Star Trek Discovery Review: “Saints of Imperfection”

For Valentines Day, Discovery reunites the crew with some established characters, and takes a quest into the bizarre Mycelial Network, where it finds stranger things.

Titles: “Saints of Imperfection”

Directed by David Barrett
Written by Kirsten Beyer

Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike
Doug Jones as Commander Saru
Anthony Rapp as Commander Paul Stamets
Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly
Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou
Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler
Bahia Watson as May
Hannah Cheesman as Lt. Cmdr. Airiam
Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber
Emily Coutts as Lt. Keyla Detmer
Patrick Kwok-Choon as Lt. Gen Rhys
Oyin Oladejo as Lt. Joann Owosekun
Ronnie Rowe as Lt. R.A. Bryce
Alan Van Sprang as Leland
Rachael Ancheril as Cmdr. Nhan
Jayne Brook as Admiral Cornwell
Julianne Grossman as Discovery Computer


The Discovery welcomes some familiar faces as it tries to rescue Tilly from the Upside-Down Mycelial Network.

They find more than they were expecting.

High Point:

Wiseman and the writers have been making strides both in the performance and development of the Tilly character. Her growth does not happen in isolation. We’re seeing the emphasis on personal relationships and loyalty that grounded many past Trek episodes, with a more contemporary approach to the acting.

Low Point:

The episode has too many endings, not all necessitated by the arc structure. First, we have the Star Trek Ending to the week’s main plot, wherein bouncing the graviton particles off the main deflector dish saves everything at the last possible second, and an apparently dead character gets saved as a bonus. Then, Admiral Cornwall sets up a Mismatched Cop Captain Adventure while waving the Search for Spock in front of the audience more. Of course, we have to receive an epilogue to this week’s events, though it’s not of the humorous and whimsical variety. Finally, we get the Discovery ending, wherein someone delivers a ponderous and unnecessary voiceover. I will concede that, at times, these voiceovers work, but I would not miss most of them.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 This week delivers an entertaining but trope-heavy episode.

Effects: 6/6 Discovery continues to deliver the effects where needed.

Acting: 5/6

Production: 6/6

Story: 5/6

Emotional Response: 5/6

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Saints of Imperfection” receives 34/42

Lingering Questions

I know they’re building to Spock, and that’s fine, as story arcs go. How many people find themselves annoyed, however, about the weekly fake-out of Spock’s appearance? It’s like the mystery with too many red herrings. At some point, they undercut the story and eventual solution.

We have to accept many things in new Trek as enhanced design and effects. Given the number of seeming discontinuities they already have addressed, even if as quick handwaves, I wonder if some of these will be explained. Section 31’s possession of a NextGen communicator is an obvious one to which the episode deliberately calls attention. Do they also have a cloaking device? In the nitpick department, what about the phasers? Like the Enterprise uniforms, they’re based on designs from Kirk’s era, not Pike’s.

2 replies on “Star Trek Discovery Review: “Saints of Imperfection””

  1. It was predictable, but it was still good. I am more interested in the whole season arc than this episode’s story. This was the second time this season they showed us a believable character death, then cheated us out of it.

  2. I get the impression that, like the Klingons, the Federation is in a transition period. They’ve just come out of a major conflict so lessons learnt and general timing make sense for that, so I’ll give them a bit of leeway if they’re trying to build a bridge to Kirk’s Enterprise rather than Pike’s in respect to uniforms, etc.

    As for the communicator and other temporal issues, mostly related to Section 31… Yeah, my suspicions are deepening on that too, and it could also provide an “out” as to why various people don’t talk about each other at later in the timeline(s); gotta protect that timeline! I’m in two minds on that. I like a well written and logically consistent time travel story as well as anyone might, but the problem is that most attempts, especially in TV sci-fi, fail to achieve it. I guess time will tell, in more ways than one.

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