Star Trek Discovery’s appropriately named penultimate episode is full of tearful farewells which fail to convince. But it does give us a closer look at the most beautiful ship in the galaxy and set us up for an epic conclusion.
Such Sweet Sorry, the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Discovery’s second season is a mixed bag. Everything that happens is brilliant… the problem is that not an awful lot does happen. The last episode ended with a huge cliffhanger. The crew has decided to abandon the Discovery to keep it and the sphere database out of the hands of the Control and Section 31 fleet. This week’s episode ends with the same cliffhanger with a small twist. Instead of blowing up the ship the crew is hiding Discovery in time far away from Section 31’s fleet that’s about to arrive any moment. That’s not a lot of plot progression.
Such Sweet Sorrow works overtime to try and persuade that this really is the end of the road for the Discovery and her crew’s time together, but misses the mark.
Television literate audience already knows how these sort of storylines play out. The title – Such Sweet Sorrow – highlights that this is a story about departures and goodbyes. Much of the episode is a succession of scenes where Burnham, convinced she needs to sacrifice herself to end the menace of Control, bids farewell to her friends and loved ones.
Yet Such Sweet Sorrow never really convinces that the show is actually going to write out its lead actress, Sonequa Green-Martin. Nor does it convince that Discovery is going to be lost forever. So it doesn’t seem like it will spoil anyone’s enjoyment of the episode to reveal that, by episode’s end, the core team of characters will be sticking together after all. Shocker.
The only character whose goodbye does ring true is Captain Pike. The captaincy of the Discovery is clearly going to be a rotating position, changing each season of the show. His salute of the crew as he heads back to resume command of the Enterprise feels earned and real.
The new/old Enterprise proves its beauty is more than hull deep in an appearance that begs for a spin-off
Ah, the Enterprise!
The appearance of the beloved starship returns in an epic move as the Enterprise and Discovery align themselves for the battle to come. The re-imagined ship was beautiful in this season’s early episodes, but it is even more impressive now that we get to see it in action.
That beauty isn’t just hull deep as Enterprise’s bridge set is revealed in all its glory. It’s a brilliantly conceived combination of The Cage, The Original Series, and the guiding aesthetic of the Discovery TV show. There’s even a nod or two to the Enterprise bridge from movies like The Wrath of Khan. From the moment we set aboard into the narrow corridors packed with officers in yellow, blue, and red, it feels like we’re back in the past with something extraordinary.
Anson Mount’s Pike continues to stand out. Like his Enterprise, he has been the perfect mix of Jeffrey Hunter’s original and his own character as this season has added so much more to depth to one-dimensional persona from the original series. It will be a significant loss to see him move on at season’s end. Though given the amount of money plainly spent on Enterprise sets and costumes perhaps there’s some hope that maybe, just maybe…
Episode’s end sees Take Two for an epic high stakes cliffhanger
Heading into the final event, it said that this season has been magnificent even if the writers were perhaps a little too fond of stretching out major plotlines for just a bit too long. Next week promises to deliver the battle royale worthy of an explosive finale.