Star Trek: Discovery Into The Forest I Go Review
Star Trek: Discovery: Season 1, Episode 9: Into The Forest I Go is competently enough made, but lacks the awe-inspiring quality of previous episodes and makes for a mediocre winter finale.
Up until this point, there hasn’t really been a bad episode of Discovery. In fact, there still hasn’t been one : although Into the Forest is underwhelming, it’s far from a terrible show. It’s just that compared to the hilarious camp of Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Insane and the thought-provoking drama of Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum, the straightforward action of Into the Forest I Go feels almost like a step backwards. True, having built up to this final confrontation between the Discovery and Kol’s (Kenneth Mitchell) ship, it was expected that we would see something like this, but I do wish it could have been rendered more artfully.
Not that there aren’t exciting moments during the program. Indeed, the initial exchange of fire between the Discovery and the Klingon flagship is nothing less than stellar, with the former teleporting back and forth as it fires on the latter. While nobody watches Trek for the special effects, the computer graphics used to bring the fight to life are stunning, with vibrant colors and fluid movements that together form a fantastically vivid picture of interstellar combat.
Regretably, this excellence in technical matters doesn’t carry over to other elements of the show. Stamets (Anthony Rapp) figures pivotally in the plot, but other effective characters like Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) and Saru (Doug Jones) are largely sidelined in favor of Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Tyler (Shazad Latif). Try as the show might with its delving into Tyler’s torture and abuse at the hands of the Klingons, it can’t overcome the simple fact that as Tyler, Latif is a handsome face and little more. Nothing he does in this episode, from trembling under the influence of PTSD to confiding to Burnham that the Klingon L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) raped him, even comes close to the sheer vulnerability and desperation Lorca and Saru respectively exhibited when learning what they valued most might be taken away from them in earlier episodes. Perhaps this apparent stiffness was written into the character and there’s only so much Latif can do with it, but at any rate Tyler ranks as one of the least interesting things about what is an all-around captivating series.
It’s hard to tell where the show will go from here right now, but we can only hope that future episodes and seasons of Star Trek: Discovery take their lead from every other installment of the show rather than Into the Forest I Go.
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