Star Trek: Discovery Had The Two-Hour Premiere Everyone Hoped For

Returning 2020

Spoilers ahead, so watch both episodes first!!

For everyone who patiently waited out last night’s football game to catch the two-hour, double-episode premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, the new series definitely made it worth our while. From the opening scene featuring Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and First Officer Michael Burnham (series lead Sonequa Martin-Green) doing good deeds on a desert planet, to the opening credits, all the way through to the final, devastating act in the second episode, Star Trek: Discovery easily earned a spot near the top of our list of favourite shows.

In series opener ‘The Vulcan Hello’ (a ‘fire first’ euphemism for engaging the Klingons), we get a feel for characters like Doug Jones’ Kelpien Lt. Saru, Kenneth Mitchell’s Klingon Kol, and Burnham, with her Vulcan upbringing and hints of a tragic past. We also meet two important figures whose time with the show is destined to be limited—but their impact likely won’t be. Burnham’s close relationship with Cpt. Georgiou makes it clear that the Captain trusts her and values her opinion above anyone else’s on the ship. Which makes Burnham’s betrayal (even if you see it as justifiable) all the more shocking when it comes.

It’s Burnham who makes the initial contact with the Klingons—the first in a century. Thought to be scattered, divided, and incapable of staging an organized attack, the Klingons have ceased to be viewed as a threat to the Federation. Until, that is, a determined T’Kuvma, head of ruined Klingon house, steps up to unify them. Like Georgiou, he too has a disciple: Kol.

Confronted with the presence of the Klingons at the edge of Federation space, Burnham (following the advice of her Vulcan guardian, Sarek) recommends that the Federation fire first. She goes to great lengths to make this happen, but the effects of her Vulcan nerve pinch are short-lived.

In the second episode, ‘Battle at the Binary Stars’, Burnham’s mutiny earns her a stay in the brig. As she feared, legions of Klingon ships appear and make quick work of the Federation forces sent to confront them. The attack on the Shenzhou leaves her in imminent danger of being sucked into space and the extensive damage the ship’s endured hasn’t exactly made saving her a priority. Using Vulcan logic to argue for the computer to release her, she shows up on the bridge to offer her assistance in capturing T’Kuvma (because killing him would make him a martyr).

As the Klingons beam aboard their dead, Georgiou equips one of the bodies with a warhead that causes significant damage to their remaining ship, allowing a cover for her and Burnham to beam themselves aboard in an attempt to capture T’Kuvma. In the ensuing fight, Burnham wounds Voq and Georgiou kills T’Kuvma… but she’s killed too. Saru beams Burnham back aboard the Shenzhou before she has a chance to try to recover her Captain’s body.

The second episode ends with the Shenzhou in ruins, the Federation at war with the Klingons, Burnham stripped of her rank and sentenced to life in prison, and us just trying to catch our breath. Is it next Sunday yet?

5 questions we have about “The Vulcan Hello” and “Battle at the Binary Stars”

1. The new opening credits and theme song are so great. Anyone else reminded of West World’s awesome opener?

2. Are the Klingons—with their desire to keep their race and culture pure and their Randian politics of individuality—the alt-right of 2256?

3. Wow. The Discovery showrunners weren’t joking when they said that they’d be willing to kill off people who seemed like main characters in brutal Game of Thrones fashion (read: quickly and with no warning whatsoever). Chris Obi (T’Kuvma) and Yeoh (Captain Philippa Georgiou) are gone after just two episodes. Who’s next?

4. With T’Kuvma dead, is Voq his natural successor? Because: yikes. As our current political climate shows, underdogs with axes to grind are dangerous, erratic, and entirely unpredictable.

5. Life in prison for Burnham? That sentence seems a bit harsh considering all the mitigating circumstances surrounding her actions. Also: she was RIGHT.

Watch new episodes of Star Trek: Discovery Sundays at 8e 5p, and check out the two-episode series premiere below: