“Terra Firma Part One” Leaves “Discovery” On Shaky Ground

Time travel, rewriting history, a possible new omnipotent being. “Terra Firma Part One” sure does pack a lot into a “Star Trek: Discovery” episode. Georgiou takes center stage as the show tries to cure what ails her. The route we take to get there comes a bit out of left field and could be somewhat alienating to viewers.

Q Who?

The ship’s newly found consciousness suggests a way to cure Georgiou of the effects of temporal displacement. You can change universes or move backward or forward in time, but not both. The results are tearing Georgiou apart and making her disappear. Great Scott, that’s heavy! The computer suggests that she travel to a barren planet and she’ll find a cure without mentioning that there will be a guy with a door there. Everyone’s first thought was that this guy was a new iteration of the Q Continuum. He still might be, but we don’t spend enough time with him to find out. I don’t want an ending where what happens next is all just an exercise, and this guy, Carl, snaps his fingers, and Georgiou is all better. I also wouldn’t mind seeing a Q return, so maybe I’ll accept it after all.

Back To The Past

So Georgiou walks through the door, which takes her away from “Terra Firma” to the Mirror Universe. Specifically to the day she executed Michael Burnham for treason. It seems Michael and Lorca (I wonder if we’ll get a guest spot from Jason Isaacs next week?) have been conspiring to overthrow Georgiou. Georgiou decides that saving Burnham will somehow make things right and get rid of the time displacement effects. Please let me know if you manage to figure out why this would be. The only thing this plot turn does is lend stronger credence to Carl being a Q. Then, the Mirror Universe exercise is a standard “Christmas Carol” twist of the type we saw the original Q do a few times to Picard. All Georgiou will need to do is accept that her past is what makes her who she is, and all will be well. Otherwise, this trip down rewritten memory lane isn’t making a lot of sense.

Kelpien Terra Firma?

The dark counterpart story also robs a bigger reveal of the time and attention it needed. Last week the team uncovered a distress signal coming from a Federation ship at the heart of The Burn mystery. This week they find that the vessel issuing the call is a Kelpien ship. Saru reacts accordingly to the message. Part excitement that his people have moved so far from their slave past, but worry that his people caused this galactic disaster.

Should She Stay Or Should She Go?

It is hard to know what is coming in “Part Two.” This episode set could be an exit for Michelle Yeoh from “Discovery.” The time jump would make more sense for her next project, a series revolving around Section 31. And the inverse of Burnham’s origin story – initially killing the person that means the most in life to you, only to get a chance to ‘undo’ it later – is a nice send-off. It just feels a little off since we haven’t been able to spend much time with Georgiou. This season has attempted to fix that with varying degrees of success, and “Terra Firma Part One” is another of those tries. If it is a send-off, it feels a bit disjointed, but maybe it’s best for the character in the end.