In a time when the entire world seems to be in chaos, Star Trek: Discovery is a gift that keeps on giving. Star Trek has always been at the forefront when it comes to demonstrating humanity as it should be, regardless of what was happening in the world at the time. Discovery is no different.
This week’s episode hit on some high points that I think we as a society could use right now. Here are a few of the highlights for me.
Living in Community is a Challenge Worth Facing
Star Trek has never had a true holiday episode of any kind, and there are only passing references to Christmas in the show, but I can’t get over just how much Captain Saru’s dinner gathering had all the trappings of a Thanksgiving meal, complete with arguments, and Sassy Aunt Phillipa, leaving the table, bottle in hand, saying, “Well, at least the wine was good,” after everyone else leaves in a huff. That is the unfortunate reality for a lot of family gatherings, especially this year.
And yet, the Disco crew are able to put their differences aside, acknowledge their hurt, and collectively say, “We are not okay.” The Disco crew has experienced real trauma and are facing challenges previously unknown to humanity. It is a task unenviable, but they must deal with it together. Going together is a good place to start.
“We were wrong.”
How many people do you know that willingly admit it when they mess up? They apologize when they were wrong about an attitude, action, or choice they have made. They ask for forgiveness when grievances are given and aired. I feel fortunate to live among friends where this is commonplace, but when I look at the rest of the world, this is seldom the norm. It was so encouraging to me to watch the Trills willingly say, “We were wrong,” when they acknowledged their prejudice towards Adira, the first non-trill to successfully host a symbiote. Would that we all follow their example.
The Healing Power of Laughter
It’s not a cure-all. It’s not a permanent fix, but a good laugh can sure go a long way towards bringing some healing when you’re working through some hard things. On a personal level, I was in a fairly deep depression earlier this year, months before COVID hit the US. I had no idea until a dear friend pointed it out. That was the beginning of me coming back from it; the turning point was spending the evening and well into the night, laughing over dinner, drinks, and games with my two best friends. It was simple, it was silly, but the three of us just laughing did much to release me from the darkness to which I’d become accustomed.
Taking the computer’s suggestion of a Buster Keaton film to heart, Saru orders a “family movie night.” Watching the crew just simply laugh and enjoy each other brought back fond memories of a Saturday night in February where the sadness and hurt I was feeling took a step back and joy took a step forward. It wasn’t a magic pill that immediately fixed everything, but it was a step in the right direction.
That’s what I love about Star Trek: Discovery; it is a shining example of what it looks like when people continually takes steps in the right direction.
The next episode of Star Trek: Discovery airs on November 12, 2020 on CBS All Access.