TV Reviews

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 6: Lethe Review

If you would like to read my review of last week’s episode, click here.

Synopsis: The USS Discovery crew is intrigued by new addition, Lt. Ash Tyler. Sarek seeks Burnham’s help, rekindling memories from her past. Admiral Cornwell questions Lorca’s tactics. (IMDB)

Writers: Joe Menosky & Ted Sullivan

Director: Douglas Aarniokoski

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 43 mins

“Lethe” starts off with Sarek, who is on a secret diplomatic mission to rendezvous with the Klingons. But the other Vulcan onboard is a “logic extremist” seeing Sarek’s sympathy and fascination for the humans illogical and he then he suicide bombs the ship, sending it off course.

On the Discovery, Burnham is training Tilly for the officer program. She’s making her run, picking her food. Is this Burnham projecting her desire for a Captain’s chair on Tilly because she sees it as unobtainable now? Lorca and Tyler are going through a shooting simulation as they bond and prepare for another Klingon attack. After Tyler beats him in kills, Lorca offers him the Chief of Security position.

Burnham and Tilly meet Tyler, who seems a little too calm meeting the mutineer that caused his half year imprisonment. Suddenly Burnham freezes, and feels this immense pain. She’s transported to a vision on Vulcan where Sarek is explaining how Burnham isn’t fit for a Vulcan lifestyle and suggest Starfleet as an alternative. Then he turns to the real Burnham and asks why she is in his mind. Creepy. Turns out she is connected to Sarek by his katra. She explains how she’s connected to Sarek because he grafted part of his soul onto her to save her when a group of Vulcan extremists tried to kill her.

Lorca gets filled in by Starfleet that Sarek was trying to force an alliance with a few Klingon houses, but was attacked. Lorca decides to take it upon himself to save Sarek. Apparently exploring the nebula would take months, but Burnham has an idea: A synthetic mindmeld. Stamets is intrigued. Of course there are obstacles, but Burnham is the right type of crazy. They decide to send a shuttle into the nebula so Burnham can get close enough. She asks to bring Tilly for moral support, and Lorca sends Tyler as their pilot.

After explaining her odd relationship with her adoptive father, Burnham goes into the mindmeld to try and pull Sarek out. So basically Inception. She confronts Sarek, but he attacks her. Burnham is pushed out, she can’t see the logic in Sarek replaying her graduation day as his biggest failure. Tyler explains how in times of near death experiences we don’t think about failures, but instead the ones we care about most. She’s ready to jump back in.

Turns out Sarek was forced to choose between Burnham and Spock and even after picking Spock, both of them went to Starfleet. He burdened her with believing it was her fault and that brings him an immense amount of shame. She mindmelds with him and boom he is awake.

Meanwhile, Admiral Cornwell wants to talk to Lorca, in person. She berates him for engaging in an unauthorized rescue mission. He basically tells her to lighten up and have a drink. Lorca and Cornwell talk about the past, she’s concerned about his mental state. He wants to spend their private time a little differently. Lorca awakes from some obvious PTSD and scares the Admiral, who spent the night. She believes he faked his psych evaluations and wants to strip him of Discovery.

With Sarek safe, there is still the issue of the pivotal Klingon meeting. Lorca suggests they send Admiral Conrwell and Lorca offers Burnham the position of Science Specialist. Burnham confronts Sarek and says eventually he will have to open up to her because they are family. Laying down the law Burnham.

The Admiral embarks for her meeting, but not after telling Lorca she has to take Discovery from him, even if temporary. Turns out the meeting was a set up and she’s taken prisoner. The crew suggest going to rescue her, but for his own personal interests Lorca declines. What is your game plan Lorca?

Questions

  • Why is Tyler so calm in meeting Burnham for the first time?
  • What is Lorca’s agenda?
  • With Stamets’ story taking a backseat, what will be the repercussions?
  • Didn’t the Discovery warp in this episode? Wouldn’t that mean they used the spore drive and therefore Stamets had to experiment on himself again?
  • So all the major positions are being filled, but who is Chief of Medical? Are they unimportant?
  • Will Sarek and Burnham ever have that talk?

Overall, this was a good episode. The focus shifts back to the protagonist as we dive deeper into the backstory of Michael Burnham and her unique relationship with her adoptive father Sarek. The episode also dives into Lorca a bit, and gives us quite the look at this broken, flawed and innately human character. It’s really hard to pick which character is the best as each episode helps flesh out a different one each week. While some questions from last week are still unanswered, it feels like Discovery has found a good pacing at this point in being able to deliver multiple storylines that help build character, push the plot and not overshadow each other. The chemistry of the crew is what will make this show and so far, there is nothing but praise for them.

Score: 8/10

What did you think of “Lethe”? Let me know in the comments below!

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