[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 2 of Star Trek: Discovery, "Far From Home."]
Why hasn't Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) been able to find her crewmates since (crash) landing in the future? The second episode of the season answers just that.
After spending the premiere with Michael, Star Trek: Discovery shifts focus to the U.S.S. Discovery and its crew, from the moment the ship went through the wormhole. And everyone on board has their hands full with not only figuring out when and where they are, but with fixing quite a bit of damage after their own rough landing.
They Made It, But...
When we first catch up with the crew, they're unconscious, a side effect of going through the wormhole. With the systems failing, the bridge crew does what it can to get minimal controls online and find a place to safely touch down, and pilot Keyla Detmer (Emily Coutts) successfully lands the Discovery.
Lt. Joann Owosekun (Oyin Oladejo) leads the applause for her, but Keyla's a bit out of it and bleeding from a head wound; Commander (and acting captain) Saru (Doug Jones) sends her to sick bay to get checked out. She's medically cleared, but clearly bothered, especially after seeing someone who didn't survive.
Meanwhile, Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz) brings Lt. Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) out of the coma he induced for the injuries he sustained in the past; they need the bio-bed, so he's headed to the cellular regeneration chamber, despite his protests. (Paul also fails the test of spelling "My partner brought me out of a coma and all I got was this lousy T-shirt" because he forgets the hyphen.) "If you don’t stay in for a full cycle before doing anything else, I’ll have Saru ground you," Hugh warns before leaving him with a kiss.
Elsewhere, the crew has little luck figuring out when or where they are with the ship's systems down. (A plasma manifold rupture is likely causing the systems-wide outage, Tig Notaro's Jett Reno speculates.) With their communications (long-range and in-ship) down as well, they can't call for help (or Michael) and must work in pairs.
Ensign Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) finds evidence of an active settlement on the unknown planet, and she and Saru set out in hopes that someone there can help them fix the communications device. Meanwhile, Nhan (Rachael Ancheril) is left in charge of repairs and must contend with Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), who'd much rather do something than sit back and help. But with Saru's determination to barter peacefully, there's no way she can join them.
Minor Major Bumps
Once on the planet, Tilly asks Saru why he chose her to accompany him. He needed an engineer he could trust, he explains. Plus, she's "a wonderful first impression." And he's right. In fact, that comes in handy when they do find the settlement and meet the eager-to-help Kal (Jonathan Koensgen) and less trusting Os'ir the Bartender (Lindsay Owen Pierre). They do come to an agreement, and Kal fixes their device in exchange for dilithium to power their vessels and sell. (But both Saru and Tilly are careful not to reveal they're from the past.)
There is a concern, however, that Zareh (Jake Weber) tracked them there — and he did, with his men. He's a courier who delivers what they can't make or grow, and he's been exploiting them since he decapitated the last person who held the position and took the route for himself. Zareh orders Saru and Tilly to take him to their ship and figures out they're time travelers when he sees the device they needed fixed. And then he kills Kal.
Saru tries to barter with the courier (their out-of-date belongings Zareh can sell for the release of Os'ir and Tilly), but it's of no avail. He wants their dilithium and he warns them they're running out of time to get the Discovery off the ground; the ice surrounding it is parasitic and will crush the hull and eventually everyone inside. Therefore, all the acting captain can do is agree to send Tilly to get the dilithium for Zareh and hope she outruns the ice that becomes a real threat at nightfall.
Back on the ship, both Nhan and Georgiou share their reasons for making the trip to the future: the former to honor Airiam's sacrifice and the latter to avoid the bureaucracy of taking over at Section 31. (Georgiou easily slips away from Nhan, who naively buys a claim that she was going to help on another level.)
Meanwhile, Paul slowly moves around the lab much sooner than he should be and tries to insist he doesn't need help, even when he must climb through the Jefferies tubes to fix the ruptured relay and get the system back online. "Fine, then I’ll just follow you for the witty repartee," Jett, there for "moral support," says.
But the real moral support comes from Hugh, who, despite being angry about seeing his partner in the Jefferies tube, tells him to focus on one moment at a time and go slowly. ("I need you out of there alive so I can kill you," he adds.) Jett talks Paul through what he needs to do, and the systems come back online!
A Little Help From Some Friends
But where did Georgiou slip off to? The planet and the settlement, where Zareh is in disbelief of the apparent "one-woman tactical response." Oh, if he only knew ... Well, he and his men get an up-close-and-personal look at what she can do after she takes a few non-lethal blasts from their guns ("what you call pain, I call foreplay," she says) and Saru gives her the nod to let loose. Between the two of them, they easily take down Zareh and his men. But Saru refuses to let her kill the courier.
Instead, it's up to Os'ir to decide his punishment (a walk out into the night with the deadly ice). Saru promises to send dilithium before he, Tilly, and Georgiou use a personal transporter from Os'ir to return to Discovery.
But while the ship is mostly up and running, they do have to find a way to take off with the ice surrounding them. As Keyla's struggling to do just that, a vessel flies over them and uses a tractor beam to pull them up. Worried it could belong to a friend of Zareh's, they have weapons armed and ready when they answer the hail.
And on the view screen comes .... Michael! "I found you," she says, so happy to see them. "I've been looking for so long." When Saru notes her longer hair, she reveals, "I landed here a year ago. I've been waiting for all of you all this time."
How has that time changed Michael? What has she been up to?
Star Trek: Discovery, Thursdays, CBS All Access
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