The mid-season finale of Star Trek Discovery “Into the forest I go” is explosive and exciting. A perfect execution of what a mid-season finale should be like. It both ties up a lot of current plot lines as well as open up a new story arc. There was also a healthy dose of intense character development.
We start off right from where we left off in episode 8. The USS Discovery is outside the planet Pahvo who has called the Klingon ghost ship to its coordinates in an attempt to broker peace between the two fractions.
Starfleet commands Discovery to return to Starbase 46 where scientists have gathered to figure out how to tackle the Klingon’s cloaking device. This course of action would leave Pahvo defenceless against the Klingons.
Lorca sets the Discovery into warp drive 5 towards Starbase, but tells his team to come up with a solution within 3 hours to save Pahvo.
Together they decide that setting beacons onto the Ghost ship, then spore jumping 133 times around the Ghost Ship will give enough data to configure an algorithm to see the Klingon ships against attacks. After debating, Lt Tyler and Burnham are chosen to sneak onto the Klingon ship.
Stamets in trouble
Lt Stamets’s storyline from the previous episode felt shoehorned in. I can understand why they needed the initial setup, considering how fast-paced this episode is. All the spore jumps are affecting Stamets, who was unwilling to get a medical checkup. Now he has no choice as he has been ordered by Captain Lorca.
Despite his condition, he accepts the new mission to do 133 spore jumps. Lorca reveals that data from the jumps has shown possibilities of different dimensions and future exploration.
His partner Doctor Hugh Culber warns against his health, and stands by on the jump for medical assistance. Tilly lets it slip that Stamets has been experiencing side effects due to the spore jumps.
On board the Ghost ship
Tyler and Burham make it safely onboard the Klingon Ghost ship. After successfully setting up the first beacon, Burnham reads signals of a human lifeform on board. They detour from the mission to find out Admiral Cornwell is alive.
Tyler comes face to face with L’rell which triggers PSTD in him, putting him into shock and out of action. Cornwell is unable to use her legs. Burnham leaves the two of them to set up the second beacon on the bridge of the ship.
Burnham is able to set up the second beacon. However, the Klingon leader Kol decides that Starfleet is playing games and orders the ship away. To keep him distracted she reveals herself as the killer of T’Kuvma. She challenges him to a battle and the two go to hand to hand combat.
Discovery is able to gather enough data to tackle the Klingon’s cloaking abilities. Tyler and Cornwell have been found by the Klingons. Tyler is still in shock but snaps out of it after remembering Burnham. They are able to hold off long enough to be teleported back to Discovery, taking L’rell who jumps onto Tyler at the last moment. Burnham is also safely teleported back.
The episode is high in action. I found myself tensing up a few times and the payoff was totally worth it. There were also some really great emotional points with character development. The whole episode ties up the first arc very neatly and the ending gives a lot of new options for where Discovery might go in the future.
The moment Lorca put in his special eyedrops so he could watch the Klingon ship explode felt very badass. Especially as he walked away before it finished, you know what they say, cool guys don’t stare at explosions!
Lorca also showed more human emotions this episode, with a desire to explore. This really brings out his character from the war-driven general he’s been acting so far. I would definitely like to watch a series where he and the Discovery just do non-war discovery stuff.
As for the Klingon rape scene during Tyler’s PTSD nightmares, it pushes a lot of boundaries. Firstly, we see female Klingon titties for the first time. Secondly, it’s a Klingon/Human sex scene. Finally, it’s a rape scene where the victim is male.
Of course, some people believe that Tyler is, in fact, Voq and that his memories are disjointed. Perhaps the sex was consensual back when he was Voq and he simply remembers it different due to sleeper agent memories.
I hope that’s not the case, and that the hints are red herrings. Because Tyler and Burnham’s relationship is super cute. It’s great character development when he opens up to Burnham about his experiences as a prisoner.