Burnham finally locates Spock, Pike leads a dangerous mission, and the finale foreshadows a major role for the mysterious Lt. Cmdr. Airiam and a return to a mind-bending TOS planet.

With Lent beginning next week, the show begins a quest to achieve maximum Easter Eggs.

Titles: “Light and Shadows”

Directed by Marta Cunningham
Written by Ted Sullivan, Vaun Wilmott

Cast
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
Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler
Hannah Cheesman as Lt. Cmdr. Airiam
Ethan Peck as Mr. Spock
James Frain as Sarek
Mia Kirshner as Amanda Grayson
Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou
Alan Van Sprang as Leland
Wilson Cruzas 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
Raven Dauda as Dr. Tracy Pollard
Julianne Grossman as Discovery Computer
Arista Arhin as lil’ Michael
Liam Hughes as lil’ Spock

Premise:

Burnham finds Spock, but he is not himself, and she’s not certain whom she can trust. Pike and Tyler head into a timey-wimey situation, from which they must escape at the last possible second. The mysterious (to the audience, at least) Airiam is about to become a more significant character, but that may not be to anyone’s advantage.

High Point:

I don’t see any single High Point in this episode. It was a solid Discovery episode, with two plots and a lot of character repartee, an impressive fight, and some cool visuals. It did nothing terribly original, but it makes the case for second season Discovery on the level of Star Trek 101: boldly go, have cool stuff happen to engaging characters, include some socio-political or technological implications.

Does anyone out there have a specific they want to discuss?

Low Point:

Everyone assumes the tech comes from the future, because it’s beyond anything they’ve seen. Granted, they have evidence of temporal disturbances, but surely, they must consider that tech beyond anything they’ve seen could come from, you know, somewhere else in the universe? Space being “really big” and all.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6

Effects: 6/6 We have some excellent visuals for both Vulcan and the space shots. Vulcan looks far more inhabitable than in many past depictions.

Acting: 5/6 Mount and Latif as Pike and Tyler do the classic trope with two disparate personalities forced to work together. It’s not groundbreaking, but I enjoyed watching their take on it.

Production: 6/6

Emotional Response: 5/6 Maybe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, but the prolonged bait-and-switching had the opposite of its desired effect. The new developments are intriguing, but his appearance lacks the impact that I think the showmakers desired…

Story: 5/6

..However, the adventure-serial aspects of the story have never been more engaging. This is a good thing, because this episode has a few story flaws, including a quick end to the rift plot via good old Technobabble ex machina.

Overall: 5/6 Alt-Georgiou gets to be more sympathetic and likeable by contrast with Leland, who is turning out to be irredeemably despicable. Meanwhile, I am curious, but concerned, about the latest developments, addressed under “Lingering Questions.”

In total, “Light and Shadows” receives 33/42

Lingering Questions

So, Pike visiting Talos IV while chasing a supposed survivors’ signal, and returned years later in his “boop” chair—but visited once in between? And Talos may be connected to the Red Angel mystery?

I’m a little nervous about the show going down this particular rabbit hole, but I am interested in seeing how they handle Talos IV. The Menagerie leaves a few lingering questions of its own.

Someone is deliberately, instead of incidentally, responsible for the death of Burnham’s parents? We don’t know for certain, but Georgiou’s comment implies this might be the case. Does everything have to be part of an organized plot involving the core characters? What is this, a Star Wars prequel?