Things explode, fans get serviced, and Discovery changes its direction in the final episode of Season Two.
Title: “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part Two”
Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
Written by Michelle Paradise, Jenny Lumet, and Alex Kurtzman
Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike
Doug Jones as Captain Saru
Ethan Peck as Mr. Spock
Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou
Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler
Anthony Rapp as Commander Paul Stamets
Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly
Rebecca Romijn as Number One
Alan Van Sprang as Leland
Tig Notaro as Jet Reno
Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber
Yadira Guevara-Prip as Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po
Jayne Brook as Vice Admiral Katrina Cornwell
Rachael Ancheril as Cmdr. Nhan
Emily Coutts as Lt. Keyla Detmer
Patrick Kwok-Choon as Lt. Gen Rhys
Mary Chieffo as L’Rell
Oyin Oladejo as Lt. Joann Owosekun
Ronnie Rowe as Lt. R.A. Bryce
Raven Dauda as Dr. Tracy Pollard
Sara Mitich as Lt. Nilsson
Mia Kirshner as Amanda Grayson
Julianne Grossman as Discovery Computer
As everything explodes, Discovery charts a new course and the Enterprise fixes continuity.
The episode careens crazily into a remarkable conclusion. The previous episode prepared us for it, but the series prepared us for a bait-and-switch. I give them full credit for boldly going where no Trek has gone before.
The episode features a number of forced elements. Can’t they try using the transporter on that torpedo? Why do the two highest-ranking people on the ship have to tend to it? Why not a couple of engineers? And why are they having a lengthy debate only 90 seconds before their ship explodes?1
I liked the concept behind the conclusion, but, really, treason? That doesn’t seem very logical in context.2
Originality: 3/6 Stuff explodes! People rush around! They yell! We have witty-in-the-face-of-danger dialogue that could, to be honest, be a lot wittier. Surprise back-up arrives in the nick of time! Discovery ends Season Two with an attempt at a Marvel superhero movie, with a low-rent 2001 Stargate sequence thrown in for good measure. However, that climax and new direction earn them points.
Effects: 6/6 This episode throws up more pyrotechnics than early July and adds more CGI than a Special Edition.
Acting: 5/6 Martin-Green and Peck do well under what must have been problematic shooting conditions (“I’m dressed like Tony Stark’s idea of an angel and I have to pretend major events are unfolding on this greenscreen!”)
Yeoh kicks it as a dark-souled two-fisted hero, but the attempt to give her a sidekick in the form of Nhan doesn’t work. They have no buddy chemistry, and Rachael Ancheril, usually on her game, gives the third-worst delivery of “Yum Yum!” in history.3
Emotional Response: 4/6 Emotional moments work when the characters have an actual or plausible history. We see that with Stamets and Culber, and the actors do a laudable job. Likewise, the scene between Spock and Burnham works.
Forced and fabricated attempts to touch an audience, however fall flat. In addition to Georgiou and Nhan, we also get forced bonding between the Admiral and Number One. They doubtless know each other, but nothing we see this week really makes us feel a connection the show hasn’t bothered to create. It’s Airiam’s funeral again; they’re trying evoke an emotional reaction they haven’t earned.
Overall: 4/6: I only hope, with that ending, we actually do “boldly go.” I fear, however, that (as in Voyager), “where no one has gone before” will end up looking like every other incarnation of the show.
They have the budget. They have the technology.
I hope they give us something groundbreaking and memorable.
In total, “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part Two” receives 32/42
1. And are those “Stardate Seconds” or something? Because I’m sure they lasted longer than regulation ninety seconds.
2. The epilogue does have me hoping, once more, for a Pike Trek series, which seems like a better idea than the Section 31 show that we will be getting.
3. The worst is deliberate, Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden in “Ralph’s Sweet Tooth” (1954). The second-worst was uttered in the late 70s by an otherwise very popular girl in my eighth grade class, in response to a passing guy’s bum. She was kidded for weeks afterwards. You had to be there.
Hey, these are Actual Facts, folks.