Star Trek Discovery - S1E9: Into The Forest I Go - Review: Cloak and Daggers
Into The Forest I Go – With Kol and The Ship of the Dead on its way Pahvo, The Discovery makes a daring play to detect their cloaking technology that will push the ship and crew to its limits. While Tyler comes face-to-face with his past trauma.
So it’s Trek mid-season finale time as enemies come face-to-face and many things boldly go in new directions. Though, for a finale, it was rather light on story. Most of the episode boiled down to a showdown between Discovery and their Klingon rivals. Of course, this was eventful and much more focused on science than space combat as the crew tries to crack the cloaking code. It was all delivered fine but the episode was a bit too occupied with leaving its developments for last minute teases going into the Christmas break (it returns January 7th). I would have liked little more involvement of the wider cast instead of concentrating on Burnham, Tyler, and Staments. As for those big end teases that was a clean bill of health. The subtle early tease about the growing capabilities of The Spore Drive and the prior built of Stament’s health built nicely towards a new Discovery. As for hints surrounding a certain character, this is something many people have clocked on their sensors (I was chatting to some shipmates about it last week) but this was handled well. The episode gave just enough to affirm for those who figured it out but withheld enough to hold the mystery for those that haven’t. It will be really interesting to see how this all plays out.
The showdown between The Discovery and her Klingon nemesis was a lot of fun as they started spore-driving more than a teleporting beat-em-up final boss. As usual, the visuals looked excellent and the craziness of Discovery hopping all around her prey conjured images of The Flash Vs Hulk as speed trumped strength. The subplot around Staments pushing himself and his interface abilities beyond his limits added some nice small scale depth to the bigger events. This made of the ideal use of Dr. Culber and his relationship with Staments, to provide the opposing view on both a professional and personal basis; matched well by Lorca’s drive and determination to win. Similarly working in some meaningful progression for Tyler’s PTSD kept a strong emphasis on the personal impact of Discovery’s conflict as Tyler comes face-to -ace with his former torturer, L’Rell. While you could write everything I know about PTSD on the side of a chicken nugget, some of this did feel rather forced. Seeing Tyler go from naught to incapacitated in seconds felt more like a deliberate means of writing him out, rather than believable actions for his character. Still, seeing him finally shake it off and get back in the fight did feel like an appropriately big moment.
Discovery reaches its first mid-season on a high with the wind in its nacelles, throwing much of its future into uncertainty. It’s used this first season well to slowly build up its core characters with the feeling that it can really come back guns blazing for its remaining 6 episodes. See you next at the next stardate.