Hello, trek fans! I’m back with my review of season 2 episode 2 entitled ‘New Eden’.
After a quick recap of the last episode, episode 2 starts with Spock’s personal logs. It turns out that he knew about the signals even before Starfleet recorded them. His is currently in a psych ward on Starbase 05. He didn’t want to see his family. Spock and Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) haven’t spoken in years.
Another signal appears all the way out in the Beta quadrant, over 56 000 light years away. The crew decides to activate the spore drive to get there. Lt. Stamets (Anthony Rapp) is reluctant to do it because he saw Hugh in the network. When they reach their destination there is no signal but there is a Class M planet with human life signs. There are about 11 000 people living in the colony. There is an SOS transmission that is revealed to be over 200 years old.
We get a bit of history here about World War 3 in the year 2053. The colony on this planet is pre-warp, so the team that goes down to investigate must observe ‘General Order One’, which is the old name for the Prime Directive. Burnham, Pike (Anson Mount) and Joann (Oyin Oladejo) beam down to the surface.
On the Discovery, Tilly decides to try and get a fragment from the asteroid chunk that had brought on board. While extracting the fragment, she gets some energy feedback and is thrown across the cargo bay and knocked unconscious.
meeting the colonists
The away team arrives on the planet and they meet some of the inhabitants. They pose as people doing a pilgrimage from the north. Their colony is called New Eden, and the planet is named Terralisia. The society observes several of earth’s main religions from 200 years ago. The away team finds out that in 2053 the original colonists had holed up in a church to try and escape the nuclear fallout of the war, and an ‘angelic being’ appeared from nowhere and spirited the church and its inhabitants to this planet.
Back on the ship, Tilly (Mary Wiseman) is recovering. She gets a dressing down from Saru (Doug Jones). When she explains that she was trying to build a dark matter navigation interface so Lt. Stamets wouldn’t have to go back into the network, Saru softens a bit. The crew becomes alarmed when they realize that the radioactive particles from the planet’s rings have started to break apart and are sending deadly radiation into the planet’s atmosphere. They have an hour before nuclear winter hits the planet. There is no way to transport or warn the away team. They have to try and save the planet.
In the colony, Pike and Burnham have a heated discussion about the Prime Directive. Burnham wants to liberate the people and bring them into modern times. Pike says to leave them be. In the end, he orders Burhama and Joann to follow General OrderOne. There is a colonist who suspects that they are not who they seem. In the middle of their discussion, he throws a sonic bomb into the room and knocks them unconscious. When they wake up, they discover their belongings are missing and go confront the colonists. One of the children in the colony accidentally fires a phaser and hits Pike. He is now in critical condition.
Harnessing the power of dark matter
Meanwhile, aboard the discovery, a recovery Tilly figures out how to utilize the dark matter asteroid to pull the radioactive particles away from the planet. She gets help from an old friend named May (Bahia Watson). After doing another jump into the radioactive rings, they manage to essentially do a ‘donut’ around the planet to drive away the particles after releasing the asteroid from the cargo bay. They save the planet. Tilly reaches out to find her friend and thank her, only to discover that her friend had died years ago.
Pike and the others are safely back aboard. Pike is recovering and later he and Burnham talk. She tells him about the angelic being she had seen before he had rescued her on the asteroid. Pike beams down to the planet and talks to Jacob (the one who knew they were from a more modern time). Pike gives Jacob a power cell in exchange for the video footage of what happened when the founding colonists had arrived.
Upon watching the video, Pike sees the angelic being.
I really enjoyed this episode. I like the fact that it feels like a ‘one and done’ kind of thing. There is a major story arc obviously, but you could watch this episode and not feel completely lost. I liked the humor of Captain Pike again when he talks about the spore drive. I am interested in seeing what happens with Tilly and May. I’m wondering if she is seeing her deceased friend because she had injured her head? Only time will tell.
Overall I give this episode an 8.5/10.
Catch a new episode of Star Trek Discovery on Thursday, Jan 31 On Space 5/8C.