Can Season 2 of Discovery save the series?
Season 2 kicks off with the same dizzying pace that was somewhat synonymous with the first season. Buckle up, there’s a lot happening in Season 2!
** WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD **
The story picks up right where it ended in Season 1 – Discovery intercepts a distress call from the Enterprise. Captain Pike (Anson Mount) beams aboard and takes command of Discovery. Pike’s orders are to investigate a threat that Star Fleet detected – seven mysterious red bursts that occurred simultaneously across the galaxy. These ominous red bursts, or signals, form a central plot device, bringing much-needed cohesion to the series.
Under Captain Pike’s command, the crew of Discovery set about exploring the origin of these signals, meeting new characters and exploring a few new worlds along the way. This air of exploration is a little more in keeping with the spirit of Star Trek, something lacking in much of Season 1.
Helping knit Season 2 and its characters together is the consistent theme of family.
Much of the first episode is focused on how well Pike integrates with the crew of Discovery. The season explores the relationship between Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) and her brother, a rather emo-looking bearded Spock (Ethan Peck). It dedicates more time to fleshing these characters out, unpacking their dynamic without devolving into day-time talk-show fodder.
The not-so-secret organisation Section 31 and its evil AI, Control, are the show’s main antagonists this season. Control, originally created to help Starfleet make tactical decisions, has gone a little rogue. Bent on destroying all sentient life, it’s determined to get its nanobots on a massive amount of data from a sentient-planet-sphere-being. Once in possession of this invaluable data, Control will then have the means to destroy all life and become self-aware. In a very Borg-like assimilation method, the AI uses Captain Leland (Alan Van Sprang) in its attempt to get all that delightful data.
Making it her mission to preserve all life is the Red Angel. Who this Red Angel is, and how she manages to jump through time, is played out over a few episodes adding to the show’s theme of family.
The Red Angel, Enterprise, Control, and Discovery all culminate in a spectacular final episode. It’s pretty clear where the bulk of the budget for Season 2 went – the finale is an epic visual assault, including Discovery and Enterprise in a space dogfight against Section 31. Michael and Spock mend their relationship, with Michael giving her brother advice that’ll see him form a friendship with Captain Kirk in the future (Discovery is a prequel, after all).
The plot holes and time-line inconsistencies introduced in Season 1 are somewhat resolved and nicely wrapped up with Discovery jumping 950 years into the future.
Control is neutralised, and the crew of the Enterprise swear to never speak of Spore drives or Michael Burnham again. The final episode ends with emo-Spock donning that classic blue uniform, sans beard.
What’s in store for Season 3?
A third season of Star Trek Discovery has been confirmed, and the possibilities are exciting! With Discovery now 950 years in the future, the next season has been freed from the limitations of an existing canon. We can expect some of Season 3 to focus on repairing their ship, finding Michael (or Michael finding the ship and crew), and Saru in the captain’s chair (here’s hoping). Control has been neutralised, but is this the end of the menacing AI? Does Control become the Borg? These are just some of the questions left hanging.
As for the crew of the Enterprise?
Showrunner for Discovery, Alex Kurtzman, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a spin-off series with Captain Pike, Spock, and Number One on the Enterprise. It would be great to see these three fan-favourites again.