Star Trek Discovery 1×8 Review: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
‘Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum’ was slow, but important. It not only strengthened our understanding of the characters, but introduced plot elements that could have far reaching repercussions.
“Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” translates to “If you want peace, prepare for war.” It was the straightforward theme of the episode, which took place on the harmonious planet Pahvo. The beings on Pahvo strive towards peace and harmony, but a large crystal tower on the planet can be used by the Federation to see past the Klingon’s cloaking technology and win the war. Accomplishing this mission is difficult all on its own is difficult, but when Saru finds peace on the planet by connecting with the beings, they face even bigger challenges.
Of all the characters on Star Trek: Discovery, Saru is definitely the most susceptible to the idea of eternal harmony. It’s in his DNA to sense death. I can only imagine the thought of living on Pahvo for the rest of his life is incredibly tempting. Considering he was also able to sense the creatures song when nobody else could, it seems there may be an element of psychic force at work between him and the planet as well. I really can’t blame Saru for his actions this episode. I just feel bad for the guy.
Meanwhile, I’m not really entirely sold on the relationship between Michael and Ash. Maybe I’m just thrown off because of the Ash Tyler theory floating around. Or maybe I’m just really over heterosexual romantic plots (except, of course, Syd and David on Legion). Or maybe they just lack chemistry. Either way, I’m not really feeling it. That’s not to say other’s can’t, though. Ship away, friends.
Still, despite my aversion to their romance, “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” did expand on their character development. While Ash wants to plan for the future, but Michael knows that she has to continue serving her life sentence for mutiny. It’s really tragic, but honestly mutiny is kind of a big deal and she’s ready to serve her time. That’s honorable at least.
On a more shallow note, Pahvo was damn beautiful, guys. No wonder the life forms on the planet are a bunch of hippies. I’d be all about peace and love, too, if I lived surrounded by such beauty. Damn, dude.
Next week is the fall finale. There are scheduled to be 15 episodes total this season, which means we can expect a 6 episode conclusion sometime next year. Star Trek: Discovery has also been picked up for a second season.
Author: Angel Wilson
Stephanie “Angel” Wilson is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award nominee for contributing fanfic on AO3.
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