Well where do I start with this homage to the very first Trek ever produced. I think this is perhaps this is the first time in Discovery in which the existing canon is so clearly referenced and shown. The opening with a Last time on Star Trek was great and by having the original footage they showed that they were staying faithful to the material even if they were updating the visuals.
It was exciting to go to Talos IV and exciting to finally see Spock in some form of action. Ethan Peck does make a convincing Spock and I see more of Nimoy in him than Zachary Quinto. Quinto played Spock a little too aloof. I always felt the Nimoy’s Spock knew the joke was on him and was aware of the dynamic, he just chose not to engage at their level. Quintos was too arrogant. Ethan Pecks Spock, what we saw of him was assured and growing in confidence. He is aware of Micheals actions and what needs to be done but chooses to maintain his distance from her despite understanding her reasoning.
As always, and I m getting a little tired of saying this but Anson Mount as Pike was excellent and it was great to see the reunion of the character with Vina. It gives his overall arc much greater power and a new level to Spock taking the disabled Pike back to Talos in TOS.
The Stametts, Culber andTyler triangle was handled well. Culber is struggling with his new life and its nice to see that the reset button hasn’t been pressed. He has issues to deal with and Stamets has to let Hugh go to let him work through it. You can see the hurt in Stamets, its worth raising the question is it worse to love someone and then have them die or to love someone and have them reject you.
The fight was nicely handled and I like the new assertive Saru perceived the need for Tyler and Culber to fight it out even if Pike disagreed. It was also a nice beat to highlight that both men do not know who they are.
The Section 31 stuff was alright and Michelle Yeoh continues to steal the scenes but added little to the episode, additionally, despite breadcrumbing us with the sabotage undoubtedly by Airiam there was not resolution and a somewhat lackustre ending.
The Talosians were well handled and were there just to fix Spock, which they have done. Some work could have been done on the sets the start did feel very much like a quarry not an alien planet but it was a nice touch to have the blue singing plants.
All in all a solid episode which continues to drip feed us the puzzle of the Red Angel although with 6 episodes still to go I wonder where it will lead.