As a whole, Season 2 was substantially better than Season 1. It did not have anywhere near as much unnecessary fighting and violence, and it felt much more like old Star Trek for it.
Once again, I still would have liked to see more standalone individual episodes outside of the overarching season plot. (What I would give for another episode with Mudd (If I had any money, I’d be sipping jippers on a beach somewhere!))
Regarding the season arc: Sometimes it felt a bit contrived or ridiculous, but overall it was pretty good.
What it did well:
The actors were once again all good. Sonequa Martin-Green (Burnham) and Mary Wiseman (Tilly) were good. Anson Mount (Pike) and Ethan Peck (Spock) were fantastic, far better than I expected. And Michelle Yeoh as Mirror/Section 31 Georgiou was excellent, she was wasted on the normal Captain Georgiou.
The character development was also good, it was nice to see Spock and Michael’s relationship evolve.
This season was significantly more fan service-y (Number One, the references to TOS’ “The Tage” and “The Menagerie”, literally every time the Enterprise is shown (and wow, this design is amazing)), but I don’t think that was a bad thing. It was nice compared to the first season, which, in many ways, tried to pretend the rest of the Trek canon didn’t exist.
Dammit, I can’t wait for Season 3. I am very curious to see how they continue it without feeling contrived.