With its midseason premiere, Star Trek Discovery kicked off with a controversial death and quite a few tributes to classic Trek, right down to Lorca’s ultimate fate at the end of the episode. Now the Discovery crew have to walk the careful line by pretending to be a bunch of fascists while hunting for a way home, and that’s not all it has to put up with on this week’s geeky TV.
We’ve already talked about the midseason premiere’s divisive twist, but the other big emotional punch was the emotional wringer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) was put through. Burnham’s entire life is about missed opportunities and, to some degree, imposter syndrome: Burnham has always tried too hard, felt too deeply, and feared she’s never quite been good enough. Now she’s gotten her opportunity, but at the cost of actually being an imposter, and with a twisted version of her friends and allies back to unknowingly taunt her.
There’s also a few dangling plot threads for hardcore Trek fans. The show makes mention of the USS Defiant, a deep, deep cut referencing both the original series episode “The Tholian Web” (where the Defiant goes into an alternate dimension) and the Enterprise two-part episode “In A Mirror, Darkly,” which explains just where the heck the Defiant actually went. So, we won’t just get a richly textured look at a complicated hero, we’ll also get some pretty hardcore nerd stuff. We’ll see how it comes together Sunday, January 14th, at 8:30pm on CBS All Access.
This Week’s Other Geeky TV
Runaways, Hulu, Tuesday January 9th: As the season has gone on, Runaways‘ biggest problem has been a sprawling cast that the show wants to do everything with. The Pride could carry an entire show on their own, and so could the kids, but they’ve been lumped together and everybody’s fighting for time. Still, it’s a nice change of pace for Marvel’s shows.
Agents Of SHIELD, ABC, Friday January 12th 10pm ET: Meanwhile, Agents of SHIELD has doubled down on its go-for-broke fifth season, where most of the cast is in a terrible future and only Fitz is in the past trying to fix anything. Poor Fitz.
Happy!, Syfy, Wednesday January 10th, 10pm ET: Christopher Meloni is enjoying himself far too much for a show about saving a little girl from a child abductor, with help from her imaginary friend.