“Lethe” is the Weakest Episode of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’s’ First Season, But It Still Ain’t Bad!

Sarek gets blow’d up and his ship goes missing, leading Burnham into a rescue mission to save her adopted father as Captain Lorca deals with performance issues.

“Lethe” is probably my least favorite episode of Discovery‘s run so far, but that being said, the episode is still pretty damn good at doing a lot of things. It establishes the Sarek family pecking order, it cements Burnham and Sarek’s relationship, it folds Lt. Tyler who may or may not be a Klingon spy (don’t act like you haven’t had this thought) into the crew dynamic, and it reveals quite a lot about the kind of person that Lorca is and how far he would go to protect himself, his ship, and those under his command — and it’s not pretty.

I’ve noticed a theme developing on Discovery of personal duality. Burnham is a human raised in Vulcan tradition, Lorca is unbalanced pretending to be balanced, Tyler is a Klingon pretending to be human (allegedly)… There is a thing going on here that I can’t quite put my finger on, but no one is exactly who they appear to be. I’ve got my eye on you, Cadet Tilly.

Beyond that, we’ve seen the whole story about going into someone’s mind to save them because it’s a used and abused Star Trek trope and, on a show that’s spent so much time taking this tired franchise to places it’s never been before, both comfortably and uncomfortably, it was disappointing to, once again, walk a well-worn path. None of the Sarek story was really that surprising and everything eventually led right where it looked like it was going to. It wasn’t a terrible story, it was well-written and directed with passable performances, but the gimmick, like the story, felt old.

I was much more interested in Lorca’s booty call, a story that took many an interesting twists and turns and I’m sure will lead to even more in the near future. He’s a wiley one, that Captain Lorca, and at this point, I’m not sure if he will lead Discovery to glory or disaster, but either option sounds marvelous.

So, yes… it was not terrible by any means, but as I said, it has been my least favorite of Discovery‘s run. Still, there’s a lot to enjoy about it and enjoy I did.

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