The Klingons are back.
Following on from the series rebooting opener and brilliant, tight story of New Eden, Point of Light feels like a totally different season of Star Trek Discovery. From the opening seconds with the Klingon voiceover it becomes clear that we’re now back to seeing a continuation of the fallout from the story around the war that drove the first series of the show; and even worse, the story aboard the Discovery itself feels sidelined despite some huge revelations around Spock’s disappearance. That said, it was nice for Mia Kershner as Amanda having more to do.
A lot of time is spent with L’Rell and Tyler as they adjust to their new positions at the top of Klingon society – many Klingons aren’t too happy with having a woman and a half-human giving them orders, despite the genocide threatening bomb below their feet and this leads to lots of (dull) Klingon politicising and posturing that have made stories around the species a struggle.
Point of Light also returns to the dangling thread of the ‘ghost’ that helped Tilly last week; tying it in to another dangling story from last year and curiously answering the questions almost straight away – this is one of Discovery’s biggest irritants; often intriguing ideas are brought to the surface and rather than explore then, they rocket past to conclusion to allow the much less interesting overall story carry on. Within the course of the episode Tilly goes from trying to hide that she’s being haunted, to revealing to everyone, to finding out what’s causing it and curing it within a few short scenes. I’m all for encapsulated stories but they don’t work like this.
At times it feels like Point of Light is an episode intent of moving the pieces around the board because the writers weren’t happy with where they’d placed them last year and within one episode we see characters moved into completely different roles and positions without any real feeling of what has driven them there. Also, the return of Michelle Yeoh has been telegraphed in trailers for months when it would have been an amazing reveal to have her appear unexpectedly, but it just feels like a case of “here she is, here is what she does now”. Even the announcement of her Section 31 spin-off could have be held back a couple of weeks to come after this episode for the sake of holding back a surprise or two.
There are a few easter eggs that attempt to draw the mythology of Discovery and existing Trek together – Tyler unveils the Klingon D7 Battlecruiser that we know from TOS, in their brief moment together we learn that the Klingons are now growing their hair again now that the war is over. I was fully expecting Tyler to be revealed to be something to do with the much more human looking Klingons we see in TOS but that bridge was never crossed.
Point of Light is an episode that can’t be watched outside of the ongoing story – there is no real central idea or sense of wonder; which both of the previous episodes have managed to bring. Hopefully this is just a tiny, if necessary, misstep to correct things ahead of more exciting future storylines and not a sign that the reinvigoration that got us so excited was actually the blip. It was a refreshing couple of weeks not having to deal with Klingon machinations and I hope we don’t have to see more of them too quickly.
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