At this point, not even halfway through the second season of “Discovery,” it seems like the only way they’re going to redeem it at all is if they go full absurd. Like the Red Angel, which is actually a time traveling humanoid in an outfit with metal (as in heavy metal) wings. Unless it’s Matt Frewer, it’s not going to be worth it.
This episode gives Doug Jones a lot to do. “Discovery” isn’t just a show set in the 23rd century with aliens and mushrooms and warp drives, it’s also a show where you’re expected to take Doug Jones’s acting seriously. It’s like they made a terrible deal—you get into this makeup, someday we’ll give you a lot to do. And now they have and it’s awful.
And it’s not the makeup, because we meet Jones’s sister, played by Hannah Spear, and Spear is fine. Not great, but fine. No way she’s going to be great with the crappy script, which opens with a nonsense, poorly delivered monologue from Jones. He gets the big plot this episode—going back to his home planet and discovering the big secrets of his people and whatever—then there’s a couple C plots with Wilson Cruz being uncomfortable with his resurrection (and not very good at the acting) and then Anson Mount and Shazad Latif bickering about Starfleet principles versus Sector 31 fascism.
Sonequa Martin-Green is entirely back up for Jones, which is a heck of a slight. Not only is she top-billed, it’s supposed to be her show. It’s not the script lets her shine either. She’s in crappy scenes opposite Jones, who probably commits at least some major Starfleet violations this episode but gets an entire pass because… the show wants to leave us stuck with Jones.
Mount gets a single good scene, when he and Latif are bickering. “Star Trek: Discovery.” The secret recipe for success is the white, cishet captains.