Synopsis: “There is A Tide” directly follows last week’s episode. Osyrra (Janet Kidder), whose crew have taken Discovery, reveals her aims, finally. And Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) begins the difficult fight to retake the ship. Meanwhile, Saru (Doug Jones), Doctor Culber (Wilson Cruz) and Adira (Blu Del Barrio) are trapped on the planet we now know is the source of “The Burn”.
Good use of the pre-title sequence. Firstly, it used previous footage of Tilly (Mary Wiseman) to show that her character will feature heavily. But that wasn’t really the case. We thought it would be, following Tilly’s promotion, that we covered in Tilly: Time for Promotion and Tilly’s Promotion: Too Much Too Soon. This was a bit disappointing, but not surprising. Though in fairness there’s still time next week for Tilly (Mary Wiseman)to have a genuinely big moment. But with Saru (Doug Jones) out of the picture during this episode, this may have been the only chance, for now. But she did at least appear much more commanding than she has been before.
It’s down to Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) to liberate the Discovery. After Booker (David Ajala) equips her with a device to shield her from scans, they board the ship. As a result, Burnham can covertly attempt to regain control. And does so in her best John Mclane impersonation, from Die Hard (1988). Some tropes will always work, no matter the setting. The tech given her by Booker (David Ajala) was a good idea. And it worked well. So too did Burnham becoming injured, early on. Crucially, It showed vulnerability.
Terms and Tactics
At last, we finally find out what Osyyra (Janet Kidder) wants, in “There is A Tide”. Seeing a different side to her character was significant. For instance, it forced Admiral Vance (Oded Fehr) to accept that things aren’t as cut and dry as “good and bad”. Unfortunately, the sudden change seemed more of a required plot device, than good character writing. Because it came a little late.
Seeing Stammets (Anthony Rapp) face off against Aurelio was another good way to explore “sides”. Stammets (Anthony Rapp) appealed to the humanity of the Scientist. But the story he got was an interesting one. Again, this showed that the old world of The Federation is less relevant. This was the topic of our feature, Discovery: Finding Its Feet in The Future. This set up is more interesting.
When we wrote Discovery Season Three: Story So Far we didn’t discuss The Sphere. And vitally, the data it possesses. As “There is A Tide” showed, it turns out that’s important. And right at the end of the episode we see a further evolved version of it. Three small robots. For some perhaps another convenient plot-device. But it was planted early in the series. So, it’s fair that it gets to be used to save the day. What it also served as is a pretty cool way to prove violence is always a last resort for Starfleet. Knowledge is their way.
Janet Kidder as Osyyra and Oded Fehr as Admiral Vance shone in their scenes. They helped to make “There is A Tide” a cerebral episode, not just an all action affair. Their exchanges had a gravitas and tension. The two actors really made sure that their respective characters knew what was at stake. It was good to see Kidder get to develop her character. Despite the fact that it came too late in the series Kidder still managed to make Osyrra a more interesting character than she was before. Kidder did a fine job during her scenes.
Effects & Action
Following the “previously” on Discovery montage, we saw a very impressive ship battle. The lasers look wonderful. And you are fully able to believe that you are watching a version of the future where there are space ships. Crucially, ones that are capable of firing energy weapons, too. This season has really gone all out to make the most of absolutely cutting edge CGI. Fair to say they’ve nailed it.
The scene where Booker (David Ajala) and Burnham crash land on a shuttle bay of Discovery was impressive. It was reminiscent of the scene in Star Trek (2009), where Kirk only just makes it onto the ship. A well done stunt. Fun and the right amount of tension in it, too.
Whilst the series has used past Trek canon effectively, this episode very much focused on the series arc. When we thought that “Carl” may have been a Q, we wrote Q Continuum Continued?. We followed that article with Star Trek’s Past. Another feature that linked Discovery with previous shows, suggesting possible future ideas. But “There is A Tide” was very much an episode that belonged in the future. Things are very different now. And that matters. Our most recent feature, Will The Burn Burn Out Discovery assesses “The Burn” as chief plot device/story arc, for Season Three of Discovery. This episode dealt with the political aspect of things too. And did it well.
If ever there was an episode for developing character this was it. We keep harking on about it because it’s important. The most Detmer did (Emily Coutts) was fire a gun. We’ve made The Case For Detmer’s Development. Maybe we’ll never see it. At least we have a slightly different Michael Burnham, which we predicted in Burnham and The Burn. The willingness to kill, displayed by her in “There is A Tide” served as good microcosm for the “Starfleet way”. It prefers peace, but will defend itself when necessary. Furthermore, this idea’s been a key theme throughout Season Three. But, it’s always cool to see confrontation and get to watch exciting action scenes.
- CGI & Effects9.6