Star Trek: Discovery S03 "Unification III": Timelines Come Full Circle

Star Trek: Discovery - "Unification III"
Star Trek: Discovery episode "Unification III" is probably the strongest of the season from director Jon Dudkowski and writer Kirsten Beyer. Anchored by powerful performances from Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, and Mary Wiseman, it delivers the best the franchise has to offer and proves how well the series thrives when dealing with adversity even when it comes from within.

The latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery turns the page on the franchise's biggest storyline between the Federation, Vulcan, and the Romulans. By no means is it resolved by the end of the episode, but it's a significant step forward that helps ties together the Federation's biggest ally in Vulcans, and The Next Generation's biggest threat the Romulans. "Unification III" finds relations between Starfleet and Ni'Var strained in the 32nd century, which is tied to the burn, so much so that the Vulcans decided to leave the Federation.

Star Trek: Discovery S03 "Unification III": Timelines Come Full Circle
Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2020 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

With Cmdr. Michael Burnham's (Sonequa Martin-Green) insubordination related to the events of "Scavengers", Capt. Saru (Doug Jones) demoted her from first officer status. Despite the recovery of a piece related to the cataclysmic event, Michael licks her wounds contemplating her future in Starfleet. With her rearing up in Vulcan society as Spock's adopted sister, the Federation earned a foot in the door. The episode is satisfying on so many levels because of how it ties up Spock's diplomatic efforts to unite the Vulcans and the Romulans. It also gave fans an opportunity to relive Leonard Nimoy's memorable performance in the two-part TNG "Unification" episodes provided much-needed closure for Burnham. It would be hard not to shed a tear with her knowing what Spock became.

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Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2020 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

There is a surprise unexpected return in the episode who helps acts as It's a Wonderful Life's Clarence to Burnham's George Bailey to the point where Martin-Green goes full Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in front of the joint Vulcan-Romulan panel when her integrity gets questioned. It's probably one of the most satisfying moments in Star Trek history. Jon Dudkowski made his directorial debut and I have to say he has a bright future ahead and Kirsten Beyer probably wrote the strongest episode of the season. Credit definitely goes deservedly to Martin-Green, who probably turned in her finest performance to date for the series and that's saying a lot. Jones' Saru is showing similar features of being like Sir Patrick Stewart's Picard when it comes to his style as captain.

"Unification III" belongs in any top 10 favorite Star Trek episodes of all time and certainly top 5 of Discovery. The series streams Thursdays on CBS All Access.

This post is part of a multi-part series: Star Trek: Discovery – Season 3 Reviews.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.

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