Welcome to another week where we recap, react to, and ruminate about Star Trek: Discovery. Star Trek: Discovery season 2 episode 2 again hit many points that fans felt were missing in season 1.
This post will contain mild spoilers, so don’t read ahead until you have watched season 2 episode 2.
As with previous posts in this Star Trek: Discovery series, there won’t be a lengthy recap, but instead of we will focus on the basics of what we learn. Once again, I’ll be pulling reactions and ruminations from my Star Trek community.
Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 2: “New Eden” Recap
In “New Eden,” we got to go on an away mission!
But, before that happened, we learned that Spock is in a psychiatric facility. Pike is trying to get Burnham to trust in him and for a split second, she considered it before deciding she isn’t quite ready to take a leap of faith and trust in a new captain.
The signals are back. This time coming from a section of the Beta Quadrant that would take a million lifetimes at maximum warp to get there. That is an exaggeration, but let’s just say it’s not feasible to get there by warp. So, Pike decides in this scenario, it’s okay to ignore Starfleet orders and authorizes the use of the spore drive.
They arrive at the location of the mysterious signal, hear an old Earth distress signal, and find a planet with descendants of humans who have been there for 200 years—since the end of WWIII. Pike is very adamant about not violating General Order One while the away team attempts to find the source of a distress signal that is hundreds of years old. The humans on New Eden have a faith all their own, except for the one guy who comes from generations of people who refused to stop believing in the “evils” of science.
Of course, we get the discussions about General Order One aka the Prime Directive. Except this captain doesn’t care to even attempt to rationalize why it’s okay to break it and quickly puts a stop to that notion.
A bunch of things happen on the planet which leads to Pike getting shot and the away team needing to find a way to get him back on the ship without disobeying orders.
We also learned that not only is Stamets seeing dead people, so is Tilly. They are not only seeing dead people, but these dead people are helping to save not only their lives but the lives of the entire crew.
At the end of the episode, Burnham decides to take a leap of faith and trust Pike with the figure she saw on the asteroid that looks like the depictions of the figure that brought the humans to New Eden 200 years ago.
Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 2: “New Eden” Reactions
Let’s start with the negative because there was very little negative in the way of reactions to episode 2 of season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery from my Star Trek community.
We are only going to say this one more time: Stop showing Culber’s death! We don’t need to see it every week! That horrible moment is seared into our brains! It hurt many of us fans to our very core to see another queer character killed. Just stop!
One person felt there were too many B stories, but I have my own thoughts on that, which I’ll get to in a moment.
Everyone loved that it was an away mission and yet again commented on the ensemble feel of the crew. We even got to see a previously underused member of the bridge crew go on an away mission and live!
People still have questions about why we never knew about Spock’s foster sister, but I have an explanation for that too.
As for my reactions, like everyone, I enjoyed that it was an away mission. I found it very interesting how Pike was so adamant about complying with General Order One aka the Prime Directive when every other captain has rationalized breaking it. They even broke it flagrantly in episode 7 of The Next Generation without even mentioning it.
To speak to the point about B stories, I didn’t see them as B stories. The fact Tilly and Stamets are seeing dead people will probably have a big role in whatever is currently manipulating events to bring the Discovery all over the galaxy. Also, the fact Spock is seeking psychiatric care will probably also have a big role. The writers have yet to introduce something that doesn’t end up playing a major role in the overall arc. I doubt they’d start now.
I, too, liked the ensemble feeling while still being true to how one moves through trauma—Burnham originally not trusting in Pike to tell him about what she saw on the asteroid—but she didn’t allow that distrust to interfere with trusting him during this mission.
As for the discussion about Spock’s foster sister, this is very easy to explain with canon: Vulcans simply don’t share this information. He also has a half-brother right now, one with whom Michael is also familiar, and we won’t hear him mentioned either because Vulcans don’t get personal unless they absolutely have to.
Overall, Star Trek: Discovery season 2 episode 2 was a very good episode. Two episodes in, and I’m already chomping at the bit because I want to know now what is manipulating all of them!
Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 2: “New Eden” Ruminations
Of course, there’s still the obvious themes around trauma and having faith to trust in someone again, the theme we reintroduced in our discussion last week. There were also themes about faith in a divine power.
But the timing of reintroducing discussion around General Order One is uncanny.
General Order One was first introduced as commentary about the United State’s involvement in the Vietnam War and its interference with the natural progression of that country. If you are familiar with past and modern history, you know that wasn’t the first time nor the last time that one foreign government interfered in the natural progression of another country. Each time this happens, the results have been not so good, to say the least.
This type of interference is also in the news right now with events happening in South America.
For those who don’t know, I live in Canada. Political parties in Canada are not united on how these types of situations should be handled. We have the party on the left that is very much about General Order One because history tells us it never ends well, plus who do we think we are, and parties in the center and to the right that think there are times when it’s okay to interfere.
We try to keep politics off GeekDad, but it’s very difficult to do when discussing Star Trek because a lot of the core ideas of Star Trek are borne out of current political and social justice issues. Again, the timing of this episode is uncanny as we are yet again having these discussions outside of the intellectual debate we fans tend to have when discussing the various Star Trek series.
This is just something to reflect on. That said, I am curious to know the following: Name a specific time a captain broke the Prime Directive and you were okay with it and another time that it angered you.
Until next Sunday, Live Long and Prosper!