Discovery sets itself up for the season’s end, a new captain, and a change of direction—except that Spock’s presence on the ship suggests the direction won’t change too much.
Titles: “Such Sweet Sorrow”
Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
Written by Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet, Michelle Paradise
Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike
Doug Jones as Saru
Ethan Peck as Spock
Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly
Tig Notaro as Jett Reno
Yadira Guevara-Prip as Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po
Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets
Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou
Jayne Brook as Admiral Cornwell
Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber
Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler
Rebecca Romijn as Number One
Alan Van Sprang as Leland
Rachael Ancheril as Cmdr. Nhan
Sara Mitch as Lt. Nilsson
Patrick Kwok-Choon as Lt. Gen Rhys
Oyin Oladejoas Lt. Joann Owosekun
Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer
James Frain as Sarek
Mia Kirshner as Amanda Grayson
Julianne Grossman as Discovery Computer
With the assistance of Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po from the Short Trek, “Runaway” and the crew of the Enterprise from some other show, Pike and the Discovery take a bold move to defeat Control.
It may mean that some of them will never see home again.
The episode recreates the bridge of the original Enterprise, with bright, visual upgrades, and it works. I want to follow Mount’s Pike and Romijn’s Number One into that show to see what they were doing before Kirk took the helm.
As a bonus, we’re reminded again of why the future (past) Enterprise doesn’t use holographic communication.
Vulcan katra mysticism notwithstanding, the notion that Sarek and Amanda can just zip off across the galaxy and locate Discovery ahead of the battle in order to say good-bye requires a stadium full of handwaves. SF and fantasy need to play by whatever rules they’ve established, and this does not. The teary farewell then clashes with the fact that their biological child and host of other people volunteer to face the same risk that Michael will, and their farewells make far more sense.
And anyway, the crew still have Spock with them. They’ll be coming back.
Acting: 5/6 Any episode that gives Tig Notaro’s Jett Reno an important role improves immediately. We also get some fun interaction between Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po and other characters, as a way of balancing the more serious elements.
Story: 4/6 A good deal happens in this episode, though in a rather fragmented manner. And while I know that auto-destruct is an established protocol, couldn’t someone just pilot the ship into the nearest star and beam out at the last second?
Emotional Response: 4/6
Overall: 4/6 Will they leave the crew of the Discovery (minus Spock) in the distant future? That would be an interesting development for the series, and one that would allow them to ignore the future continuity they’ve spent so much time addressing.
In total, “Such Sweet Sorrow” receives 31/42
I like Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po, but I do wish her alien nature was signified by more than tats, piercings, and weird contact lenses. She’s the only one of her kind we see. Why not make her look like an alien instead of the barista at the local coffeeshop?
Two series characters beam away to become the protagonists of the forthcoming Section 31 series. Will that series be any good? Is anyone looking forward to it? And will it be followed by the Tilly/Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po pajama party Short Trek someone clearly wants to pitch?