“Terra Firma” shocks the audience by boldly going where it wasn’t expected to go again

I have to admit, this episode got me!

Very rarely does Star Trek do something so unexpected and so… unspoiled that, when it does do the thing, it’s a complete shock but, by gosh, Discovery did it.

And, yes, even though my reviews are often spoilery, I am going to give full on spoiler warnings for this one.

So, Emperor Georgiou is dying. It turns out that traveling through time is bad enough on the human body, but traveling through time and across universes as she has done thoroughly wrecks things in ways that one does not recover from. So, upon hearing this news and cross-referencing it with the sentient computer Discovery has on board that they often forget about, Discovery is presented with a slim chance to save Georgious’ life.

And this involves a little man in a hat reading a newspaper with a magic door that returns Georgiou back to the Mirror Universe which is a place I never thought we’d ever see again.

Oh my goshness, this episode was not only unexpected, it was a whole lot of fun, hampered only by the unavoidable lack of a resolution that comes with two-part episodes… something that is now more obvious than ever since Discovery started doing more primarily self-contained stories this season.

Seeing Michelle Yeoh back as the honest to goodness, completely amazing Emperor Georgiou, in her element in the darkest timeline was a true treat, to say nothing of the return of Captain Killy and our first real meeting with Mirror Burnham who is sufficiently evil and nutty that it marks a welcome change of pace for Sonequa Martin Green.

More than that, despite the foray into the barbaric universe of neverending evil, the show is still awash in its new shade of optimism. You can tell that Georgiou has been changed by her time on Discovery and it’s for the better… she’s not weak, she is expanded and enlightened.

I very much enjoyed Admiral Vance’s encouragement to Saru to go on the mission to save Georgiou, showing that Starfleet has not lost its humanity in these dark times as well. It’s fair to say that Vance could very well be my favorite admiral character in Star Trek history.

This episode was a tidal wave of unexpected goodness, lacking any clear resolution, but superbly directed, gleefully overacted, and caked in uninhibited fun.

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