As I settled in to watch this week’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery 3X07 “Unification III”, with a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers, I couldn’t help but be grateful for the way the show continues to model the world as it could be. While the world of Star Trek is not without its problems, the way it continues to show people making an effort to understand and work with each other is the heartwarming sci-fi family drama that I need this holiday season.
Here are the things that elicited squees and heart-melting from me.
Book & Michael
It wasn’t surprising to see Book & Michael finally consummate their love in this episode. What got me though was that little line in the end. “You feel like home.” “So do you.” THE FEELS.
Positive Female Friendship
One of the best things about Star Trek: Discovery is the unlikely and heart-warming friendship between Sylvia Tilly and Michael Burnham. Tilly is able to speak candidly to Michael, airing her grievances, but also expresses her deep care for her best friend. Michael acknowledges her error in judgment. That’s the mark of real friendship–being able to express grievances and to make amends without pride getting in the way. Positive female friendship needs more airtime and it’s wonderful to see it happen on Star Trek: Discovery.
Spock is potentially the most beloved character in the entirety of the Star Trek universe. When Michael pulls up a video of Spock from his cameo in the Star Trek: The Next Generation 2-part episode, “Unification I” and “Unification II”, I confess that I got choked up. The connections and parallels they continue to draw between Spock and Michael are wonderful. More, please!
Michael’s Dissertation Defense
When Michael invokes the T’Kal-in-ket, the process described could not help but evoke the image of a student defending their dissertation. It was fascinating to watch Michael not only present her arguments, but also to watch how she actually used emotion to win the favor of the Ni’Var (formerly known as Vulcan).
It was also great to see the ties between Discovery and Picard with the addition of the Qowat Milat and the return of Dr. Gabrielle Burnham as Michael’s sha-set (advocate). Getting Michael to work past her fears and getting her to offer absolute candor in her defense demonstrates again the cultural duality she lives in—human and Vulcan. It also demonstrates that even though she only got to be in a small part of Michael’s life growing up, Gabrielle does indeed hold a deep understanding of her daughter.
The Affirmation of Sylvia Tilly
The gentle humility and thoughtful wisdom of the Discovery’s resident hyperactive ginger have earned her the respect of Captain Saru. As someone with similar hyperactive tendencies and personality quirks to Ensign Tilly, I felt not only her affirmation but my own.
The way she cares deeply not about her own potential promotion to acting First Officer, but how that promotion will affect her relationships with her friends and fellow crew members show her leadership potential. A good leader must understand how interpersonal dynamics play a role in the success of a team, which clearly Tilly does.
Just say yes, Ensign Tilly. You’ve earned it.
What do you think about Star Trek: Discovery 3×07 “Unification III”? Leave a comment and let’s talk Trek.
The next episode of Star Trek: Discovery will air on December 3, 2020 on CBS All Access.