Overwhelming Cloaking Devices And False Peace Highlights Star Trek: Discovery, Season 1 Episode 8
“Can you please make it stop, even for a moment? We were biologically determined for one purpose and one purpose alone: to sense the coming of death. I sense it coming now. We have come to Pahvo for your help. We have come to end this war. I am so afraid. So. Afraid.”
You’re in a time of war, and your enemy has a technological advantage that makes you unable to fight them on equal footing. This has happened so often throughout history: with iron vs. bronze weapons; with the invention and application of gunpowder; with the rise of nuclear capabilities. In space, the augmentation of a cloaking device makes the Klingons virtually invincible, and the Federation is losing this war, badly. What are they to do? What comes next? The ability to see an invisible ship is what’s needed, and this latest episode highlights an attempt to do so, by exploiting an uncontacted alien world. The aliens there are sentient, however, so using this technology would be a violation of both the Prime Directive and First Contact protocols. But what’s the ethical thing to do? Is it better to not interfere and face certain defeat? Or to exploit their technology, violate your principles, and gain the advantage?
Star Trek: Discovery is a show where right-and-wrong isn’t so cut-and-dry. Despite its flaws, it’s an interesting development that makes you think, without providing easy answers. Those, fortunately, will come next episode!