“Scavengers” is the 6th episode of the 3rd season of the TV show “Star Trek: Discovery” and follows “Die Trying“.
Note. This article contains spoilers about “Scavengers”.
The USS Discovery has been updated with new systems that take advantage of the technologies available in the 32nd century, and the crew is ready to leave for a new mission at any moment. Book’s (David Ajala) starship arrives, but only Grudge is on board, along with a message regarding the discovery of information about the Burn. Despite the orders, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) decides to go investigate, and Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) goes with her.
The main plot of the episode is the most predictable one can write. From the moment Book’s message announces the discovery of a black box containing information about the Burn and Michael Burnham decides to go look for it in what turns out to be a sort of market that works thanks to the exploitation of slaves, the developments are very obvious.
The episode makes sense because it offers some new information on the Burn that can help understand the causes of that dilithium catastrophe, but above all for some scenes concerning the characters and the relationships among them.
Michael Burnham now seems intent on doing whatever it takes to uncover the causes of the Burn, whatever the cost. That happens also at the expense of her relationship with Saru (Doug Jones), who is put in a difficult position by his first officer’s actions.
Philippa Georgiou is the perfect partner for Michael Burnham’s unauthorized mission, and that offers space for the former empress to also see more of what’s going on in her mind. Those mental episodes are one of the stories that will develop over the course of the episodes. Georgiou is an interesting character and her moments are always among the best in the various episodes.
The USS Discovery systems update also offers the chance to see again Adira (Blu del Barrio), who now regularly sees her dead boyfriend Gray (Ian Alexander). Character development is also done through the relationship with Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and in my opinion those scenes are among the best of the episode.
Overall, “Scavengers” seemed to me an episode that suffers for the whole very predictable part and is partly saved by some developments related to the characters. Seasons with less than 20 episodes are supposed to avoid unnecessary padding by focusing on episode quality. Alas, it doesn’t seem the case with “Star Trek: Discovery”.