Season 1 of ST:DISCO ended with the Discovery happening on a disabled Enterprise and this is where Brother picks up.
As glad as I was for the show to marry up to (almost) the original series, I was peeved when Pike came aboard and immediately took command from Saru. Though I was pleased he acknowledged the unfairness of his orders. Pike also gained points with his speech to the bridge crew, understanding why they were reluctant to trust him. In fact, the way Pike epitomises the ideals of Starfleet was welcome after the duplicity of Lorca.
The reasoning for Saru’s displacement was the synchronised broadcast of seven signals across the galaxy, thousand of light-years from each other. It would have been nice had these signals been taken as a mystery rather than a threat, but on the back of the Starfleet-Klingon war, perhaps that assumption was a given. Though Michael does point out that investigating the light puts Discovery back to her original mission of… well, discovery.
Despite the possible threat, the overall tone of Brother was much lighter than much of the first series, which was something of a relief. Pike demanding “Where’s my red thing?” made me laugh out loud. The whole asteroid story added several dimensions – a possible replacement for the tardigrade, the saving of Chief Engineer Reno, and the appearance of an angel-like creature.
Yet weirdly, despite the presence of the Enterprise and the episode title, Spock was noticeably absent. Instead we got flashbacks to Michael being adopted by Sarek and Amanda, and the sense that not all was well between the two children. Oh, and Michael going aboard the Enterprise in a glorious, retro moment!
Brother possibly tried to squeeze in too many new things, and I feel the original crew of Discovery were overshadowed by Pike and the ghost of Spock to a degree, but it was definitely a rip-roaring episode. And the scene between Stamets and Tilly was lovely. Overall, I found it fabulous and, though I enjoyed the journey to the dark side, am glad we’re back in the light. Pun not intended.