Reposted from: Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 2: New Eden Review

For our review of the last episode of Star Trek: Discovery, click here.

Synopsis: A new signal brings the Discovery to a distant planet, New Eden, that is inhabited by the descendants of human survivors of World War III, which was fought on Earth 200 years earlier. (IMDB)

Writers: Akiva Goldman and Sean Cochran

Director: Jonathan Frakes

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 44 mins

“New Eden” starts off with Burnham replaying Spock’s recording to Captain Pike and showing that he predicted the signals months before they happened. She wants to locate Spock, but Pike already knows he’s at a psychiatric unit. They discuss what happened on the asteroid and Burnham debates telling Pike about the angelic figure she saw, but decides otherwise.

They head to the bridge where Tilly has come up with an idea to pinpoint the next signal. Burnham agrees and suggest they go into momentary warp to find its coordinates. Problem is that it would take centuries to travel to this system, but thankfully there’s a spore drive onboard! Tilly brings Stamets the good news yet he is hesitant to enter the network again and see Hugh. Regardless, they use the spore drive and travel to the signal’s location.

They find an M-Class planet with human life signs, but no noticeable technology. Upon listening to a distress signal, they survey the planet and find it contains outdated tech. The most perplexing part is that the signal is 200 years old, well before the invention of warp drives. Pike, Burnham and Saru discuss the predicament before them. They want to investigate, but due to the settlement’s lack of modern technology the General Order One (or Prime Directive) is in effect. They assemble a landing party with Lt. Owosekun who has experience in groups like this.

Pike, Burnham and Lt. Owosekun make their way down to the planet and enter the church. They notice stained-glass that depicts all of Earth’s religions including an angelic figure similar to Burnham’s vision. However, they are interrupted by a villager named Jacob who brings them to the village elders. They learn about the history of this planet: World War III, the loss of 600 million lives, and the red angel saviour. The saviour transported the refugees and the church itself to this new planet called Terralysium. Luckily, the settlers have a helmet-cam from a soldier giving the landing party something to work with.

Down at the cargo bay, Tilly is analyzing the meteorite and discovers the metreon particles interact with dark matter. She takes a sample of the rock, but it emits a powerful shockwave that knocks Tilly unconscious. She’s brought to sick bay where Saru lectures her about this reckless behaviour. She pleads her case in helping Stamets and Saru explains he too has felt the need to overwork himself to prove his worth. This can wait though as the bridge has called with a problem.

Turns out the radiation rings around the planet are collapsing and will cause an extinction event. They suggest a shuttle, but Stamets intervenes saying that could accelerate the collapse. This turn of events causes Saru to question whether the red signal brought them there to rescue the planet’s population. Back on the Discovery, Tilly is trying to decipher how to solve the current ring problem with a fellow crewmember. Through some brainstorming  she discovers that the meteorite’s gravitational field might be able to pull the rings away from the planet. She rushes to the bridge to explain this plan.

The landing party finds the distress signal below the church, but they are confronted by Jacob. He believes they are from another planet and when they attempt to leave he throws a stun grenade. They awake to find themselves trapped in a basement with all their tech missing. Owosekun makes a magnet to slide to bolt off the lock as they try to stop Jacob from revealing the truth. Jacob tries to convince the elders about the survival of original Earth putting the Discovery crew in a tense situation. Things get worse when a child grabs a phase and shoots it, causing Pike to leap onto it and absorb the blast. Jacob insists they use their tech to save him, but Burnham says they need to pray at the church for deliverance. They shut the door, but Jacob breaks it open to see them being beamed back up to Discovery.

Meanwhile, the crew has managed to advert the extinction event thanks to Tilly’s quick thinking. The helpful crewmember confronts Tilly and calls her an old nickname that confuses her. Tilly looks into it and discovers that she is her old classmate May Ahern, but learns she is also deceased. Burnham visits Pike in his quarters as they share their near-death experiences and respect for one-another. They discuss religion and the angelic figure prompting Pike to return to the planet. He reveals the truth to Jacob and explains the Prime Directive. Pike offers Jacob a powercell to help their technology advance in exchange for the helmet-cam. He returns to the ship and watches the footage to see the same angelic figure that Burnham described.

Captain’s Log

  • What is the angelic figure?
  • Did the energy wave from the meteorite cause Tilly to see dead people?
  • How did Spock predict the signals?
  • What do the red energy sources mean?
  • Who was the original choice to take over Discovery?
  • Will Stamets stay with the possibility of a new scientific discovery?
  • Will Jett Reno and Nhan stay onboard the Discovery?
  • Speaking of, will Tyler or Hugh return in some capacity given their main cast status in the credits?

Overall, New Eden was a phenomenal episode. It slows things drastically down allowing Discovery to focus on the things that matter most in this show. The crew gets a lot of development this week, particularly underused bridge members and Captain Pike, providing some of the most well-written conversations of this series. The moral dilemmas and themes at the center of this episode create a more Star Trek-centric story for this season to focus on as it looks at the issue of logic versus faith. And the direction by Star Trek alum Jonathan Frakes brings one of the most well-directed and executed Trek stories in a long time. Star Trek is starting to feel a bit more like Star Trek.

Score: 9.5/10

What did you think of “New Eden?” Let me know in the comments below!

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