Star Trek: Discovery‘s “There is a Tide…”

The 800th installment of Star Trek as a franchise is Trek‘s latest Die Hard pastiche as Book, Burnham, and the bridge crew fight to take Discovery back from Osyraa’s Regulators while Osyraa herself is negotiating with Admiral Vance, and those diplomacy scenes are some of the best such in Trek history. My review of the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Discovery‘s third season, “There is a Tide…”

An excerpt:

And then negotiations break down, because Vance hits her with a stipulation she obviously wasn’t expecting and won’t go through with. Osyraa’s own history as an antagonistic force to, y’know, everyone means she can’t be the head of the new allied-with-the-Federation Emerald Chain. While she’s willing to step back, she’s not willing to commit to a ruler who isn’t her puppet (she claims to be, mind you, but Eli, the lie-detector hologram played with hilarious blandness by Brendan Beiser, calls her on it), nor is she willing to be arrested and tried for her crimes. Vance insists on that point, because Federation ideals still mean something, and they’re not just going to get into bed with a criminal who claims to have reformed unless she puts her money where her mouth is with regard to that reformation.

These sequences are quick-witted, intelligent, and compellingly played by Fehr, Kidder, and Beiser. From the negotiations themselves to the discussions of Eli (putting a human face on the lie detector was more comforting than red and green lights) and of the food (how it’s pretty much recycled shit), and they’re just as captivating as the action sequences aboard Discovery.

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