REVIEW: Star Trek: Discovery – Episode 15 “Will You Take My Hand?”
As Zefram Cochrane once so eloquently said: “Sweet Jesus!”
This was surely the reaction of most Star Trek fans after seeing the last 30 seconds of “Will You Take My Hand?” This big reveal certainly overshadowed the rest of the episode. But then again, this wasn’t a challenging feat, as “Will You Take My Hand?” was much like the preceding “The War Without, The War Within”: a reminder that the excellent “What’s Past is Prologue” would have made a perfectly good season finale.
One can’t help but think Discovery’s producers decided to add two last episodes to the first season just so they could split the season into two parts. “Will You Take My Hand” was a slower-paced affair. And while it had some key character beats, and the (hasty) conclusion to the Klingon War arc, surely a two-part “What’s Past is Prologue” could have accomplished the same task in a more succinct way.
That being said, let’s not ignore the good parts of this season finale. Most characters were given a proper conclusion, whether it was Burnham getting her record expunged, the crew getting decorations for their service to the Federation (including the late Doctor Culber), or Tyler and Burnham’s goodbye. This latter scene in particular was welcomed following the abandonment Burnham dealt Tyler in the previous episode. But the most important character-centric aspect of the episode: if there was any remaining doubt, “Will You Take My Hand” concretely displayed that Star Trek‘s ideals are very much alive in Discovery. Nowhere in the season was this more evident than when the bridge crew stood up to Starfleet’s plan of destroying the Klingon homeworld. Burnham’s assertion that principles are all anyone has left in desperate times was a moment that would have made Gene Roddenberry proud.
Like any good season finale, “Will You Take My Hand” left the door open for some characters to return. There’s now a Mirror Georgiou running around the galaxy, so it’s a good bet we’ll see her again. Even though her exit seemed too easy and too convenient, Michelle Yeoh really nailed her character’s arc, both in the Prime and Mirror Universes. The contrast we see between the Georgiou in the first episode and the last episode is striking. With Tyler now running around with L’Rell, there’s a good chance that situation won’t work out very well for him, considering the situation L’Rell finds herself in. With the all-powerful tablet as leverage to lead the Klingon Empire, it’ll be interesting to see if L’Rell’s leadership is sufficient to unify the Klingon houses, or if the task of rallying the Empire will extend into season two.
Now to the part everyone will be talking about until season two: the reveal of the Enterprise herself. Turns out, the wireframe model of the Defiant we saw in the Mirror Universe was just a tease for a full reveal of the Discovery-era Constitution-class ship. But of course, you might notice the Enterprise looks a little different. There will surely be much debate about whether this was a good decision. But in any case, the reveal itself was quite well-executed. Discovery is on her way to pick up her new, unnamed captain on Vulcan when she gets a distress call from a Federation ship. A partial look at the distress call’s source’s registry number was the perfect tease before we got the full beautiful fly-by of the Enterprise. If you read David Mack’s novel Desperate Hours, you’d know this isn’t the first time Burnham and Saru encounter the Enterprise, so it’ll be interesting to see these existing relationships play out. Season two can’t come soon enough.
If one lesson is to be learned from these last two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, it’s that you shouldn’t stretch out a plot. Overall, this season was fantastic for many reasons, but perhaps most importantly for the pacing of its storytelling. “Will You Take My Hand” and the events of its predecessor could have been portrayed in a second part of “What’s Past is Prologue,” thus bringing Discovery to a conclusion worthy of its season.
- I don’t know about you, but I sure do enjoy a nice pan-fried Ceti Eel once in a while. And apparently so do the people of Qo’noS.
- The shot near the end of the episode with the camera moving into the bridge from above was a neat callback to the very first shot of Star Trek, when we saw the same camera movement in the “The Cage.”
- It was great to see Earth, fully realized in its future form.
- Kudos to Mary Wiseman for carrying the entire season’s comic relief basically on her own.
What did you think of the Discovery‘s season finale? Where do you think the series is headed? Let us know in the comments below.
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