Reposted from: Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 12: Through the Valley of Shadows Review

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

Synopsis: A fourth signal leads the U.S.S. Discovery to an insular world, where Pike is forced to make a life-changing choice. Burnham and Spock investigate a Section 31 ship gone rogue, leading to a discovery with catastrophic consequences. (CBS)

Writers: Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt

Director: Douglas Aarniokoski

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 60mins

“Through the Valley of Shadows” starts off with Burnham talking to Amanda about the fate of her mother and how she feels like a failure. Amanda reassures her that she did not fail and she will find her mother again. Spock interrupts the call as Amanda expresses her love for them both, but they have matters on the bridge. Turns out there is another signal and with the Red Angel gone they question if there is another entity in control. Burnham wants to go after Leland, but Pike says that is not the mission at hand. They will descend on Boreth, the Klingon homeworld, to learn more about the newest signal.

Burnham notices Tyler is a bit off at the mention of Boreth and confronts him. He reveals that he had to leave behind his son on the planet and Burnham embraces him for comfort. While Burnham continues to question going after Leland’s ship,Tyler and Pike meet with the Klingon Chancellor L’Rell. They learn that Boreth is the home to time crystals and could help them send the rest of the sphere’s information to the future. While Tyler demands he be sent down to the surface, Pike volunteers to avoid any awkwardness between L’Rell and Voq. They end up discussing their relationship. She knows he loves Burnham, but they will both protect their son no matter the cost.

On Boreth, Pike visits the monk’s sanctuary to plead his case for a time crystal trade. Unfortunately, the monks do not see Pike as strong enough to wield one, but he won’t take no for an answer. Pike learns that the crystals cause time to move differently within the sanctuary. So much so that the Keeper is L’Rell and Voq’s son. The Keeper brings him to the Time Pillars where the crystals reside. He is warned that touching the crystal might reveal something on the path to madness.

Pike watches the ship in emergency mode as it breaks apart around him. His skin begins to peel, but he’s transported to another place. He sees himself with a melted face in an immobile chair. The Keeper reveals that if Pike takes the crystal, his fate will be sealed. Pike determines that he is the keeper of his own fate and takes the crystal for the safety of the universe. He returns to the ship where he tells L’Rell and Voq of their son and that he is doing well.

Meanwhile, Burnham goes to Saru to ask about Leland’s suspicious behaviour. She wants permission to investigate and he supports her plan as Acting Captain. As Burnham plans to depart, Spock arrives and forces himself onto her mission. He expresses some reservations about confronting Leland and the illogical situation and signals. He sees Burnham as the key to them, but she doesn’t believe so and wants to release some rage on Leland. They arrive at the ship’s location to find the crew jettisoned into space. There happens to be one survivor, Kamran Gant (Ali Momen), the tactical officer from the USS Shenzhou with Burnham.

Turns out Control fought back and Gant was the only one able to find a viable survival option. Spock and Burnham believe they need to board the other ship to investigate what happened, but they need Gant’s help. They beam to the ship’s bridge, but it turns itself back on and takes control of navigation. They need to manually reroute the navigation system to cut out Control. With Spock doing the technical work, Burnham and Gant work on the physical part of it.

However, it is soon revealed that Gant is Control and discuss its plan with Burnham and the loss of her mother. It wants to reprogram Burnham to help him gain access to the sphere’s data. Spock manages to distract Gant and a firefight ensues as Burnham tries to manually reboot the ship’s systems. They repeatedly shoot Gant, but his body morphs into a swarm of nanobots determined to infect Burnham. Thankfully, Spock is able to reboot the system and magnetize the floor to contain them.

Finally on board the Discovery, Stamets is pining over his lost love and it starts to impede his work. Reno takes it upon herself to talk to Culber about his relationship. She opens up about her wife, how she lost her and second chances hoping that convinces Culber to take his. With everyone back on board, the Discovery is being tracked down by the entire Section 31 fleet. They have nowhere to run and no information on the time crystal so Burnham poses a solution. The crew needs to abandon Discovery. Pike agrees and issues an immediate rendezvous with Enterprise for a full crew transfer.

Captain’s Log

  • Will Burnham’s mom return?
  • Can Control be stopped?
  • Is Leland technically still alive?
  • How will Burnham stop Control?
  • Will Pike fall to the fate of the time crystals?
  • What do the red energy sources mean?
  • How will the mycelial network play into the Red Angel mystery?

Overall, Through the Valley of Shadows was a decent episode. Control is expanding its reach and backs Discovery into a corner. With Burnham’s mother gone, she is on the warpath with one goal in mind no matter the cost. Meanwhile, Pike is forced to make a pivotal choice and must deal with the ramifications for the good of the universe. The themes of morality and sacrifice continue to be at the center of this season, the only question is how many people will have to make the ultimate sacrifice come season’s end?

Score: 8/10

What did you think of “Through the Valley of Shadows”? Let me know in the comments below!

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