Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10 Review: Terra Firma, Part 2

at .

Losing a crew member is always hard, but Star Trek's significant result: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10 was largely expected since the news broke back in January of 2019 that Michelle Yeoh would be getting her own series.

However, how they would arrive that her departure was unknown, and this two-parter teased many Terran Universe Fans with the possibility of a Lorca return among the infinite number of potential Mirror Universe implications for our Prime Universe heroes.

But, although Qarl would have us think differently, I still feel that Georgiou's three-month sojourn was a pocket dimension for her weighing rather than actual time travel as the ramifications of that make my brain hurt.

Specifically, it would mean that Georgiou dies before Lorca brings Discovery over on Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 9, and the cascade effect of Georgiou never joining the crew are unthinkable, really.

Emperor Georgiou - Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10

Wait, let's go with alternate, branching timelines. That solves a lot of continuity issues.

The new path Georgiou chooses to take is one almost more brutal than how she played it her first go-round.

Refusing to execute Burnham but using torture to break her instead is a toss-up in terms of a parenting win.

Why do they only learn from pain?


Handing the interrogation reins over to Captain Killy (and how amazing was Mary Wiseman in all that armor and blown-out hair and extreme eye-shadow?) only to watch every minute of the sessions on surveillance footage was probably a form of self-flagellation for her failures as a mother.

And yet, really, her misstep was in being overly successful at raising a daughter in the image of herself at her most totalitarian. Something the O.G. Emperor was proud of but which Discovery's Georgiou seeks to repair.

Agonizer - Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10

The softer, gentler Terran Georgiou has been infected by hope, and while it's what dooms her in her scenario, it's what saves her in the "weigh"ing and reality.

The nature of the Terran Empire is one of constant suspicion. (Combined with the emphasis on loot and profit and I feel like this is humanity taking on the worst of the Romulan and Ferengi cultures.)

We must leave behind all of that which destroys us.


Right up to the very end, I wasn't sure that Killy and Owo would remain loyal. Considering how many co-conspirators were offed by Burnham and Detmer (including Detmer), Discovery's apple was extremely wormy.

Burnham, on the other hand, was obviously going to turn on her. We know Prime Burnham wouldn't be broken by torture, so it was improbably that Terran Burnham would.

Captain Burnham - Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10

It's telling that despite the example she sets and the confidence with which she presents this new strategy of peace, she has minimal effect on any of her Terran minions.

Hypothesizing that her actions split off a new timeline where a power vacuum emerges with both Burnham and Georgiou dead, who would ascend the throne? Lorca? Tilly?

I wish there were another language you could understand. But here, where strength is power, and terror is love, there is no other way to reach you.


It's almost guaranteed that the three-month reign of stability-seeking Emperor Georgiou would be forgotten in the melee that would ensue, and whoever triumphed would seek to rule as the Terrans had always been ruled.

Survive. That is how you honor them. Teach others what you know. That is how you avenge them.


In contrast, her effect on Saru is profound and Qarl intimates that lifting that one Kelpian would have lasting results among his people.

Slave and Master - Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10

Let's take a moment to feel for Qarl/Carl/Guardian of Forever. (Seriously, who came up with that moniker?)

How sad is it that a time portal entity with immeasurable power over time and space and lives and empires finds himself on the run because some confederation of aliens decides that his basic existence is in contravention to their precious Temporal Accord?

Burnham: I thought you said going through the door would help her.
Qarl: Can't just live in doorways.

And how self-sacrificing (without actually sacrificing himself) is he that he chooses to live the life of a fugitive rather than simply zipping back and rewriting that treaty to give himself an out?

The fact is, Qarl was the magical deus ex machina thrown in to give Georgiou a way to survive and an odyssey of self-awareness.

Qarl - Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10

He's a good man, that Qarl. I kind of hope we see him again. Somewhere.

You weren't sent back to be cured. You were sent back to be weighed.


Maybe with less judgment. (And not named Duggan)

In other news, Jett Reno is back and awesome. BTW, who else threw their hands in the air and exclaimed, "RIGHT!?" when Stamets asked Reno where she's been?

Also, Vance's stick is back up his butt, and Stamets gets out-teched by Book.

Book: You could just say thank you.
Reno: Biologically impossible. If he tried, his DNA would unravel like a hormonal teenager.

With glitching, Georgiou launched into a timestream unknown (hopefully un-glitched as well); attention must now shift to actual interstellar issues.

Good Hair 'Verse - Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10

There are currently two major going concerns with three episodes left in the season.

Presenting the more immediate peril is the conflict with Ossyra and the Emerald Chain.

I'm not sure how much of Starfleet's inner workings we have time to examine. I think it's more likely, Ossyra will learn of the spore drive and make a move.

Vance: If you would like to remain on Discovery, you will need to follow Starfleet protocols.
Book: With all due respect, Ossyra has no protocols. Having someone like me around, who is not part of Starfleet, could be a good thing.

Book's use of Chain tech in boosting the program to hack the Kelpian ship in the nebula links the clear and present danger with Burn's origin's deeper mystery.

More importantly, it gives Book a niche onboard and makes the bloke feel like a contributing member of the crew.

Emperor Close-Up - Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10

To treat Georgiou as deceased (as her use of the Guardian of Forever's portal would probably earn Saru a formal reprimand for breaking those iron-clad Accords) allowed the crew to celebrate her badassery as well as mourn the loss of her badassery.

Nothing intimidated her. Not in any universe.


Saru, on some level, must be thinking about who will be his primary muscle now that he's lost his Terran warrior-queen.

She was always honest. Punishingly so. Her barbs, however piercing, were utterly glorious.


Of course, the last word(s) went to Burnham, who has lost her Philippa twice now.

She was a tormentor. But a truth-teller. She was a mirror I never knew I needed. Like a mother almost. Like a sister almost. I loved her. And hated her. Sometimes both at the same time. More than anything, she was my friend. She was the most unexpected of gifts and I will miss the hell out of her.


Georgiou's departure means the show's lost one of its most entertaining elements. No other white hat (ish) character gets lines like her, and no one -- but NO ONE -- delivers their lines with the same matter-of-fact bluntness.

Emperor Crowned - Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 9

As you watch Star Trek: Discovery online, cast yourself on a wave of speculation and hit me with your best theories as to what timeline Georgiou will land in for the Section 31 spin-off.

The Emperor was many things to many people, but the one thing the fandom can agree on is that she will be missed.

Terra Firma, Part 2 Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 2.7 / 5.0 (27 Votes)

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

Show Comments
Tags: ,

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10 Quotes

Why do they only learn from pain?


I should be dead. Kill me. Give me the honor I deserve!