“There Is a Tide…” is the 12th episode of the 3rd season of the TV show “Star Trek: Discovery” and follows “Su’Kal“.
Note. This article contains spoilers about “There Is a Tide…”.
Osyraa (Janet Kidder) has taken control of the USS Discovery and uses a ruse to penetrate Federation headquarters. Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Book (David Ajala) must use a transwarp tunnel to be able to reach the starship and land inside it. Osyraa proposes a treaty to Admiral Charles Vance (Oded Fehr).
The second episode of the season directed by Jonathan Frakes forms the central part of what is practically a triple episode. It’s a situation where there’s neither a real beginning nor a real ending, so authors must find developments important enough to avoid it being boring. In “There Is a Tide…” that’s made more complex by the fact that it begins with Osyraa in command of the USS Discovery and the crew’s predictable actions to regain control of the starship.
The action scenes are well done, but the only real surprise comes at the end of the episode, when the USS Discovery crew receives unexpected help in their attempt to regain control of the starship. The most interesting part by far is the argument between Michael Burnham and Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp). That’s one of the reasons why I preferred the rest of the episode.
Osyraa’s masterplan is a crucial element of the episode and is the one that offers surprises and interesting food for thought. In the previous episodes we saw that Osyraa leads a sort of interstellar mafia, but “There Is a Tide…” shows a greater depth of this character and greater complexity in a civilization that goes far beyond the criminal organization.
The treaty proposed by Osyraa to the Federation shows an ambition that goes beyond her personal interests. Binding to the Federation would mean for Osyraa to lose some of her power but would benefit the Orions and their allies. The problem is that, at the same time, Osyraa is exactly what she seems.
Scientist Aurelio (Kenneth Mitchell) perfectly shows the complexity of Osyraa and her organization. The actor needs a wheelchair in real life because he suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
“There Is a Tide…” ends with the various plot aspects open for the season finale. Some elements will require action, but we can also hope for more food for thought regarding ethics and morals linked to the ideals of the Federation and Osyraa’s Emerald Chain.