When we saw the title of this episode, “That Hope Is You, Part 1,” the first thought was that we’d learn what happened to Michael Burnham and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery (after the grand finale at the end of Season 2). But, there is no “Part 2” on the schedule for the rest of the season. What we got was an episode full of hope, humor, and action.
We join the story with Michael as she figures out what to do 900 years in the future.
We begin the show with a view of a man (played by Adil Hussain) getting up, day after day, running through his routine, which included checking his teeth. He sat down at a desk and chair with no legs and (cool!) ad got to work. On his desk was a container with a Starfleet logo on it.
We then cut to see Cleveland “Book” Booker (David Ajala) as he pilots his odd-looking ship through debris in space. Since we’re 900 years in the future, Book’s ship is controlled in ways that we’ve never seen before. Buttons, switches, and even the holograms (that we saw in Picard) are gone, replaced by metal that molded itself under Book’s hands.
Anyhow, an alien named Cosmo Traitt (David Benjamin Tomlinson) was chasing Book, saying that Book “stole what he stole.” The species Cosmo belongs to (Betelgeusian) has an interesting back-story.
“It doesn’t belong to you!” said Book. “It belongs to itself.”
Book’s ship notified him that there was a temporal disturbance nearby, which happened to be Michael in her Red Angel suit. She collided with Book’s ship, which caused her to crash on the planet nearby — which she thought would be Terralysium.
She survived and got out of the suit, which told her that there were life forms nearby. She celebrated but cried when she could not find the Discovery. She looked over the horizon and saw smoke from another crash, and she started to walk toward it.
NOTE: These scenes were filmed in Iceland, and what a great place to do it. Unlike most all Trek shows from the past, Discovery is willing to spend the money to film on location. Like the desert at the start of the first episode, we get a new world for Michael to explore.
Michael arrived at the site of the ship and met Book. They fought, and eventually, she convinced him to help her. He had a knife, and she had her phaser, which he called an “antique.” He called her “rocket girl,” which she did not like.
She tried to tell her about where she came from, but he kept saying, “I don’t wanna know!”
He told her that she was on “Hima,” not Terralysium. She was amazed as she walked around Book’s ship, though she recognized the controls as updated, but still familiar.
Book stormed around his ship, complaining about the lack of dilithium. He blamed her for his needing more — well, she did make him crash, after all. He picked up a giant Maine Coon cat, who we learned is named “Grudge.”
He said that he could trade for more dilithium at the “Mercantile.” She offered her tricorder as an “antique” for trade. She would give him her old gear to trade for dilithium, and she would use a comm array to contact the Discovery. He agreed but told her to put on something over her uniform. He finally did tell her his name.
They walked off the ship, and he brought up a hologram interface, which he used to monitor the cargo on his ship. Michael realized that his secret cargo needed to be temperature control. He clicked a button on his wrist and his ship cloaked.
As they walked across the strange turf of Hima, Michael questioned Book on the cargo. He said that he “repatriated” the load. She called him a thief, but he said he is a courier.
He accused her of believing in ghosts, referencing the Starfleet delta on her uniform. He told her that the Federation was “gone.”
“That’s impossible,” said Michael. He told her that it collapsed after “The Burn.”
She didn’t know what he meant, and he couldn’t believe it.
“The Burn was when the galaxy took a hard left,” said Book. That was when the Federation stopped working. “Dilithium… one most of it just went boom.”
“Do yourself a favor and take off that badge before we get to Requiem.”
Michael was shocked, saying that this was what propelled nearly every warp-capable ship. He said that he did not know many details, other than many died during the Burn, and the Federation never said exactly what happened.
“They tried to hang on, but after a while, they just weren’t around anymore,” said Book. He said this happened 100-120 years ago before he was born.
“The Federation isn’t just about ships and warp drive,” said Michael. “It’s about a vision and all those who believe in that vision.”
“That’s nice,” Book said sarcastically. “Do yourself a favor and take off that badge before we get to Requiem.”
Poor Michael! Her face crumbled for a second, but she stayed strong.
After some time, they arrived at Requiem, and WOW, the city looked incredible. What a vision of the future. Above the city, a cylindrical ship or shape hovered, connected to the planet by a series of bridges.
NOTE: Just want to say that Jeff Russo’s score was amazing here. The music was lush and complex; he added so much to this scene.
Michael and Book enter the “ship,” which on the inside looked like a miniature Las Vegas or even Stardust City from Picard.
Everyone who entered the trading area passed through a security gate. This was where an Andorian and an Orion were working together. Michael was shocked by this pairing. Book told her to follow his lead.
“A portable transporter!”
A floating drone scanned Book (who checked out), and then Michael (who did not). They did not want to let her pass (saying that she was not a courier), but Book convinced them, saying that she had valuable antiques.
As they walked, Book explained how this place worked. Holosellers post a product, holobuyers purchase the object, and a courier gets a small bit of dilithium to make the trip.
“Every now and then, we get to make a deal for ourselves,” said Book. Michael happened to see people transport themselves elsewhere as they tapped their chests.
“A portable transporter!” she said.
They walked up to a doorway, where he told her the comm array was at. She gave him the tricorder, and told him good luck. She stepped forward and was immediately frozen in a stasis beam. He took all of her gear.
“You don’t know what you’re doing!” she said. “My crew!”
He said that he needed to take all her stuff to trade for dilithium.
“When I get out of this… I am coming… FOR YOU,” said Michael.
“You and everybody else,” said Book. “I’m sorry.”
She wound up in a cell, where the Andorian and Orion started asking her questions. They were a bit silly, perhaps comic relief, as they badgered her. Oh, and they did not like her answers.
NOTE: The Andorian had a bit of a rough look compared to the look of Andorians in earlier shows, especially when compared to the familiar look of Shran on Star Trek: Enterprise. This guy’s face had horn-like protrusions from his eyebrows.
Because she wasn’t answering questions in a way that they liked, they sent the drone into her cell and sprayed her with some sort of truth serum. She started giggling.
“Damn!” she said with a smile.
NOTE: This scene was quite funny.
Even on this drug, she rambled almost incoherently.
“Can you sit? It’s a super-cool story. It’s just in a completely devastating way,” she said with a laugh.
Meanwhile, Book bartered with an Orion woman to try to get dilithium for Burnham’s equipment. He left with no deal.
Burnham told the story and mentioned that she hit a courier (Book) who had stolen product on his ship. She said to him that whatever he was transporting, it needed to be temperature controlled.
“It’s probably ice cream!” she told them, and she told them his name.
Simultaneously, Cosmo caught up with Book and was punching the courier, demanding to know where the cargo was. The Orion, the Andorian, Burnham, and a few others walked up onto this scene.
She greeted Book with a punch to the face. Cosmo asked if he could shoot Book for stealing. The Orion said not until they got the cargo back. Cosmo then asked if he could kill Burnham instead. The guards surrounded her with their weapons drawn.
NOTE: Their weapons looked like giant rings, which they wore across their knuckles. The “launcher” part was about 8” from their fingers, which launched a red blaster bolt.
Instead, Michael nodded to Book, and they attacked. They picked the blasters and started shooting everything and creating chaos. She was still feeling the effects of the drug, so she laughed as she fired her weapon.
Book beat up an Andorian and took his other weapon. If the first “ring” blaster was like a gun, this thing was like a bazooka. It shot a massive blast against the assault team, knocking them all back. Michael screamed with laughter.
She saw that there was an unguarded supply of dilithium crystals, and she scooped them up. The Andorians used their “bazooka,” blowing Burnham and Book back. He used his personal transporter to beam them both out.
They appeared under a beautiful waterfall. He said that they needed to move, as the bad guys can track them. Michael used this opportunity to hit Book again. Soon, they were fighting three more security personnel and had to beam out also. This happened 2-3 times, and Book said that it took 30 seconds for the transporter to charge per jump.
The final jump was into water. Book said this was on purpose because they could not be tracked that way. They swam to the edge of the water, and Book took his shirt off to squeeze the water out of it.
“All time travel technology was destroyed after the Temporal Wars.”
He leaned next to her, and his forehead glowed… he soon summoned a plant from the water, which gave him an ointment. This salve healed a wound on Michael’s arm.
NOTE: Some swear this is magic or that Book was tapping into an “energy field created by all living things “… which “surrounds us and penetrates us.” I think that Star Trek is still science-based, that other star-franchise. We will get an explanation of what this is. I believe Book’s power will be more similar to Aquaman rather than Jedi.
She asked if he was praying, and he said that it was “something like that.” He wrapped her arm (which she seemed to like). Then he brought up the disc interface that we saw before, which Michael used to try to contact the Discovery.
No response. Book finally guessed that she was a “time traveler,” but he wasn’t sure how she arrived in his time.
“All time travel technology was destroyed after the Temporal Wars,” said Book. “Outlawed.”
NOTE: This was another reference to Star Trek: Enterprise. The Temporal Wars were a sub-plot for many episodes early on and drove many shows after that.
They walked back to his ship, and upon arrival, they were surrounded. They forced Book to give up the ship and turn off the cloak. Cosmo proved to be too much hassle for the group, and the Orion shot him.
NOTE: I must say that the effect of the characters’ death by these new weapons is quite impressive. Almost like they are incinerated, and their flakes float past in the wind.
The passcode for the ship was “sticky,” which Book tried not to give up. They took down the cloak, and we saw that Book was transporting a living creature. The Orion warned them not to shoot the beast, as the bidders on the holo wanted it alive … for eating.
They shot a bolt into the cargo hold, which woke the creature. As the creature stirred, Book told Burnham to close her eyes.
NOTE: We see a creature from Morn’s race as part of the security crew. Morn, of course, was a much-loved character on Deep Space Nine.
The creature, which looked like a giant slug, with crustacean-leg tentacles, attacked the team. We learn laater that it was “Molly the Trance Worm.” It ate the Andorian and Orion, and the other three (including the Morn) beamed away.
It also swallowed Michael, but Book got it to spit her out — with his powers. Then they warped off onto a new mission.
It turns out that Book saves endangered species. Since the Federation fell, there was no power to ensure any endangered species laws, except for Book. Michael liked that.
Michael asked Book what it was like to have those powers. He said it was “uncomfortable.” His family were killers and poachers, but he was different. He said that he was not welcome with his family.
“But I wouldn’t trade the way I am for anything,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to be different.”
He entered a code into a computer for passage to a place called “Centuri IV.” It was where he let the giant worm into the water with its kin. It was an Earth-like planet, full of beautiful red maplesque trees. Book said that was what his world looked like, but he had to leave it behind.
“How much did you leave behind?” he asked.
“930 years,” said Michael, “to ensure the future … a future.”
“Welcome to Starfleet. May I help you?”
She said she didn’t do it alone and said again that she needed to find the Discovery. Booker said that he thought he knew someone who could help.
They arrived at a “courier waypoint” in space, which used to be a Federation relay station. Again, this station was surrounded by space debris and trash.
Book and Michael walked into the office where the guy from the start of the episode sat.
“Hello,” he said. “Welcome to Starfleet. May I help you?”
She introduced herself, including her serial number. He introduced himself as Aditya Sahil, a Federation liaison.
“It would be my honor to assist you,” he said. She asked to look for the warp signature of the Discovery. He agreed to help but could not help her. It turns out that he can scan just a small part of the quadrant (a 600-light year radius).
Michael looked like she was about to collapse on the news.
“How is it that you don’t know what we all know?” Sahil asked.
She told him that she was from the past ad she explained that the Discovery was right behind her as they came through. They were either out of communication range, or they are “not here yet.”
Sahil said that meant they could arrive tomorrow.
“Or a thousand years,” said Michael.
Sahil confessed that he was not a commissioned officer. His father and grandfather were part of Starfleet, but he had never been sworn in.
“There has been no one to do it,” said Sahil. “Yet, I watched this office every day, as I have for 40 years, believing one-day others like me would walk through that door. That my hope was not in vain. Today is that day … and that hope is you, Commander Burnham.”
She started to cry. He asked her to do a great honor. He brought up that case with the Starfleet delta and opened it. Inside was the Starfleet banner, which he said had been in his family for generations.
“Only a commissioned officer may raise it,” said Sahil.
She said he was as much Starfleet as anyone and asked him to serve as an acting communications chief. She wanted him to continue the search for her ship. He agreed, and they shook on it.
“Our numbers are few,” said Sahil. “Our spirit is undiminished.”
Michael said that they’d find the others. They stood and gazed at the banner.
TREK REPORT SUPPLEMENTAL:
This was a good one. Way to start out this new season. Could we see a new kind of Discovery? This first episode appears to put our characters in the position to rebuild something, rather than running from an evil captain or destructive AI.
Since we’re 930 years in the future, Michael Burnham and her team are no longer in danger of mussing with the established TOS / TNG events.
Book is obviously a new love interest for Michael, and that’s cool. I am excited to see how the new gadgets (blasters, personal transporter, ship cloaking, etc.) will affect the stories that unfurl. His powers are interesting also. I think we’ll see more of Book’s backstory play out too.
I also liked Sahil and his story. He reminded me of what it must have been like for the guys who lived in those beacons between Gondor and Rohan (from Lord of the Rings). They lived in huts for years, waiting for the opportunity to light the beacons. Sahil had only his faith that someone would eventually come for him for 40 years. Wow.
And if you had a replicator and your own space station to live on, why not spend your life waiting? Others have waited for much less.
One quibble, if 900 years have passed, the English language would have changed. If you look at Shakespeare’s time (which was about 500 years ago), we can just barely make out what the Bard is talking about. Imagine nearly 1,000 years and aliens… what would happen to English? Michael would likely have to use the Universal Translator to speak with Book.
There was also one big thing that made this episode different from all others before it. We wrote something about that here.
RATING: 4 out of 5