TV Reviews

Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 8: If Memory Serves Review

For our review of the last episode of Star Trek: Discovery, click here.

Synopsis: Spock and Burnham head to Talos IV, where the process of healing Spock forces the siblings to confront their troubled past. Stamets desperately tries to reconnect with an increasingly disconnected Hugh, while Tyler struggles to shed the crew’s suspicions of him due to his past as Voq. (CBS)

Writers: Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie

Director: T.J. Scott

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 54 mins

“If Memory Serves” starts off with a recap of the highlights from Star Trek: The Original Series original pilot “The Cage.” This episode followed the Enterprise, captained by Pike, as he went to Talos IV and interacted with the locals. However, this time around isn’t a remake per se, but more of a weird remake/sequel hybrid. Pike gives a log on his concern for Burnham and hoping that they find Spock before Section 31.

Leland meets with the council to give information concerning Spock and Burnham. They turn to Georgiou for her advice and she says they put out an alert on her Federation-wide except for Discovery. Leland disagrees with Georgiou’s actions and instructs her to contact Discovery. She advises them to investigate the probe and try to discover what wanted from them.

Upon reaching Talos IV, Burnham’s shuttle is sucked into a black hole vortex. While she tries to pull them free, Spock pushes them straight into it. They break through the vortex which reveals Talos IV beneath them. The shuttle lands and Burnham exits to explore the surface around them. She notices a woman enter their shuttle and points her phaser in her direction. The woman is Vina, a human who lives on Talos that is an old friend of Spock and Pike.

Turns out Spock sent them there because the Talosians can hopefully fix his brain. They beam down under the planet’s surface and are greeted by the Talosians. Burnham asks why Spock would bring them there and the Talosians read his mind. His experience with time is now fluid rather than linear. They will help fix this construct if Burnham allows them to feel the pain of her betrayal to Spock during their childhood. For the sake of her brother she agrees.

Flashback to their childhood. Burnham ran away from home when Spock received his first Red Angel vision. It revealed that Burnham would die, but his family manages to find her after he tells of his dream. He received another vision years later and was brought to a desolate world where he learned of the end of days. With Spock now awake, they catch up and Burnham pokes fun at his beard.

Spock believes that the Red Angel is of human origin as it reeked of desperation and loneliness. With this information, she enters her second flashback. Spock is at the medical facility, drawing all over the floor. A doctor enters his room and says he managed to have a premonition of the signals. He decides it is time for him to leave, but she says he should be transferred to Section 31. He subdues, but doesn’t kill, the guards and flees proving himself to be innocent.

Pike immediately turns to Tyler and asks him about his relationship with Burnham. He reveals they were romantically involved, but he broke her trust. Pike brings Tyler to his quarters to discuss the situation at hand. He will not leave his officers out there at the hands of Section 31. Tyler believes that Burnham will find a solution before they get caught. Saru learns that one of the crew members is sending out unauthorized transmissions and Pike tells him to find out who.

Stamets takes Culber around the ship when they walk past Tyler. He apologizes for bringing him by his killer, but as they enter his quarters they exchange glances. Later, Stamets brings a meal by Culber’s room. He tries to make things seem normal and fine. Unfortunately, Culber gets hostile when Stamets tries to avoid the whole death thing.

At the mess hall, Culber enters and approaches Tyler as everyone goes quiet. He kicks a chair and throws his food. Tyler apologizes and says it was Voq who did it. Culber wants him to come out. They engage in a fight that Saru allows to proceed. Culber breaks down about not knowing who he is anymore and Tyler says welcome to his world.

Pike returns to his quarters where he is confronted by Vina. They have a moment of reconciliation, but she is there for another reason. Turns out the Talosians can project allusions over space. The use this to allow Burnham and Spock to talk to Pike and hopefully convince him to help them on Talos IV.  

Stamets tries to reason with Culber, but he doesn’t know what normal is anymore and wants some distance. Their conversation is interrupted when Stamets is required to travel to Talos IV. Problem is that some deliberately corrupted the spore hub. Saru brings up the unauthorized transmissions again which were sent with Tyler’s code. With the crew turning on him, Pike orders Tyler be confined to his quarters. To keep Section 31 off their trail, Pike decides to travel to a distant starbase then go quiet and veer off course.

With Spock now healed, they have to endure the pain of their childhood trauma. Burnham believed herself to be a problem for Spock’s family. She pushed herself away and attacked Spock’s human side. She even went as far as calling him a weird little half-breed. Onboard Discovery, Leland threatens them to stop, but Pike disobeys that order and prepares to transport his officers onboard. Leland also engages the transporters and puts them in a standoff.

Vina comes to Pike and convinces him to let them go allowing Leland to take Spock and Burnham. He orders Discovery to report for disciplinary action. They receive a message from to open their shuttle bay. On Leland’s ship, both Spock and Burnham disappear as the Talosians stop their projections. Spock and Burnham return to Discovery where they are greeted by Pike and Saru. Georgiou smirks as she enjoys putting Leland in tense situations with the council. With Spock onboard, the Discovery is now a wanted ship. Pike gives everyone an opportunity to leave, but they are behind him as they warp off on the run.

Captain’s Log

  • Who is the Red Angel and what is its directive?
  • How long will Discovery be on the run?
  • Will Airiam turn on the crew?
  • What do the red energy sources mean?
  • How will the mycelial network play into the Red Angel mystery?

Overall, If Memory Serves was an alright episode. It reuses a lot of ideas from the franchise’s original pilot “The Cage” while still pushing this season’s story forward. The relationship between Burnham and Spock is a weird one, but is obviously the center of the Red Angel situation. They need to work together to fix their problems, but odds aren’t looking good for a family reunion afterward. The problems onboard Discovery aren’t necessarily boiling over yet, but more simmering for the time being. Hopefully, that changes before things become a little stale.

Score: 7/10

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