The season finale feels a little like Star Trek: The Role-Playing Game. Once again, it moves quickly, and it imparts a kind of direction on the season, towards a more familiar Trek.

Titles: “Will You Take My Hand?”

Directed by Akiva Goldsman
Written by Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts, and Akiva Goldsman

Cast
Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
Doug Jones as Saru
Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler
Michelle Yeoh as Nega-Georgiou
Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets
Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly
James Frain as Sarek
Patrick Kwok-Choon as Rhys
Jayne Brook as Admiral Cornwell
Mary Chieffo as L’Rell
Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer
Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber
Clint Howard as sketchy Orion Man

Premise:

The Federation’s desperate plan proves even more desperate than we realized, but it does allow for cavorting on an Orion-run spot on the Klingon homeworld, which permits humans even while a war rages.

High Point:

The episode has a strong concept. Our characters have seen where the Dark Side takes us, and they cannot allow their Federation to follow that path. They find a solution, and we find ourselves looking at something like the classic Trek ethics.

Low Point:

The entire plot would be more powerful if we had experienced a little more of the war, and understood what pushed the Federation so far in this genocidal direction.

Just as every pop detective has to visit a strip club in the course of an investigation, every pop SF franchise has to visit a place like the Orion’s den. It raises a number of issues, however, including the lack of surveillance by the Klingons.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6

Effects: 6/6

Acting: 5/6

Production: 5/6

Story: 4/6

Emotional Response: 4/6 I’ll say one thing for that ending: the fans will be arguing about it for months, and I’m sure we could have a debate here about how much Pike’s Enterprise should play into next season, and whether or not it’s a good idea. Fan service or important development: discuss.

Overall: 5/6 So, while some of the more critical fans may regard the finale as less “Will You Take My Hand?” than “Will You Hold My Hair While I Barf?” I remain cautiously optimistic about Season Two. I just wish the series had done a little more to earn its new direction.

Of course, I didn’t think much of NextGen‘s first season, and that show turned out.

In total, “Will You Take My Hand?” receives 32/42