A portal on a remote planet will decide the fate of Philippa Georgiou.
Bonuses: the return of a character from an acclaimed TOS episode.
Jet eats black licorice.
Titles: “Terra Firma, Parts One and Two”
Directed by Omar Madha and Chloe Domont
Written by Alan B. McElroy, Bo Yeon Kim, Erika Lippoldt
Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou
Doug Jones as Captain Saru
David Ajala as Cleveland “Book” Booker
Anthony Rapp as Commander Paul Stamets
Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly
Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber
Emily Coutts as Lt. Keyla Detmer
Blu del Barrio as Adira Tal
Oded Fehr as Admiral Vance
Noah Averbach-Katz as Ryn
Ache Hernandez as Kyheem
Raven Dauda as Dr. Tracy Pollard
Vanessa Jackson as Lt. Audrey Wiilla
Rachael Ancheril as Cmdr. Nhan
Patrick Kwok-Choon as Lt. Gen Rhys
Oyin Oladejo as Lt. Joann Owosekun
Sara Mitich as Lt. Nilsson
Hannah Spear as Dr. Issa
David Benjamin Tomlinson as Kelpien
Hannah Cheesman as Lt. Cmdr. Airiam
Rekha Sharma as Landry
Tig Notaro as Jet Reno
David Cronenberg as Kovich
Daniel Kash as Duggan
Paul Guilfoyle as Carl/The Guardian of Forever (Highlight for spoiler)
The Discovery’s mission takes it to a remote planet, where Burnham and Georgiou find a mysterious man with a door.
Georgiou makes her way back to the Mirror Universe, where she encounters a mutiny in progress.
Part Two, in particular, is Michelle Yeoh’s episode, and she gives a complex and often nuanced performance. Some of her earlier work this season was stymied by the limited role the scripts gave her, but she shines here. We’ll see what happens when she returns to days of futures past in the forthcoming Section 31 series.
The Mirror Universe features some interesting elements—the stylized agitprop performed in the Empress’s honour, for example. However, the more we see of the Mirror Universe, the less it makes sense as a functional culture.
Effects: 6/6 The show continues to display its budget, and we even see one fairly creative transition enabled by CGI technology, and an impressive reveal at the conclusion of the episode.
Acting: 5/6 I’ve already discussed Yeoh. Reducing the cast opens the door to using Tig Notaro as Jet Reno more often. Her cameo was memorable, as always. For that matter, Paul Guilfoyle and David Cronenburg demand attention in their scenes. We have an episode where some of the best moments come from small but distinctive performances.
Production: 6/6 The Mirror Universe uniforms recall something that might have been designed for an earlier incarnation of Trek.
Emotional Response: 4/6 Tonally the halves feel very different, with the second one being more serious and effective. In the epilogue, the main cast suddenly become unusually fond of Georgiou, even though some have little reason to be. As an attempt to evoke an emotional response, it fell flat.
Story: 4/6: I felt a little like I did when I watched the second Avengers movie, Age of Ultron. I enjoyed it, but it devoted an awful lot of time to setting up better stories that would be told at another time.
Lorca gets mentioned so often in Part One that it feels like he should have appeared in Part Two. Granted, they had enough ground to cover already, and I don’t really like Lorca, but, as Chekhov (Anton, not Pavel) said, “one must never place a loaded Lorca on the stage if he isn’t going to go off.” Or something to that effect.
In total, “Terra Firma, Parts 1 and 2” receive 33/42
I didn’t follow speculation regarding Carl’s identity anywhere save here. Did anyone here discern his identity before it was revealed?