From the moment the “previously on” appeared on the screen in the retro style with clips from “The Cage” all the way to the end when Discovery goes renegade, I had a big goofy grin on my face. This episode has so much, and it does it all well, from moving the general story forward to finally giving Spock some serious screen time (and revealing the source of the rift with Burnham) to being a sequel to “The Cage” to dealing with Saru’s evolution and Culber’s resurrection, and more and more, and it’s fantastic. Extra points to a superlative performance by Anson Mount as Pike. My review of Star Trek: Discovery‘s “If Memory Serves.”
Last week, I said I was looking forward to seeing Anson Mount’s Pike deal with being exposed once again to the Talosians and this week’s trip to Talos IV gave me all I was hoping for. But even before that, the cut from Jeffrey Hunter in the scenes from “The Cage” to Anson Mount on the bridge of Discovery was magnificent. I thought the casting of Mount was perfect when it was announced, and “If Memory Serves” just reinforces that.
But what really got me was the look on his face when the image of Vina appeared in the ready room. That was the moment I was waiting for, and Mount managed to show a tremendous range of emotions in that one instant: shock, confusion, desire, anger. His trip to Talos IV had a huge impact on him, and Mount shows us every emotion that this puts Pike through. I’m not one for soulmates, in fiction or in real life, but it’s obvious that Pike and Vina believe that they are each others’ soulmates, and the tragedy of their separation is etched on Mount’s face.