This episode right here is a TREKKIES episode of Star Trek: Discovery! The themes are heavy the emotions are high. It harkens back to classic episodes. one of which reminds you of “The Measure of a Man.”
Zora And Her Sentience
Zora, the Ship’s AI has been evolving if you haven’t figured it out. Starting to show signs of empathy and fear, she has refused an order from the captain. Her reasoning is to keep the crew she cares about safe.
This causes alarm, and with the Discovery still in dry dock for repairs. Our calm and collected friend from command, Mr. Kovich, joins Stamets, Dr. Culver, and Captian Saru. Their job is to determine the next course of action; the captain has her struggles ahead.
Stamets has become more empathetic over the past few seasons, is still a pessimist, and, after their encounters with CONTROL in the first season, is highly hesitant of Zora. He poses several questions about how Zora could react under certain situations. Starfleet has an AI protocol in place if something like this happens. Zora chooses a nuclear fail-safe making a kill switch. During this philosophical discussion, Gray and Adira join in to speak on Zoras behalf.
The partners have a unique view of the situation as they are both new life forms themselves. After going thru Zora’s data banks, a new cluster is found. Dr. Culver believes Zora’s sub-conscience leads more light onto what Zora holds dear.
Kovich has the ultimate say on whether Zora must be extracted or remain on board. He hears one final plea. Oddly this comes from Stamets, after seeing that Zora is more than the sum of her parts and is evolving. He considers that all her subconscious thoughts are in line with that of the Federation and offers to make her an active member of the crew. Kovich agrees; he was more concerned with the crew being ok with the new life form working with the crew rather than overtaking the ship.
So Many Worlds, So Many Opportunities
With the impending threat of the DMA. Federation President has called a summit of over 80 planets, both Federation and Non-Federation, across the four quadrants. To talk about the ongoing threat of the DMA and how “They” should approach it. Some planets, particularly Earth, say to bring ships’ armada to the origin species, known as Species 10-C. Michael proposes to proceed with standard First Contact Protocols.
With representatives from all over the “esteemed,” Ruan Tarka speaks up his solution. Destroy the DMA and to hell with the consequences. Those consequences include using Subspace weapons that can damage space, leaving the area a dead zone for warp flight. Subspace weapons were banned during the Second Khitomer Accords.
During a recess to Tarka spoke with Book about their want to stop the DMA. He reasons that he needs the power source in the DMA to help him get back home to “his universe.” It’s unclear if he’s from the Mirror Universe, but he says there are many universes. Pulling at Book’s trauma, he convinces him to speak on Kwejans behalf and to condone the use of his new weapon.
The Ideals That Stand The Test of Time
Booker takes the podium and addresses the delegates in favor of using the weapon, using a warped idea of protection and fear to sway the votes. Before the vote is made, Captian Burnham speaks on the Federation’s behalf, saying this is a turning point for the federations and all planets involved how this moment can shape the future. Rather than go to war, the directive of the Federations was always that of exploration and to “Seek out new life and new civilizations” if the council chooses violence, and this would be another downward spiral.
The vote was passed, and peaceful First Contact passed.
Vote be Damned
Booker and Tarka, with their new compact Spore Drive, choose to destroy the DMA without the consent of anyone! Book transports Grudge to Michael’s quarters with a note. The smuggler and anarchist scientist jump to stop the DMA.
SYSTEMS Analysis S4E7
WOW, this episode’s premise on both storylines is heavy! With Zora’s life on the line and the Heart of the Federations too.
The social and ethical choices that had to be made are an excellent allegory to what we see in our world. It’s just the lens of Science Fiction makes it easier to swallow. This mid-season finale gives us a lot of time to think about the future of the season and how things could play out.
The strain that Michael and Booker go thru is one of the heaviest relationships we’ve seen in Trek to date. It can be hard to be in a relationship and love but have diametrically different points of view. I would have liked to see Book make a brash decision later in the season. But then again, this will have a longer healing process if it goes that way.
My only real gripes with the episode were that Michael made the vote for the Federation. I understand the President was trying to remain impartial but should have the Admiral or another representative made that choice? Also, what happened to the President’s comment about Michael being too headstrong and how Michael even said how she didn’t want to play into politics?
Just some odd turns. I loved the fact that Stamets was drinking from both the Half Full and Half Empty glass! Showing his growth as a character.
If you loved this episode as much as I did, PLEASE go back and watch “THE MEASURE OF A MAN” from NextGen! It will make this episode about Zora ten times better!
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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