Hello to all my fellow Trekkies! It’s time for another review of Star Trek Discovery. This episode is called “The Sounds of Thunder”.
meet the kelpiens
This action-packed episode starts off with Saru (Doug Jones) reflecting on where he came from and where he is going. In the medical bay, we see a recovering Hugh (Wilson Cruz). He gets a clean bill of health, aside from feeling out of sorts and a bit “off”. Apparently, his entire DNA has been reconstructed. Saru has been acting more aggressive since his near brush of death and subsequent survival of Vaha’ri. Medical tests reveal that his biology has been altered. His fear response is actually being repressed, and now Saru feels like he is losing his sense of self.
There are more theories about the Red Angel and time travel. The crew wonders if the entity is a savior or a clever mischief maker. There is a new signal detected outside Federation Space. It appears over Saru’s homeworld, Kaminar. We get a brief history of his planet that the Kelpien species shares with the Ba’ul. The Ba’ul have technology that the Kelpiens worship. The Ba’ul are a hostile race and are not responding to hails from The Discovery.
After some discussion, the crew figures they ought to make landfall and talk to some of the Kelpien priests to get more information about the Red Angel. Captain Pike (Anson Mount) wants to send Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) down to the planet. Saru is very upset about this decision and becomes argumentative. Luckily Burnham is able to convince Pike to let Saru go with her.
They arrive on the surface of Kaminar. It’s a beautiful, lush planet with lots of flora. The Ba’ul are called “The Watchful Eye”, and the two species are intertwined. Saru tells Burnham that his father was a priest, and as they approach his home village, Saru reflects that he sees the village differently now.
a family reunion of sorts
Saru is reunited with his sister Siranna (Hanna Spear) who is now a priest. After some polite conversation, she mentions that their father died in the culling, shortly after Saru left. In turn, he tells her about Starfleet and exploring the galaxy. Saru and Burnham inquire about the Red Angel. It turns out that their visit to the planet has gotten the attention of the Ba’ul. Their ship has its sights on the village and Siranna tells them to leave. They transport back to the ship. The Ba’ul hail the Discovery. Pike asks about the Red Angel. He gets a cryptic response about maintaining the great balance. Saru interjects and becomes aggressive towards the Ba’ul. He tells them that the Vaha’ri is a lie.
There is a Ba’ul attack force coming for Discovery. They want Saru. The Ba’ul are threatening his village. Pike dismisses Saru from the bridge to protect him. Saru sneaks off into the transport room and goes back down to the planet. The Ba’ul retreat their attack ships. Burnham figures the Ba’ul are hiding something, and comes up with the brilliant idea to check the Sphere archive for more information.
Saru wakes up on a Ba’ul ship. His sister is there too. After an assessment of their surroundings reveals no immediate danger, the two of them sit down and talk. Siranna tells Saru that she became a priest because of him. Suddenly they sense that they are being scanned and Saru is restrained. An alien emerges from the pool of water. It’s a hideous monster.
the truth shall set you free
The Ba’ul begin to speak in riddles again, but Saru has figured things out. It is during their intense conversation that the truth comes out. A very long time ago, the Ba’ul were once a prey species. Due to Saru having survived Vaha’ri, they now see him as a predator. They plan to kill Saru and his sister for knowing this. Saru fights back and the Ba’ul retreats.
The Discovery is being hailed. It’s Saru. He fills them in on what’s happened. The crew decides to force Vaha’ri on all the Kelpiens and create a new balance. They do this with the sound waves from the sphere which had initially triggered it in Saru. They magnify the soundwave across the planet. On the planet, there is a massive structure rising out of the lake. It’s the Ba’ul stronghold. Apparently, the Ba’ul would rather commit genocide than let the Kelpiens evolve. They have put out large pylons that are focused on all the villages, and when they are activated it will send out massive bursts of energy, effectively wiping out all the Kelpiens in one fell swoop.
Once The Discovery realizes this, they try to destroy the pylons and quickly realize the stronghold shields are very tough. They can’t penetrate its defenses. The Red Angel appears and suddenly the pylons power down. The shields are disabled. The Red Angel disappears as quickly as it came. The Kelpiens are saved.
Pike has a meeting with Ash (Shazad Latif) who remains suspicious about the Red Angel. The report from Saru reveals that the entity looked humanoid. This means that it has highly advanced technology the likes of which the Federation has never seen. Saru says goodbye to his sister. Siranna goes back down to the planet to help the Kelpiens adjust to their new way of life. After seeing Saru with his sister, it cements Burnham’s desire to go back home to Vulcan.
Ok wow. This episode totally blew me away. So out of all the aired episodes of season two so far, It’s probably now my favorite. Who knew that Saru was such a bad-ass? Holy crap Kelpiens are freaking strong. Is it just me, or do the Ba’ul look kinda like the girl from The Ring? Can you say ‘creepy’ or what?
Let’s talk about The humanoid Red Angel. Who thinks it’s Spock time traveling from the future? Well, that was my first thought anyway. It explains Spock’s connection to it. I guess we’ll know more soon enough.
I give this episode 10/10.
Catch a new episode of Star Trek Discovery on Thursday, Feb 28 on Space at 5E/8P.