Star Trek Discovery Review– “Such Sweet Sorrow”

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.

High Points:

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.

Low Points:

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.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6

Effects: 6/6

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.

Production: 6/6

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

Lingering Questions

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?

5 replies on “Star Trek Discovery Review– “Such Sweet Sorrow””

  1. Regarding piloting the ship into a star, it was reasonably well-established that the data itself has at least some level of cognition (which could potentially suggest why it is that gaining access to it would let Control leap into full consciousness). If it can disable auto-destruct and raise the shields, I doubt it would fail to notice a navigational course into a star. I suspect it is *allowing* the crew to send it to the future.

    Regarding Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po, in the short she did have back-spines that jut out when she’s feeling threatened. They skipped over that for this episode, but that’s in-character since she clearly feels comfortable and confident.

    • I don’t know that it would have worked, given the data’s control of the ship, but they didn’t know about that yet. I just wondered why nobody suggests it as an option, rather than going through a self-destruct sequence that requires they leave the ship available for a patch of time.

      With regards to Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po, I know it’s Star Trek and it loves its Forehead Aliens, but I really think they missed an opportunity here to do something really interesting with an alien character, beyond the personality of the performer (which I find oddly engaging).

      I’d forgotten about the spikes, so that makes her function a little differently from us.

  2. I heartily agreed with your Low Point. I am willing to believe they knew something was up, but to get there was too much. I’d rather believe that Sarek did some weird unknown Vulcan telepathic vision projection into Micheal’s head. That’d make all of it make more sense. It won’t make all the sense, but more.

    Also, we’re an episode away from the actual departure, we don’t know if Spock is still on the ship, maybe he takes off for Enterprise to push that torpedo back out of the hole.

    Discovery needs a new captain again… I want it to be Number One. I loved Pike as captain, though. He may be my favorite Star Fleet captain after this, but I’d have to rewatch Janeway to decide for certain. He had some the best lines. My favorite is probably “Giving up our values in the name of security is to lose the battle in advance” and I won’t stop quoting that, ever.

    What was up with the wink at Captain Georgio? Did he know? Or is that his way of saying he knew about the mirror universe, but didn’t “officially” know? Was he flirting?

    “We are surrounded…. but only on a two dimensional plane. Control’s 3D processor must not be up to snuff!”

    • What was up with the wink at Captain Georgio? Did he know? Or is that his way of saying he knew about the mirror universe, but didn’t “officially” know? Was he flirting?

      I assumed it meant he knew but didn’t officially know. I doubt he’d be flirting with Georgio.

      “We are surrounded…. but only on a two dimensional plane. Control’s 3D processor must not be up to snuff!”

      Not the first time they’ve failed to grasp the concept of space having more than two dimensions, and no established “up” and “down.”

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