Once again after getting that wonderful old-school moral compass of an episode… We get another one that deals with the science of the DMA. We even get character development. But the fact that Discovery is going back to its roots and giving us a science problem or ethical problem is great! Rather than the constant battles and high stakes that we have grow accustomed to.
All Ahead to Nowhere
The Crew is tasked with getting more information on the DMA by checking out a subspace rift. It seems to be a tear in space itself. We did get a few nods to previous Treks in a few lines for safety purposes. But once we got into the rift there was nothing… Not the nothingness of a black hole, just darkness. The Crew is stranded in some sort of black pocket rift that is slowly falling in on itself.
No sensors, no tactical, no coms, nothing they are just as blind as they are lost. They decide to jump out of the rift, but Stamets is hesitant as he needs to be present to monitor the ship. Book volunteers and jumps in to help, but even jumping didn’t work. In fact, the system was overloaded, and Book was shocked by the system. After “coming to” he starts to see his father – his long-dead father.
Head Games and Escape Routes
After getting examined by sickbay, it seems our Kwejian companion is going to keep seeing hallucinations for a while because of his unique physiology. This leads to several scenes which help him work through his previous trauma and guilt with his father. Coincidentally the scans from Book in sickbay help Stamets understand more about the rift. They possibly give the crew a way out and also a better understanding of the DMA, particularly the fact that the DMA seems to have originated OUTSIDE the galaxy.
This understanding helps Commander Bryce figure out an old Earth system called SONAR can find a way out of this rift bubble. Except they were too late to come to their conclusion. The window to escape is so narrow, it will most likely cause damage to the ship and put the crew in harm’s way. Burnham decides to go down with the ship and saves the whole crew in the pattern buffers.
It works, but the Discovery has to have major hull repairs. But we now have more info on the DMA’s origin.
The Other Civilian and Zora
Since Discovery and the Federation are rebuilding the idea of Civilians on the ship is odd. The only civilians on the ship currently are Booker, who has a role, being able to operate the Spore Drive. Then there is Gray, Adira’s partner, who since being resurrected has no place. So when the ship is called to quarters, Gray has nowhere to be.
Trying to figure out what’s going on, Gray asks the computer. Zora responds that he doesn’t have clearance. Zora has been evolving over the past several episodes and Gray takes a role to help Zora with her own problems with being herself and the ship’s computer simultaneously. He helps Zora calm her mind and so she can focus on the tiniest sensor fluctuations and assist in getting the ship out of the rift.
She is scared as she and Micheal try to exit the rift, and looks for support from her Captain/Friend. Micheal helps her get her “backbone” to push through her fear, but also helps her by letting her distract herself by singing the song “Stormy Weather” (a classic from the age of doo-wop). This rendition was very somber, but the words mirrored what was going on in the show and Zora’s mind.
Systems Analysis S4E6
What a great episode to keep the idea of the science and issue at hand that went hand-in-hand with the overall story arcs!
As a whole, it was a great episode. Yes, the B story about Gray was okay. But we need that character development to continue on with his story. Could he possibly become the new ship’s counselor? Maybe he could become the counselor for the ship? Finding its purpose, akin to Seven of Nine.
I know I’ve been going on about Booker and his stuff, but this episode felt to me like it was a nice bookend to what they started. Five episodes of grief are enough for now. If we see it pop up later in from a trigger that would be okay too, but for now let’s leave it be.
The nods to both TNG and VOY were excellent! And whoever in the writers’ room decided to use the Pattern Buffer like in the classic TNG episode “Relics” was smart!
One thing that stood out to me was the SONAR idea. As a Navy Vet and one who did Sonar, the idea to use it in space isn’t TOO far off! Also, Commander Bryce is starting to become my favorite with his simple solutions. Very much like Tom Paris.
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