Star Trek Discovery: 2.13 Such Sweet Sorrow
So here we are - the penultimate episode of the second season of Star Trek Discovery is upon us and as the first of two parts it's hard to give a verdict on before we see how the story concludes. That said, Such Sweet Sorrow, is up with some of Trek's best two-part openers.
Following last week's cliffhanger, it seems as though we might be about to say farewell to the Starship Discovery. The Enterprise has arrived to help evacuate the crew ahead of its destruction in a last ditch attempt to destroy the Sphere data that Control is trying to steal. However things don't quite go to plan and as before the 'data' does whatever is necessary to stop itself being deleted - this time disabling the self destruct mechanisms and popping up the shields to prevent the Enterprise torpedoes getting through.
With Control's 'assimilated' ships closing in a new plan is needed and that plan sees the return of a character we'd previously only seen in one of the pre-season 'Short Treks'; Queen Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po of the planet Xahea with whom Tilly had stricken up an unlikely friendship with when the then to-be Queen stowed away aboard Discovery. Po, as she's known is a bit of a scientific prodigy and also has the technology to help power the 'Red Angel' on a trip to the future.
The idea of taking Discovery out of the timeline to some random future date is interesting, and could open up a whole new direction for the series next year, but it also feels a little optimistic - Control will stop at nothing in its attempt to destroy all sentient life and we know there's a strong chance that it'll work out a way of following the ship across the centuries. And what of the rest of the data that Control has already obtained? There are a few holes, but it's churlish to criticise them when we haven't actually seen how this story will be resolved so there's still room for manoeuvre and to fill in these gaps.
The obvious big highlight is to finally get a good view of the inside of the Enterprise - and kudos to the production team who have created a sympathetic reimagining of the famous bridge that incorporates aspects of the original whilst not looking out of place in Discovery. The general layout matches the original quite closely - with some lovely nods such as Spock's science station and the screens all around looking familiar yet new.
The episode ends with Control's fleet having surrounded the Discovery and the Enterprise - a cracking cliffhanger and with our glimpses of the future via the time crystal hinting about what's to come I think it's safe to say next week is going to be a huge spectacle.
Such Sweet Sorrow finds a solid balance bringing with it a tense buildup but peppered with lots of lovely character moments. Of particular note is Yadira Guevara-Prip's fantastically perky performance as Po - I'm really glad she had a chance to return and build upon her relatively short introduction. Tig Notaro is the perfect foil between Stamets and Tilly and I really hope she's not a one season wonder. And of course, Anson Mount looks set to return to the Enterprise and it's wonderful to see him getting as much screen time as he has done - Pike is a great character but Mount's performance has brought a humanity to the role that we'd never previously seen.
Can next week please hurry up?