Short Treks' Star Trek recap: 'Calypso'

Star Trek, Short Treks

Short Treks latest episode is set in the Star Trek: Discovery universe, a stranded man finds himself alone on the Discovery.

The previous Star Trek: Short Treks focused on a side story about Tilly meeting a stowaway and realizing she will make a great leader.

“Calypso” opens on a pod being beamed aboard the Discovery. The man from the pod wakes in an empty med bay, and stumbles out of bed. The ship’s computer system watches him and opens a door to offer him clothing. It does not fit, so the computer introduces herself as Zora and makes him a new outfit.

Star Trek
Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS © 2018 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

Zora leads him to the cafeteria and apologizes for the synthetic food. He asks about the crew, but Zora says they have been gone for a while. He says she can call him Craft. Zora talks about his planet, Alcor IV. She recognized one of his tattoos, but did not know humans were on that planet because she has not been able to update her database. She mentions scanning the pod he arrived in, commenting that he stole it from his enemy during the war: the V'draysh. Craft admits to being a soldier and stealing the pod. They talk about how many times he watched a Betty Boop cartoon in the pod, not knowing how to work the alien technology. He asks Zora how long the crew has been gone, and she reveals she has been alone for almost a thousand years.

Craft goes to the bridge and talks to Zora about the remaining shuttle on Discovery. Zora claims it could not make it to Alcor IV in its condition. Craft suggests Zora let him take the Discovery She says she cannot disobey her orders to stay in position, despite them being given by almost a millennia ago.

Craft looks at an image of his wife and son. He tells Zora he went to war when his son was one, but ten years have passed. Scenes play of Craft and Zora spending time together. Craft eats new food that Zora introduces him too, including tacos. He plays chess against Zora. She introduces him to her favorite movie from the archives, Funny Face. She enjoys the romance and hums along with the song as the couple dances on screen.

Star Trek
Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS © 2018 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

Some time later, Craft looks out the window and Zora asks him what he liked doing at home. He talks about fishing on a boat and tells her how the water sounded. She creates the sound for him and he thanks her for all she has done. He wants to do something nice for her too, so he learns the dance from Funny Face. She creates a hologram of the actress for him to dance with, but he wants her to create a hologram of how she sees herself. The two dance and at the end, he leans in as if to kiss the hologram. He remembers his family and pulls away, upset.

Zora wakes Craft and gives him a new suit, saying he needs to be with his family. Before leaving, Craft thanks her for everything. He does not know what has become of his family or planet, or what will become of him, but he is grateful that she saved his life. Before she leaves, she asks about his true name. He says lovers give each other true names on his planet, and she replies she already gave him a name.

I thought this was an entertaining episode of Star Trek: Short Treks. In some ways, I prefered the first episode since it featured Tilly, but I thought this was a lovely episode. The story was strange, but it is Star Trek, so an advanced computer AI falling in love with a person is not even the weirdest thing to happen in canon. This short was basically a fanfiction of Odysseus and Calypso from the Odyssey; that said, I found it was enjoyable and Aldis Hodge did a good job as Craft.

The next Star Trek: Short Treks airs on December 6 on CBS All Access in the US and Space in Canada. It is titled “The Brightest Star” and will focus on Saru from Star Trek: Discovery.

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