His Dark Materials
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"Vaulting Ambition" sticks its landing, skillfully balancing philosophical musings of Trek past with fresh character development of Discovery present.
Whereas past Treks have felt like playing in the holodeck, Discovery is like playing in the holodeck... with the safety protocol permanently disabled.
This is the kind of dilemma Trek has always excelled at - you can hear Picard's monologue all the way from 1992 - and sets up an intriguing episode next week.
It feels churlish to criticize a Star Trek show for prioritizing plot twists, world-building, and World of Cardboard speeches over sensible pacing or less-overwrought dialogue.
"Vaulting Ambition" was Discovery's headiest episode yet, a installment that made good on all the series' promises of serialized drama.
As if the stakes weren't high enough for Star Trek: Discovery, the episode "Vaulting Ambition" decided to up them even more.
The final minutes of "Vaulting Ambition" are incendiary and shocking in ways new to Star Trek.
It is of course very interesting and complicated that everything was all part of someone's evil scheme, but he is still alone on a ship full of enemies, so next week's likely to concern how he had planned for that all along too.
As Season 1 races towards its conclusion, the show has finally gained some narrative momentum with its serialized plotting.
We are truly going where no man has gone before.
I've said it before but this iteration of the Mirror Universe really delights the macabre heart of me.
I want this show to live up to its initial premise and promise: exploring the Federation's ideals and testing them
The best thing about this episode, for me, is that I genuinely don't know what's going to happen from here on out.