Over the course of its first season, Star Trek: Discovery hasn’t exactly been upping the stakes; it’s more like the show’s constantly been sweeping them aside and replacing them with new ones, with one shocking revelation after another. The past few episodes have been teasing a season finale that would truly give us the unexpected. Will You Take My Hand? doesn’t exactly follow through, but it still gives us kind of a fun ride, mostly thanks to Michelle Yeoh’s gleefully wicked performance.
But aside from that, it’s mostly business as usual. The Federation is on the brink of not only defeat, but annihilation by the Klingons, which has made them desperate enough to enlist the former Terran Emperor (Michelle Yeoh) to impersonate their universe’s Georgiou and take the fight to the Klingons. As in literally, with an attack on their homeworld.
Even before they arrive at their destination, the new captain of course unnerves Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) with her cold demeanor, her demands, her disdain, and her single-minded pursuit of destruction, which includes beating up on the Klingon prisoner L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) in order to try to gain the information they need. You’d think Burnham would’ve mentioned the fact that they have a kind of man on the inside earlier in Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif), but she waits until after Georgiou has caused some physical damage to L’Rell first.
Tyler does prove so useful that Georgiou insists on bringing him along, and he continues to prove a valuable asset on another familiar sci-fi romp through a wretched hive of scum and villainy, which Georgiou is only too happy to partake in, particularly if she can gain not only pleasure, but information from it.
Also along for the ride is Tilly (Mary Wiseman), who besides Yeoh is the only one remotely fun to watch, as her chipper, straitlaced nature clashes with their hedonistic surroundings, especially when she has to blend in with the locals a bit by getting high. But clearly mind-altering substances have their benefits, because it leads her to discover the real reason they’re on the planet, and it involves making it uninhabitable. Burnham of course objects, and there’s an inspiring, if rather predictable scene of the entire Discovery crew threatening to mutiny if Starfleet goes through with this plan.
It’s another instance where the crew must come together to stop the threat, this time from within, while keeping the focus mostly on Burnham and those closest to her. Things play out a bit simplistically, and some choices are made that are truly galling, mostly by our heroes. Why is control of the bomb handed off to a Klingon? Why does Ash Tyler decide to leave with L’Rell? Things are also wrapped up a bit too neatly, but at least the show is going to finally acknowledge its continuity next season with the appearance of a far more famous, very…enterprising ship.