There was a feeling of lost inertia from the season premiere “That Hope Is You, Part 1” into the second episode of season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery “Far From Home.”
Whereas “Hope “gave us a grand adventure in the brave new world of the 32nd Century, “Far” feels like a small piece of the puzzle primarily used as a perfunctory transition of the crew of Discovery into the future, only unlike Michael’s incredible adventure with Booker Cleveland and steep learning curve of the state of the universe in 3188, the crew of the Discovery have no idea where or when they are and the palpable anxiety and and terror gives the episode a horror movie feel.
Damage to Discovery, when it crashes on the mining world, is so extensive the ship is effectively useless except perhaps as shelter. Watch the crash scene in the YouTube clip above.
And that, it is quickly revealed, is being threatened as the ship is literally being enveloped and crushed by an ice based parasite.
Again adding to the creepy horror of the ice based parasite is its alien, insect like advancement on the ship as night falls.
Discovery has successfully done this largely suggestive Lovecraftian horror milieu barely being held at bay by the good guys successfully before (Remember Ripper and Discovery’s sister ship the USS Glenn or Saru’s manipulation by the Pahvons in season 1) and it does so again here in terms of setting the mood masterfully.
Threat feels like it’s around every corner.
A brief foray out to a mining colony populated by the Coridanites, a humanoid species that were members of the Federation, who are being oppressed by their courier, Zareh (Jake Weber), who is running an extortion racket on “The Colony” and stealing their dilithium, sets up Saru learning that the Federation no longer exists.
Georgiou gets to shine in a thrilling fight scene where both she and Saru wipe the floor clean with Zareh’s criminal gang.
RELATED: Star Trek: Discovery’s Commander Georgiou Now Has a ‘Georgiou’s Fight Club’ Fan Group: WATCH
Watch Georgiou kick Zareh and his gang’s ass below.
With the crew back aboard and night falling, meaning their certain destruction by the parasite — it is more active at night, natch — Detmer struggles to get Discovery space bound using maneuvering thrusters as sensors warn that a hostile enemy ship is closing in on their location.
Before Discovery can escape they are captured in a tractor beam by the incoming “enemy” ship that pulls Discovery free off the ice and the planet’s surface, as the crew opt to tactical systems they receive a hail from the ship they are in the grip of…. and the hail is from: Michael Burnham.
Burnham quickly informs the crew that it’s been over a year since she arrived in the future and she has bee scanning for Discovery’s arrival.
It’s a tearfully joyous moment seeing Michael be the savior of her crew. Although the episode is in many ways far less entertaining than the previous it is a transitional episode that moves at a clip that masks some of the storytelling weaknesses.
And there are character moments that were important for re-grounding of their characters’ motivation in this new era. In one of said moments, as the problems facing the USS Discovery continue to pile up, Georgiou and Commander. Nhan (Rachael Ancheril) ponder the “parasitic ice” that seems to be slowly engulfing the ship. This segues to the two women have an interesting conversation centered around Nhan’s decision to leave the USS Enterprise and join the Discovery crew.
When Georgiou questions why Nhan stayed with Discovery, Nahn says she did it in honor of the death of Airiam who she killed in self defense by jettisoning her into space.
A soldier for a soldier she says.
After Discovery crashes, Tilly mentions that because of all the technical failures on the ship, “we don’t know when we are.”
Again this is the opposite of the premiere episode in which Burnham’s computer told her she was in the year 3188 right away. The information gap is relevant, too, since at the end of the episode we learn a year has passed for Burnham, while it’s only been like a day for the crew.
Gizmodo says of the episode, “Far From Home” feels, in many ways, like a mirror to “That Hope is You, Part 1.” The premise is much the same, except for now instead of it being Michael dealing with the brave new 32nd century we find the show in, it’s the rest of Discovery’s crew. The stark realization of the world they’re in is there, as is the earnest belief that their faith in their ideals will connect with the dismayed and distanced people around them. They even crash upon arrival as well!”
Also as Space dot com pointed out, “It was strange that episode two — is entitled “Far From Home” and not “That Hope is You, Part 2,” which is a little unusual (the premiere was “Part 1″). Most multi-part episodes, even within a seasonal story arc, tend to follow in succession, so evidently showrunner Alex Kurtzman has something up his sleeve.”
When Michael’s face fills the view screen with that familiar, wonderful smile filled with hope and light and joy missing from most of this episode, Michael says, “Saru?”
Saru, looking stunned, says, “Michael?”
Her eyes welling with tears (as are the rest of the crew’s), “Yeah it’s me. I found you. I’ve been looking for so long.I landed here a year ago. I have been waiting here for you, all of you, all this time.”
Watch Jessie Gender’s great recap below.
Space.com: “With the transtator repaired and installed, communications, propulsion and sensors are back online. Now more or less completely encased in parasitic ice, the Discovery struggles desperately to break free. Systems begin to overload and suddenly sensors detect an alien ship approaching them. They suspect it’s Zareh’s friends who will have also detected the crash…and the Discovery is hailed. A channel is opened … and it’s Burnham! Yay. It’s a touching moment as everyone is understandably relieved. She says she landed a year ago … and during that time she’s had hair extensions, but they look nice, that’s the most important thing.”
Oooh, talk about the burn.
— Discovery Writers (@StarTrekRoom) October 22, 2020
CBS also revealed that the episode titles for the third season have been officially confirmed and there are two interesting things to note.
“That Hope Is You, Part 1”
“Far From Home”
“People of Earth”
“Forget Me Not”
“Terra Firma, Part I”
“Terra Firma, Part II”
“The Good of the People”
The first is that the episode “That Hope Is You, Part 2” doesn’t even feature in the third season and the second is the title of the seventh episode, “Unification III,” which sounds like it might be somehow linked to the Next Generation two-part story, “Unification I” (S05, E07) and “Unification II” (S05, E08) where Ambassador Spock attempts to reunite the Romulans and Vulcans, since they were originally the same race.
CBS has also confirmed that principal photography for Discovery season four will start on Nov. 2, 2020.
Watch The Ready Room hosted by Will Wheaton that recaps each weekly episode below.