STAR TREK: DISCOVERY S02E13-14 “Such Sweet Sorrow” 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

Part 1: When the U.S.S. Discovery’s crucial mission does not go according to plan, Burnham realizes what must ultimately be done. The crew prepares for the battle of a lifetime as Leland’s Control ships get closer.

Part 2: The U.S.S. Discovery battles against Control in a fight not only for their lives but for the future, with a little help from some unexpected friends. Spock and Burnham discern vital new connections between the red signals while Burnham faces one of life’s harshest truths: the right decisions are often the hardest to make.

Review

Star Trek: Discovery has drawn to a conclusion. The story of The Red Angel has finally unravelled and frustratingly the series has shown us just how well it can execute a story.

Overall the two-part finale works incredibly well. It wraps up everything which has been bubbling away for season 2 as well as several storylines from season 1. It also bookend what could be described as “The Spore Drive Saga” or “The Prequel Years” of the series.

Part 1 does an excellent job of setting up the final battle which takes place in the extended finale. This is the crew of the USS Discovery at breaking point. They decide to man the escape pods and head over to the Enterprise in order to destroy their home.

It’s a last ditch attempt to destroy the information from the sphere in order to make sure that Control doesn’t get hold of it.

It seemed like a simple plan but of course Control had other ideas and stopped the self destruct mechanism from working. Of course it was also able to raise the shields and stop the Enterprise from destroying the ship with photon torpedos.

All of this left Pike, Burnham and the crew scratching their heads. How could they destroy the data without being able to destroy the ship.

At this point I did not see the next twist in the tale coming. When Michael decides they need to take Discovery off the table and in to the future I thought it was a fairly genius idea.

Part 1 balances itself well when focussing on how the team works together building the new time travel suit in amongst the chaos going on around them. Everything about “Such Sweet Sorrow” feels different to the rest of Star Trek: Discovery.

The pacing feels stable, the action continues to be well executed and most importantly the characters are well balanced with the story. Everyone has moments to shine particularly in the build up to the battle.

Part 1 ends as the battle is about to begin with everyone having had their final moment just in case they don’t make it out alive. The closing moments of the episode in which the crew vow to remain with Burham is a wonderful representation of the season’s theme of family.

Heading in to Part 2 it’s time for a bit of a wild ride. I hadn’t appreciated the episode was extended until around 40mins in when the action began to dial back and I suddenly realised there couldn’t have been too much time remaining.

The battle sequence is nothing short of glorious. It’s intense, action packed and rarely slows down for anything other than a moment to catch up with Burnham and Spock.

There’s perhaps a little too much focus on the Enterprise but I’ll forgive it purely for how amazing it was to see a contemporary version of The Original Series bridge.

It barely needs mentioning but the CGI is absolutely top notch for television. Space battles have never looked this good and I hope it bodes well for season 3.

As the episode (and the season) draws to a close it ups the emotional stakes dramatically. As the battle rages behind her Burnham has to say an emotional goodbye to Spock before taking the Discovery in to the future. As she does so the series confirms it will predominantly be set 930 years in the future, almost 800 years AFTER Star Trek: Voyager, in a future where Control didn’t wipe out all sentient life.

The realisation by Burnham about the signals and The Red Angel all seems to fit within the confines of the season to date. It makes sense that her one interaction with her mother was the catalyst for the events in the finale triggering the events of the season in a crazy timey-wimey loop which will make you go cross-eyed if you think about it too much.

Narratively it makes sense which is the most important fact in a show which has really meandered with its story for a number of weeks. Still not forgiving them for “time crystals” though…

The closing montage, featuring Ash, Spock, Pike and Number 1 is an emotional goodbye to the series we’ve known so far. It also brings the series perfectly in line with cannon. It’s a little on the nose but no-one may mention the USS Discovery again for threat of treason. Equally no more mentions of Control or the spore drive.

Everything unique about Star Trek: Discovery has been banished from all Starfleet records putting the future back on course for the franchise.

What does this mean for the crew? We’ll have to wait until season 3 to find out.

My biggest issue with the finale was the reasoning behind the ship going to the future. This was done to ensure that Control wouldn’t get its hands on the data. But as the ship was travelling in to the future we say Georgiou kill in in the spore drive cell.

With Control destroyed there was actually no need to travel to the future. It could be argued that bridge crew were unaware but in the end everything seems fairly convenient in order to give the show a new setting and keep franchise cannon in tact.

Verdict

This was a suitable finale for season 2. It upped the level of storytelling to a place where I would expect a Star Trek series to be. It features some gripping, intense action and does so without sacrificing any of the heart and character which has made the show compelling.

It also sets up plenty of intrigue for season 3…

9/10

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 2984 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