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Star Trek: Discovery (CBS)

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY S02E09 “Project Daedalus” review

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

Synopsis

The Discovery crew infiltrates Section 31’s headquarters and suspicions arise that the crew may have a traitor in their midst. Meanwhile, Burnham tries to help Spock, but her efforts don’t go as planned.

Review

The weird, crazy thrill ride which is Star Trek: Discovery season 2 continues as the writers try, again, to inject some emotional consequences into their high stakes action.

Reading back over my reviews it’s fair to say that season 2, whilst a great improvement on series 1 overall, has been tonally confused. Episodes have veered between character studies and high stakes action was warp speed. I’ve found it a wild but inconsistent ride to watch.

This episode marks a kind of mid point between the action and the emotion as the two finally go hand-in-hand for an episode.

There’s a lot of setup before the eventual emotional pay off here. We have to put in a lot of work to get to the Section 31 star base, following the crew as they try to understand where an information leak is coming from.

Of course we know that Hannah Cheesman’s Airiam is to blame for their troubles. It’s been building for a couple of episodes now. Really it’s been the only storyline about Airiam we’ve had over the course of two seasons.

But this is where “Project Daedalus” gets interesting. Despite the fact Airiam has really only been a secondary character in the shows history her death in this episode has maximum impact.

Being betrayed by a member of their own makes a huge impact on the crew of the Discovery but the damage has been done. Ultimately it’s also the biggest takeaway from the episode itself.

Despite all of the action and even the impressive show down on the station it will be Michael, Tilly and Keyla’s reactions to Airiam’s death which stick with you long after the episode is over.

It goes a long way towards showing that Star Trek: Discovery is at its best when playing on the emotions of its audience.

Outside of the main storyline there’s a bit more to Spock and the Red Angel storyline, nothing which can outshine Airiam but we’re still, slowly but surely, moving towards the season’s eventual conclusion.

Verdict

“Project Daedalus” is an interesting mix of the high stakes storytelling we’ve seen in season 2 so far and an emotional story which really aims to humanise the series characters.

It succeeds in crafting an emotional end to a character we barely knew and that shows the potential for greatness locked insider the series formula.

7/10

On the next episode…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a66erLL-kbg

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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