Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 2 Review: New Eden

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We're getting pretty mystical on Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 2 as Burnham's glimpse of a mysterious winged figure while facing disaster on the asteroid on Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 1 suddenly becomes a common thread in the mission to track down the seven signal bursts.

Vertical Tilly - Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 9

Meanwhile, Tilly's becoming one of those characters who only accomplishes great things when she's disobeying orders. Not sure how I feel about that.

Also, she's seeing ghosts and that's actually pretty interesting. Also, mystical.

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What I got the most out of from this adventure is a real sense of Pike as a captain. This is a guy who rolls with the punches like a pro.

Of course, there's really no sense of peril with Pike, seeing as we know he survives to return to the Enterprise. 

Vertical Pike Uniform - Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 2

But his rapport with the crew, respect for their experience, and trust in them to succeed is winning me over quickly.

(As a comparison, because they'll probably always be made, Lorca was at his best when he was demonstrating that same faith. You always see the crew rise to the expectation of awesome, no matter who is commanding them.)

Honestly, who hears about a tardigrade-DNA-piloted spore drive for the first time and just goes for it?

Saru: Questions or concerns before we depart, Captain?
Pike: If you're telling me that this ship can skip across the universe on a highway made of mushrooms, I kind of have to go on faith.

Pike does.

He's also the type of captain who holds fast to the directives that give Starfleet meaning.

This is demonstrated best by his insistence to adhere to General Order One which, in its simplest form, is: "No starship may interfere with the normal development of any alien life or society."

Even after Jacob's found them out, he orders Burnham and Owosekun to maintain their cover.

Burnham at Her Station - Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 2

Mind you, if he hadn't gotten shot, Burnham might've given in when Jacob appealed to her. She definitely looked like she wanted to. We'll never know, I guess, since her official story is that she's learned her lesson about not following orders.

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Most impressively, though, he is a captain who can take advice and be flexible enough to prioritize the immediate needs of the mission over the letter of the directive. 

Vertical Pike Away Mission - Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 2

We also learn a lot about his background and the fact he comes from a household with a scholastic interest in religions will play out nicely against Burnham's Vulcan logic.

I wanted to thank you for following orders and maintaining our cover despite your captain's impairment. And, by impairment, I mean having a phaser go off in my chest.

Pike

Saru, Stamets, and Tilly were my starship triple-threat this week.

Saru commanded the ship for most of the adventure with Pike on the planet.

Saru Holds Firm - Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 2

This gave him the opportunity to not only issue the orders and make major decisions in a confident manner (what a change from Season 1!), he also reasoned out the Discovery's purpose in being brought to the Beta Quadrant.

If we were brought here, perhaps this is why. We're responsible -- not only to our landing party -- but to every living being on that planet. Discovery will not allow a catastrophe on her watch.

Saru

Moreover, his interaction with Tilly after her accident with the asteroid demonstrated a level of care and mentoring that he's never shown before. 

Having learned his origin story from his Short Treks episode, The Brightest Star, it makes a lot of sense if he were to take Tilly under his wing.

Not only is she as unique in being the youngest ensign ever admitted to the Command Program as he was as the first Kelpian, he may be missing the younger sister he left behind when he joined Starfleet.

The Power of Science - Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 4

Stamets role here was small but poignant. The fact that they broke out the spore drive caught me by surprise, honestly.

When he explains to Tilly about how the possibility of both seeing and not seeing Hugh in the network haunts him, it nearly broke me. 

Astromycology has taught me that nothing is ever truly gone. Fungi are the universe's recyclers. This is how termination begins creation. It's why life is eternal.

Stamets

His plan to leave Discovery and basically put himself as far away from the spore drive and the mycelial network as possible speaks to the level of trauma he's still dealing with.

I liked that he just appeared on the bridge to keep them from destroying the planet any faster than it was already being destroyed. In fact, seeing him on the bridge, taking over the science station, was pretty heartening.

Cadet Tilly - Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 3

Now, as for Tilly and May, I suspect this is a lead-in to Tilly becoming an alternate pilot for the spore drive or developing something that can take over Stamets' pilot role.

Seeing and interacting with the dead May the way that Stamets did with Hugh means that she's in the network or between realities somehow.

Remember last season when Stamets would wander the ship, seeing multiple possibilities in every circumstance? I think that Tilly's blast of dark matter radiation has left her on the threshold in a similar manner.

Also, just putting this out there: "Donut Manuveur" may not be as catchy as the "Picard Manuveur" but holy crap was that ever a cool solution to the problem.

Saru: Perhaps you should disobey my direct orders more often, Ensign.
Tilly: No, I think your orders are probably really good. I need to pass out now.

Let's finish off with Burnham's winged figure. Lots of theories burning up the interwebs on this one.

I think the most likely is Spock somehow evolving the Vulcan technique of astral projection.

Unlikely that it's an actual angel but maybe a Littlest Hobo sort of alien, leading the Discovery on a good deed goose chase?

Discovery's Bridge - Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 2

It definitely seems that the first half of this season will be spent chasing bursts around the galaxy, rescuing those earmarked for attention. 

I don't think we'll get a glimpse of how Spock factors into this until at least the season's mid-point.

I'm pretty okay with that. This has been highly entertaining so far. And I like that we're getting to know more of the crew this time out and we're getting those laughs Pike promised us.

Burnham: You wanted to see me?
Pike: Yes. And don't make me laugh.
Burnham: Fortunately for you, I was raised on Vulcan. We don't do funny.

Be sure to watch Star Trek: Discovery online and throw your theories about angels, ghosts, and spore drives into the comments!

New Eden Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (40 Votes)

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

Astromycology has taught me that nothing is ever truly gone. Fungi are the universe's recyclers. This is how termination begins creation. It's why life is eternal.

Stamets

Burnham: In order to guide us through the mycelial network, Commander Stamets injected himself with tardigrade DNA, a violation of Starfleet's ban on genetic manipulation.
Saru: They were willing to overlook this during the war however.
Pike: A tardigrade?
Saru: I suppose you had to be there.