Well, as I say, the earlier ones are just adaptations of the existing novels. So if you've read those, then there's little new there. And I was afraid of pissing off the authors.
You're right that "Emancipation" is mostly a here's-where-we're-up-to episode, but I felt that "Ha'mara" (the ninth season finale) left us with so many loose ends and unanswered questions that we needed that kind of episode to set us straight. There's also the idea that any season premiere ought to make everything as clear as possible in case there are any new viewers starting there who might not have seen everything that went before. Hence the idea of the admirals all coming to talk it all out.