In what's probably one of the most surreal moments of Star Trek: Discovery flipping its own script in the season three premiere "The Hope Is In You, Part I" feels like a giant reset button was hit. The beginning of the episode foreshadows renewed hope for the end of the episode where we discover what happens in a galaxy largely absent of the Federation. Being far removed from Starfleet isn't a novel idea for Star Trek since Voyager carried the ship's crew across into the Delta Quadrant with nothing but their personalities, intuition, and principles to guide themselves home.
A Fresh New Start for "Star Trek: Discovery"
The situation feels different because from the beginning of the episode, it goes back to basics since Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) finds herself all alone and no one else to turn to. She finds out no amount of what she spent her life preparing for braces for the distant future. Starfleet is no longer one of several forces in space, but it's just an idea and relic from a time long forgotten. From the opening tone of the series, it doesn't have any intention of going back. After the red angel's trajectory crashes her into a planet, Burnham set to eliminate any trace of its existence by setting it off back to the temporal portal and in self-destruct. She meets Cleveland "Book" Booker (David Ajala), who is a trader in desperate search of dilithium, which is still the basis of deep space travel in the Star Trek universe.
Burnham finds out quickly the trouble she gets herself into while trying to make an ally out of Book and his issues with the Orions and Adorians. The episode is primarily to establish the chemistry between the old and new galaxies between Burnham and Book. Staying consistent with the standard more action-oriented nature of new Trek, we do get introduced to some fascinating new tech like instant transporters. The console effects and the 3-D rendering on the screen are welcome new elements. While the episode felt like its own self-enclosed film, it does a good job allowing Burnham to come full circle with her resolve. Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi and written by Michelle Paradise, Jenny Lumet, Alex Kurtzman, Anthony Maranville, Chris Silvestri, and Brandon Schultz, there was a lot to help keep audiences engaged beyond the standard pew-pewing. In a sense, Burnham might have just met the Star Trek version of Han Solo. Star Trek: Discovery airs Thursdays on CBS All Access.