The second episode of Discovery gave us a better glimpse of Michael Burnham’s relationship with her adopted father, Sarek. We know that Sarek already has two sons, Sybok and everyone’s favorite Vulcan, Spock. Before I go further into the different relationships that Sarek had with his children I want to go on record that James Frain’s performance has been an absolute bright spot in a show that has Trekkers nervous.
Discovery I set ten years before the Original Series so we can make a couple of assumptions about the characters. We can assume that Sybok has already embraced his emotions and left Vulcan on a quest to find God. I now wonder how much of an influence his adopted sister; Michael, played in his decision to embrace his emotions. Sarek opposed Spock’s entry into Starfleet Academy and the two became estranged after Spock left, we can also assume that has happened. Sarek is the Vulcan ambassador to Earth and is married to Amanda.
During “Battle at the Binary Stars” we are treated to that moment when Sarek delivers his adopted daughter to Captain Philippa Georgiou on board her ship. I find it interesting that he would willingly give Michael to Starfleet but opposed Spock’s entry completely. We are left to speculate why his feelings towards Starfleet differ depending on his child. Sarek must have felt that Starfleet was purely a human endeavor which is why I believe he sent Michael to Captain Georgiou.
When you look back on it, Sarek was a very good father. Intentional or not he placed his three children on the path’s that each one of them were meant to be on. He brought in a young human, full of emotion, which caused his oldest to explore his own emotions. He encouraged Spock to follow in his footsteps and join the Science Academy, instead he went to Starfleet where he could work as a scientist and also embrace his human desire to protect others. With Michael, he trained her in the Vulcan way but when the time came he recognized that she needed to be with other humans. After protection, isn’t a father’s main job to bring out the best in you? I’d say Sarek succeeded in that.