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STAR TREK DISCOVERY: “Will You Take My Hand?” Review

By on February 12, 2018

“Will You Take My Hand?”– Episode 115 — Pictured (l-r): Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham; James Frain as Ambassador Sarek of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Jan Thijs/CBS

 

STAR TREK DISCOVERY “WILL YOU TAKE MY HAND?” REVIEW

 

BY GEANNIE BASTIAN

 

Conquer the Fear, Conquer the War On Star Trek: Discovery’s Season Finale

 

Fear, how do we recognize it, and how do we deal with it? These are pretty much Michael’s thoughts at the start of the episode. Fear has led Starfleet to put the Terran Georgiou from the Mirror Universe in charge of Discovery’s mission to the Klingon homeworld,  and she’s instantly darker and sharper than her Prime counterpart, not even trying to fit in as Lorca had, though most of the crew is unaware of her origins.

Michael has to stop her from beating L’Rell to death for mission intel, instead, getting Tyler to help with information voluntarily, using Voq’s memories. They’re supposed to set a drone in a volcano, but Michael is convinced that the former Terran leader is hiding a much darker mission – and realizing more and more how much she is not the Georgiou she knew.

The last mission of the season in a nutshell: end this war, and figure out what the world looks like on the other side?

 

We are at war, but we are still Starfleet

When Georgiou, Michael, Tilly, and Tyler beam down to an Orion outpost on the Klingon homeworld, they’re supposed to be locating a spot to set a drone to map the planet for a future invasion. But, Tilly, checking her cargo after being incapacitated by an Orion, discovers its a hydro bomb. And now that they know the volcanoes on the planet are in fact active, the team realizes that the true plan is genocide. But Georgiou has already begun setting up the bomb.

With the help of Saru, Michael contacts Admiral Cornwell and confronts her about the plan. Cornwell admits to it and says that very shortly the Klingons will have them wiped out. This is their only hope. But Michael disagrees. She reminds the admiral that it was a year ago when she took matters into her own hands and staged a mutiny because she felt the survival of those she cared about was more important than principles. But Michael reminds her, she was wrong. And that is how they got where they are today.

Michael wonders aloud, do they need another mutiny to remind Starfleet of its principles? One by one, her crewmates from the Discovery, beginning with Saru, sand behind her. ”We are Starfleet,” Saru says. Cornwell gives in.

When next we see Michael, she steps into the cavern where Georgiou is still tending to the hydro bomb. She tells her former captain’s mirror self that there’s been a change in plan, she is still free to go, but she must hand over the detonator to Michael. Georgiou is not so quick to give up on the idea, but Michael makes her decision symbol. She tells her, if she’s going to set off the bomb, she’s going to have to go through Michael and watch her die again. Georgiou gives in and says that the bomb is biologically encoded to her, do they want to switch it to Michael? No. L’Rell.

As Georgio leaves and Michael promises to keep an eye on her out there if she isn’t “good” Michael turns her attention to L’Rell. She points out that the Federation has bested the Klingons, that bomb now sits at the core of their homeworld. But, with the bomb now coded to respond only to the Klingon woman, she has an opportunity to use this threat to achieve her true mission and unite her people. But, to do so she must be willing to be their leader and to bring an immediate end to the war.

Tyler, in the end, chooses to go with L’Rell and fulfill Voq’s role as the torchbearer to the leader – guide her through this unlikely position she did not expect to find herself in and in that way hopefully be of good to both the humans and the Klingons.

They go, and L’Rell makes her case to the reluctant Klingons. If her words do not convince them, the bomb she carries does. The representatives of the great houses move away to carry out her orders, and we see hundreds of Klingon ships falling back from targets around the Earth.

 

Redemption and Discovery

Through this episode, we come to see the true path of redemption that Michael has been on throughout this whole year. We learned for the first time exactly how her parents died, that she was present and witnessed them killed by Klingons. And perhaps for the first time, we understand the desperate woman we met in the pilot, who simply wanted to save the people she cared about – including the captain she saw as a mother figure.

But we also saw how very far the character has come through her experiences with the Discovery. Her time in the mirror universe particularly, and discovering who Lorca had always been – his insistence that there can only be one true way, brutal force, and rule by fear, affected her. Seeing that in Georgiou, the woman who for Michael stood as the image of the opposite of all of that deeply affected her as well. The absence of the things that mattered helped her find the things that did.

In the end, she sees that taking the easy violent way out would not end fear. Only refusing to be led by fear into those kinds of choices – refusing to let fear have power over you – could truly lead to a solution that put an end to the fear. And so, in the end, Michael stands with her crewmates and insists on the upholding of Starfleet principles, even in the face of war – a near-total 180 from the choice she made at The Battle of the Binary Stars.

And that growth and those choices pay off. She earns Sarek’s pride, as well as a full pardon and reinstatement of her rank, along with the position as discovery science officer.

It was a fitting end to Discovery’s first season, but oh yes in true Discovery fashion there was one more thing: while traveling to Vulcan to pick up their new commanding officer under warp power – until Starfleet can find a better way to power the jump drive – Discovery gets a distress call from a nearby Federation ship. It is Captain Pike and the USS Enterprise.

Sounds like though be a little brother/sister science officer drama next season. I can’t wait. See you in 2019!

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