After Tilly’s left-field exit, we get back to a classic Star Trek-styled episode. There was no villain or interstellar issue of the week, but one about the human condition.

Of Rescues and Regrets

This week the story is about a space colony not in Federation territory that needs assistance with the oncoming DMA. This particular colony was under Emerald Chain claim, with their justice system. Very much a hardcore broken window society – do something little, get a life sentence. Once Burnham finds out that these “EXAMPLES” were left to possibly die on the planet, she and Booker go down to leave no man behind.

Once they get to the prison, they find no security and find cute bugs. But these bugs are weaponized, with flying buzz saws and bombs! But, don’t worry; they got past them inside the prison. There they find five prisoners for a wide range of offenses ranging from theft to murder, all with lifelong judgments. Since they are not Federation, they need to request asylum. The only one who doesn’t, Felix, chooses to stay.

Felix explains that he deserves to stay either way. If the DMA doesn’t kill him, he will still be held captive for his crimes. Michael agrees to his request, while Book is hardpressed with this choice. He wants to save as many as possible in penance for not helping his homeworld. Before Michael and Book get back to the ship, Felix has hidden a family record for 20 years and asks the Captain to return it to the family he stole it from. Obviously, the DMA pushes the asteroid into a sun, killing the only citizen, Felix.

Breaking the Laws of Science! At What Cost?

The Federation has started outsourcing the mystery of the DMA to famed genius Ruon Tarka. Especially now that they have surmised that the DMA is manmade. Tarka also tries to improve on Stamets’ spore drive. Ruon is quite an eccentric, even convincing Stamets into making their own controlled anomaly at the expense of the ship’s safety. Later on, he finds Book in the ship’s lounge, and the two commiserate over their own problems with the safe route that the Federation takes.

Doctor Heal Thy Self

The good Doctor Culber, while pulling double duty as Doc and Therapist, is starting to show the signs of burning the candle at both ends. So who could the doctor turn to as his sounding board? Even his partner, Stamets, is seeing the fraying. So Culber decides to get advice from the contrite Kovich. In his rather shrewd and concise candor, Kovich tells the doctor that he is still dealing with his mortality since his return from death in Season 1, and he’s hiding in his work. He needs to take time for himself, somehow.

Systems Analysis: Star Trek Discovery S4E3

This was a great episode. We weren’t burdened with the multitude of characters to follow. This time everyone was right where they needed to be, not at the front of the screen. Ruon Tarka is an excellent foil for Stamets’ science and Book’s ethics. (And what was the scar on the back of his neck?) Hoping to figure out how and who controls the DMA should come to light soon. I have MY theories!

Another highlight was the episode getting back to what Rodenberry wanted out of his science fiction show: using it as a tool for social allegory. This one made you see that Felix was in a damned if you do / damned if you don’t scenario. It says much about his character that in being held captive for years, he made his peace and knew he didn’t deserve that second chance.

The Admiral referencing the Q was a great nod to past lore, but what has kept them at bay for 600 years? I have a feeling that we will find out in Picard Season 2. It was also great to see Tig Notaro back as our deadpan engineer, even getting her name in the opening credits as a series regular.

Did we miss any Easter eggs or nods to previous Star Trek shows? What are your DMA Theories? Let us know in the comments below. While you’re at it, head on over to our That Hashtag Show Facebook Page for more recaps/reviews!

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