STAR TREK: DISCOVERY “Into the Forest I Go” Review

“Into the Forest I Go” — Episode 109 — Pictured (l-r): Shazad Latif as Lieutenant Ash Tyler; Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS




By Geannie Bastian


Discovery’s Big Battle Is Just the Beginning

This week finds the Discovery crew almost exactly where we left them not only last week, but when we began our adventure back in Battle of the Binary Stars.

This time it is the Starship Discovery of course, standing by to protect the peaceful planet below, while the incoming Klingon death ship looms. Lorca is ordered to stay out of the battle, because the Discovery’s mission to find a way to disable the Klingon cloaking device appears to have been a failure, and the Discovery is otherwise too valuable to risk. 

No one, especially Saru, wants to leave the planet behind at the mercy of the Klingons. But it turns out Lorca doesn’t either. He orders the ship away, not with the spore drive, but with regular old warp drive which will take them some time — time they can use to figure out a way around the cloaking device, save the planet and defeat the Klingons. He orders Stamets to have himself looked over – as an excuse for why they can’t use the drive. Stamets is more than a little reluctant, because he knows there actually is something wrong here.

So course we know things are about to get very interesting.

Expect the Unexpected – And You Might Still Be Surprised

Michael’s plan was supposed to be simple. Klingon ships give off some remnants of energy even when they are cloaked, but not enough to be able to locate them. However if they could place some transmitters aboard the ship they may be able to gather the data and that information would serve the purpose of the original mission. The problem is that the data would take days to figure out, and that’s not enough time to engage the Klingon death ship and protect the planet below.

Lorca has an idea, but it involves requiring Stamets to make well over 100 jumps in the spore drive in order to gather the data from every possible point around the area of the ship, very quickly gathering the information that would otherwise have taken days.

Stamets is somewhat reluctant, but Lorca shows him the information they’ve gathered from all of his jumps, and about what they can then extrapolate about space and time and alternate universes and places they have not even considered. After the war, he says, this will be the next great discovery. The multiple jumps could help them gather all of that information much more quickly as well. Fascinated, he agrees.

Dr. boyfriend is not all that thrilled however, especially when Tilly unexpectedly drops word about the side effects, assuming that he already knew.

Michael goes to place transmitters with Tyler, even though he claims he wants her to stay behind she is too valuable. However, she points out she had been on the ship before, before, and they will be able to get in and out much more quickly and easily with her present.

Things don’t go according to plan though when finds Admiral Cornwell, paralysed, but not dead.  Second surprise – L’Rell, Tyler’s Klingon captor and tormentor is also there too. This launches Tyler into pretty intense PTSD. Thankfully Cornwell is there to help them through the wall. Michael goes to place the second device on the bridge.

Kor catches her and seems delighted at the prospect of capturing her and taking her back as the woman who killed T’Kuvma. But this is Michael we’re talking about, so she questions his honor, then lures him into a fight so that she can fight her way out. Which she does and sets the device.

The plan works, and the death ship destroyed. With Cornwell now back aboard safely, and L’Rell in the brig, Tyler tells Michael about his past, and the two are seen in bed together before he wakes from a terrible PTSD type nightmare.

All of the above would seem to serve as a fitting end point for Discovery’s Winter Finale but then…

Where Discovery Has Never Gone Before

Disobeyed orders or not, Starfleet was ready to give Lorca a medal, but he tells them they should give it to Stamets, who is the real hero. He thanks him, and offers to do one last jump back to Starbase 46, where the crew has been ordered. For now the rest of the war is up to others, as they’ve taken out the main threat. Lorca says they can warp, he’s earned the rest, but Stamets says it’s going to be his last jump. He needs to find out what the connection to the spore drive has done to him, and he wants to get the rest of them out of there before they encounter any other Klingon ships bent on revenge.

But that one last jump may prove to be too much, he passes out during the jump. On the bridge the sensors can’t make heads or tails where they are — someplace uncharted, but also unmeasurable. We cut back to Stamets, unresponsive on the ground but muttering about all the things he can see, including a clearing in the forest.

In one final shot, Tyler goes to L’Rell’s cell. He asks what she has done to him, apparently referring to the PTSD induced nightmares, but her response is odd. “I would never have let them hurt you. Soon.”

What is that about? We will find out on January 7, when the show returns with another six episodes.