In Review: Star Trek Discovery – Terra Firma Part 2 (S.3 Ep.10)

"Terra Firma Part 2" follows on and concludes last week's episode. Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) is still in the Mirror Universe, battling
Terra Firma Part 2

Synopsis: “Terra Firma Part 2″ follows on and concludes last week’s episode. Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) is still in the Mirror Universe, battling. The action centres around her and “Mirror Michael Burnham” (Sonequa Martin-Green). Consequently, there are huge decisions to be made. They’ll have lasting consequences. Also, this week reveals the identity of the mysterious “Carl” (Paul Guilfoyle).

Story

 

Terran Terror

The usual power plays of The Terran Empire are the focus, in Terra Firma Part 2″ . But it’s the dynamic between Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) that drive the story. Mostly, it’s all drama. A little too much so. Their relationship is already established. It didn’t need to be further affirmed. Certainly not the way it was. Unfortunately, the plausibility of the Terran attitudes suffered a little. As a result, suspension of disbelief waned, somewhat. Captain Killy (Mary Wiseman) and the crew do not tolerate weakness. That’s the central premise of the Mirror Universe. That said, The Emperor has absolute rules, which allows for it.

What’s really at play is a metaphor. The writers of Discovery are using the Mirror Universe to explore aspects of character. That much is clear. We’ve already seen a different Michael Burnham in Season Three. That’s the topic of our feature, Burnham and The Burn. Seeing how little Burnham changed in the Mirror Universe, allows us to see how much she has, in “our” universe. In quite a short time, too. The same is true of “Mirror” Georgiou, only in reverse. Her journey during this and last week’s episode has led to changing, forcibly.

“Carl”

Our most recent feature on Discovery, Q Continuum Continued? got its answer. And it was no . . . At least not for now. As the article referenced in our feature predicted, “Carl” (Paul Guilfoyle) is indeed the Guardian of Forever. A welcome return. Always great to see canonical references stitched in. Perhaps Q will show up yet, in a later season of Discovery. Or, maybe Captain Pike (Anson Mount) and his crew will have an early encounter, in Strange New Worlds (that we’ve some some concerns regarding cast and characters about).

Booker

Back in “our” universe, Booker (David Ajala) has solved an important problem. Crucially, he’s managed to use rogue tech to help solve the issue of the ship transmitting a distress beacon. Good use of him, following his discussion with Saru (Doug Jones) last week. It keeps Book as an interesting character. Not Starfleet, but definitely onside and one of the good guys. More than just a love interest.

Outcome and Departure

Perhaps with some inevitability, Georgiou leaves in “Terra Firma Part 2”. In many ways the departure’s more concerned with the story of Michael Burnham. The “of many mothers” element to her character. During their final confrontation we see some fine action. What worked well was that Georgiou didn’t win, so to speak. It was all about her trying. Georgiou’s scenes with the mirror Saru (Doug Jones) were a good part of the story’s message. Furthermore, they allowed Mirror Saru to feature. Not something easily achievable.

As Georgiou goes through the portal, the emotional resonance is well managed. A pay off from the death of “our” Georgiou. Brilliantly, Mirror Georgiou is more “our Georgiou” than the original. And as much to Burnham. Evidently. The crew all paying their respects to Georgiou felt genuine. Because of how good a character has been. She’ll be missed. She’s made the show a hoot, in her time in it.

Acting

A wonderful final week in Discovery for Michelle Yeoh. Her performance had it all. Including some fantastic action scenes. Yeoh showed her experience once again, in that aspect. Her skill and talent. But her emotional scenes were where she really excelled. They served as the embodiment of how Yeoh has come to know the character so well. There was enough restraint, to make Georgiou the stoical “lone wolf”. She captured that trait so perfectly. And This episode epitomized it. A character carved in a world of brutality and fear, And of terror. She’s given humanity to that character and left a mark on the show. Yeoh’s swan song really was a truly class act.

CGI & Action

The blazing orange lights of the dreaded agonizer were impressive, as Burnham writhed. And the dial being the same colour on the control panel also worked well. Small details, but important. The force field in the brig’s holding cell also used that same shade of orange. It’s fiery tone helped to conjure up atmosphere of the living hell that The Mirror Universe is supposed to be for those in it

Just before the return to “Carl”, a last battle. The way that it was done was more brutal than usual. And that worked well. People being shot through the head by hand phasers. And Mirror Detmer’s (Emily Coutts) stabbing and murder set things apart from “our” side. The darker side to everything is portrayed in the Mirror Universe. The death scenes showed that. Cementing the idea of the place well.

Overall

One way to think of Terra Firma Part 2″ is as a sort of backdoor pilot for the upcoming Star Trek: Section 31. We mentioned this in our most recent podcast episode. The departure of Georgiou was predictable. Our Q Continuum Continued stated we thought that it would happen. We weren’t the first, either. That feature referenced the article that predicted “Carl” to be The Guardian of Forever. It also said what we thought. These would be Georgiou’s leaving episodes. But the way it was handled was quite good. But not brilliant. Far from it. A steady improvement though, at least. We talk in more detail about that in Discovery Season Three – Story So Far.

Moving forward without Georgiou will be a big test for the rest of Season Three. We’re still to see a really big moment for Saru. Given that he’s the first non-human Starfleet captain to star in a Trek show. Saru: Alien Territory covers this. The final words of Georgiou seemed to suggest a potential power struggle between Burnham and Saru might be on the cards. Perhaps so, providing drama leading up to the Season Three Finale. This much is certain: Discovery will have to try and fill the gap left by Georgiou’s departure.

8.8
In Review: Star Trek Discovery - Terra Firma Part 2 (S.3 Ep.10)
  • Story
    8.3
  • Acting
    9.1
  • CGI & Action
    9.2
  • Overall
    8.7
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