what's past is prologue review

After watching the latest Star Trek: Discovery episode, “What’s Past is Prologue,” consider me mad.

Me being mad is actually a good thing! Once again, I’m irritated we have to wait a full seven days for a new episode to come out. The writing is just that tight! This episode concluded with me holding my breath again. I can’t take the stress anymore! But before I get ahead of myself, let’s establish one clear outcome of this episode…

Saru is Georgiou’s worthy successor 

I’ve been waiting all season for a captain to fill the void left by Georgiou. Georgiou had all of the elements that made my favorite Star Trek captain, The Next Generation’s Picard, so awesome. She was patient, stern yet fair, compassionate, and knew how to get the maximum out of her crew. She was just the best, and the space left by her absence has been hanging over the show ever since her death. I had hoped that we’d find someone to carry on her spirit and legacy, and it looks like the right person for that job is Saru.

Saru studied under Georgiou longer than Michael and while Michael quickly outpaced him in terms of daringness, Saru mastered Georgiou’s ability to responsibly wield power for good and not for gain. Do I think Michael could make a great captain? Sure. Do I think now’s her time? No. That might surprise some of you out there who have read my reviews over these past few months. As much as I love Michael, she’s just too impulsive. That impulsivity showed once again when she made one of the most careless decisions someone with Vulcan training could have made: knowingly alter the timeline by bringing back Mirror Georgiou.

But back to Saru. Saru is an officer who never acts before he thinks, unlike Michael. His ability to make calculated decisions – even calculated risks – gives him the edge. He also knows the power of teamwork and inspiration and how make both a vital part of his command. It was this episode that finally offered the cerebral think-tank atmosphere I’ve loved about other Star Trek series. It also offered an inspirational pep talk that only a true captain can make –  it feels like it’s been so long since I’ve heard a Star Trek captain rally their crew the way Saru rallied his. These attributes make him worthy to carry on Georgiou’s legacy. I think she’d approve.

Now, let’s talk about Michael.

Michael lets her heart get her in trouble

Michael knows better than to take Mirror Georgiou back with her. What can Mirror Georgiou do for Michael? She can’t become her Georgiou, just like Michael can’t be Mirror Michael. This was the first time I’ve been truly angry with Michael’s actions. Like, couldn’t you leave well enough alone, girl?

But…I get it. She couldn’t allow another Georgiou to get killed. She didn’t want to relive seeing her captain die in front of her. However, Michael put so much emphasis on remembering that each Mirror counterpart wasn’t the same person from the Prime Universe. You’d think Michael wouldn’t have let herself slide like this. Now, all she’s got is an angry Mirror Georgiou, who expected to die with honor. Since we saw Sarek in next week’s preview, I’d love to know if he’s going to chew Michael out over this rash decision. (I’ll feel bad if he does, but in all honesty, she has it coming.)

Of course, Mirror Georgiou will serve a purpose now that our crew managed to make the jump back to the Prime universe. However, now there’s another problem.

The Klingons won?

The crew jumped forward nine months in the Klingon-Federation War, and it turns out the Klingons are well on their way to winning the whole conflict. I’d like to know how they did that, since both their precious T’Kuvma and Voq are dead (or, in the latter’s case, subsumed).

If the Klingons were still able to win, does that mean Voq’s sacrifice – him turning into Tyler – was all in vain? Where did the Klingons get the advanced tech to beat the Federation? Was the Discovery really that crucial to the entire Federation’s fleet? The Federation of Planets couldn’t have been relying on one ship to take out the Klingons, right? If so, the Federation proved Lorca right in one way – they relied too much on idealism and not enough on a plan for domination.

I should temper that statement, lest anyone start thinking I’m on the Terran Empire’s side with this. It’s clear the Klingon success is, once again, an overt nod to Trumpism. Star Trek has always held a mirror to our world, and in our world, it feels like Trumpism is reigning high and low. But where there’s still even just 20 percent of a chance – just like there’s 20 percent of Federation controlled space left – there’s still room enough for unity and peace to win out. We all know the Discovery crew and the Federation will find a way to restore order (and probably even make some alliances at the end of the day). But right now, they have to get through the messy part.

Don’t say goodbye, Jason Isaacs

I’m gonna miss ‘ol Lucius Malfoy on Star Trek: Discovery. Mirror Lorca was always circling the drain and he finally kicked the bucket in this episode, with Mirror Georgiou stabbing him through the chest with her awesome sword after an awesome battle staged by her, Michael, and the Discovery crew.

Isaacs is such a brilliant actor and it was such a treat to see him make Lorca unlikable in the truly, well, likable Isaacs fashion. Am I glad the Lorca threat is gone? Yes. Do I hope a Prime Lorca shows up somewhere? Most definitely. I don’t want this to be the last we see of Isaacs on this show. That’s a testament to his acting, but it’s also a testament to Star Trek: Discovery. You know a show is good when you miss the villains.

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