Pilot Part 3 introduces us to the Discovery and the rest of the core cast of characters.
And these two are back:
So! Michael’s prison shuttle is attacked by glowing space spores and is spiraling off into space when it’s scooped up by the starship Discovery. If this seems super convenient it’s because it is — Lorca orchestrated the whole thing in order to collect Michael into his crew. At first he claims it’s temporary, he’s just putting her to work while the shuttle is repaired, and assigns her to Stamets in Engineering. Or “Engineering” as it turns out to be a science lab with a super secret room where they house the radioactive spiders (this is not far off tbh). Stamets doesn’t want to deal with the know it all mutineer, he wants to flirt with his academic rival/BFF. Sadly the flirtation amounts to Stamets warning his friend not to Do The Thing cuz it’s all too theoretical an something’s gonna go wrong and about five minutes (a day in the show) later as something goes wrong and Stamets’ friend dies along with everyone else on his ship.
Lorca sends an away team to figure it out. Conveniently, the away team consists of the named characters minus Lorca (who orders Stamets to include Michael), and Saru (who vouches for her when Stamets balks). On the ship they discover the crew melting into goo, a bunch of dead Klingon looters, one Klingon looter still alive, until he’s eaten by the Big Bad Bug who ….maybe…. is responsible. The away team tries to get as much info out of the computer as they can before the BBB eats them, too, but he’s a hungry bug and it takes Michael proving herself to escape. This involves her prodding the bug to follow her into the tubes of the ship and just barely outrunning and outgunning it. As she crawls she quotes Alice in Wonderland and it is THE BEST THING EVER.
Back on ship, it’s time for Michael to return to prison but Lorca wants her to stay. She refuses, telling him she’s not the mutineer so desperate to get out of prison she’ll help create illegal and immoral biological weapons he thinks she is. He tells her he’s not trying create bioweapons, he’s trying to create biopropulsion. He wants to use the magic glowing mushroom bugs to bend space and travel across the galaxy in the blink of an eye. Which is ludicrous and amazing and So Very Star Trek.
Michael signs on and returns to her shared quarters with a small duffel of personal items, including a “real book” copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. As Michael explains to Tilly, after her parents died, her foster mother read it to her and her foster brother, so she would have something to fall back on when logic failed her. I was wrong before, this is the BEST THING EVER!
Also Tilly tells Michael she’s going to be a captain someday, which is so incredibly perfect I can’t tell you. That is a James Kirk trait and a Will Riker trait and they gave it to the awkward, chatty, naive, and kind girl. I love it, and I believe her, and I think Michael does, too, and even wants to help. They are already my favorites forever.
Live Long and Prosper:
This week’s theme is trust and it turns out nobody trusts nobody. The most obvious example is how everyone treats Michael as a pariah — apparently she is considered responsible for the war, which explains the harsh sentence but is a strange interpretation of events — but there is also friction between Stamets and Lorca, and Lorca and Landry are keeping secrets from all.
But as the episode progresses there is movement the other way, too. Saru and Michael come to an understanding, and Tilly and Michael approach actual friendship. Finally, Michael chooses to remain on board.
Meanwhile, Lorca is introduced apologizing for the dark so that’s blatant.
Beam Me Up:
The horror flick aesthetic of the away mission was a nice opening for the first of October!
As for the Discovery, it is big and shiny and full of aliens and I quite like that. They do a good job of making it a recognizable update to the aesthetic of Archer’s Enterprise. Lorca has a tribble in his ready room and by the end of the episode has also collected the BBB so he likes pets, I guess.
Lorca and Michael: There is a huge power imbalance, a significant age difference, questionable morality, a heavy dose of deception, and allusions to Hades and Persephone so I expect this to be huge.
Michael and Saru: Aw, they’re kind of friends again. I like that Saru is Lorca’s first officer because he is down to earth (as it were) and someone has to reign in the self-proclaimed king (that’s probably a ship-to-be-too I guess). But Saru being someone Michael knows and can count on to treat her with fairness and logic is why I’m most please he’s around.
Michael and Sylvia: OTP Alert! Tilly walked in and my heart went boom. I shipped it immediately.
Michael and Landry: Dark OTP Alert? Definitely their first meeting was of the dagger eyes-now kiss variety (think Chakotay and Tom Paris).
Lorca and Landry: For a split second during their last scene together I honestly thought this was confirmed on screen. It was not, but I firmly believe it is happening.
A Good Day to Die:
RIP Stamets’ friend, the crew of Discovery’s sister ship, and the Shhhing Klingon.