In Review: Star Trek Discovery (S.4 Ep.3) Choose to Live

Choose to Live' concerns more than one story. Captain Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) must pursue a rogue Qowat Milat nun

Synopsis: ‘Choose to Live’ concerns more than one story. Captain Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) must pursue a rogue Qowat Milat nun (Ayesha Mansur Gonsalves). Book (David Ajala) continues to attempt to try and find some meaning from his grief . . .

Story

The writers did a good job of creatively using the newly named DMA (Dark Matter Anomaly), named by Stammets (Anthony Rapp). The very real effects of its presence were smartly used to also tie in with the current political frailty of the still recovering Federation. The tensions between justification and action were explored well. Furthermore, it was smart way to bring back Gabrielle (Sonja Sohn).

‘Choose to Live’ had more than one meaning. For example, Book (David Ajala) had to begin to come to terms with things. But also the term applied to Tilly (Mary Wiseman), too, who was still struggling from in events in the Season Four debut episode, ‘Kobayashi Maru’. Finally, we had further application of the title. It applied to the bond between Adira (Blu del Barrio) and Gray (Ian Alexander).

Acting

Some good performances. Great to see some  strong presence from Anthony Rapp, as Stammets. Rapp clearly understands the character is a powerful personality. Also great to see Rapp continue to build a great onscreen dynamic with David Ajala’s Book, too.

Blue del Barrio did a wonderful job of powerfully expressing how scared we can be, when we’re lonely. The sheer desperation that comes with loving someone, shone through. In this case, it’s Gray (Ian Alexander), who also did a fine job of showing the same thing.

CGI & Effects

Again, simply stunning. But what stood out this week wasn’t so much the CGI, but the sword fighting. No matter what other futuristic technologies, swashbuckling is still extremely cool. The choreography was done extremely well, and the threat of dying was very real, as we saw how dangerous and capable J’Vini (Ayesha Mansur Gonsalves) was. Having the Qowat Milat taken out by phasers just wouldn’t feel right. Also, it’s always good, and very important, for a show not to have to rely solely on how impressive it looks visually.

 

Overall

‘Choose to Live’ was a decent offering, and a well managed affair. The season’s main plot device is still “the anomaly”, but at least we saw more than just that. All three of the stories this week were extensions of it. Even the ongoing story of Adira’s journey was related, indirectly. Last week’s episode ‘Anomaly’ saw Adira struggle. So, that makes the bond to Gray even more vital, in the face of the DMA. It was good to see nuance used, and used to powerful effect. Also, a good return of traditional “Trek” motif of the morality of an issue being explored. The limits of The Federation were again depicted, as J’Vini felt there was no way they would help her as an individual.

 

9.6
Star Trek Discovery (S.4 Ep.3) Choose to Live
  • Story
    9.5
  • Acting
    9.4
  • CGI & Effects
    9.7
  • Incidental Music
    10
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