What a finale! “Into the Forest I Go” was a barnstormer of an episode, capping off the first chapter of Star Trek: Discovery in style. The previous episode, “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum,” also gave us an insightful character episode, diving deeper into the personality and attitudes of Saru while advancing the larger Klingon War plot into the midseason finale.
1. Evasive Pattern Beta Nine
“Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” scribe Kirsten Beyer is a huge Star Trek: Voyager fan, and has penned a number of fabulous Voyager novels (that you should absolutely ready if you have not already).
Her love for Voyager was demonstrated in that episode in the choice of evasive maneuvers by Captain Lorca while trying to defend the USS Gagarin from attack by the Klingons. Evasive patterns Beta Two, Beta Four, Beta Six, and Beta 140 appeared in episodes of Voyager.
2. “A bird-of-prey cannot fire when she’s cloaked!”
Kol, in his attempt to take control of the houses of the Klingon Empire, has been trading cloaking devices for loyalty. These cloaking devices have the same rules as in previous shows, namely that a ship cannot fire while it is cloaked.
Later, in “Into the Forest I Go,” the sound effect heard when the Klingon Ship of the Dead decloaks is very similar to the effect used for Commander Kruge’s bird-of-prey in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
3. USS Muroc
Admiral Terrell tells Lorca in “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” that in addition to the destruction of the USS Gagarin, the USS Muroc was ambushed.
Muroc was a Vulcan sub-commander who escorted Vulcan Ambassador Soval to mediate a cease fire between Vulcans and Andorians in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Cease Fire.”
4. Away Mission
“Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” gives us our first true away team — or should we say landing party — for Star Trek: Discovery, and like in previous shows the First Officer leads the mission accompanied by several department heads.
While that might not make a lot of sense from a real-world perspective, it’s how Star Trek has done it at least as far back as Star Trek: The Next Generation!
5. First Contact
Lt. Commander Saru is a first contact specialist, and takes the lead in making first contact with the Pahvans in “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.”
We have had references to the Prime Directive and General Order One in previous episodes, but this is the first true call out to First Contact and the protocols that Starfleet has developed for conducting it in Discovery.
6. “The needs of the many…”
Burham and Tyler, while discussing what their futures hold after the end of the war during “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum,” trade off the famous phrase from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan that has become something of a Vulcan aphorism in the Star Trek universe.
T’Pol and Soval also reference the Vulcan saying in Star Trek: Enterprise episodes “The Council” and “The Forge.”
L’Rell, in her conversation with Admiral Cornwell in “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum,” calls Kol a petaQ! The famous Klingon insult, which marks its first use in Discovery in this episode, dates back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Defector,” and since has appeared frequently throughout subsequent Klingon appearances.
8. Cadet Decker
During “Into the Forest I Go,” the intercom pages Cadet Decker to the ready room. Could this be Will Decker, briefly Captain of the USS Enterprise during the extensive refit after her five-year mission? The timeline might align!
9. Legion of Honor
Following the destruction of the Klingon Ship of the Dead and finding a way to break through the Klingon’s cloaking technology, Captain Lorca is informed in “Into the Forest I Go” that he will receive the Legion of Honor, a Starfleet commendation.
Doctor McCoy and Lt. Commander Data are both later recipients of the Legion of Honor.
With the show growing more confident in itself and developing its own mythology, the number of references to previous Star Trek shows has decreased. As a result, we combined the two episodes together for the purposes of this article.
We can’t wait for Star Trek: Discovery to return on January 7 and see what happens next.