“Terra Firma, Part 2” says farewell to a great character in a poignant, fittingly Trek-y way.
This recap of Star Trek: Discovery season 3, episode 10, “Terra Firma, Part 2”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
And with that, we say a fond farewell to Emperor Philippa Georgiou, which is perhaps just as well. That’s not to say she wasn’t a great character, or that Michelle Yeoh wasn’t phenomenal in the role – both of those things are true. But as I lamented in my recap of the first half of this mostly very good two-parter, there isn’t really anywhere for a murderous Mirror Universe dictator to go, other than on a one-way trip through a swirly portal to a spin-off show. “Terra Firma, Part 2” still manages to find a lot of poignancy in her departure, though, with a redemption arc that even I was mostly content to swallow, all the past-life Kelpian eating be damned.
Speaking of which, we pick up where we left off in Part 1, which is in the Mirror Universe, in the immediate aftermath of Georgiou thwarting Michael’s attempted coup against her and throwing her adopted daughter into the Agonizer – a fate that is, hilariously, considered suspiciously merciful by Terran standards.
It’s a means to an end, of course, since Georgiou is trying to sway Michael around to another way of thinking so that she doesn’t have to kill her again, and it almost seems as though it has worked up until another double-cross which proves it hasn’t. There’s no escaping fate, it seems.
But changing the past isn’t the point of this excursion, as we learned when a fatally-wounded Georgiou snaps back awake in the Prime Universe, with three months having elapsed for her but only a minute for Michael and the enigmatic Carl, who turns out to be the Guardian of Forever from The Original Series. As it turns out, Georgiou’s whole Mirror Universe adventure was a test to figure out if she was worthy of being saved; if her time on the USS Discovery had changed her enough to at least try and do things differently. And, of course, as evidenced primarily by her lovely exchanges with Mirror Saru, it has. Georgiou is deemed worthy of a second chance.
The problem is that her cells are still being violently torn apart, so her second chance has to include a one-way trip to a time when the Prime and Mirror Universes are more closely aligned. And that means a very touching farewell with Michael – Sonequa Martin-Green has done a lot of crying this season – and a nice little toast aboard the Discovery.
Oh, yeah, the Discovery. Since so much of “Terra Firma, Part 2” takes place in the Mirror Universe it’s easy to overlook the fact that Book, following Saru’s advice to familiarize himself with the Starfleet Federation manual, has the rather significant idea of using Emerald Chain technology to boost the signal of the ship trapped in the Verubin Nebula. That’ll be a task for next week, then, or at least one assumes so, even if it’s hard to say one way or the other with Admiral Vance’s frankly ludicrous inconsistency when it comes to matters of leadership. Should we be questioning what he’s up to? One assumes so. But for now, it’s worth raising a glass to the wonderfully ill-tempered Philippa Georgiou. She’ll be missed.
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