Second Union

Second Union

STAR TREK REWIND: “Will You Take My Hand?”

“A year ago, I stood alone. I believed that our survival was more important than our principles. I was wrong. Do we need a mutiny today to prove who we are?”

We’re back to the Klingons. Remember them? They’re hard to forget. Especially after they chop down one of their torchbearers, turn him “emo” and set him loose upon unsuspecting, squishy Starfleet-types. I call them “types” because they certainly don’t behave like the seasoned professionals we’ve come to know in fifty years of recorded entertainment. Then again, Georgiou has her own peccadilloes. She interrupts Keyla and the rest of the bridge crew several times to correct their terminology. These are such ridiculous qualms, there’s no place for them on the bridge. Why is this nit-picking criminal in command?

We get into these weird, territorial pissing games between Georgiou and Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green), and Georgiou and everybody else. This is what I’ve suspected all along: the female characters are not being empowered by a ballsy bravado, but rather they’ve been written to be men, but in female persona. The ship is headed to Qo’noS, and Georgiou visits L’Rell (because she’s worth it!), who cannot understand how she can be alive. Georgiou beats L’Rell (while she is bound, I might add, so it isn’t exactly a fair fight) and interrogates her as to specific landing coordinates. This proves unproductive, so she goes to visit Tyler (Shazad Latif).

Philippa Georgiou is such a wholly unpleasant person that I can’t understand why they would keep her, except that she is Michelle Yeoh, but even Yeoh’s considerable charm cannot make this character interesting. To paraphrase Dr. McCoy: “I liked her better before she died.” I guess the Klingon memories are starting to come back to Tyler because he is helpful in identifying the topography of Qo’noS. Georgiou requests Tyler and Tilly (Mary Wiseman) accompany her in the landing party. Georgiou doesn’t like our universe’s Tilly’s curly locks. These complaints are unworthy of a bad-ass military commander.

Is this the writer’s way of injecting “femininity” into a character? By having her complain every five seconds about everything? Indeed, when they beam down, Tilly has straightened her hair! Are you kidding me, Discovery? They beam down to one of the planet’s few hot spots, an embassy (or bar, take your pick) controlled by neutral Orion pirates. The first order of business for Philippa is to pick up a couple of prostitutes, male and female. Good for her! Get your rocks off, Phil!

Tyler gets involved in a Klingon dice-type game, and Burnham gets to see his aggressiveness and violence come out. It’s probably the best scene in the episode, so I thought I’d mention it. Meanwhile, Tilly chats up a sleazy Orion trader (Clint Howard!) who gives her some drugs, which makes her promptly pass out. Again, I don’t understand how Tilly can function as a Starfleet officer. Burnham tells Tyler about her birth parents and how they were killed in a Klingon attack. It would’ve been nice to know these details a little earlier in the season.

Georgiou takes off by herself and plants a bomb somewhere near volcanic formations that would cause the destruction of the planet. It turns out she’s operating under orders from Cornwell. Of course, Michael takes issue with this wanton genocide, and she unites the crew against Cornwell. Michael finds Georgiou and tells her to stop. Evidently, she made a deal with Starfleet for amnesty. Burnham retains the deal for her. Georgiou still wants to blow up the planet, so she does her seductive-mother/lover thing (adding in equal parts Darth Vader in Empire) with Burnham.

They bring down L’Rell and Burnham appeals to her for a better solution. You can either end this war or die. L’Rell agrees, so we don’t even get a big epic battle scene. In the end, Philippa disappears, and Tyler leaves with L’Rell, who promptly seizes power (using Philippa’s bomb as a threat) over the twenty-four Klingon Houses. For her actions, Burnham’s record is expunged, and she is promoted back to Commander. What? Seriously? Now she’ll be insufferable! Ugh. Setting off on a new mission (with Saru still acting as Captain), Discovery meets up with the U.S.S. Enterprise, commanded by Chris Pike. The credits roll with the original Alexander Courage theme music playing. Nice way to end the season.

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