Title: Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 9: “Into the Forest I Go”
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction
Platform: Streaming – CBS All Access
Director: Chris Byrne
Writers: Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt
Rating: TV-MA
Release:November 12, 2017
Cast: Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Jason Issacs, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman
Feature image: Source

[Spoilers]

“You want me to run from a fight and leave a peaceful species to face annihilation?” Captain Gabriel Lorca – Star Trek: Discovery

Admiral Terral (Conrad Coates) orders Discovery back to Starbase 46.  Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs): “You want me to run from a fight and leave a peaceful species to face annihilation?” Admiral Terral: “I’m sorry, but the logic is clear.”  Lorca gives the order that they leave for Starbase 46 going warp five. Commander Saru (Doug Jones) would like to speak to Star Fleet to explain what is happening. Lorca: “If you’re planning on disobeying a direct order, it’s best not to advertise the fact.” By going warp five instead of using the spore drive to get to Starbase 46; it gives them three hours to find a solution to the Klingon cloaking device. The crew is relieved. Lorca goes to Lt. Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp); they will need an excuse to why the Discovery can’t use the spore drive. He wants Stamets to go to sickbay so they can leave a data trail for Star Fleet. We know why Stamets doesn’t want to go; it’s because there is actually something wrong with him.

The crew is busy trying to find a solution to the cloaking device. Lt. Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif), Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), and Saru give their solution to Lorca. They have to place sensors on the Klingon ship to get readings. Ash says that they will have to use the Discovery as bait to draw a Klingon ship away from the rest of their fleet. Burnham continues that when the Birds of Prey begin to fight, they drop their cloak; it will give the Discovery time to beam an away party aboard to place the sensors. The major drawback, it will take days to get the readings. Lorca thinks aloud that we have a spore drive.

“I know what drives you, Lieutenant. You’re not just a scientist you’re an explorer.” Captain Gabriel Lorca – Star Trek: Discovery

Lorca goes to sickbay to check on Stamets. Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz) tells him they’ve gotten more than they bargained for. There are rewritten tracts within the white matter of his medial temporal lobe. Lorca asks Stamets if he felt any effects, Stamets says no. “I’m not ready to play roulette with his brain,” Culber tells Lorca. Lorca tells him to send him the report and he’ll read it. Outside sickbay Lorca explains to Stamets what he wants him to do. Stamets: “You want me to make 133 jumps?” The jumps are micro-jumps, he wants him to take a three dimensional frame of the Klingon ship, saving time in getting the readings. Stamets is hesitant to try this. Lorca begins to sell him on the idea. Lorca: “I know what drives you, Lieutenant. You’re not just a scientist you’re an explorer. You could’ve stayed in a lab on Earth but you chose to go where no one has gone before.” He continues: “You showed me this invention could take us to places we never dreamed we could reach. This is far beyond my preconceptions of time and space.” Stamets: “Captain, I didn’t know you cared.” This convinces Stamets to try it.

Back on the bridge, Lorca orders Ash to pick someone to go on the boarding mission with him; he picks Burnham. Lorca tells him to pick someone else. Burnham argues why she should go, she’s been on the ship before, so she knows where to place the sensors. She says that it is illogical not to send her unless it is about her; she is on borrowed time, she is here to help them win the war. Lorca listens and agrees to let her go on the mission.

Stamets and Cadet Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) prep for his jumps. Tilly accidently spills to Dr. Culber about Stamets suffering from side effects. Culber gives Stamets a devise that will allow him to help Stamets while he is in the chamber.

“I’m going to see this mission through. I meant what I said. Everybody comes home.” Michael Burnham – Star Trek: Discovery

Lorca makes a speech to rally the crew. Lorca: “When I took command of this vessel, you were a crew of polite scientists. Now, I look at you. You are fierce warriors all. No other Federation vessel would stand a chance of pulling this off. Just us. Because mark my words: You will look back proudly and tell the world you were there the day the U.S.S. Discovery saved Pahvo and ended the Klingon war.” They jump back to Pahvo to face the Klingon ship of the dead. The ship of the dead drops its cloak to fire upon and capture the Discovery. They beam Burnham and Ash aboard the Klingon ship. They place the first sensor [which is pretty big and noisy] and head towards the bridge. Burnham detects a human life sign. Ash just wants to place the other sensor, but Burnham wants to rescue the other human. Burnham: “I have to bring everyone home.” Ash opens the door and they find an injured but living Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook). L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) is in the same cell; when Ash sees her he freezes as he remembers her torture of him. Burnham knocks her out with a phaser blast. Cornwell can’t feel her legs, and Ash is in a fugue state, so Burnham will have to finish the mission alone. She tells Cornwell and Ash, “I’m going to see this mission through. I meant what I said. Everybody comes home.” Burnham sneaks onto the bridge and sets the next sensor. [How can the Klingons not hear it?]

The Discovery is making its micro-jumps, confusing General Kol (Kenneth Mitchell) and his crew. The sensors are sending their readings to the Discovery. On the Klingon ship, Cornwell is talking to Ash trying to help him through his sheer panic. The jumps have Stamets in complete pain. He babbles to Culber, “There’s a clearing in the forest. That’s how they go.” Culber wants to stop before the jumps kill Stamets. “You keep him alive until he finishes the jumps,” a determined Lorca replies. “Trillions of lives are at stake here. That’s an order, doctor.”

Kol is ready to leave, they’ve detected that someone is sabotaging the ship. He thinks it is L’Rell and sends men to the brig. To keep him from leaving so that the Discovery can finish its readings, she fires upon the Klingons. When the Klingons arrive at the brig, Cornwell starts shooting at them, she tells Ash she can only do so much without the use of her legs. She needs his help, so to get him through his visions of torture; she tells him that Burnham needs his help. Ash’s remembrance of his and Burnham’s kiss helps him snap out of his fugue state. He grabs a Klingon weapon and starts firing upon the Klingons.

“I thank you for it; my rise to power would not be possible if not for the assassination of T’Kuvma.” General Kol – Star Trek: Discovery

After Burnham surrenders, Kol wonders why he can understand her. “This device is a universal translator, an example of human ingenuity,” Burnham tells him. “All I see is another attempt by humanity to rob us of our identity,” Kol counters. Burnham hits back at him, “Where is the honor of taking a ship that doesn’t belong to you? You had no hand in the battle that caused this war. You were not here when T’Kuvma fell.” He asks how she knows.  Burnham admits she is the one who killed T’Kuvma. Kol: “I thank you for it; my rise to power would not be possible if not for the assassination of T’Kuvma.” He plans to take her back to appease T’Kuvma’s torchbearers. Burnham challenges him to a fight like the fight T’Kuvma had with Captain Georgiou. He throws her a Mek’Leths and they begin to fight.

While Burnham and Kol fight, Stamets completes the jumps. The ship has the readings. Saru works quickly on an algorithm. They now have the cloaking devise rhythm. Lorca orders Ash and Burnham beamed back to the ship. They contact Ash and tell him to prepare transport back, he tells them he has Cornwell with him and Burnham is on the bridge. Just as they are about to beam him and Cornwell back to the ship, L’Rell grabs him so that she’ll be beamed off the ship with them. Burnham is still fighting Kol when the ship contacts her. She grabs Georgiou’s name badge from Kol and jumps off the bridge just as they begin to beam her aboard the Discovery. Once everyone is safe, Lorca orders torpedoes fired into the ship of the dead. The crew proudly watches as the Klingon ship goes up in flames.

Ash and Burnham walk back unto the bridge; Saru gives Burnham a nod of approval. Lorca talks to Admiral Terral, Cornwell is on a medical shuttle headed for Starbase 46, and they think she’ll make a full recovery. Lorca mention all they have accomplished on this mission. Terral acknowledges it, and tells Lorca he will receive the Medal of Honor. He wants Discovery to report to Starbase 46. Lorca looks worried.

“She’s the reason I’ve had nightmares every night since Captain Lorca and I fled her ship.” Lt. Ash Tyler – Star Trek: Discovery

Burnham goes to Ash’s quarters. He thanks her for what she did on the Klingon ship. She asks him what happened when he saw L’Rell. After some hesitation, he tells her what happened. “She’s the reason I’ve had nightmares every night since Captain Lorca and I fled her ship.” [His voice starts to break.] “She’s also the only reason I’m still alive. Two hundred and twenty-seven days. But it only took one to realize I wasn’t going to make it out alive. Not unless I made a choice. I encouraged it, [he continues tearfully] her sick affections, her obsession with me, because if I hadn’t, I’d be dead like all the others. And I got out. I get to keep living my life.” Burnham comforts him and assures him he deserves peace. He responds that he has found it with her. They kiss.

“I’ve seen these stars through a lens no one else has access to and that has to be enough for me.” Lt. Paul Stamets – Star Trek: Discovery

Stamets and Lorca talk, he has recommended that Stamets get the medal instead of him. He tells Stamets that they are going to Starbase 46. Stamets volunteers to make one final jump to get the crew there. Lorca tells him he has done enough. Stamets tells him this jump to Starbase 46 will be his last. Stamets: “Traveling the mycelial network is like co-mingling with the most abstruse blips of our celestial existence. I’ve seen these stars through a lens no one else has access to and that has to be enough for me.” He now needs to let Star Fleet medical help him. Lorca: “You have served the Federation honorably, Lieutenant.”  Stamets: “Well, I’ll always have you to thank for the view.”

“Captain, I’m afraid I don’t know where we are.” Commander Saru – Star Trek: Discovery

Ash is dreaming about L’Rell riding him. He goes to the brig to see L’Rell to ask her what she did to him. She tells him, “I’ll never let them hurt you. Soon.” Stamets tells Culber he is willing to go to the opera with him when they get back to Starbase 46. After this jump, he will have plenty of time on his hands. They [have a final?] kiss. Stamets makes the jump but something goes wrong. His eyes go white and he tells Culber he sees everything. Klingon wreckage surrounds the ship. “Captain,” Saru says, “I’m afraid I don’t know where we are.”

When episode eight ended, Burnham told Lorca they would have to stay to defend Pahvo. Lorca actually listened to her, and against direct orders, decided to stay and fight. He did more than just stay and fight, within three hours, the crew came up with a way to solve the Klingon cloaking devise. What was the rest of Star Fleet doing during the war when it only took the Discovery crew three hours to come up with a plan to solve the problem, and probably a couple of more hours to implement it. Star Fleet has a bunch of slackers obviously. All of the jumps have affected Paul Stamets health, but he was keeping it to himself so he could continue doing it. I would guess that traveling the mycelial network and mingling with blips of our celestial existence would be hard to give up, but think about your health man, you’re a married man. [Is he and Dr. Culber married? I forget.] Lorca who hasn’t shown any interest in science if it doesn’t involve blowing up shit uses Stamets love of scientific discovery to get Stamets to make the 133 jumps. I guess Lorca knows his audience. I think all Star Fleet personnel are explorers at heart, even if they come by it in different ways, and Lorca was able to appeal to Stamets scientific exploring to get him to do this.

While the Discovery is jumping all around the ship of the dead, Michael Burnham and Ash Tyler are aboard the Klingon ship placing two large and noisy sensors in the ship. It doesn’t speak well of Klingon security. While on the ship they discover Admiral Cornwell. No one tell the Admiral that they weren’t on a rescue mission for her, but that they just stumbled upon her. Star Fleet must have a lot of Admirals sitting around to not bother to try to rescue one. There should be a few tense gatherings at the Admirals club when she gets back. Ash runs into his torturer and rapist, L’Rell.  Seeing her puts Ash in a fugue state, which fortunately the power of love [or a great kiss] snapped him out of. They were able to complete their mission, and Burnham was able to get some closure by getting Captain Georgiou’s name tag back. Everything is looking great for the crew of the Discovery until Stamets makes one jump too many and takes them into the unknown. We and the crew won’t know where they are until January.

Great episode, very suspenseful, with great action pieces. The battle between the Discovery and the ship of the dead was exciting. They really showed how powerful and dangerous that ship is. Burnham’s fight with Kol was down and dirty and personal. With all she has been through in this series, it was good seeing her get a personal victory. The PTSD storyline for Ash was interesting, I hope they keep exploring it throughout their run, [if he isn’t Voq]. The episode really makes me look forward for the series to continue in January. My biggest question about this show, even after nine episodes in, who are these people. I still haven’t gotten a read on anyone. For someone raised as a Vulcan, Burnham can be so irrational, that I’m not sure where she is coming from. Is Lorca, crazy, evil, or just misunderstood? In this episode he actually appeared to be a good Star Fleet captain, but even when he does something good, you aren’t sure why he is doing it. Stamets has had so many different personalities that I don’t know who he really is. Is he a grumpy asshole, a space cadet, a caring companion, a scientist stuck in the middle of a war, or all of these things? As for the bridge crew, I haven’t even bothered to learn their names. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned them in my recaps, and the reason being, aside from saying “Yes Captain” I don’t think they do anything else. It’s a TV show so if the show continues to get idiots like me to pay CBS All Access the privilege to watch it, it will be on the air for a while. They should develop the characters over time, I hope they start when they get back in January. So until then, have a great holiday season!

Grade: A-

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

A fan, enthusiast, and appreciator of sci-fi, comic books, and fantasy film and TV. kbeartv61@nayahscifi.com
Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Senior Contributor

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