Six episodes in, Star Trek: Discovery takes time out to explore and examine two relationships key to our main protagonists – that between Michael Burnham and her adoptive Vulcan father Sarek and between Captain Gabriel Lorca and Admiral Kat Cornwall (Jayne Brook).
For Burnham – in order to save Sarek’s life – she has to utilise her mind meld with Sarek to discover a hidden secret from their shared past. For Lorca – his PTSD from recent experiences is uncovered by Cornwall through the revelation of their intimacy and threatens his continued captaincy of Discovery.
In the end, the outcomes of these events have a critical impact on the passage of the Federation-Klingon war as Cornwall is captured by the treacherous Klingons, and Lorca seems content with Cornwall’s inability to take Discovery away from his command.
There are two points in “Lethe” that will probably alienate the critics further. One, references to Spock in the Burnham-Sarek flashback sequences will raise more questions as to continuity and two, Lorca’s increasingly dark personality will have Trekkers criticising the tone of the series.
This is, for us, an intriguing take on Star Trek and charts a different course from previous Trek series. The best way to appreciate this bold freshness is to consider Discovery existing in its own unique pocket universe of sorts, without being bogged down by all that has gone before.
The good news, that there will be a second season for Discovery (!) and we will have a chance to see how it is all developed further.
To boldly go where no Trek series has gone before!
… still there’s more …