Su’Kal was one of those odd Star Trek episodes that I wanted to like but found myself underwhelmed. Its theme of an abandoned Kelpien raised by an AI computer on a holodeck is very much a mash up of the core of the Original Series and The Next Generation, however in the long run the episode falls flat.
The set up was fine, we traverse the hostile nebula, reach the dilithium planet and manage to beam down. We get the reveal of Culber and Micheal as Bajoran and Trill and Saru as a human. This was an excellent part of the episode, we got to see Doug Jones act without the make up and it was great to see his Kelpien mannerisms manifested in his human form. The esher-esque set and strange monster were engaging and added to the atmosphere and ethos.
The sections on Discovery were fine but I did question some of the tactics used, it made Tilly appear all talk and no action, perhaps we’ll see that action next week. What ultimately spoiled this episode was the reveal about the Burn. I like the idea of an innocent unknowingly causing it but the way this was handled jarred for me.
It may improve as more is explained but at the moment Su’kal acting as a conduit to the dilithium and activating it by shouting seems somewhat underdeveloped as an idea. I m willing to suspend belief in the short term but I feel the writers need to do a little more leg work for this plot idea to fully satisfy me.
There were some genuinely good parts, I liked Burnhams pretence of being part of the programme and Saru finding comfort with the Elder. Tig Notaro although only given only line knocked it out of the park she is a character that is becoming one of my favourite.
With only 2 episodes to go we have not all that much to wrap up, well just recovery the Discovery, rescue the Away Team and resolve the messy Burn issue. Previous final episodes have managed to generally come up with the goods and I trust these will as well.