TV Review – Star Trek: Discovery – “Light and Shadows”March 3, 2019
While it was great to finally see Spock, Discovery made the smart decision also have a second storyline, an action-fueled one at that, to offset what turned out to be some clunky and strange Spock/Burnham/Sarek/Amanda family backstory. However, the episode was well done and driven by both narrative and action, giving it some great flow and the viewers some interesting ideas to mull over.
The temporal distortion that appears is a great way to get Pike and Tyler into a shuttlecraft and have some bonding moments together. (I mean when hasn’t Star Trek used temporal distortions as a way to drive a story?) The shuttlecraft is attacked by Discovery’s own probe, modified while in the distortion in a great sequence that reminded me of the Sentinels from The Matrix. How is this connected to the Red Angel? The question is legitimate but having Pike and Tyler forced to work together gave each a new insight into the other, which should be great for future episodes.
However, the fact that Tyler is TyVoq AND works for Section 31 means he still should not be trusted, and I think Pike knows this. As we see in the other part of the story in this week’s episode, Section 31 is all about secrets and man, does it have a lot of skeletons in its closet, so to speak. It takes a special kind of shady individual to work for this group which I guess would explain why Tyler, Georgiou, and Leyland are all on board.
Meanwhile, Burnham is on leave, off to Vulcan to talk to Amanda about the whereabouts of Spock. However, she soon discovers that Amanda had been hiding Spock on Vulcan, not just from Michael and Starfleet, but from Sarek as well. This is a family with more than a few trust issues to resolve, although it is hard to fault Amanda for trying to protect her son, something any parent would do.
As we all feared, Spock is not in a good place. He is a mumbling mess, babbling on and sketching numbers and the Red Angel over and over again. This is where things get a bit bogged down, diving into the muddy family history of this group, something that could have been done with a little more finesse. Of course, the writers didn’t miss another opportunity to throw in some Alice in Wonderland, which makes me wonder if this will have more meaning down the road or are there some wonderfully twisted minds writing this series?
Not wanting to go to Discovery/Starfleet for help (Pike might not be too happy with this decision) and an offer of help from Section 31 turned out to be bogus (shocker), Burnham makes a discovery that sends her and Spock towards Talos IV, a planet fans from the original series will instantly recognize. How all of this will tie in with the Red Angel should be interesting and it’s a storyline I wasn’t expecting. I do hope that now that Spock had officially arrived on the scene that Discovery will not forget about the good things they’ve done up until this point this season and incorporate him in the overall story, not make him the story.
Four stars out of five