Actor Doug Jones talks about the huge twist in “An Obol for Charon” that led to some big changes for his character Commander Saru.
SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers for “An Obol for Charon” follow. Go back and watch the episode first. We’ll wait.
The second season of Star Trek: Discovery continues to impress viewers, if for no other reason that the stellar acting that in on display every week. “An Obol for Charon” was another amazing example of what fans are talking about. However, special mention must be made of Doug Jones and Sonequa Martin-Green, who shared a special moment at the end of the episode.
With Saru seemingly going to succumb to the vaharai, a condition that for the Kelpiens means death is near, he asks Michael Burnham to cut off his threat ganglia and kill him. She agrees and the two share an incredible moment when they realize how much they mean to each other. However, before Burnham can do it, Saru’s threat gangila fall off on their own and he recovers.
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The event, while it may seem minor compared to the Red Angel and Spock, nonetheless means a massive change for Saru. He was a character ruled by his fear, and that dictated his every decision and feeling. All that is suddenly gone. It’s a completely different Saru from now on and that is something Jones is very aware of.
In a recent video clip talking about the changes to Saru in “An Obol for Charon” Jones talks about how fear will no longer factor into Saru’s life and how that will change how he portrays him going forward.
"“Whoa, didn’t see that coming … and I’ve lost all my fear. How gorgeous is it to be afraid of everything all the time, and have to play that into a character, and now it’s like, ‘I ain’t afraid of nothing, okay?’ So It’s really empowering and wonderful.“It’s nice to know the threat ganglia actually fall out and are useless now. It’s like, ‘Oh, isn’t that great?’ It makes you think, ‘Everything I’ve been afraid of all my life might just be in my own little bubble. It might not be real. I might be afraid of absolutely nothing all this time.’ So what Saru has learned I think we can all learn for ourselves too, that our fears might want to be revisited, and was it ever real in the first place? Or did we just make this something fearful all this time?”"
It should be interesting to see how this change affects not only Saru going forward but the ramifications of this event for his entire race. All of the Kelpien people deal with fear on a daily basis and it obviously doesn’t need to be that way. Will Saru go and tell his people about this wonderful change or will he keep the promise he made to Captain Georgiou in Short Treks: The Brightest Star? Time will tell.
Regardless, Saru’s story is far from over and should make the rest of the second season of Discovery even more interesting. Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 airs on Thursdays on CBS All Access.