REVIEWED: SEASON 2 (ALL EPISODES) | WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX UK
After a three-month drip feed, the second season of Star Trek: Discovery has come to an end, and, for the most part, it left us thoroughly entertained. Reflecting on earlier episodes of the run, it becomes very apparent just how much ground this Season 2 has covered. Remember in episodes four and five, when Tilly took a trip on the mycelium-merry-go-round and ended up in mushroom land? It feels like such a distant memory! When thinking about Season 2 in broader terms, it’s hard to deny that it’s been a resounding success. As predicted in our previous review of this season’s initial episodes (see here), a major plus point this year proved to be the addition of Captain Pike, played by Anson Mount. He and the writers nailed this role, delivering the perfect cocktail of confidence, humour, and empathy. It’s no accident that he quickly became a fan favourite, and we’re hoping that rumours of a spin-off show bear fruit. Captain Pike aside, the main character focus of the season was Burnham and her relationship with her brother Spock. Burnham, while excellently played by Sonequa Martin-Green, has struggled to win over some of the fanbase; but watching the relationship between her and Spock evolve through the season can’t have done her any harm. By the season finale you are fully, and emotionally, invested in her character's plight.
We also got to have some more dedicated time with other members of the crew. Some of these character arcs were handled expertly and others, not so much. Saru’s story is worthy of particular mention; he finds himself charting the unknown territories of his own biology and, for a while, the show keeps you guessing on where it will take this ‘new’ Saru. Conversely, Tilly’s character arc left us somewhat frustrated. The Tilly we saw at the start of the season was, pretty much, the same Tilly we got at the end of the season. Sure, she got swallowed up, de-materialized, and sent to sporesville for a while but, it didn’t feel like her character evolved at all. Her innocent nervous demeanour may have been refreshing in Season 1, but, it quickly grew stale as Season 2 developed. We wanted to see the more serious side of her, a Tilly that is free from the one-liners and awkwardness. A Tilly that can take command in a crisis and make the hard decisions. Here’s hoping Season 3 will be kinder to her.
Continuing our negative tilt, let’s quickly touch upon another element that doesn’t quite sit right: the Klingons. This may be a divisive opinion but, as it currently stands, they feel very one dimensional and beige. This could simply be down to the fact that we have such a strong place in our hearts for the Klingons of old, that it’s hard to accept this new incarnation. Either way, we feel some tinkering is still needed
Season 2 is a very accomplished entry, one that travelled the length and breadth of our imagination, giving us some great moments. The majority of criticisms (how some things felt rushed and underdeveloped) stem from the fact that the season tried to accomplish so much. Perhaps an extra episode or two would have allowed a little more breathing room. Ultimately, if you’re going to boldly go where no one has gone before, you can’t expect it to be all plane sailing. Bring on Season 3!