Star Trek: Discovery season 3 continued with the pivotal second-part of its story determining the fate of Phillippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), "Terra Firma". The bulk of the episode dealt with Georgiou's return to the Terran Empire of her Mirror Universe, where she rules as Emperor. Georgiou must of course face the question of whether or not one can truly go home again, after being changed from a great journey and/or new experience. However, at the end of that sci-fi parable, there were still some narrative questions in need of answering - first and foremost being how Georgiou was given a second chance at her not-so-wonderful-life.
Well, in "Terra Firma, Part 2" Star Trek: Discovery confirms what many fans guessed from the outset: Georgiou's strange journey came courtesy of a character from the undisputed best episode of Star Trek The Original Series!
Warning! Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 SPOILERS Follow!
Georgiou's trip back to the Terran Empire proves traumatic, as she is ultimately unable to stop a violent clash between herself and the Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) of her world. When Georgiou made it back to reality, she had very big questions in need of an immediate answer: Was it all real, and who had done this to her.
As it turns out, Phillippa Georgiou had been through her own encounter with the Guardian of Forever - best known from the Star Trek TOS episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" (S1E28). The Guardian of Forever was a being that claimed to be both man, machine, and neither, and functioned as a portal to other times and dimensions. Star Trek: Discovery tried to fool fans by having the living portal take human form as "Carl" (Paul Guilfoyle) in "Terra Firma, Part 1". Even so, many savvy Star Trek fans connected the dots and predicted the Guardian of Forever is making a return. And they were right.
In Star Trek's "The City on the Edge of Forever" a drug-crazed Dr. McCoy used a strange portal on an alien planet to change an event in Earth's past, inadvertently erasing the Federation and USS Enterprise from existence. Kirk and Spock followed and ended up in the 1930s where they got drawn into a sick twist of fate. A kind woman working at a local mission helps Kirk and Spock track down McCoy, while also falling in love with Kirk. However, it turns out that woman, Edith Keeler, is the disruption to time: When McCoy prevented her tragic death, she starts a movement that delays America's entry into WWII long enough to spell doom for the world. Even though he fights it, when the moment comes Kirk must allow history to play out. He saves the timeline but breaks his own heart while straining his bond with Spock (who would let Edit die) and McCoy (who fought to prevent it).
"The City on the Edge of Forever" is an almost perfect example of Star Trek turning deep philosophical quandary into rich sci-fi genre entertainment. The episode routinely tops the fan list of "Best Star Trek Episodes", while Star Trek cast and crew members (including William Shatner) often cite it as one of the series best, as well. It was a bold move to do another ode to the Guardian of Forever in this way, but Star Trek: Discovery pulls it off, as Georgiou and the Terran Universe have also been major standouts of the modern franchise.
Star Trek: Discovery season 3 is streaming new episodes Thursdays on CBS All Access.0comments