But if we’re being honest, this episode is from David Ajala. Book’s grief is both immediate and overwhelming — the show essentially confirms that barring the discovery of aliens elsewhere, he’s now the last of his kind — and he’s responding to it in…probably the way we all thought we were. he would. He’s angry, he’s desperate to do something, he’s devastated, that the new beginning he didn’t even know he needed was snatched from him before he could tell the people involved how much he cares gave them. It’s our clearest look yet at who Book is and what drives him, and I look forward to more of that as the season progresses.
Still, it turns out that Ajala and Anthony Rapp have some pretty fantastic chemistry together and the fact that Stamets not only doesn’t love Book that much, but also feels real jealous his is in some ways a beautiful and necessary contrast to the child glove treatment he gets from everyone else. Is it a bit of a horrible cliché that the two discover a grudging respect for each other on their near-death journey through the outer edges of the anomaly? Yes definitely. Do I care? Not at all.
Because the two bond because they feel helpless – as well as Stamets’ silent promise to solve the mystery of what happened to Kwejian in thanks for the fact that Book saved his family from the dilithium planet last season, well Yes. I’m mature enough to admit it hit me right in the heart. I don’t know if it makes sense for these two guys to become friends, but this spiky new bond between them really works for me.
There’s actually a surprising amount of other stuff going on in “Anomaly,” despite the fact that most of the episode, rightly so, focuses on trying to figure out what the unexplained space event could be. Saru is back serving as Burnham’s new second-in-command. (“Mr. Saru” is a perfect title.) There’s something to be said for the show not raising the issue of his return and quietly restoring him as the ship’s emotional and moral compass with little fanfare. It’s almost laughable how quickly Saru is called in to be literally everyone’s therapist, but Doug Jones just exudes the kind of quiet care and kindness that makes it clear why everyone wants to tell him all their problems.
Culber is getting pretty close to completing the synthetic body for Gray (complete with a Picard attribution and some details about the technology behind it). Star Trek: Picard fans will definitely find it interesting). Adira works overtime to impress Tilly with their algorithm skills during a crisis, though the newly appointed lieutenant seems to be having a minor crisis of faith about the career path she’s believed in all her life. A classic overachiever, it makes sense that Tilly could flounder now that she’s at least partially accomplished a goal she’d probably wanted to spend most of her life chasing, trying to process everything she went through during the disaster. with the repair ship.