One of the tried and true sci fi TV staples is the Ground Hog Day episode. Also known as a time loop episode. It was only a matter of time before Star Trek: Discovery tried their hand at it, I guess. Honestly, I'm surprised the show would do such an episode right now. Time loop episodes are almost always the "fun episode." They make good fillers because of their standalone nature. So for one, it's kinda unusual to get such an episode so early in a series. Time loops work best with a really established crew. Why? These episodes give the audience a chance to see well-established characters acting out of character. Not to mention showing the variations of "what would you do if there were no repercussions for your actions because no one will remember what happened in 30 minutes?" It feels a bit soon for such an episode.
I was also surprised because Discovery is tonally pretty dark and intense and just the episode before we had the admiral kidnapped and maybe set up by the captain. It seems kinda random to throw in a time loop episode with Harry Mudd after that. Though the plot does obviously tie back to Lt. Tyler and Captain Lorca being held prisoner with Mudd by the Klingons the episode before. He said it wouldn't be the last they saw of him...but I don't think anyone expected him to get on the ship by hiding in a space whale (I am loving all these space animals!).
My favorite part of this episode is definitely the character interactions. I am enjoying Space Stoner!Stamets soooo much. He's like high on spores all the time and it's hilarious. A total personality transplant—which is a vast improvement IMO. My heart is just bursting with affection for the bond he and Michael are developing after starting out so antagonistic. He teaches her to dance in a public hallway! And he's super kind and gentle when she tells him a deep personal secret he can use as a "you will instantly know I am telling the truth when I say this to you in the next loop" key.
I just keep loving Ensign Tilly more and more each episode. It was unexpectedly awesome to see her in her element at a party. She's so adorably awkward 90% of the time. Super confident and fun Drunk!Tilly might be my favorite Tilly.
OK. We have to talk about Michael and Ash. How am I so invested in this ship after one episode? Watching Michael struggle with her feelings because she likes a boy and he might (he does) like her back is what I'm here for. She's trying to human so hard! Each loop she gets bolder and bolder and I am so proud of my space daughter. I really hope something bad doesn't happen to this ship (*significant look at TPTB). Not only is it achingly sweet and pure, but 1. They are both hot and 2. An interracial couple with two people of color? Sign us up!
Um. Maybe you have to be a Winona Earp fan (and you should be a fan) to appreciate this, but Mudd's kinda sorta jilted girlfriend is played by Katherine Barrell. Also known as our favorite small town lesbian Deputy Nicole Haught!
Lastly, how happy am I that we are still having frat-ish parties with beer pong 200 years in the future? Very. Oh, humanity. Never change. But we're still listening to Saturday Night Fever 200 years in the future? Does the future really deserve that? But I'm just glad Discovery is staying away from the future-ish "fashion" we were visually tortured with on TNG, DS9, and VOY. Many of those outfits burned my retinas with their hideousness. I would totally wear the party clothes I saw in this episode though. Especially Tilly's uber cute black jumpsuit and heels that looked très chic.
Oh! Notice the same-sex couples dancing in the background during the party. Space gays!
Overall? Good episode. Pros? Nice character development and space parties. Cons? I really thought space whales would be cuter.