Star Trek: Discovery brings the heavy character drama in “All is Possible”

Sylvia Tilly, just returned from her quest  to apprehend J’Vini, is still feeling the call of adventure and volunteers to train a fledgling team of StarFleet cadets. However, something goes wrong and they crash land on a snowy planet. Actually, I think it’s a moon.

Meanwhile, Captain Michael takes a break from the action to navigate a political conflict; she and Saru are invited to sit in on a meeting between President Rillak of the Federation and President T’Rina of Ni’Var.

These storylines promise a lot of drama, and I was initially excited to get into them. Tilly and Adira are tasked with helping train this team of cadets, but naturally something goes wrong. The cadets don’t like each other, and their bickering exacerbates an already chaotic situation. I found myself most invested because of Tilly, who’s the one who answered the call to adventure at the start of the episode; seeing the bubbly Tilly transform into a decisive leader is captivating.

On the other hand, the kids don’t really come through as interesting characters. They seemed more like props there to heighten the drama; they’re inexperienced and young and put into dangerous situations.

I also could have used more focus on Adira. Early on, I thought Tilly would end up treating Adira as one of the cadets, when of course they are already a member of the Discovery. That idea is bought up a decent amount in the first and second acts, but in the end not much came of it.

That said, Adira is able to make friends with the cadets, which closes a loop opened at the beginning of the episode when we saw they have a difficult time meeting new people. Fair enough, but why not get two arcs in instead of one?

Star Trek gets into politics

Meanwhile, Michael and Saru attend a diplomatic meeting between the Federation and Ni’Var. The two parties have at long last come to an agreement and plan to join the Federation! Or so it was planned, but when President T’Rina announces the last minute requirement of an “exit clause,” things go belly up.

I enjoy me some political drama. It’s conflict of a different sort that can motivate characters just as urgently as any physical danger. Star Trek has a lot of political episodes and storylines, so this one isn’t out of place. I honestly don’t have too much bad to say about this story line; it kept the seasonal narrative moving forward and led to some interesting developments while providing a nice episodic story in and of itself.

I guess my one sore spot this episode would be Booker’s storyline. He is still looking for ways to heal after the destruction of Kwejian and shares some scenes with Dr. Culber. Personally, I think the episode would have been better if this storyline wasn’t there. I don’t think it adds much other than a break from the action which wasn’t needed when Tilly and Michael’s stories already contrast with each other, and both of them could have benefitted from a little more screen time.

And that’s this week of Star Trek: Discovery. I will return next week.

Grade: B+

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Get HBO, Starz, Showtime and MORE for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels