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Star Trek Discovery: The Sanctuary

It's the middle of the season and all the story arcs are in motion.

Let's begin with the obvious A plot. It's hard not to like Book, and I'm enjoying his loving and supportive relationship with Michael. That said, this visit to his home world and the introduction to his brother Kyheem should have been less predictable, even though the resolution did its job of making Book like the Federation just a little bit more.

Our brief sojourn on the planet Kwejian expanded the ongoing plot about that terrible fashion accessory, the Emerald Chain. We finally met the often discussed big bad Auntie Osyraa, who actually used a Kwejian tranceworm to devour her failure of a nephew back on the slave planet Hunhau. Osyraa is the queen of a multi-planetary protection racket. Nice planet you have there, too bad if something should happen to it.

In Kwejian's case, Osyraa has used little blue balloon repellent to keep Book's brother Kyheem under her green thumb and providing her with tranceworms. And seriously. Is the Emerald Chain emerald because the Orions are green? I must acknowledge how cool it is that we've come such a long way from the green Orion slave girls in "The Cage" back in 1965. Not that I like Osyraa. She's snotty as well as homicidal.

And of course, she is still a threat. Osyraa wants Ryn, our blue antenna-lopped fugitive, because he knows Osyraa's secret that the Emerald Chain is running out of dilithium. Ryn, who is clearly not an idiot, threw in with Discovery, and helped Detmer attack Osyraa's ship with Book's to keep Starfleet off-book, so to speak. It was fun seeing Detmer enjoy herself so much as a fake rogue Starfleet pilot, attacking the Viridian. It was even more fun seeing Grudge attack Ryn's lap. I know, I know, but I'm a cat person. Cats are the rulers of the internet for a reason.


Even though it was the B plot, the heart of this episode for me was – surprise – Philippa Georgiou. The way she expressed her fear of dying by lashing out in an uber-imperial and vocally homicidal manner was genuinely touching. After a couple of seasons of indifference, I actually care about what happens to her now. Michelle Yeoh's performance was just spot on.

I was also genuinely touched by Stamets taking Adira (I hate this expression but it fits) under his wing. Adira told Stamets that they were nonbinary, and confided in him how upset they were that their invisible boyfriend Gray is hiding these days. Stamets and Adira playing keyboard and cello together was a perfect coda, pun intended.


Bits:

— The data on the Burn isolated its point of origin: the Verubin Nebula, which is emitting the tune from the seed vault which is somehow a distress beacon. Okay.

— I really don't understand why a planet with empaths couldn't find a way to empathically get rid of the blue balloons by themselves.

— Book's name used to be Tareckx. He changed it because his father and grandfather started working for the Emerald Chain. Why not "Tarex"? Maybe this is a good place to complain about how difficult it was for me to spell the planet name, the villain's name and Book's brother's name. Simplify, guys. You're driving me nuts.

— Linus is experiencing his annual shed and is not allowed in the mess hall. Too funny.

— Are the powerful and valuable tranceworms a little homage to Dune? Have I asked this question before?


— Janet Kidder (Osyraa) has appeared in several series I've reviewed, going all the way back to La Femme Nikita in 1999 where she played the younger version of a character played by her aunt, Margot Kidder.

Quotes:

Georgiou: "If I had time, I'd poison your children."
Culber: "If I had time, I'd have children."

Georgiou: "Nine hundred and thirty years of medical advancement, and you still need fancy equipment to deconstruct me? I could deconstruct the both of you with a snappy insult and a withering glance."
Michael: "Congratulations. Your mother must be very proud."
Georgiou: "I killed her."

Culber: "Her heartbeat is elevated."
Georgiou: "It's rage."

Tilly: "So far, we have narrowed it down to 'Execute,' 'Hit it,' and 'Manifest.'"
Saru: "Manifest?"
Tilly: "Nobody likes that one."
Saru: "'Hit it' was Captain Pike's."
Tilly: "Yeah, but you could put your own spin on it, like... (vocally twisting the sound) 'Hit it!'"

Saru tried "Execute" and "Carry on" as his new catchphrases. Guess we'll see if either are winners.

Tilly: "That's weird. Scientifically speaking."

Michael: "Hell of a way to bring me home to meet the family."
Book: "First off, you already met Grudge."
Michael: "Ah. Right, yes. And I'm grateful, every day."

Ryn: "You want to scare an Andorian child, tell them they're going to Federation summer camp."
Tilly: "That's not a thing."
Winning friends is Tilly's superpower, isn't it? And let me mention again that these two actors are married IRL.

So so. Two out of four blue balloon locusts which were actually rather pretty,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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