Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 2 Review: Far From HomeDiana Keng at .
If the premiere had included Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 2, I would've been almost-unprofessionally effusive about the event.
Since it didn't, I'll consider Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 1 the prologue and this the actual premiere.
After all, it's not like they haven't done prequel episodes before.
The series premiered in 2017, and we didn't even see the ship the show is named after until Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 3. EPISODE THREE.
As a premiere, our first adventure in this future galaxy is one of recovery as much as discovery.
It's not a smooth arrival by any means, and we shouldn't have expected it to be.
Stamets was badly injured before the wormhole, and the forces that knocked out everyone else can't have done him any good. But that's not going to stop him from flouting everyone's advice and doing whatever he wants, is it?
Stamets: I'm experiencing some discomfort.
Reno: Yeah, you were impaled by a seven-inch shard of duranium alloy. And put in a coma. Helpless is a shitty feeling, but it is not forever, and it doesn't make you any less capable.
And that's why I LURVE Reno. She's Bones and Pulaski and even Troi, all rolled into one with a healthy dose of actress Tig Notaro's signature tone to pretty up the delivery. Pairing her up with Stamets, whether he likes it or not, is highly entertaining.
Culber can handle Stamets's moods and nonsense from a place of love. Reno deals with him with none of the tender trappings but is equally effective.
Stamets may still die from their combined ministrations (in response to his own bull-headed decisions, of course), but he'll die a man lucky to have them.
While Reno leads by example on board Discovery, Georgiou leads by sheer psychic machismo, running circles around the crew and always angling for leverage on Saru.
Nhan: Commander, Linus says Georgiou left Deck 8 to help out here?
Reno: And you believe that? Georgiou? Helping? Seriously?
I stand with Saru on his choice of first contact partners, although I know Tilly doesn't always get the backing of the fanbase.
I sometimes wonder at the criticisms lobbed at the well-meaning ensign. One would think that the reputation Killy Tilly had in the Mirror Universe would warrant at least a reassessment of the Prime's potential.
Star Trek: Discovery shook up a lot of the Trek tropes by creating a core cast of characters who are aware (for the large part) of their own insecurities.
Granted, Tilly borders on the neurotic but every character of any relatability -- Burnham, Saru, Stamets, Culber, I'll even give you Tyler -- has had their Garden of Gethsemane moment. Sometimes, many of them.
If one were to argue for Georgiou's relatability (and I'd counter that it takes a lot of chutzpah to claim that), Saru's observation that she lacks the self-awareness to deal with moments of true internal crisis deems her insecurity one of the things she's beaten and buried down deep.
Tilly: Um, you have some, um, Leland on your shoes.
Georgiou: Somebody had to make sure he was dead. And someone else needs to clean the spore chamber. There's gooey bits of him everywhere.
It's not overstating the case to say that Georgiou is fantastically capable of physically beating and burying a vast and varied range of opponents but reconciling herself to situations requiring peaceful parlay and a posture of supplication is well beyond her.
She came through the wormhole for Burnham. She knows it. Everyone knows it. But she still needs to wrap it up in bad-ass motivations in order to preserve her reputation.
Section 31 would've begged me to take over sooner or later and bureaucracy is where fun goes to die.Georgiou
Sure, she might carve out a little Empire in her spare time. That's just a given. Those stripes don't fade.
Saru's got his eye on her, though. It's clear he recognizes her usefulness but doesn't trust her.
And how about that stare down in the Colony bar? Saru's come a long way from the Kelpian we first met.
Meanwhile, Tilly's "kitten"-like approach is one that sets some at ease and leads others to underestimate her abilities.
We are introducing ourselves to the future. You, Ensign Tilly, are a wonderful first impression.Saru
Part of it is the guilelessness with which she presents herself.
Saru: I am Saru. This is Tilly.
Tilly: My name lacks authority.
Part of it is just natural, something inherent in who she is.
She doesn't cast the aura of an alpha the way Georgiou does. She'll never put a new acquaintance on the defensive. But she's not a coward nor is she weak in person or principle.
And her brain is top-notch. Even if the mouth attached tends to run the mileage up.
Saru: We are officers of Starfleet.
Kal: Prove it.
Saru: You have already identified our ship.
Miner: Anyone could be flying that ship.
Tilly: Starfleet Regulation 256.15 'Officers shall display behavior befitting an officer at all times' which is why we're not freaking out right now by being held at phaser-point by a bunch of strangers. It's actually really scary so could you please lower your weapons or, I don't know, tell us your names so one of those things isn't true?
Zareh's a good starter villain. It's clear that he's meant to be a contrast to Book's heart-of-gold courier. He's ruthless and self-serving. He's also hella smart, able to read people with remarkable accuracy.
It's not his fault Georgiou bends the curve like a pretzel.
It's always a mistake to let someone like him walk away alive, no matter how unlikely his survival is. Historically, they always survive and return to make trouble at super inconvenient times.
Zareh: There was no trace of your vessel in our databases.
Saru: We are an older model.
Zareh: Aren't we all?
As a courier, he'll have connections, informants, and others as self-serving as himself looking to take down a time-travelling antique-like Discovery.
We definitely haven't seen the last of him.
The final major plot-seed planted here is Detmer's behavior.
I've got a couple of initial thoughts on this.
On the one hand, this could be post-traumatic stress come to visit the helm. Although her physical injuries appeared to be easily mended, she is clearly suffering shock from the crash and the deaths resulting from it.
Maybe she blames herself? Despite being lauded for her skills in bringing the ship to the surface in one piece -- she couldn't have known the ICE would be PARASITIC (seriously) -- she now seems unusually hesitant to take on her role with the confidence she had before.
On the other hand, she has tech implanted in her skull and eye, and we saw what Control was able to do with Airiam's circuitry.
Leland-Control swore the fight wouldn't end in the spore chamber. And despite Georgiou's conviction in her ability to destroy him, it would be unlike Control to NOT build in a back-up.
Theories have abounded since Control co-opted Leland's body that we saw the origins of the Borg. Detmer's implants definitely echo the look of those assimilated.
I don't expect this'll be a quick reveal (if it's even on the right track).
There's a lot of Federation to rebuild now that Burnham's back with her people, and I think that'll be our focus until at least mid-season.
It's worth it to go back and watch Star Trek: Discovery online again now that both of the first two episodes are available. They really do complement each other extremely well.
Who were you happiest to see return to your screen?
How long before Georgiou strikes out on her own?
Shouldn't Saru just be captain now? Who else would even be in the running?
Hit the comments with your first impressions and best theories of what's in store for Discovery next!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lifelong fan of smart sci-fi and fantasy media, an upstanding citizen of the United Federation of Planets, and a supporter of AFC Richmond 'til she dies. Her guilty pleasures include female-led procedurals, old-school sitcoms, and Bluey. She teaches, knits, and dreams big. Follow her on Twitter.