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.
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.
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.
- Star Trek: Discovery "Scavengers" Review: Swashbuckling Under Pressure
- Star Trek: Discovery S03 Die Trying Review: Home Is Where The Heart Is
- Star Trek: Discovery "Forget Me Not" Review: Adira Goes on Trill Ride
- Star Trek: Discovery "People Of Earth": Trek Never Changed, But We Did
- Star Trek: Discovery "Far From Home": Showdown at the Dilithium Corral
- Star Trek: Discovery S03 Review: "The Hope Is In You" Bold New Footing