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Full spoilers chase for this episode.
The acknowledgment of Harry Mudd to the Star Trek cosmos for Discovery Division 1 was consistently a bit of a head-scratcher. Rainn Wilson, huh? As a appearance who hasn’t appeared in live-action aback 1967? And a abundantly comedic appearance at that? O.K. then…
And yet actuality we are, with the latest Abbreviate Trek, “The Escape Artist,” and Wilson has already angry aboriginal Mudd amateur Roger C. Carmel for the cardinal of times he’s played the role (Carmel was on The Aboriginal Alternation alert while additionally delivery the appearance for an adventure of The Animated Series, while Wilson was on Disco alert in S1 and now stars in this short). Somewhere forth the way, Wilson’s Mudd has acclimatized in as an accustomed allotment of this era of Star Trek, and “The Escape Artist” absolutely gives us a account area the appearance assuredly gets to win for once.
Not aloof that, but the abbreviate is additionally appealing fun, and funny. Alike if it doesn’t bulk to abundant in the end.
The abhorrence of yet addition Harry Mudd adventure is that we’re aloof in for added of the same: lies, laughs, controllable treachery, and Wilson advance for the camera. And “The Escape Artist” does accord us affluence of the above, but it additionally knows that adequation is one of the dangers of the character, and the adventure has fun with the absolute concept, accumulating a alternation of anecdotal feints and twists that accumulate us on our toes for the majority of the segment’s 14-minute active time.
Kicking off with a appellation arrangement that converts the Discovery affair song into a airy disco number, “The Escape Artist” sees Mudd actuality delivered by a compensation hunter to one of his hapless victims, a Tellarite called Tevrin Krit who accuses Mudd of sleeping with his sister and again burglary his family’s “sacred cudgel.” Abundant fun, of course, is had with the catechism of what a bastinado is.
Krit affairs to bear Mudd to Starfleet and affirmation the compensation they’ve put on his head, alike while Mudd protests that he’s “never been in a bearings like this before.” But aloof at that moment, the attending on Wilson’s face changes hilariously as he does a acknowledgment of self-realization at his own account afore aflame aback to a time back he was absolutely in a bearings like this before. It’s a abundant bit, because it array of offers us a new angle on Mudd. Does he not alike apperceive back he’s lying anymore? That is a affair for some people, you know.
And so it goes in this agilely paced short, which was additionally directed by Wilson, with a anamnesis actuality and there, including to a agnate altercation with… Voq (it abiding seems like that’s who it is anyway), a appointment to a Starfleet barge and its tight-ass crew, and again the acknowledge that this isn’t Mudd at all, but rather a Mudd replicant or android of some kind. Which, of course, is a absolute advertence to the TOS adventure “I, Mudd,” back Harry disqualified over an absolute planet of robots.
In the end, as we apprentice that Mudd himself has been abaft this accomplished operation, affairs apprentice Mudd afterwards apprentice Mudd to assorted compensation hunters, one can’t advice but acclamation him on a bit. He assuredly won a round! (Of course, there was no Kirk or Burnham on the arena to stop him…)
“The Escape Artist” doesn’t accept a ton to say, but it is a acceptable time while it lasts, a able and amusing yarn that finds new means to run with an old character. It’s additionally a accomplished archetype of how these Abbreviate Treks can assignment by utilizing accessory or alternating characters for belief that don’t accept to be “big” necessarily, but aloof accord us some added time with them. We’ll see if we’ll get added of these shorts at some approaching point, but absolutely this one is a acceptable arrangement for approaching episodes to follow.
Questions and Notes from the Q Continuum:
Did you bolt one of Mudd’s duplicates cutting a adaptation of his “I, Mudd” accoutrement from the archetypal episode?“It’s a duke weapon, acclimated for abutting abode combat!”Nice to see a Tellarite get some awning time! Yes, they showed up aftermost division on Disco a brace of times, but this is an absolute speaking allotment of some substance, which is not article this archetypal Star Trek chase has anytime gotten abundant of over the decades.“What are we attempting to annihilation now? Accuracy?”It seems Starfleet did not accede with the Discovery team’s accommodation to let Mudd go back we aftermost saw him in Division 1, appropriately the compensation that is now on his head. Unless he had some added altercation with Starfleet aback then.