SPOILERS COMING OUT THE WAZOO!!!
First of all, VCBS moved quickly to (try to) clean up their “mess” from last week, now debuting STAR TREK: DISCOVERY season 4 internationally on Paramount+ and Pluto TV in at least some countries this week, releasing episodes 1 and 2 together. It’s far from a perfect fix, but at least I don’t have to worry about spoilers as much as I did last week when only fans in the U.S., Canada, and those with a questionably moral compass could view it.
So let’s jump into the second episode of the season, “Anomaly,” or as I like to call it: “Quiet Conversations Punctuated By Action Scenes and Technobabble in the Middle.”
Okay, stop, stop, stop! I did NOT hate the episode. And I didn’t love it either. But here’s the thing, folks: I should have loved it.
The reason that I should have loved “Anomaly” is that it corrected many, MANY things that I’ve been complaining about for three seasons now. And for those of you who don’t make it a point of memorizing Jonathan’s list of grievances, here’s a brief Festivus refresher of what has most grated on me and what this episode did to fix those issues…
Characters weren’t given time to react and process traumatic events
I remember my go-to example of this was when the crew of Discovery got back from the Mirror Universe in season one, having been betrayed by their former commanding officer (Lorca). He turned out to be an evil psychopath who tried to kill them all. And the only “traumatized” emotional reaction we got from any of the characters was when Admiral Cornwell phasers an innocent bowl of fortune cookies out of existence. Everyone else, it seems, was fine.
The problem with the series in the first two seasons was a rush to hit the major story “beats” (significant events that change the characters’ direction in some major way), and once a beat happened, there was a rush to the next beat, and so on and so on. The writers didn’t give the characters a chance to breathe.
This episode, on the other hand, had Book dealing with the destruction of his home world, Michael dealing with her feelings for Book affecting her command instincts, Tilly dealing with what happened on the space station last episode and all the events from season three, Adira dealing with both Tilly as well as uncertainties about Gray’s upcoming transition (interesting choice of wording) from disembodied mind-ghost to full-bodied Soong-type synth, and Stamets’ ongoing feelings of inadequacy and helplessness to save his family that led to him getting shot out of an airlock in season three.
So we went from almost no characters having lingering traumas to almost no characters NOT having lingering traumas. That’s what I wanted, right? Well, let me get back to you on that after I continue with the ol’ airing of the grievances…Continue reading “DISCOVERY’s latest episode “Anomaly” gave me what I’ve been asking for…so why was I so UP IN THE AIR about it? (editorial review)”