stuck on, she shoots him out of the ship in an escape pod. Claiming to do what’s best for him and the ship.
Tilly’s leadership is undermined
Ensign Silvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) never finished the commander program before she was promoted to first-officer, but the entire crew seems to have total faith in her. The last two episodes are Tilly’s first test at being in command. It is obvious in her demeanor that though she does not take her responsibility lightly, she is very scared.
Tilly held her own in a verbal spat against the Emerald Chain gangster Osyraa but unfortunately on her first outing taking the bridge, she lost control of Discovery to Osyraa. Which no doubt was a huge confidence blow. But despite this loss and now being a hostage, she still has a plan, even if she doesn’t have the confidence that her plan will work.
Will the next episode be a victory for Tilly?
I have no doubt that the next episode will be a huge victory for Tilly. Not only does she have the support of her crew, but she has the respect and command of the Sphere Data. Yes, it seems the Sphera Data has hidden inside some cute little robots, to protect itself from the Osyraa during the takeover. They too believe in Tilly. And OMG are they cute. If Star Trek doesn’t capitalize on this I will be sorely disappointed.
Tilly and the crew of the Discovery must also figure out a way to take back the ship from Osyrra’s goons a.k.a. Regulators and get back to the dilithium planet in time to save Saru, Dr. Hugh, and now Adira Tal (Blu del Barrio) who beamed herself down to the planet in an attempt to save Saru and Dr. Hugh by buying them more time. They are currently in danger of dying from radiation poisoning on the dilithium planet. This will be even harder now that Micheal shot their pilot out of an escape pod.