DSC spoilers ahead. At least, my thoughts about DSC ahead.
OKAY, I am reserving any SOLID judgement until we get more episodes because as far as I’m concerned, these two episodes were the prologue. The rest of the story is going to develop however it develops and we will be along for the ride, but here’s what I thought of what we’ve seen. Disjointed and everything, but here you go.
In general, I liked it. I liked a lot of aspects of it. Let’s start with that. I AM IN LOVE with Michael. I feel as though they have given her the opportunity to go through the character arc that Spock had at a much earlier time. In fact, I think we’re meeting her at the tail end of that character arc and seeing how it develops later. I think we’re going to see her embracing both sides of her heritage. The most powerful line of these two episodes was “Was it logic? Was it emotion? I don’t know.” Because I think she’s beginning to understand that every decision she makes will utilize both – which Spock didn’t learn for a long time.
I’m angry at Sarek, which isn’t new. I’m always a little angry at Sarek. He didn’t speak to his son for so many years, and here he has Michael, who he has PUT A PART OF HIS FUCKING SOUL INTO, who he actually encouraged to join Starfleet (like dropping her off at daycare, my wife pointed out. “Here’s my ward, have fun sweetie”). I just hope they explain why he gives Michael so much that he withheld from Spock. Though I assume it has to do with the expectations he had due to Spock’s half-Vulcan heritage, and he had lower expectations for a full human. I don’t know. I’m upset.
Klingons? Interesting. I’m looking forward to how their spirituality influences their culture, as we’ve seen very little of that in previous iterations of Trek. I think they set up some possibility for a lot of colonialist commentary as well. The line about securing their individuality really stood out to me, because for all I love Star Trek, the Federation has a lot of colonialist tendencies and I’m hoping they actually make the Klingons somewhat sympathetic? Like “we don’t want to buy into your colonization of the galaxy because we are our own culture”? I think that would be an interesting tension to explore, and something that they seldom if ever really address.
Okay, Phillipa. I ship her and Michael so hard I’m fucking FEDEX at this point, and I have about ten thousand angsty fic ideas already, but I’m so mad she died. I am still trying to figure out how I feel about this so for now I’m just going to say I’m really fucking sad. And I hope they explore Michael’s grief well. Possibly integrating it into her trauma from her parents’ deaths? THOUGHTS FOR LATER. ANYWAY.
It was very white. Even with two women of color leading the charge, there were a lot of white faces, and a lot of white faces in power. In part, Phillipa’s death upsets me because she could have been a character that came in and out, a woman of color commanding a vessel that we saw frequently. Instead, she died, and we’re going to have a white dude in the captain’s chair again. It’s just disappointing when they had so much opportunity.
In the future, I hope they have the opportunity to inject some of the optimism of Trek into this show. Like I said, this was the prologue and it’s still early, but I felt as though it was very dark. (and not just aesthetically). I just hope that they have their fun, their campy moments, their vision of the future because that’s why I love Star Trek, and I don’t need any more dark and gritty shows in my life. In fact, I need fewer.
Last thought: I love Saru and the whole Kelpian everything because I relate to this alien so hard. Anxious about everything? Suggests running away immediately? Yup. That’s me.
TL;DR: I’m curious to see how this goes, Michael Burnam is wonderful and I will protect her, Millipa will live forever, and I’m going to have to rewatch the first two eps to form any solid opinions.