|Sonequa Martin-Green as "Specialist Michael Burnham", wearing a Mirror Universe Captain's uniform|
As long as I don't think of Discovery as a true Star Trek show...I'm good. The two newest episodes presented some redemption in my highly critical eyes. For one, the winter premiere revealed that after that last "incomplete" spore jump, the USS Discovery landed in the famed Mirror Universe of Star Trek. At first, I cringed at the thought of another potential desecration of a fan favorite, but then....
Things That Worked Well
1 - Setting: The show's overall dark tone, and allowance of nudity and cursing, actually fits perfectly into the infamously brutal Mirror Universe. In fact, Discovery feels way more at home here. The new uniforms look both magnificent and fascist as fuck. And since some of the actors had to portray their Mirror selves, they got to flex their acting chops and don drastically different personas (shout to Mary Wiseman as "Ensign Tilly/Captain Killy").
2 - This is Michael's Show: Ever since the death of Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), I've been deeply irritated that instead of a female captain of color taking her place, we got yet ANOTHER White male captain (out of the five preceding shows, we've already had three, people). I will reiterate that Jason Isaacs has done some excellent work on Discovery, but 1) his character was getting way too much screen time, and 2) I don't see why his role couldn't have been assumed by a WOC. It would've been a wonderful opportunity for both the actress and the writers.
But in these past couple of episodes, Captain Lorca (Isaacs) has taken a backseat so that Queen Sonequa could step back into the spotlight and remind everyone this is her throne and she's why we're here. Martin-Green has shone resplendently as a conflicted Starfleet officer trapped in a vicious universe where she has to pose as a ruthless captain.
...Cuz what we NOT finna do is have a repeat of Sleepy Hollow. If we see that bullshit happening again, it won't take us four seasons to get it canceled. Enough people already hate the ever living hell out of the CBS app (including yours truly).
3 - Michelle Yeoh's Return: Why be a captain when you can an Emperor? Oh, yes...she's back. And as always, Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) is a BAWSE. Yeoh returns as the terrifying "faceless Emperor" who rules the Terran Empire of the Mirror Universe...with an iron first. When she showed up at the end of the last episode and chastised Michael Burnham for dragging her heels on a mission, even I felt that shit.
Things I Didn't Much Care For
4 - Killing Dr. Culber: It doesn't matter that the Powers That Be intend to bring back Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz) in some fashion. We can't unsee his killing. Cruz was doing a beautiful job as Culber. He was eloquent and mesmerizing and oh so moving. As the good doctor, he was also considered the purest, most Star Trek-like character on the show and now he's been murdered. Senselessly. Pointlessly. Uselessly. His death did this show absolutely NO favors. I know they're trying to hint at the whole "spores can bring him back" storyline, but they could've used that on someone else. Like Captain Georgiou.
5 - Tyler is a Klingon Spy: While the reveal that Ash-Tyler-is-Voq (a Klingon) has some fan theorists yelling that they called it, I personally don't give shit. This show ruined Klingons for me, and Voq was the least interesting Klingon to begin with. So congrats to the writers - they just lost a great opportunity to explore PTSD, specifically from the viewpoint of male prisoner of war who was raped.
Furthermore, while I liked the idea of an Ash/Michael romance, it was rushed, it wasn't all that romantic, and since Star Trek shows generally run for several years, I fully expected Michael Burnham to have more than one man on this show anyways (a new one every season at least). *shrug* So I don't know what to tell you, sis. I know you're prolly heartbroken over the loss of your first love, but when your boo is revealed to be a surgically altered alien spy, you need to throw the whole man away and find a new one. *blink*
I mean, back here in the 21st Century, we the throw the whole man away for a lot less.
Things That Could Work Very Well
6 - Mirror Lorca: There's a fan theory that Captain Lorca is originally from the Mirror Universe, which would answer sooooooo many questions about that man. The overall show would also make much more sense. Not only that, but it would be great opportunity to resolve Lorca's storyline and give us a new captain...preferably a resurrected Georgiou.