Terra Firma, Part 2 keeps Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) centre stage in another dark episode — but so what?
Last week’s Terra Firma, Part 1 set things in motion: Georgiou has travelled from the mirror universe and through time and this is inevitably fatal. There is no solution until the sphere data inhabited AI on Discovery gives them a destination. Another forgotten, bleak, snow-swept world with no inhabitants except an archaically dressed man with a door. Georgiou enters and is back in the mirror universe, just before she killed that world’s Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green).
Part 2 continues where Part 1 left off. The bulk of the story is about Georgiou making some different decisions in a universe where she has changed but others haven’t. For every Kelpien she might save, it seems dozens of other have to die as the story moves through one bloody encounter to the next. Micheal is tortured and turned, but is it for real or is there more betrayal to come? All the normal cast get to be different versions of themselves all of which involve phaser blasts or assassinations of one sort or another. It’s all enjoyable but when the inevitable end is reached, there’s one key question: so what?
In what’s otherwise been a remarkable season for Star Trek: Discovery we return to a key concern. The original crew was already so large most secondary characters only appeared one week in three. Bringing the story forward in time added several more and the starship is too crowded. Many times Philippa Georgiou has stood out as a character without a cause, and the universe seemed to agree. Returning to our world, nothing has changed. She is still disintegrating on a fundamental quantum level. What was the point?
And then a bombshell. The writing team suddenly connected directly to one of the most iconic classic Star Trek stories of all time (no spoiler, but it was a two-parter starring J**n C*ll*ns). We did not see that coming and it fitted perfectly.
In the end, Phillipa Georgiou wasn’t sustainable according to the laws of Star Trek physics and her character had nowhere to go that wasn’t at the expense of another. And so we bid farewell to Michelle Yeoh and appreciate her contribution to a still-evolving drama.
Meanwhile we even got a little more on the story of the Kelpian ship and the origin of the Burn, so we expect it to be business as usual (though next week is also Christmas Day, so our review may be delayed by turkey). The previous series of Star Trek: Discovery can still be seen on Netflix, and new episodes drop every Friday.