STAR TREK: DISCOVERY “SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM” REVIEW
BY GEANNIE BASTIAN
If You Want to Live in Peace, Prepare for War
This week the Discovery comes to the aid of a Federation starship under attack by six Kligon ships. The problem is, all the vessels now have cloaking devices, something that was not the case for all but the mastership previously. Even with Discovery’s help, the other ship is destroyed. When Lorca asks why no other Federation ships came to their aid, he learns that the other two in the area were also destroyed by cloaked Klingon vessels. He is told this means that the landing parties mission is now critical.
Meanwhile it seems that Kor has taken over the Klingon master ship, and has been giving out cloaking technology in exchange for absolute loyalty. This appeal to loyalty versus unity does not sit well with many of those loyal to T’Kuvma.
Serious Trouble in Paradise
A landing party consisting of Michael, Saru, and Tyler beams down onto the planet Pahvo. Thought to be uninhabited, every living structure, trees and other foliage, gives off a unique vibration which creates an overall ‘song’ that emanates from the planet. A large naturally occurring crystalline transmitter broadcasts the planet’s vibrational frequency into space. The landing party hopes to harness its power and use the frequency as a means to detect cloaked Klingon ships.
The party soon discovers that the planet isn’t quite so uninhabited at all. There are sentient beings present that appear to be not necessarily life forms as we would think of it, but in some way connected to the rest of the planet around them. They’ve also achieved total harmony with their environment, turning the mission into an unexpected first contact situation.
As Saru attempts to learn to communicate with the aliens, now called Pahvans, he experiences difficulty; his senses make him hyper-aware of all of the sounds from the planetary vibrations. Eventually through contact with the Pahvans, he is able to achieve a state of harmony with them which helps to block out the vibrations. Unfortunately for Saru, the encounter causes him to become addicted to contact, in turn making him somewhat dangerous.
He lies to Tyler and Michael and tells them that he has spoken to the Discovery, and they are to remain on Pahvo. He then breaks the others’ communicators so that they can no longer attempt to contact the ship. Michael and Tyler realize that something is wrong, and Michael sets out to try to reach the crystal transformer in an effort to contact Discovery.
Tyler tries to distract Saru in order to protect Michael and save the mission. We also find out that Tyler and Michael’s relationship has progressed a bit, earlier in the mission, as they talked about what life might be like after the war. She reminds him that she will have to go back to prison, and he suggests that perhaps they should stay at war. They kiss.
Michael attempts to contact the ship, but Saru attacks her and breaks her equipment. But the Pahvans arrive and fix it, allowing her to contact Discovery, after Michael explains that they need their help in order to end the war with the Klingons. Saru warns that the Klingons will destroy the harmony of the planet.
Later, back aboard Discovery, Saru admits that he did what he did because it is the first time in his life that he was not afraid — something entirely new for a member of his species.
Lorca discovers the transmitter is now broadcasting a signal to the Klingons. He accuses Michael of accidentally leading the Klingons right to them. But she realizes that the Pahvans have done that. They exist to find peace and harmony, and she realizes their attempt is to bring the humans and the Klingons together to solve the conflict. She insists they must now protect Pahvo from the Klingons.
Another Mutiny Goes Awry
L’Rell, a Kligon follower of T’Kuvma is not at all pleased with the way Kor has taken over. under the guise of gaining his favor she offers to interrogate Admiral Cornwell.
Once she is taken to Cornwell’s cell, Dennas creates a show so that the guards don’t doubt her intent, then she begins questioning the other woman. She asks how Federation prisoners are treated, and when she learns that the Federation has no death penalty, she announces she wants to defect. She explains that all of her fellow like-minded Klingons have been killed or disappeared, and this is not how their efforts were meant to go.
They intend to go to L’Rell’s ship, from which Cornwell will provide her safe passage by way of Discovery, but they are discovered in the corridor just as L’Rell tells Cornwell she intends to overload the ship’s core and destroy it as they leave. To keep her cover, L’Rell fights with and apparently kills Cornwell. When taking the other woman’s body away, she discovers several of more of her compatriots have been killed. She vows to kill Kor.
Kor questions L’Rell about the loss of Cornwell, but she insists that she got valuable information. For a moment it seems as if this deception has worked, as Kor admits her into his House, indicating he has found favor with her. But the moment quickly turns as he call to others and has them drag her away, saying they will show her how his house deals with liars.
The Klingons are then hailed to Pahvo, not knowing they are headed toward Discovery.