As is the case in the other Trek spinoffs, we get a slow, weaker start here in season one. Things should get better. (That is the hope, anyway.) These initial episodes are trying to touch on interesting ideas in a provocative way, but the come across more like they are trying too hard with under-baked concepts.
Episodes 1, 2 “Caretaker”
The phenomenon that caused their trouble is not a natural one. It turns out that another one of the many so-powerful-they-appear-divine aliens that keep showing up in Trek has been pulling beings from all over the galaxy seeking someone for a special job.
It seems this alien negatively affected the life on a planet and out of a sense of guilt, has been caring for them like a god ever sense. As he is close to dying, he has been seeking someone to take over. He dies before he can send the federation and Maquis home, so they are stranded a lifetime journey away. Forced to join forces in the unknown space, we have our conflict-prone crew in place.
Both the religious implications and the conflict potential seem underdeveloped. The god story is mostly an afterthought to the series set-up, and the conflict only seems to last into the next episode. Or, that is the case in the first half of season one, where each episode tackles a classic sci-fi set-up in a cursory way:
Episode 3 “Parallax”
Episode 4 “Time and Again”
Episode 5 “Phage”
Episode 6 “The Cloud”
Episode 7 “Eye of the Needle”
Problem number one: it is discovered that the hole doesn’t just reach through space, but time and they are speaking to the past. No problem, the Romulan captain agrees to wait until the right time to deliver the messages.
Problem number two: well, watch the show. This episode and its twists are pretty good.
Episode 8 “Ex Post Facto”