With a new friend, Adira, in tow, the USS Discovery spore jumps to the planet Trill where they hope to unlock the memories of Admiral Tahl, buried in the symbiote residing in Adira’s body. There, they discover the civilization is in decline and the idea of a human bonded with a symbiote is repugnant.
Meanwhile, as crew morale runs low and the reality of their new situation begins to slowly dawn on them, Captain Saru seeks to unite the crew and raise their spirits, only to discover that the crew’s collective trauma runs deeper than he anticipated.
This is an incredibly strong character piece. It’s light on action, light on grand sequences and special effects, but the episode is so authentic and so thoughtful that I instantly found myself drawn in by the drama and the pure character moments. The pt character moments on Discovery, with a few exceptions, have always felt a little forced, but there was such a refreshing sense of genuineness to this entire episode… this crew is a family, they fight, they worry about each other, they explode, they make up… it was written so thoughtfully and so real that, despite the lack of action, it was absolutely enrapturing.
Likewise, the story of Adira and her relationship with Gray and how she became the host of Tahl. It was such a sweet, wonderful tale with a touch of tragedy and optimism. I was truthfully, so taken in by this story that I honestly forgot that the actors and/or characters were non-binary and trans. It didn’t really register with me and the episode never even bothered to make an issue out of it. Star Trek was all like, “Here you go. Deal with it.” They weren’t making a statement, they weren’t being controversial… it was just a healthy relationship between two people. They did it to show that Trek is for everyone and I love that. I just love that.
I’ve hesitated to write up a review of this episode in case I was temporarily suckered by better than normal writing, but upon my second viewing, I was every bit as entranced. Star Trek: Discovery feels like a brand new show with new, deeper stakes, and a stronger, more evident heart. I’m not at all ashamed to say that this show is every bit as good as any other spinoff and those that continue to complain about it have really got to get out of their igloo of denial and see it as the beacon of hope it has become.