Last week’s dramatic conclusion to Lorca’s attempted coup offered an insight into the growing dynamic between many of the characters caught up in the growing chaos around them. “The War Without, The War Within” develops the developments involving Burnham reuniting with Georgiou, Tilly, and Stamets deciphering the method of how to escape the Mirror Universe and Saru masterfully stepping up to lead the ship through certain peril to overcome the odds facing them.
Following on from their arrival aboard the Discovery, Burnham instantly attempts to acclimatize her former mentor to their new surroundings. After a difficult exchange between Saru and the former Emperor, Burnham is updated on the current situation and informed of the state Tyler finds himself in.
Throughout the episode, the common thread appears to be the significance of war and in particular, the effects it can have on those caught up in amongst it. Parties such as prisoners of war, political refugees and civilians are all addressed in fitting fashion, describing how their inclusion is a factor greatly forgotten.
Unlike the fast-paced, action-heavy episodes preceding it, “The War Without, The War Within” depicts a measured introduction to the universe vacated by these naive adventurers, a universe 9 months deeper into war and on the verge of complete decimation at the hands of the Klingons.
Clearly establishing the stakes for the remaining episodes, Discovery, it’s crew, and the newly appointed Captain, Georgiou (masquerading as her counterpart from the prime universe with the assistance of Admiral Cornwell and Sarek) embark on a mission to turn the tide back in the direction of the Federation and overthrow the Klingon forces across the Quadrant.
An enjoyable episode for sure, carrying a far more subdued attitude in anticipation of the upcoming storm between the two conflicting states. Also, try not to miss the not so subtle call back to Star Trek: Enterprise and it’s Captain, Jonathan Archer.