The title of this weeks episode relates to the coin placed in the mouth of a person to be buried as payment to Charon the ferryman who takes them to the land of the dead. This is quite apt given the themes in this episode regarding death and final acts.
Instead of the mash of multiple plots this week the focus is really just on too. An encounter with a strange entity and the ongoing mystery of the Mycelial Creature.
The main plot was based on a timer with Discovery rushing to intercept Spocks shuttle before he moves out of sensor range. The information was provided by Pike XO from the Enterprise – Number One. This was a nice touch and links back to his characters first episode in the Cage. Another subtle touch was the TOS era type padd she passed to Pike with the information.
When Discovery is waylaid by a red sphere I thought that this was one of the red lights but it was a distinct, new entity hundreds of thousands of years old. The problem of communication was nicely handled as long as you don’t look to deeply into it and it gave Saru a moment to be the hero.
Auxiliary staff got much more work to do this week, we got to see Linus the Saurian more as well as the Doctor and of course the excellent engineer , Jet Reno from Episode 1. Her manner and character are brilliant and provided a great complement and juxtaposition to Stammets. She was shown to be practical, gutsy, efficient, no nonsense and still sympathetic.
Saru’s death throes and Burnhams reaction to it were moving and had me on the edge of my seat. I really felt that these two had become family, foster siblings of Georgiou’s. Its interestingly to see how their relationship has evolved from the disapproving paternal approach taken by Saru in season 1 to one of more equality and mutual understanding.
The plot with the spore parasite is fascinating and is obviously addressing why the spore drive is not a good idea. The plot has a kind of horror feel to it and you can’t feel sorry for Tilly, although this just might be karma for the jumped up command style she was starting to display, either way a foray into the fungal network is on the cards for Stammets and I think we can all guess who he will meet then.
This then was another solid episode for Season 2. The plot was tight and whilst there were some plot holes, what series has none of these? The feel was very Trek like and would have fitted neatly into any one of the previous series, long may it continue.