Star Trek: Discovery – Will You Take My Hand?

Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) in Will You Take My Hand? (Image courtesy CBS / Netflix)
Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) in Will You Take My Hand? (Image courtesy CBS / Netflix)

“Will You Take My Hand?” is the 15th episode – also the 1st season finale – of the TV show “Star Trek: Discovery” and follows “The War Without, The War Within“.

Note. This article contains spoilers about “Will You Take My Hand?”.

Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) leads the operations in the mission on the planet Qo’noS despite some problems with the crew, not used to her attitude, typical in the mirror universe. During the reconnaissance that’s supposed to aim to gather information, Cadet Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) discovers the real plan and Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) finds herself once again in the position of having to make crucial choices.

“Star Trek: Discovery” first season finale ends the great story-arc of the war against the Klingons with many echoes of previous events. Michael Burnham is the protagonist of the show and this ending is an important moment for her, in which she finally understands what it means to be human and perhaps finds an emotional balance. For the rest, however, as a final was a little flat.

The clash between the methods of the mirror universe, with the plan to destroy Qo’noS, and the Federation’s principles, with a non-violent alternative, is interesting but hasty and therefore without going in-depth, like the story-arc’s resolution. Recalling the words of L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) in previous episodes, it seems curious that she ends the war and that she does it without complications but the search for plot twist even at the expense of consistency is a flaw seen a number of times in this first season of “Star Trek: Discovery”.

The mission on Qo’noS represents for me the perfect example of frustration caused by this show. During the briefing, names connected to the Klingon story are mentioned, also mentioned in a song sung in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Star Trek: Voyager” but we keep on waiting to understand how the show can be consistent with the original series.

Also for this reason, the first season of “Star Trek: Discovery” is over with ups and downs. You could say that a new show needs some time to find its right path but in this case there were some elements about the development of characters and plots that left many fans perplexed.

The appearance of the Klingons stirred arguments since it was revealed, so much that many fans call this version Klingoffs. The changes following the original series were motivated by the larger budget of the movies and subsequent TV shows and in my opinion the attempt to explain them in “Enterprise” raised more problems than it solved. Nothing in “Star Trek: Discovery” justified this change.

Inconsistencies with the original series. “Star Trek: Discovery” is set a decade before the original series and according to the producers in the same timeline. In 2017 it would have been ridiculous to have CRT screens and we can apply to the starships’ look the same reasoning made for the Klingons, although this may sound ironic after their change.

The real problems are about characters and stories and sometimes there’s the impression that producers and screenwriters don’t have clear ideas or changed their minds during production. Totally new elements such as spore propulsion must be properly explained. There are also other problems such as the Klingon stealth system, which in the classic series seems something absolutely unseen in the episode in which is used by the Romulans.

Regarding the characters, Captain Gabriel Lorca is the first one whose development is not clear. Initially he looked like a Captain with ethical and moral ambiguities in a war situation. It was already done with Sisko in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” but it could make sense.

The discovery of the truth about Lorca’s origins weakens all that and tells us only that in a war situation the typical methods of the mirror universe are fine. If Lorca hadn’t attempted to strangle Admiral Katrina Cornwell, maybe no one would have raised concern about his command until the twist. Her subsequent choices seem to confirm that everything was functional to that concept to get to the season finale with a comparison that was far too hurried between it and the Federation’s principles.

The development of Ash Tyler. In the early episodes the character suffered from what looked like a post-traumatic stress syndrome but all of this quickly lost strength with the increasing suspicion about his true identity. In the end, it was all a disorder due to an unstable identity. In short, again everything that was developed around the character was just a deception.

The fact that the plot twists concerning the characters were widely anticipated in the fandom is also a negative fact. The plot are generally quite easily predictable as well. Either the authors have little imagination or consider “Star Trek: Discovery” a show for families that requires to avoid too complex plots. Either case, it’s not a good thing.

Some used as a comparison the first season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, which had some embarrassing episodes. In that case, however, there was a need to reinvent the Star Trek universe while in the case of “Star Trek: Discovery” in theory everything was already set up and it was only a matter of writing good quality stories.

The season finale had good moments in the relationships among its characters, who always seemed to me perhaps the strongest element in the show, for the rest it didn’t excite me very much. My emotion has multiplied a thousand-fold in the last minutes thanks to the meeting with the Enterprise. The second season has already been confirmed, we’ll see if the writers can write something more intriguing and consistent and exploit Star Trek’s mythology.

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