In the second episode of the third season of Discovery, the crew lands in a nightmare. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.
Trigger Warning: For a brief discussion of PTSD and anxiety
It was such a good idea to split these two stories into two respective episodes, y’all!!! I’m glad that the writers didn’t try to cram this all into a single episode, especially because the ending of “Far From Home” has a much stronger impact after experiencing Burnham’s episode. LET’S GET INTO THIS, I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY.
- I have to start off with this statement: the idea of parasitic ice that grows in the darkness is horrifying. WHOMST THOUGHT OF THIS.
- Anyway, I loved all the parallels between what Burnham went through and what the Discovery crew experienced. Both of them crashed unexpectedly, and both were thrust into the complicated and vicious world of couriers. Like I noted in my previous review, there’s also an uptick in violence, but it’s not just for the sake of it. Even more explicitly here, it’s about how the world they’ve entered is vastly different than the one they came from.
- Initially, I thought that maybe that Lt. Detmer’s scans in Sick Bay missed something wrong with her. She took a beating after helping to land the ship, and after being put back on duty rather quickly, something… something was happening. I don’t know what it is, but over the course of “Far From Home,” Detmer appears to lose focus at times. Or space out. Or… I don’t know! I don’t want to diagnose her because I’m clearly not qualified, but by the end of the episode, I started to wonder if this was all a psychological thing. She just experienced an IMMENSE amount of trauma. Hell, they all did. Is that what is happening here? Does her reluctance or focus issues stem from possible anxiety or is it a symptom of PTSD? I LITERALLY DO NOT KNOW.
- Even though the moment was completely different than Burnham’s, seeing Tilly and Saru realize there was life on this planet? MY EMOTIONS. IT WAS TOO MUCH.
- I remain UTTERLY OBSESSED WITH GEORGIOU. This show does not disappoint in how they utilize her. Last season, she had to adjust to living in the Prime universe and working within Starfleet’s protocols. Of course, she found an even better place for her to thrive, which was with Section 31. But as she notes to Nhan in this episode, the bureaucracy of that place ultimately bored her. So of course she’s going to basically be feral within this new Federation-less universe. Her clashes with Saru in the first half of the episode, though, were less about this. At least in my interpretation! I think Saru’s reading was more spot-on: She was desperate to find Burnham, and she didn’t know how to deal with all the emotions that gave her. We saw this part of Georgiou a lot in the latter part of season two, so it felt very consistent to me that Georgiou is still coping with her love for Michael, even if she isn’t able to vocalize it.
- (Let’s all have a moment of silence for Georgiou tearing up when Michael was onscreen at the end. BECAUSE THAT PART RUINED ME.)
- There is an interesting role reversal as Dr. Culber tries his best to take care of Stamets and nurse him back to health, especially since Stamets tried to take care of Culber once he returned to life in season two. Here, though, I was reminded of what their relationship was like in the early parts of season one. They have their natural banter again; Stamets is back to being stubborn; Dr. Culber uses humor and sarcasm to communicate what his husband has to do. It was so refreshing and rejuvenating to see this, and I’m so glad that they both came to the future together, even though STAMETS IS SO GODDAMN STUBBORN. OH MY GOD. JUST HEAL, DUDE.
- I also love the friendly hatred that Stamets and Reno have for one another, too. I’m so glad they let Tig Notaro use her incredible comic timing here because she had some of the best lines in the whole episode.
- There is a wonderful emotional conflict spread out over this episode between Saru, Tilly, and Georgiou. While the Discovery deals with their repairs and the encroaching parasitic ice (HELP), the away team must navigate a confusing first contact situation. It’s confusing because of time travel! Now, obviously we, the audience, knew that Tilly and Saru were at a disadvantage because they knew so little of the universe that they’d landed in. But relative to them, they had little information on who lived in this settlement and whether or not their presence violated Starfleet protocol. It was a delicate situation because any knowledge of the past in this case could derail the future, which isn’t usually how one thinks about time travel. But in this case, with the Federation being what it is, it’s actually VITAL that they don’t upset things.
- Which they do.
- Almost immediately.
- BLESS THESE PEOPLE.
- Saru and Tilly find themselves in a situation that ends up proving Saru’s instinct correct: That having Tilly along on a first contact mission was perfect. She really did diffuse the situation simply by being real. Tilly doesn’t approach situations like Georgiou does, for example, and if it weren’t for outside factors—mainly Zareh—I bet they all could have pulled off this trade without a hitch.
- Zareh felt like the polar opposite of Book, particularly since Zareh seemed to possess absolutely no sympathy or empathy for anyone around him. I imagine he’s maybe slightly more extreme than most couriers? Granted, that’s a guess, but the whole system seems designed for exploitation, and people who do what Zareh does in this episode can’t really be sweet, loving people, you know? His whole job depends on him being the absolute worst.
- Which creates an interesting scenario for the writers: Was Saru’s diplomacy and steadfast adherence to Starfleet protocol the best for the situation? Or was Georgiou’s strategy more effective? When she shows up to speed things along, it certainly seemed like she got results better than Saru. But is speed necessarily the same as quality? I actually don’t believe this episode really wants to give us an answer, so much as to introduce this idea for future exploration. Yes, it does seem like Georgiou might flourish in this world, but what is she going to do without the reins of Starfleet? Will Michael and Saru keep her in check, or will she start to change?
- Love that I’m already thinking of these things!!!! I’m so excited for this season!!!
- Honestly, when I think of the kinds of stories I’ve enjoyed immensely, they tend to introduce potential for future twists and turns, and while some are addressed or included, they branch off in surprising ways. These two episodes of season three were absolutely shocking. I did not anticipate where the writers would take these characters. But what little we’ve seen of a universe without the Federation, a universe post-Burn, a universe of couriers and dilithium scarcity, makes me think this season is going to be one hell of a ride.
- And now, Burnham is back! We finally get an explanation as to why she couldn’t locate Discovery: BECAUSE IT SHOWED UP A YEAR LATER. A year! Michael Burnham’s hair is different! WHAT HAS SHE LEARNED IN A YEAR??? Can Book still be part of all this??? Please????
I am deeply thankful I still have more of this show to watch, and I know I’ve said it before, but I’m also glad that of all shows, this is the final one for Mark Watches.
The video for “Far From Home” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
– My third novel (and middle grade debut) THE INSIDERS has been announced! Check out the cover reveal and pre-order links here.
– If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.