Off-duty, the crew wear nifty DISCOvery tees.

The apparently brilliant and logical Sarek falls for two traps (Where’s Admiral Ackbar when you need him?), Burnham, Tyler, and Tilly bond on a rescue mission, and Lorca penetrates the upper echelon, and then reveals the precipice on which his sanity stands.

Titles: “Lethe”

Directed by Douglas Aarniokoski
Written by Joe Menosky and Ted Sullivan

Cast
Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca
Doug Jones as Saru
Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler
Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets
Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber
Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly
Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer
Clare McConnell as Dennas
Kenneth Mitchell as Kol
Sara Mitich as Airiam
Damon Runyan as Ujilli
Marco Perretta as Star Fleet Medical Doctor
Jayne Brook as Admiral Cornwell
Jonathan Whittaker as Vulcan Director
Mia Kirshner as Amanda
James Frain as Sarek

Premise:

It’s a small federation, as Sarek heads out on a mission to make peace with the Klingons and all Gre’Thor breaks loose.

Burnham takes time out of training Tilly to help rescue her foster-father.

Captain Lorca may not be what he seems.

High Points:

Whenever someone makes a prequel, we learn the darker truth behind something we saw in the original version. However, Frain makes a fair Sarek (the writing could be stronger here), and Sarek’s dispute with Spock now makes a kind of sense.

I’ll even ignore (for now) the Star Wars-like tendency to make the fate of the entire galaxy revolve around too few characters….

Low Points:

…but I am questioning Starfleet’s decision to keep Lorca in charge of their Special Weapon, despite their knowing less than we do about his mental state. And even during a war, I would spend some time with Ash before I promoted him.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6

Effects: 5/6 Could the people behind the show find out a little about nebulae?

Acting: 4/6 The acting remains uneven, though Isaacs does a good job showing us the cracks in Lorca’s psyche.

Production: 6/6

Story: 4/6 The story very much relies on the serial nature of the show to carry it, though we do get some specific narratives this week.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Overall: 4/6 Lorca’s motives in the final scenes are contemptible, making him an interesting character but not necessarily a good captain, whatever his results.

In total, “Lethe” receives 30/42