Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 2 Throws the Crew Into a Chilling Future
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 2, "Far From Home," now streaming on CBS All Access.
Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 ended with Michael Burnham leading the titular vessel into an undisclosed point in the future. Last week's premiere finally revealed Michael's destination in a smaller, yet stunning, introduction to the 32nd century. In Season 3's second episode, titled "Far From Home," it's the U.S.S. Discovery's turn, and their arrival into the future is a much bumpier ride -- literally and figuratively.
Episode 2 opens with the crew coming to just in time to see their ship hurtling towards an ice planet. Despite everything being down, newly instated captain Saru (Doug Jones) keeps a cool head, landing the ship successfully thanks to the work of Detmer (Emily Coutts). Though everyone applauds the Lieutenant, she seems to be shaken up by the crash, and goes off to Sick Bay as the rest of the bridge crew assesses the damage.
Predictably, there is a lot wrong with the Discovery. With nearly all their systems down, the crew has no idea where or when they are, nor can they communicate with anyone. What's more, EPS conduits are shot across the ship, meaning they won't be taking off any time soon. As Saru checks in around the ship, Tilly (Mary Wiseman) makes note of several oxygenated "domes" around the planet, and notes life signs, meaning they were ultimately successful in their mission.
Meanwhile, Stamets (Anthony Rapp) is brought out of his coma into the havoc of Sick Bay. As it turns out, Culber (Wilson Cruz) is kicking him out for a triage situation, although his partner still being far from 100 percent. Despite the drama the two underwent last season -- including Culber's "resurrection" via the mycelial network and personality shift -- they seem to be more in love than ever. And Culber exercises that good bedside manner by giving a courteous smile as he threatens to ground Stamets if he doesn't stay put in a cellular regeneration chamber to continue his healing.
Saru soon finds that his biggest problem is not a situation, but a person: Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh). Fresh from killing Leland at the end of Season 2, she pushes the new captain to explore the planet and getting communications up ASAP to talk with Michael. Saru disagrees, saying EPS repair comes first, and diplomatic matters need to be handled carefully, considering when they come from. It's for that reason that he surprisingly picks Tilly to come with him on an away mission to retrieve rubindium from one of the settlements. While Georgiou can't help but get a few more snipes in at the redhead's expense, it's clear she's going to be a thorn in the new captain's side.
Though not nearly as tension-filled, the spats continue as Stamets -- now up-and-about- - runs into rival Jett Reno (Tig Notaro). He's ignored Culber's instructions to help repair the ship, insisting he's okay to work. And that's immediately put to the test, as Reno's back injury means he'll need to fix the conduits himself within the Jeffries tubes. Elsewhere, Georgiou and Nhan (Rachael Ancheril) discuss their reasons for staying on the ship, which are honoring the life of the late Airiam and the desire to evade bureaucracy, respectively. Georgiou's interests turn, however, when she finds Saurian officer Linus, noticeably what big eyes he has.
As Saru and Tilly walk the planet, they have a heart-to-heart about her anxiety around being chosen for the mission. He is able to allay her fears, negating Georgiou's quips and complimenting her ability to make a good first impression. And she'll need to use that skill soon, because the two spot a hooded figure transport out of a cave. Upon following him, they walk into a dusty bar, only to be immediately held at phaser-point by the figure and his two friends. Saru and Tilly are able to convince the trio they're from Starfleet, which excites Kal (Jonathan Koensgen). He causes his friends to disengage, and he comes to an agreement with Tilly: They provide the rubindium; Discovery provides dilithium.
As Kal impressively knits some programmable matter, Saru and Tilly find out more about life in where they landed. The bar's three patrons are part of a group of miners, who have been under the thumb of a malicious courier named Zareh (Jake Weber). Though his friends are more skeptical, Kal has always held out hope that the Federation would save him. And their apparent saviors came just in time, as almost on cue, Zareh and his goons come swinging through the double doors like a futuristic spaghetti western star.
From the jump, Zareh lives up to his reputation. He confidently and menacingly saunters around the bar as if it's his. He unravels Saru's plans of secrecy almost immediately, correctly concluding that they're time travelers. And when he sees that Kal was working to give them rubindium, he brutally kills him without even blinking. Zareh's now taken control of the situation, commandeering the Starfleet gear to sell it off. And even when Saru stands up to him, he curtly responds by pointing out how much danger their ship is in. It turns out this planet's ice is parasitic and thrives in the dark. Meaning as soon as the sun sets, Discovery is D.O.A.
Back onboard the ship, Reno is trying to talk Stamets into just admitting weakness so he doesn't injure himself further. But he proves his stubbornness by crawling into the Jefferies tube. Predictably, it doesn't go well, especially as Stamets' wound seems to reopen. But a timely arrival from Culber allows him and Reno to double-team a pep talk. They're able to talk Stamets through fixing the relay, pushing through his injuries and giving power back to the ship.
Saru and Tilly receive their own drop-in visitor in the form of Georgiou, who was revealed to have been tailing them. It's clear that Zareh's commandeering energy has no effect on the Mirror Universe tyrant, and neither do his weapons. After dressing him down verbally, she adds injury to insult, fighting him and his goons alongside Saru. After racking up several kills, Georgiou is about to end Zareh, when Saru stops her. He feels her violence is unjustified, and reminds her that brutality is not what has gotten them to this point. Surprisingly, she follows his orders, but not before toying with shooting him for good measure.
With weapon in hand, Saru takes charge of the situation. He gives possession of Zareh and his ship to Kal's bartender friend, who decides to send him out into the tundra with meager supplies and a threat to never come back. Tilly, Saru, and Georgiou use a personal transporter to beam back to Discovery, where things are on the mend enough to try a lift-off attempt. Despite Detmer still being in a haze, she leads the effort to get the ship out of the ice. They struggle for a while before a large vessel arrives, pulling Discovery up in a tractor beam. And though initially perceived as a foe, the viewscreen shows a friend: A long-haired Michael, finally reunited with her ship after a year of searching.
Like the premiere, Episode 2 highlights the lawlessness that exists in a Federation-free society. The 32nd century has attacked Discovery from all angles, whether it be parasitic ice or monologuing bloodthirsty couriers. But it's important to note that, at the end of the day, Saru's mentality was able to prevail over Georgiou's. Though Starfleet has gone the way of the dodo, civility and mercy has not. And with Michael now reunited with the rest of the crew, they can look ahead to spreading that credo across the galaxy.
Streaming on CBS All Access,Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Commander Saru, Anthony Rapp as Lt. Commander Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly, Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber, David Ajala as Cleveland "Book" Booker, Blu del Barrio as Adira, Ian Alexander as Grey, Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. New episodes of Season 3 air on Thursdays.