CBS All Access original Star Trek: Discovery returned Thursday with its second season premiere, “Brother”. There’s a clear change in tone in the show—it’s more brightly lit and the appearance of Enterprise members in the more classic Starfleet uniforms makes it more colorful. Even though references are made to the events of last season, this feels more like a soft reboot of the show.
We pick up where we left off with the Enterprise in distress. Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount, fresh off his Inhumans stint) takes over command of the Discovery to continue the Enterprise’s investigation of blinking red signals. When they arrive at the only signal left (there were seven), they find what remains of a Federation ship that had been missing since the Klingon war.
The episode is called “Brother” and, of course, the shadow of Spock looms over the premiere. Protagonist Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) spends much of the episode thinking about her relationship with her adoptive brother, to her detriment. There’s nothing wrong with introspection and reminiscing, but the flashbacks weigh the show down and does nothing except paint young Spock as a brat. For instance, there is a scene where Burnham steps foot into Spock’s quarters on the Enterprise for what’s supposed to be a big revelation, but it was incredibly difficult to care about the revelation at all.
The introduction of Pike to the crew is a strong point in the show’s favor. Mount’s version of the character is a stark contrast to deceiving former captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs). Pike is charming and witty; he even asks for crewmember’s first names when he takes over the bridge. Mount and Martin-Green play well off each other and he breathes new life and some badly needed fun into Discovery.
After the doom-and-gloom of its freshman season, it’s nice to see Discovery heading in a lighter direction in its sophomore season. With the addition of Captain Pike, a new mystery, and hearing the words “Space…the final frontier…”, it feels like Discovery is finally starting to earn that “Star Trek” in front of its name. 4/5 Bibles.