Star Trek: Discovery "There Is A Tide": Yippee Ki Yay, Michael Burnham

Given the timing, it feels like the latest episode of CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery in "There is a Tide…" should have taken place during Christmas with the overly blatant reference to Die Hard. This is the second part of at least a three-part arc where the U.S.S. Discovery was just hijacked by Osyraa (Janet Kidder), who seeks an audience with the Federation. The Orion attempts to fool the Federation thinking the ship is being fired upon in pursuit by her own ship to try to get them to lower their shields for safe passage. Hot on their tail are Book (David Ajala) and Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), who are on Book's ship trying to warn Starfleet.

Star Trek: Discovery "There Is A Tide": Yippee Ki Yay, Michael Burnham
Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2020 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

After an impromptu crash landing to Discovery's shuttle bay, Book gives Burnham a way to mask her life signs so she can go all commando to try to liberate the crew while he gives himself up to the Emerald Chain to avert suspicion. While the senior officers are being held sans Stamets in the mess hall, they try to devise a plan out of their predicament. While Burnham doesn't have a machine gun as John McClane did in the original 1988 film, she does have her wits, her extensive hand-to-hand combat training, a blaster she can summon at any moment from her armband. As if that one-woman force with her guerilla tactics wasn't enough allusion to the John McTiernan classic, at one point during the episode, she also manages to lose her boots. The only thing missing is if Burnham screams for Book the way Bruce Willis' McClaine did for Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) near the end of the film.

Star Trek: Discovery "There Is A Tide": Yippee Ki Yay, Michael Burnham
Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2020 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

We still have a part III at least to see if Osryaa will tell her hand man Zareh (Jake Weber) and the remainder of her henchman/regulators to shoot the glass for her "detonators". There's a lot of plot to unload, but it's part of the fun. Obviously, there's tons of tension, hardly any sciencing, and some standout performances by Kidder and Oded Fehr, who has a recurring role as Admiral Charles Vance, who's as vigilant and stoic a Starfleet officer as they come. Fehr's definitely been a boon to the series since his introduction in season three.

Star Trek: Discovery "There Is A Tide": Yippee Ki Yay, Michael Burnham
Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2020 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Written by Kenneth Lin and directed by Trek vet Jonathan Frakes, there's definitely more than enough nuance revealed her particularly about Osyraa making her far more layered adding to the already impressive list of memorable franchise villains. She's definitely one of the most developed of the series. I can certainly hope Kidder has a future with the character beyond the current arc. Other notable performances come from Anthony Rapp and Kenneth Mitchell. who carried their characters in such an empathetic way. The season finale of Star Trek: Discovery streams on January 7 on CBS All Access.

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 Fangoria. As a 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.