This season of Star Trek: Discovery is overstuffed with surprises, that’s for sure. After finally reuniting, Michael Burnham and the crew of Discovery, stranded in the 32nd century, jump to Earth looking for a safe haven, only to discover that their home planet is not as welcoming as it once was.
The third season of Discovery is three for three so far, a masterful and emotional installment, “Children of Earth” exposes us to an Earth that is so completely unfamiliar that it might as well be an alien world. Out of all of the tricks that Star Trek: Discovery has revealed about the new universe 700 years in the future — the Burn, the fall of the Federation, giant cats — the fact that Earth is one of the planets that left Starfleet is probably the most shocking of all. All in all, Earth looks like it’s still a pretty nice place, but it has completely lost its soul and it is crushing.
“Children of Earth” is so darned emotional. The reunion between Burnham and the crew was absolutely tear-jerking, the genuineness of the scene where Burnham tells Saru that he was always meant to command Discovery was beautiful, and so many wonderful character moments littered the show from Tilly and Michael’s scene together to the further chilling out of Stament’s character to the, thus far, wonderful addition of Adira to the crew.
I’m not sure what it is, but the characters in this show seem so much more real this year, so much more familiar. They are friends, they are family, and it is so wholesome to watch. It’s such a dramatic 180 from the dark and gritty show we were introduced to that it almost makes my head spin.
What’s more, the optimism of the show harkens back to the best years and intentions of The Next Generation. The idea that Discovery has become a light in a dark future and they are privileged to make the future bright by hanging on to the values they cherish and showing the denizens of 3188 that a way of openness and peace works is just what we need.
I sincerely hope that Discovery continues this trend of strong, hopeful, and optimistic episodes because they have become such a wonderful escape for me.