STAR TREK: DISCOVERY S02E12 “Through the Valley of Shadows” review

Star Trek: Discovery (CBS)

Star Trek: Discovery airs on CBS All Access on Thursday’s in North America and Netflix internationally on Friday’s.

Synopsis

A fourth signal leads the U.S.S. Discovery to an insular world, where Pike is forced to make a life-changing choice. Burnham and Spock investigate a Section 31 ship gone rogue, leading to a discovery with catastrophic consequences.

Review

Yet again with this episode Star Trek: Discovery has presented us with an emotionally charged episode which is heavy on exposition and light on anything else.

We fell behind for a couple of weeks and now we’re playing catch up following the episode with Michael Burnham’s mum. This week we’re bogged down with some Klingon mythology which feels like a rather convenient plot device to work them back in to the plot.

To have another red signal appear over a planet which just happened to be Klingon and home to Ash and L’Rell’s child. Of course it just so happens to also be home to a mine of Time Crystals… really?

This kind of lazy storytelling should be well beyond the series at this point. Whilst it’s hard to argue against having Star Trek back on TV screens I definitely expect more intelligent storytelling than this.

That being said the story of this episode does allow for some excellent scenes with Anson Mount as Christopher Pike which call back to the original Star Trek series.

If it wasn’t for those sequences the episode would have been much more of a chore to watch.

It’s not that Discovery has become like a soap opera, the emotional content of the episodes has been – on the whole – well written. It’s just that it now outweighs the exploration and science fiction which is at the core of Star Trek as a franchise.

Looking on the bright side, as the season draws to a close I absolutely cannot fault the quality of the production. The cinematography, the soundtrack, the set design… it has all been beyond expectations and really cement this as one of the best productions on TV.

Verdict

With this episode Star Trek: Discovery entered its season 2 endgame. It did so with intrigue but also with so much emotional baggage that the show is often being choked by it. Between that and those pesky Time Crystals I’m still on the fence as to the success of these recent episodes.

5/10

On the next episode…

Star Trek: Discovery is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, Bryan Fuller’s Living Dead Guy Productions and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller, Heather Kadin, Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts, Akiva Goldsman, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers.


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About Neil Vagg 2982 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG