There’s no place like home
"People of Earth" is an effective mix of emotions and well-paced starship-standoff action, and provides our first glimpse at what a familiar Federation locale — specifically Earth — looks like in the post-Federation 32nd century. It’s our first real attempt at world building within this third season. This is a step up from the first two outings, which felt like generic space westerns in terms of their storytelling. (Although, as space westerns go, they had nothing on this past weekend’s season premiere of The Mandalorian.)
This series wears its emotions on its sleeve, and Burnham’s reunion with the Discovery crew is milked for all the feels, and pretty effectively. Tilly reflects in a pretty good scene that having traveled forward in time means everyone they knew is now long dead; it’s good to see the story slow down to acknowledge what it means to be displaced permanently from your time. New Braided Chillax Burnham seems all about letting the past go, and indeed it at first seems questionable whether she will even rejoin the crew. She has a nice reunion with Saru, where kind words are exchanged and she relinquishes any ambitions she ever had to be captain. Like I said last week, Martin-Green’s performance is notably lighter with Burnham having now spent a year in this century as a courier. Even Tilly mentions the new air.