Review: “Despite Yourself” Takes ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ To A Whole New Place

This is in their rear view mirror for now

REVIEW: “Despite Yourself”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1, Episode 10 – Debuted Sunday January 7th
Written by Sean Cochran
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

Star Trek: Discovery returned from a hiatus with a bang. In a fast-paced episode deftly directed by Star Trek: The Next Generation vet Jonathan Frakes, a number of the plotlines from this season paid off or at least took a step forward.

Writer Sean Cochran and Frakes balanced dark and serious content with some surprising moments of humor, especially from actress Mary Wiseman. Other actors were also upping their game, particularly Shazad Latif who gave a stunning performance as Tyler. “Despite Yourself” was some serious fun and a great way to return to Trek for this second chapter of the first season.

Shazad Latif as Lieutenant Ash Tyler; Mary Wiseman as Cadet Sylvia Tilly; Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham; Doug Jones as Lieutenant Saru; Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca in “Despite Yourself.”

[SPOILERS BELOW]

We aren’t in prime anymore

The episode kicks off right where the fall finale left off — with our crew lost in space in a mysterious debris field — and it don’t waste any time, getting right into an effective and very Star Treky intro. Right off the bat we are hit with technobabble about quantum signatures, an Organia name drop and a Vulcan ship (identified as “rebels”) attacking the USS Discovery.

Even if you aren’t a Kelpian, the opening scene, punctuated with appropriately ominous music, was sure to tingle your threat ganglia and immerse you back into the final frontier. I think most Trek fans weren’t surprised when Lorca put all the pieces together and posited that they weren’t in the right universe, but it was still a fun moment. And most fans probably knew what was coming next: that this wasn’t just any parallel universe, but a very specific and well-known parallel universe.

This is not our universe…dun dun dun

Mirror, mirror, mirror, mirror

We soon find out – thanks to data retrieved by a shaky Lt. Tyler’s space scavenging trip in a worker bee – that this universe is dominated by the “Terran Empire.” That should set off the alarm bells for any Trek fan to immediately know they are in the “Mirror Universe,” making Discovery the fourth Trek series to visit the reality populated with evil twins, some of whom have goatees.

In case you didn’t get the point, the episode relished in the trappings of the Terran Empire as the crew and ship were transformed to maintain the cover of being the “ISS Discovery,” after the real ISS Discovery apparently swapped places. Hopefully the story of what happened to that ship gets picked up later in the season. Captain “Killy” loose in the Prime Universe can’t just be swept under the space carpet.

The Disco gets a quick evil touch-up in the Mirror Universe

And if you still weren’t sure they were in the Mirror Universe (MU), Burnham puts a button on it by referring to the other ship as the “Mirror Discovery.” They even got a little cute with the mirror motif, when Tilly tells the computer to turn off the holographic “mirror” after inspecting herself posing as her intimidating doppelganger. This seems to break the franchise’s previous first rule of the Mirror Universe. You can visit the Mirror Universe, but you don’t call it “Mirror.”

In fact, overall this episode seems unusually laden with exposition scenes, a Trek trope that Discovery has generally avoided. Director Frakes does his best to keep things moving with all these talky moments, although you may get a bit dizzy with overuse of the “camera circling the cast as they discuss” thing. The montage of the ship and crew trading in their standard Starfleet look for the more gaudy and marshal Terran Empire trappings was certainly fun.

Captain Tilly shows off the latest in Mirror fashion

Of course being Discovery, there are some differences with this Terran empire. The uniforms used are based on the prime universe Discovery uniforms, with gold armor pieces in place of gold lamé, but Mirror officers are still are adorned with an array of medals and badges. Notably, the Terran Empire symbol seems to be a bit different. But, for for the most part, so far this trip into the MU seems to fit between what we know from Enterprise and The Original Series. And those who relish continuity would surely be happy to see how “Despite Yourself” picks up on Enterprise’s “In a Mirror, Darkly” by making a mission to find files related to the USS Defiant – which showed up in the MU a century before – the MacGuffin of the plot.

Constitution Class makes its debut (sort of) in Discovery

Post Klingon Stress Disorder

This episode particularly moves the plot along for Lt. Tyler, who had presumably been undergoing PTSD symptoms following his capture and torture by the Klingons. His flashbacks have now gotten worse, to the point that even he knows he isn’t himself. In what may be the most powerful scene of the episode, Tyler confronts L’Rell in the brig demanding to know what she did to him. Shazad Latif and Mary Chieffo deliver a bizarre but effective combination of intimacy, anger, and mystery as she attempts to use a Klingon prayer to trigger Tyler, who is now clearly some kind of sleeper agent.

Of course, the Internet caught on long ago that there was something not quite right with Tyler, so many probably saw all of this coming. But if you didn’t, once again the episode was full of not-so-subtle clues like Saru’s threat ganglia activating the moment Tyler walks onto the bridge or the spaced-out Stamets warning that the enemy is close by. They seem to be keeping the final reveal of “who is Ash Tyler?” by leaving L’Rell’s question “What is your name?” hanging. But, we all know, right? Cough [spoiler] Cough.

The real beauty of the writing in “Despite Yourself” is that the story keeps even the most observant of us somewhat in the dark. Even if we are pretty sure we know what’s going on, the performances by Latif and Chieffo make us believe we aren’t exactly sure. L’Rell wonders why her trigger didn’t work, asking what has happened. I’ve got ten quatloos that say Tyler’s falling in love with Burnham has screwed up all the hard work of the matriarchs of Mo’Kai. And, it seems that Tyler’s blackouts are keeping him from knowing the full extent of his Klingon conditioning and actions when triggered.

L’Rell has set her relationship status to ‘complicated’

He’s dead, Jim?

“Despite Yourself” was also a showcase for Wilson Cruz, who was finally able to show more range outside the context of his relationship with Lt. Stamets, who spent the entire episode confined to a bed in sickbay, lost in some kind of mycelial fugue state talking about enemies and palaces. Dr. Culber was able to out-defy his partner when it comes to taking on Lorca, calling out the captain for his B.S. The good doctor pointed to how it seems Lorca has other motives when it comes to Stamets and his abilities to navigate the ship. And Culber got to show his smarts with clever dialog like his line about imagining to Tyler: “I meant it practically and not pejoratively.”

Of course Dr. Culber’s greatest leap was being the first person to figure out that Tyler wasn’t who he appears to be and may in fact be the result of some kind of personality imprinted on a body that has gone through some radical surgeries. Figuring this out showed he may be the smartest guy on the ship. Then again, confronting Tyler with this info before informing the captain or maybe some guys armed with phasers? Not so smart.

Cruz and Latif played the confrontation scene perfectly. As the tension built to the moment, you were screaming at the TV for Culber to get the hell out of there. Star Trek: Discovery is a show that wants us to feel that there is true jeopardy for the characters, and this episode delivered on that with Tyler’s brutal neck-snap of Culber. This goal was seemingly undermined, however, with a big PR effort on the part of the showrunners to ensure everyone that Culber really “isn’t 100% dead”, and it’s kind of disappointing. We all know in Star Trek that dead isn’t always dead. However, it seems the powers that be felt it was necessary (through the official after show and a multitude of interviews with the media) to make sure people know they didn’t really kill off this character forever, possibly to avoid any backlash.

Lieutenant, have you been having any cravings for gagh?

Going dark

While the episode gave a lot of the other characters and actors time to shine, there was still plenty for Sonequa Martin-Green to do as she moved the plot forward, this time taking the lead through her specialty as a xeno-anthropologist. It falls on Burnham to do most of the explaining and while Martin-Green usually struggles with exposition – especially technobabble – she is able to paint the picture for the crew of the dire state they find themselves in.

Burnham and Lorca develop a deliciously crazy plan for her to pose as her evil self, the apparently dead former captain of the ISS Shenzhou. And apparently this universe didn’t have a Star Wars as they go with the “old Wookiee prisoner gag”1, with Lorca posing as his MU counterpart, who is apparently a wanted rebel. The pair of actors and characters continue to display impressive chemistry as they discuss their plans and wax philosophically about the implications of this universe revealing their true destinies.

While the Mirror Universe can be fun, we see here how writer Cochran is able to go farther and use the setting to reveal more about our characters. This is especially true of Lorca, who is always enigmatic but seems just a bit too much at home in this dark place, right down to his sexy black leather jacket. We also see this in a strong scene with Burnham – the convicted mutineer – giving a pep talk to the nervous Tilly about how it is the support of the Discovery’s crew that should give her strength, as opposed to the fear that permeates the false strength of the Terran Empire. 

Lorca fits in this universe

As Cadet Tilly reluctantly (60% terrified, 40% excited) steps into the role of Captain Killy, Burnham, Tyler and Lorca all head off to the ISS Shenzhou to obtain files on the USS Defiant, in hopes of learning how a non-mushroom-powered ship can do (or undo) a universe hop. Once on board, we get the full gamut of Mirror fun with fascist salutes, agonizer booths, and some light attempted murder. That last bit with Captain Connor – the MU version of the USS Shenzhou’s dead Ensign Connor – involved an elevator knife fight which may be the best choreographed fight scene of the show so far. Alas, poor Sam Vartholomeos returned only be killed off again, but it was a good death.

Oh my god, they killed Connor. You, bastards.

And since Discovery always has multiple plates spinning, this episode even found time to move the love story between Burnham and Tyler forward. Apparently her killing Connor and dealing with masquerading on a ship in an evil universe and him freaking out about his true nature are not enough to stop the pair from finding time to break in Burnham’s evil captain’s quarters. The love scene seemed a bit out of place, however it was important for both of their character development, and as noted before, this relationship is likely the one thing keeping Tyler as Tyler.  

Sure, we have time for this

Hold your horses, Captain Killy

One surprise with “Despite Yourself” was the amount of humor in the episode. Usually Trek’s trips to the Mirror Universe are very serious affairs – Enterprise even swapped in a dark opening titles sequence. Cochran was able to find moments of fun without turning the episode into parody, which is a challenge in the world where the evil twin trope is a cliche.

Much of this comedy came from Mary Wiseman, who had to take on the role of Captain Tilly (aka Captain Killy) of the ISS Discovery. Her comic timing as she talks to the captain of another mirror ship was spot on. And in the same episode, Tilly delivered some of the more touching moments, including dealing with Lt. Stamets’ condition in sickbay. Wiseman continues to delight and surprise as the heart of this cast.

And speaking of comedy, both Doug Jones – with his delivery “Captain Killy? That’s not very clever” line and Jason Isaacs with his impromptu Scottish chief engineer routine showed how both of these actors have great comedy instincts.

If you barf first time in the captain’s chair, does that go on your permanent record?

Ready for more mirror

While “Despite Yourself” answered a number of questions and moved a number of storylines and characters forward, it was still just the beginning. It is likely that much of the back half of season one will deal with the Mirror Universe. Many questions remain open, such as: why did the ISS Shenzhou warp away from the ISS Discovery and how will they reunite, who is this enigmatic Emperor (I have my suspicion), what is the “palace” that Stamets keeps talking about, will Tyler reveal his true nature to Burnham, will we see the actual USS Defiant, and will Tilly keep her straight hair when they get back?  

“Despite Yourself” continues the trend of strong episodes for the middle era of Discovery’s first season. Jonathan Frakes and Sean Cochran found a delicate balance of literally deadly consequences, with moments of fun that still find time to show the true heart of Star Trek, which is the bond of the crew as family.

Doing an episode in the Mirror Universe in the first season of the series was a risky move, as it means exploring alternative stories before establishing the main characters. It may still have been too early for Discovery to dip into the MU pool, but the fact that this episode really works showcases the showrunners’ ability to thread the needle; they may have developed their characters well enough to take this chance. “Despite Yourself” has certainly effectively set up the rest of the first season, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

The family that salutes together, stays together

Clips


Star Trek: Discovery is available on CBS All Access on in the US and airs in Canada on the Space Channel. It is available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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Michael Hall

I’m still feelin that the writing — or, more specifically, plotting — continues to be this show’s weak link. But there’s no denying how well put-together and entertaining it can be when it really works, as it did in this episode. With its excellent cast and production values, if Discovery‘s producers ever manage to figure out what this show is really about, it’ll become what it can only aspire to be now: one of the very best shows on television, in any genre.

Meeeee

Agreed.

Lackluster writing and predictability causes everyone to guess Ask is Voq.

Lots of foreshadowing that Lorca is from the Mirror Universe and has another motive. Their attempts at smart foreshadowing are usually overdone and everyone guessed Tilly was Captain in an alternate universe several episodes ago.

If they want to be dramatic and mysterious, they need to be dramatic and mysterious they also need to Eliminate really terrible plot holes

Fun ideas, poor execution.

Meanwhile Ash and Michael are banging while their captain is in the agony booth…

Gary 8.5

I still have not seen any evidence that Lorca is from the Mirror Universe.
Even a cool theory requires PROOF.

Alex

He changed the coordinates of the last jump, for example. Also, he was the one who miraculously pulled the Defiant file from the data core. That’s an awful specific thing to look at if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Just two recent examples. My assumption is that he was accidentally swapped with prime Lorca when the buran was destroyed. Mirror Lorca is said to have tried to overthrow the emperor. He might be one of the good guys, like mirror Spock.

Hauke Fischer

Mirror Spock was a good guy in the sense that he still adhered to logic and could see how unsustainable the Terran Empire was in the long run. Like the Vulcans in the Enterprise episode, he was “ fine” with the status quo until they saw a logical opportunity (the Terran Empire would lose the war soon unless they are able to secure the Defiant) Argument to the contrary.

TUP

Thats a really interesting point. Im not sure he’s MU Lorca either but if he is, I assumed he wanted to overthrow the Emperor because he wants it for himself. Could he be a rebel? Very interesting…

And then, might we keep MU Lorca?

If all that is true, I suspect they DO overthrow Empress Phillipa but then its revealed MU Burnham is still alive…and kills MU Lorca. Fade to black. lol

Holden

There’s no question that Lorca has a hidden agenda, but I don’t think he’s from the MU either. He seemed genuinely oblivious to the fact that he might not be the captain of the Discovery at first. When he was told about his old ship, he asked with clear concern about the status of the crew. His comment about hoping to find a “better” version of himself seemed like a rare honest tell (of what, who knows). There were several moments when (going back to the end of the mid-season finale) he seemed genuinely confused or unsure of where he was. In short, he doesn’t come across as someone who knows the MU firsthand very well. I feel like if he does turn out to be from this MU, there is going to be a lot of plothole reevaluation and second guessing. (I think the possible explanation that he was just playing dumb at every single moment as a way to trick the crew would be a bit of a reach and frankly not very convincing narratively). What I’m surprised by is the fact that few people have yet suggested the possibility that there are *more* than two universes. Why do people assume it’s either MU *or* PU? Stamet’s comment about “all the permutations” suggests there are much bigger ideas in store than just these two universes (and I think the Palace might be the place where all the parallel universes converge), and I wouldn’t be surprised if that factors… Read more »

Marja

I’ve been thinking for some time that Lorca is from another universe, but not the MU. Good thinking about “the palace.”

I think what happened with the Buran is the key to his character. Did he kill the crew so they would not be tortured?

Or for some other reason?

Dah-DAHHHHHHHHHHH!

Holden

Someone else has probably suggested this before, but I had the idea earlier today that maybe he’s from the PU but his crew was replaced by the MU Buran’s crew (say he got separated from them at some point) and that he killed them not to protect them from torture (his cover story), but to protect the PU from their aggressions? And now he’s trying to find his original PU crew.

Michael Hall

I don’t think they knew about Lorca’s situation — and, even if they did, what were hey supposed to do about it?

Not sure that a trip to the MU was warranted, given that this season was supposed to be about the Federation/Klingon war. But if the theme turns out to be the moral cost to these people of having to convincingly play their awful counterparts in order to get home, it may have been worth it.

Hauke Fischer

To be fair with the foreshadowing on Voq/Tyler, unless you were following the whole Javid Iqbal situation, as in, most casual viewers of the show, it was very well done.
They even went out of their way to show us scenes proving Tyler was “real” (the scene where Lorca grills Tyler about Seattle, (actually another strike against the Mirror Lorca theory) and the full medical checkup.
Also without prior canon knowledge of the whole Augment Virus smooth Klingon situation, the thought of Voq being turned into a Tyler meat suit is preposterous.
Voq coming back somehow makes sense dramatically, but there was zero irrefutable evidence for it that couldn’t have been explained away with Tyler’s “cover story” being true (which it is until the point where they likely harvested his body to disguise Voq).

TUP

@Hauke – exactly. As usual, some people confuse their hardcore fandom with casual fandom.

Marja

That first medical exam begs the question: How thorough was it?

Seems like, not very, based on the things Culber said to Tyler. WTF.

TUP

We can assume the medical exam picked up on a lot of the physical damage to Tyler. But wouldnt the most obvious explanation be his “six months of torture”?

Its like the med school thing about students always seeing Zebras instead of horses. It likely wouldnt be the doctor’s first thought that he’s been surgically altered and programmed.

TUP

Some people here continue to think every viewer is a hardcore, surf the Trek sites Trekkie. No, lazy writing did not cause everyone to guess Ash is Voq. And so what?

The POINT is a swerve like that is for it to make sense. It does.

Trek Fan 67

I completely disagree with you on this

Legate Damar

I’m calling it now. The emperor is Harry Mudd.

jimw

Empress Sato, I’m surprised no one else has called it. Enterprise in the Mirror Universe, Archer took over the Defiant, at the end, Sato called herself Empress Sato.

Legate Damar

Yeah, but she’d be over a hundred by now. Even if Terran medical science can keep her alive that long, she probably got a knife in the back decades ago.

Levi

Well in the book series, she was the first in Sato dynasty (the last being Hoshi Sato III ) obviously not canon to the shows but they could chose to use that.
The only thing with her or even Phillipa is they said Emperor (which is male)
Empress would be female.

Eujayne

You’ll think differently when you see Georgiou in a goatee 😁

Gary 8.5

Oh, Now I want to see that!

Marja

hahaha

31dot

They also said that the emperor is faceless, though, maybe it is a woman concealing that they are a woman.

Trekboi

Like they have ever cared about Cannon.

DiscoTrek

troll

TonyD

I think it will be Georgiou and she will be revealed to be Hoshi’s daughter, who she killed to ascend to the throne.

TUP

Grand daughter maybe.

Curious Cadet

@TonyD — or, since they did say “Emperor”, Sato is being held in prison by Harry Mudd, or someone else.

DiscoTrek

@CC I believe they are being gender non specific such as using Sir for all officers

Marja

Disco, and wow, do I hate that. I’m with Capt Janeway. Just call people by rank. And Ma’am is the equivalent of Sir.

Though I spose you get around lots of sex identity questions, but in that case they should use “Zir.”

SMDH

Mike Williams

Like MISTER Saavik?

Eujayne

I’m guessing Georgiou.

Trek-ken

Bingo on Georgiou being empress. Mirror Lorca collected Burnham and Saru, close associates of Georgiou, in order to get close for another take over attempt.

Marja

I think Anthony P called it.
Emperor Phillipa Georgiou.

Jimmy

This series might have been better if they started out in the Mirror Universe. And I’m not saying it’s bad, because it isn’t. I’m just saying the Mirror Universe would have been a great way to start a new series.

Martin

I really think it is hard to say what would make it better. What we have is a series, for it’s faults, is the strongest season one since TOS. You cannot beat TOS season one for the incredibly written stories and that it only took about 3-4 episodes for the actors to really lock down who their very complicated characters are. But Discovery’s first season doesn’t have nearly the problems of TNG, VOY, and Enterprises first seasons.

Marja

Hell no.

TUP

I doubt any TV exec would have done that. Sounds great for hardcore Trek fans but you need an easier on-ramp for casual fans.

Eujayne

So much to enjoy this ep! Loved all the little tributes to OS from Lorca’s Scottish burr to Burnham being surprised by Tyler in her quarters just as Kirk was by Mirror Marlena. Will they discover a Tantalus Field there? The Ash (as in phoenix) Tyler theory is coming into play finally but with an interesting twist— his passion transferring to Burnham. Sorry L’Rell!

This episode definitely calls for more than one viewing. So many things planted early in the season are paying off in unexpected ways. Remember when Tilly told Burnham that someday she would be captain?

I gasped when Tyler killed Culber. I get why all the PR flailing afterwards but it reduced the dramatic impact (and thus whatever way they bring him back).

Can’t wait to see next week’s episode!

Jack D

Is “episode” to difficult to type out? Or should I say to “dif”?

Eujayne

Thank you so much for correcting me, Jack D! It has simply made my day!!

And correction back : no, you should say “too” rather than “to,” and “diff,” not “dif.”

Ian

Is holding your tongue that difficult to do?

Marja

Eujayne, I like your thought about Ash – phoenix.

I fully expected Isaacs would say his Chief Engineer dialogue in full English [British] mode. A delightful surprise he decided to honor the Scots :^D

I’ve never screamed at the television before [except at the news]. But Tyler killing Culber?
“NOOOOOOOO!”

The Red Wedding of DISCO!

To paraphrase AP and SouthPark, “Ohmygod they killed Culber! You BASTARDS!!”

jimw

Enterprise takes place 100 years prior to TOS and Discovery only 10 years before TOS, so Discovery is between Enterprise and TOS. The Mirror Universe as depicted in In Mirror Darkly would afford opportunities for an older Sato to make an appearance.. maybe? like Definant traveled back 100 years from Kirk’s time to Enterprise’s time, it might be possible Discovery traveled back, say 40-50 years in the Mirror Universe, so seeing a very old Sato, would be possible?

Legate Damar

Archer died. Hoshi poisoned him.

Levi

Well we already know that Archer was still alive by the time of Kirk and and Spock in the 2009 film so it wouldn’t be a stretch for mirror Hoshi to still be alive.

Legate Damar

Yeah, but Mirror Hoshi lives in a universe where everybody is trying to kill their superiors to gain more power. I doubt many emperors live to old age.

somethoughts

Georgiou killed hoshi to rise to power

TUP

Id be fine with seeing some data screen images of Hoshi. That would be fun.

T’Pol would be a great cameo too. Captured leader of the resistance…

Curious Cadet

@Levi — no we don’t. We have no idea Admiral Archer is the same as Capt. Archer.

TUP

Plus that is Kelvin Archer, not Prime or Mirror Archer. Since the timeline split when Nero came through, it means Kelvin Archer WAS the same as Prime Archer.

But In A Mirror Darkly had on screen text indicating Prime Archer died the day after the Enterprise was launched, doesnt it?

Regardless, Mirror Archer is dead.

Mike Williams

Yeah, we actually do, along with his prized beagle.

Kirok

That is true but the beagle mention is too much of a coincidence I should think. Even though we know that beagle can’t be Porthos. I think the line was put in for the hard core Trek people to enjoy. Even though it would make THAT Archer around 180 years old. That is why, for me, the line didn’t make much sense for him to be referencing Jonathan Archer of the NX-01.

TUP

No because we see the ISS Schenzhou and contemporary crew.

Curious Cadet

@jimw — please no. If they have some need to include Hoshi Sato, perhaps one of the worst characters ever to grace the screen (if only due to the actor who played her), then please just re-cast her with an appropriately aged woman.

Ian

It was typically gorgeous and genuinely funny, but I had a huge problem with how much exposition dialogue Burnham got saddled with. The only possible nice thing I can say about introducing the Mirror Universe with a whole bunch of talking and just one fleeting VFX shot, is that it hasn’t been done before. But it hasn’t been done before because taking the crew by surprise as vividly as Mirror, Mirror and Crossover did was so effective, and In a Mirror, Darkly had the benefit of years of the audience getting to know this crew and universe, not 2 months.
It’s a bizarre choice to visit the Mirror Universe so soon when we still don’t have a feel for the whole crew in a stable and peaceful setting. But it’s a worse choice to saddle Burnham with so much talking about technobabble and the dynamics of this universe. It’s rough for a fan, it’s gotta be rough for a newbie, and it’s a very undramatic way to set something up that’s so fun and scary.

The Recursion King

I disagree on one particular point, Burnham needs to be talking some technobabble for us to really believe that she knows her stuff.

Ian

She certainly is less believable spouting it than Saru or Stammets, but quantum signature this, quantum signature that… it’s as stilted now as it was during the worst of Voyager. But it’s just part and parcel of long-winded exposition of the Terran Empire which is so inert (the awkward Defiant intro too – that’s gotta be a tough one for a newbie), I remain baffled by the decision to introduce the MU the way they do. We’ve never seen this crew besides the Shenzhou players outside of a war footing, and we haven’t gotten to know them long enough to justify meeting their evil twins already. I hope the sojourn to the MU leads to a big plot development that actually affects the show’s longterm storyline. As lovely as Tilly has been, it’s hard to justify so far.

KevinA Melbourne Australia

I just love Discovery. This episode made me go back to The Tholians Web and A Mirror Darkly episodes and then back to re-watch Despite Yourself again. And I don’t expect to pick up on everything the first viewing, if the dialog is intense, I catch up what I miss on subsequent viewings. My vote is Empress Georgiou who dispatches one of Hoshi’s descendants to ascend to the throne. Bring it on … or of course… Make it so!

Tiger2

Yes it made me rewatch In A Mirror Darkly as well. I did think about rewatching The Tholian Web but didn’t. And outside the Harry Mudd time loop episode this is the only other one I watched twice so far. And I’m TRULY excited to see what happens next week. Every week I wanted to see what was next but only the last two episodes had me really caring where the story was going. So while I don’t love the series yet, its at least getting better for me. Hopefully by the end of the season I will like it a lot more.

Hauke Fischer

There’s not really a need to rewatch The Tholian Web for this. Nothing interesting happens there that has bearing on the continued plot.
I DO recommend however rewatching Mirror Darkly and Mirror, Mirror.
Both shed great light on the personal and politics dynamics of the Mirror Universe:
Everything is the same, except for humanity, which has rejected compassion and tolerance as values, and the consequences spiral from there.

The Recursion King

Great episode. Not sure we needed the gay kiss thrust in our faces so blatantly near the start of the episode (and Game of Thrones in many episodes is guilty of this as well – ‘look, we have gay characters! Look damnit! LOOK!!’ so I guess it’s just the fashion these days) but otherwise I couldn’t find anything to really grumble about. The episode felt very tense and the mirror universe shenanigans with the crew, especially Tilly, were very much fun. Seeing PTSD (or is it?) was also very well done. Frakes is right, this is the best episode so far.

Kuldan5853

I think this is one of the problems I have with a lot of people these days..
“Not sure we needed the gay kiss thrust in our faces …” and so on. Why is it a big deal? Would it be a big deal if it would have been a Man and a Woman kissing? No? Then it shouldn’t be if it is a man and a man. Or a Woman and a Woman.

I do not consider this “thrust in our faces”, but more like “showing that these characters care for each other in their relationship/situation they are in” .. and that is… normal? expected?

I really don’t get why culber/stamets are bringing out these strong reactions… even from the LGBT community. There was a lot “yaaay gay couple” … and then there was “of course they killed the GAY… they are homophobes after all!” after this episode… can’t people just stop labeling stuff and see “relationship” without modifiers?

Fred Javelina

Given that 99.99% of relationships and romance in popular media are straight, the argument can be made that LGBTQA+ people are bombarded with “blatant heterosexuality” – on top of living in a world where they are very rarely represented well on screen except as neutered stereotypes / plucky comic relief / Bury Your Gays cannon fodder. That is dehumanizing and cruel. Seeing yourself represented on screen as a fully realized human being and not, say, the Terrorist of the Week, or the Token Black Friend, or Sassy Gay Advice Guy, is just being honest to the truth of the real world and people’s lived experience. The fact that such representation is in a (granted, ‘cable’) mainstream show is a MINOR FREAKING MIRACLE and it’s surprising it’s taken till the 2010s for us to achieve this. Maybe not a Trek first – after all, we had those adaptations of Tales of the City, and series like The L Word and Queer as Folk – but just like it was important to show a multiracial, multinational future in 1966, three years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, it’s important today to show even more facets of humanity as being normal and unremarkable in the 23rd century. It’s not like they’re getting MORE kissing time than any other couple on the show; you’re just not used to seeing ANY in mainstream entertainment. A well-written dramatic series does not insert romantic scenes just for the sake of it – it uses these scenes to show… Read more »

Marja

Fred, I agree so much.

Stamets and Culber are a really interesting couple because their personalities are so different; Stamets, smartest guy in the room and sometimes patronizing and hard to get along with [until he trips out on the mycelial network], and Culber, caring, supportive, smartest guy on the ship, and gutsy [like McCoy with Khan] enough to challenge someone the size of Tyler!

Stamets and Culber’s tenderness as a couple made the doctor’s death that much more heartbreaking!

Yeah! I had a laugh about Recursion’s phraseology too.

Tiger2

If they were a straight couple who kissed in the beginning you wouldn’t notice…or care. But I agree with everything else. It was a fun and well written episode.

Marja

I have a friend who always complains about rampant heterosexual public displays of affection ;^)

Tiger2

LOL I still don’t get why people don’t see the irony of their own biasness at this point. THe fact someone is complaining about people kissing on a show where kissing is kind of what they do (AS they showed Burnham and Tyler doing a bit more than kissing in the same episode but hey whatever) proves the point how gay and lesbian public display of affection is treated so differently.

Hauke Fischer

Well if you’re killing someone who’s in a relationship on a show, of course you’d put in another tender moment before that to maximize the impact. Only makes sense dramatically.

TUP

Homophobe Alert. Shields Up! Phasers on Fabulous!

Come on man. You wouldnt bat an eye if it was a man and a woman. Knock it off.

Holden

Shouldn’t it be “Rainbow Alert”? ;)

Soren

So much hokey tedium to wade through here. Remind me again why seeing mirror versions of characters, places and events we don’t really know that well yet in the very first season is interesting again? If this sort of basic sci-fi concept about alternate universes should be showing up at all in Star Trek, it should only be as a sideshow to a series made up mostly of moral tales with heart that actually have lessons to teach people about life, society, family and friendship. What we’re witnessing here is in reality little more than a high gloss version of Brannon Braga’s dire output from years ago. I’m just waiting for “future guy” from Enterprise to turn up next.

Ian

Only 9 episodes of getting to know most of these people, and in a wartime setting at that. It’s not enough time to justify a trip to the MU.

TUP

It takes them out of the war at the most critical time…the time in which they’ve had a great victory and possess a piece of tech that will turn the tide of the war in their favour.

The idea of taking them out of the war at this juncture makes sense. There’s not many ways to do that.

I suspect they have a specific reason for going to the Mirror Universe, so we shall see.

I wasnt sold on Lorca as Mirror Lorca, but if he made them jump to the MU, its the second time he manipulated events to avoid a probably re-assignment (or at least, a fitness exam by HQ). He also knew Stamets was not going to be able to jump anymore and convinced him to do “one more jump”. The timing is either a huge coincidence or totally orchestrated.

If Lorca took them to the MU, whether he’s Mirror Lorca or Prime Lorca, he basically chose to go there over delivering the tech that would win the war for Starfleet. So his reasoning means going there was MORE important. What could that be?

Id suspect its related to his old ship…perhaps the Buran that was destroyed was the Mirror Buran and the Prime Buran is being held captive by the Empress.

Ian

It might make some sense on a plot level, but not on a character level. We don’t know these people yet. The war storyline has pushed all these characters to extremes, so we have very little idea what most of them are like when not pushed to their breaking points. I don’t buy the MU complication theory about him, but regardless, Klingon War Lorca makes Dominion War Sisko look like Mother Theresa. Tyler is a PTSD mess with a nasty secret and the security officer before him would have been a rogue thug on any other Trek series. Stamets has never settled down as he gets thrown for a loop every week and Burnham they don’t quite seem to have a handle on either. So we’re left with a shaky Burnham, then Saru and Tilly as our anchors to something resembling characters who would populate the Federation we recognize from the other shows. That’s not a great foundation to send into an alternate reality that’s also at war and full of extremes.

Soren

Yes. I barely had my bearings with half of what had already been served up, then we have a 2 month break, and now straight away within 5 minutes all sorts of various contrived nonsense was being served up as if I was supposed to mean anything to me.

Star Trek needs to act fast and get some writers and producers in from non traditional sci fi sources. People who write characters first, and to whom the setting is just a means to an end to further their exploration.
Back in Trek’s golden age they had Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor around. I don’t seen any equivalent behind the scenes figures now though.
certainly the latest news about some guy from ‘Prison Break’ coming on board just makes me think we’re going to be getting more of the same.

Soren

Exactly. Trek has lost its way. Thank you.

AtzeH

Now, that Tylers identity is not so mysterious anymore, the next big questions will be: Is Georgiou Empress (likely), an ultra aged Hoshi Sato (not probable), or even… What is Cornwell in this universe? Thinking of her bed scene with Lorca, she should be his enemy. Is the Defiant the “palace” or are they going to visit the Emperor? And why should they do this? Who is Lorca? We have some hints so far: – he is a rather rough and immoral starfleet captain – he almost shoots Cornwell after their post coital nap – he seems to not remember a romantical scene from the past Cornwell describes – he has scars on his back (from the Buran incident or punishment?) – he is very curious about alternate universes and the spore drive jumps – he requests Stamets to do exactly 133 jumps to “decloak” the Klingons (why exactly this number?) – he overrides the last jump – he almost instantly orders red alert at the appearance of the Vulcan vessel in ep. 10 – he asks about the Buran and “his” crew when the Klingon database is retrieved – Mirror Lorca is a traitor to the empire – Lorca seemed to intercept the prisoner shuttle especially because of Burnham – who is his personal enemy in the prime universe So there could be those possibilities: 1. Lorca is from the prime universe and knows nothing about the mirror – not likely 2. Lorca is from prime but knows that… Read more »

AtzeH

Sorry, one error:
“… because of Burnham – who is his personal enemy in the prime universe …”
should be: in the mirror universe

Marja

whew!

DaveCGN

“– he requests Stamets to do exactly 133 jumps to “decloak” the Klingons (why exactly this number?)” now that you say it, has anybody mentioned that the Defiant has the cloaking device? It would make sense to use the Discovery and their new ability to decloak or pinpoint the Defiant.

AtzeH

Yes, very interesting.
I rewatched and there are other things according to the database:
Mirror Buran got destroyed when attempting to overthrow the emperor, but they thought Lorca could flee ;)
Lorca not only asks for his crew, he also “hoped to find here a better version of my own” ;D

Dom

Did Mirror Buran somehow get into the Prime Universe and Lorca, whichever version he is, then destroyed it? Which might mean Prime Buran is lost in the Mirror Universe. Lorca might well be the Mirror version, so we have to wonder whether the Prime version was a bad man. Lorca’s a badass and ruthless in his aims, but he appears to have a strong moral code. What defines the Mirror Universe is a lack of morality.

Marja

I REALLY hope Jason Isaacs is with the show for its full run. It’d be a really bad mistake to make a dead hero out of him.

DiscoTrek

I think they have more pressing needs and there’s no spore drive navigator

Martin

What Defiant has a cloaking device? Are you confusing the constitution class Defiant from TOS and Enterprise, and the Defiant class Defiant from DS9?

DaveCGN

Nope I meant the Defiant from TOS which appeared in the mirror-universe, but now I recall that the mirror NX-01 had the cloaking device from the sulibans. At least the cloaking device was used by the terran empire and still could be used.

Amulius Victor

Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this before (credit due if it is) but the next DSC novel is Drastic Measures and it’s set in 2246 on Tarsus IV with Georgiou and Lorca. It hasn’t been totally established as canon but Hoshi does potentially die on Tarsus IV during those events. I wonder if the book will establish whether Georgiou (husband’s name) has a personal stake in those events and is related in someway to Hoshi. If she is related it makes sense that after Hoshi becomes the Empress in the mirror timeline then Georgiou becomes the lineal leader.

Just speculating, could be completely off track

TUP

Hmmm Phillipa Sato Georgiou?

The River Temarc

Doubtful. Michelle Yeoh is straits Chinese. That doesn’t inherently mean her character is as well, but the character doesn’t *look* like she has Japanese ancestry. (Not that that stopped them from casting Cumberbatch as Khan, but I get the sense that the DSC team respects the details in a way that the Bad Robot team doesn’t.)

TUP

That was my only concern, does it come across a bit offensive to say a Korean playing a Japanese character is related to a Chinese actor playing…Im not sure they established Phillipa’s ethnicity but her name isnt Chinese.

But I’ve seen some Asian fans say it wouldnt bother them at all and that borders wouldnt mean much in the future.

Ian

As lovely as she was in Memoirs of a Geisha, I was borderline-offended by the notion that because the only Asian actresses with name recognition in the West were Chinese, it was okay to just cast them as Japanese characters.

I take your point about the blending of ethnicity in the future, so that tempers things a bit.

Dom

It depends… Initial D – Drift Racer was a Chinese film set in Japan with a mostly Chinese cast, although the female love interest was played by An Suzuki, dubbed into Cantonese.

Michelle Yeoh is Malaysian, not Chinese, anyway.

Dom

So, if the Discovery decides to use the interphase space seen in The Tholian Web and In a Mirror Darkly in order to get back to the Prime Universe, that means – given the 113-ish year time difference between the universes seen in IaMD – they ought to pop back into the Prime Universe in an era somewhere between seasons four and seven of Star Trek: the Next Generation…

So season two of Discovery for the TNG era, perhaps?

Markus

This would be the best thing I could hope for.
There, they could finally figure out a way to safely use the Spore Drive – and voilá: “What-happend-to-the-spore-drive-question” solved. Plus, they could really start discovering stuff, without the canons burden

Marja

But I like the NEW uniforms

somethoughts

make it so

TUP

You’ve hit on what might have been Fuller’s idea to jump eras every season. Sort of a Quantum Leap/Star Trek twist.

But I dont see them jumping to TNG. And you’d still have everyone complain when they update the TNG visuals, which they would.

DiscoTrek

nice job connecting the dots

Victorinox

Fuller’s idea of jumping eras was awful in my opinion. Kinda hard to care about the crew, and learn about them over a short 13 episode season. Compare that with TNG, 7 seasons of 26 episodes each.

Sadly, other than casting a black female lead, most of his ideas that ended up being implemented are the most annoying parts of the show (the redesigned Klingons for example, or the plot for the pilot episode with cloaked Klingon ships).

Sadly, his great ideas, like his tri color uniforms, marvelizing the ST universe, etc. were tossed.

DiscoTrek

@Vic TUP was indicating it would be the same crew in different eras

Soren

An anthology type show would have completely gutted one of Trek’s key charms: building up affection for the crew over time. Fuller was over rated…massively so!

Dom

I have no problem with an anthology show, but I question the ability of a lot of modern writers to tell a good story and create good characters in a limited time. They say TNG took two seasons before it got good and DS9 three. So that’s 48 commercial hours and 72 commercial hours wasted. That’s actually bordering on criminal. Rod Serling or Richard Matheson could turn out a great story in a single commercial half hour on The Twilight Zone, where you care about the characters and the storyline. Look at how messy all the Star Trek pilots have been since Encounter at Farpoint. Unlike the Roddenberry/Berman 1987+ shows, The Cage and Where No Man Has Gone Before are pretty solidly there in terms of characters, environment and storytelling from the outset. Had those two pilots gone no further, they’d still be looked at as really good standalone one-hour TV films in their own right. Encounter at Farpoint, Emissary, Caretaker and Broken Bow really wouldn’t stand up as single pieces of drama. Try to find a comic book that tells anything approaching a good story in a single issue anymore and you’ll find they’re relatively rare too. So, if a decent writer can be found, I feel even single episode Star Treks with one-off crews could be fine. 12-ish hours of a season about one crew could easily work. That’s the length of six reasonable feature films. If a writer can’t tell a decent story in that time, they… Read more »

TUP

I dont disagree. Its an intriguing idea. But the expense of it would leave me concerned about how they’d pull it off.

I guess the idea would be that the crew would stay the same so we’d get to know them. Only the setting and supporting characters would change.

Danpaine

That would work perfectly for me, Dom. And absolutely agree, Markus. Problems (I have) solved.

Trellium G

Didn’t the exposure to interphase space make the crew of the Defiant go insane and kill each other?

Dom

Treklium G

Yeah, because of prolonged exposure. Disco’s crew will want to get through it as fast as possible!

Trellium G

Here is another question…

If the Discovery crew learn about the Defiant getting pulled to the past of the MU, how will that not conflict with Star Trek canon? When they get back to the prime universe, will they keep it secret from Starfleet that the Defiant is going to be in danger in the future? As far as I know, Starfleet wasn’t concerned with any Temporal Prime Directive in the 23rd century. Especially with all the time travel Kirk did.

Dom

Maybe the future time agents don’t exist right now. Enterprise was set in a timeline corrupted by time travel. If the Discovery returns to the Prime Universe in the TNG era, then the Defiant loss will be a non-issue.

Bird of Prey

You know what? Since the start of the winter break I had the thought that letting Jonathan Frakes direct this episode would be a neat method to smuggle in a Will Riker cameo without anyone prematurely noticing…

Holden

Could be cool but having Discovery jump to a different time period every season sounds like a massive and boring narrative headache. At least in Quantum Leap, it was easy for the main character to blend in, so that way you could jump right into the heart of the story. But here you would have to start out every season explaining to the other characters who Discovery is, and how it got there, and then the next few episodes dealing with people who don’t believe you for one reason or another, and then with the Discovery crew adjusting to the new time/place, etc. About halfway through the season you could finally get to the good stuff. And even then you’d have to deal with all the butterfly effect questions and what not from season to season. Not worth it.

The River Temarc

Interesting. That might explain Fuller’s “each season takes place in a different era” approach.

Kirk1701

Capt. Killy = hawt! 10/10 would smash. Kirk out.

Marja

But real universe Tilly better not change her beautiful curly red hair.
Broke my heart when Nicole Kidman did that.

Kirk1701

I dig the curls too. And redheads. I think the costumers have purposely made her standard uniform unflattering as a character choice. She’s not entirely comfortable being so buttoned-down. I think we’ve seen her as shy and jittery up till now, but we’ve been misreading her. She’s having trouble cramming herself into a Starfleet ideal. Perhaps she’s been told her entire life to “curb her enthusiasm,” excuse the pun. This provides some great context for her swears. It’s only when she’s allowed to express herself fully that’s she’s most useful to the crew. I would not be surprised if she was a member of Kirk’s extended family.

Mathew

Thinking Lorca is from the Mirror Universe. He supposedly killed Burnham in the Mirror Universe. I’m betting he was supposed to come back with Burnham alive, and failed. So he found his way into our universe presumably the way the Defiant fell into the Mirror Universe. He then found his counterpart, either killing him or holding him hostage. He then found Burnham and was putting everything in place to get back to the mirror universe, to deliver Burnham…just the wrong one.

Jack D

I can only imagine how this show’s designers will ruin the Constitution class.

CDReed

Look at the readout…. There are already changes, noting those extra pointy things (for lack of a better term) on the nacelle pylons and the indentations in the saucer section.
Discovery’s biggest mistake was acting as a prequel series.
Would have worked better – spore drive and all – if it came after the TNG era. Could allow for no need to explain the more advanced ships, bridges etc.

Brian

I keep seeing everyone say that Culber is the smartest guy on the ship for figuring out what happened to Tyler. He’s also the only person on the ship who had any evidence to work with. Seems kind of silly.

Marja

Yeah, and what about that “thorough” medical exam they gave Tyler when he was rescued from the Klingon prison ship?

Must’ve been some other doctor that did that one

Dom

It’s no worse than the Enterprise-D team not checking LaForge’s VISOR for bugs after his imprisonment by Lursa and her sister in Generations…

TUP

So he gets a medical when he comes back on board. Broken/healed bones, scarred organs, evidence of physical abuse and harm. Sounds like a guy who was held and tortured for six months.

Only Culber looked deeper at these things based on Ash going to him and not feeling himself.

Soren

Lorca’s reactions in the last few seconds of the episode also mirrored how I was feeling at the end of watching this ordeal.

DiscoTrek

stop watching and commenting then

Winkie

Look, I may not agree with Soren’s point of view, but your statement amounts to “Don’t express your opinion here.” Everyone has the right to their opinion and a right to express it. If any of us don’t like it, that’s our right too, and we should simply ignore what we don’t like or disagree with.

Dom

If Soren would explain his view, rather than snipe from the sidelines, it would help…

Soren

I have. Look at my earlier comment. Also look at numerous comments on other stories. This was meant as a humourous afterthought. I get you though, how many people scour through every single opinion at the end of a review.

And to answer the ‘don’t comment if you dislike’ crowd, for the record I’m no troll. I think Discovery has some first rate actors,characters and production values.

It’s only the stories and writing that need major reworking.

Kirok

@Soren

It seems there are some who feel that any negative comment amounts to trolling. As silly as that is….

Martin

I wonder if we will see what is happening with Mirror Discovery in the prime universe. We have always had individuals from the mirror universe show up in prime to get captured or cause mischief. What happens when a fully loaded warship from the Mirror Universe comes into the prime universe?

DiscoTrek

DS9 didn’t switch. They may be going with that angle, not sure

Dom

Possibly infiltrating Starfleet for the glory of the Empire… if Discovery Prime uses interphase space to get back we might well see the results over a century later…

TonyD

It was a fun episode that managed to hold up to its own internal logic except for one scene: Culber’s confrontation of Tyler without first getting some backup was stupid, especially for someone supposedly as smart as he is. Confronting the antagonist alone with irrefutable evidence, only to be then killed by said antagonist, is such a tired and worn out trope, not to mention the fact that you now have a dead body in sickbay that needs explaining. I’m amazed the writers could not come up with a better way of handling that scene. It’s the one thing that really stands out to me in an otherwise fine episode.

Fansincesixtynine

100 percent agreed.

Dom

Like I said above, I think Culber put two and two together as he was talking to Tyler. Whoops!

Marja

Guess he learned not to do THAT again.
Oh. yeah.

Marja

It was shocking, I’ll say that for it. Maybe it’s a trope on other series, but not on Trek. It was a first for me.

TonyD

It was very reminiscent of K’Ehleyr (Worf’s main squeeze and Alexander’s mother on TNG) confronting Duras alone with proof that he was the Klingon traitor; guess what happened to her.

Trekboi

An embarrassing new low that undermines so much of what Star Trek was & can be.

DiscoTrek

troll

Victorinox

Why are you still here? Why are you still watching?

Actually, I bet you aren’t even watching. That’s how troll roll right?

TonyD

I think I’ve heard this song before….

Benjamin Adams

An embarrassing new post that undermines so much of what trekmovie.com was & can be.

The River Temarc

New low? Seriously? Worse than “Threshold” or “The Way to Eden”?

Max

Mmmmmm Mirror Universe Tilly.

Victorinox

“Confronting Tyler with this info before informing the captain or maybe some guys armed with phasers? Not so smart”

We as viewers have a lot more context than Culber. All he knows is that Tyler is a human that suffered some sort of surgical procedures. He didn’t put it all together and conclude Tyler was Klingon. Tyler is a trusted member of the crew by now. Also, he is Chief of Security, if anything, he was the first stop for any risks related information.

How about this… Tyler ends up getting together with Burnham. They have a child… a female child… half Klingon half human… K’Ehleyr!

I’m sure the dates don’t quite work (K’Ehleyr would be what, like 100 yrs old by the time we meet her in TNG?) but, I love having a ST show on TV to play with these connections.

Also, I hope you guys are ready to see Empress Georgiou!

Dom

I kind of get the feeling Culber put all the pieces together while he was talking to Tyler, meaning he had an ‘Oh s***!’ moment right before Ash went for him…

TUP

Agreed. This is one of the sillier complaints. Culber didnt sit around musing about what these results could mean. He was having a conversation with a concerned patient and fellow shipmate. He looked at it medically not militarily and was not afraid of Tyler. From his perspective, he had no reason to be afraid of this man he knew.

Finnegan

Even with the mirror universe, Discovery remains underwhelming. Let’s just say the whole thing is an alternate universe split from both TOS and JJverse.

Kirok

I’m in agreement. Overall this series has been “meh”. It seems not many were jonsing for the final 6 episodes. I can barely remember character names. It just hasn’t reached out and grabbed me like other series’ have. To be fair my expectations were rather high considering the platform it is limited to. But I put that on the people who made that decision. Because of that it is absolutely reasonable viewers hold the show to a higher standard.

Finnegan

…oh, and I am cheering on the Klingons in Discoveryverse and the Empire in mirror Discoververse to be victorious. Long live both empires!

DejectedRedShirt

So… how did Kirk not know about the Mirror Universe, if this show is in fact canon? #lies #ridiculous

Benjamin Adams

Wait to find out. #patience #itsavirtue

Disinvited

DejectedRedShirt,

Re: … how did Kirk not know about the Mirror Universe …?

Trek fans have been asking that question since Lazarus revealed to Prime Kirk the existence of an anti-universe with wacked-out counterparts.

I Khan Believe It\'s Not Butter

This is all so predictably the usual spin off stuff.
But what ever feeds your hunger now will be even more easily forgettable later.

Tiger2

But isn’t this what people want? We know Enterprise became more liked in it’s fourth season when it was doing TOS storylines. We knew stuff like this was coming with Discovery too or why make it a prequel? I don’t have a big problem with it because I like some fan service like anyone. Just don’t overly rely on it. Why I love TNG is they actually avoided TOS storylines like this. They did The Naked Now which was obviously a sequel to The Naked Time but after that they avoided TOS storylines probably to distinguish itself which was a great move. But then oddly you had DS9 which actually used a few TOS storylines in their show which I also loved. Learning Bashier was an augment like Khan was in Dr. Bashier I Presume, Trials and tribbulations episode (which is now a classic in it’s own right), Blood Oath when Dax goes on an adventure with Kang, Koloth, and Kor and of course their own mirror universe stories. I enjoyed all of those because they were fun reminders of TOS in the world of DS9. That show wasn’t trying to be TOS like how TNG was at the beginning and why it was fun. You didn’t expect them on that show so when they came it was a nice surprise. But with prequels you automatically expect tie-ins of some kind. Most of us thought they would go full throttle being so close to TOS and Burnham Spock’s sister. And… Read more »

The River Temarc

Georgiou may be the leading candidate for Mirror Emperor. But is it possible the mirror Emperor is Sarek, and the Vulcan rebels are the mirror equivalent of the logic extremists?

Marja

True, in the Scenes From Next Week Sarek looked pret-ty badass.

NostreThomas

Way too early for Culber to die, he’ll be back thanks to the mycelium network. Will it be a physical healing, or perhaps some sort of time manipulation? I wonder if Culber will be able to interact and control the spore drive post all of this..?

Mycelial network
“The veins and muscles that hold our galaxies together.”– Paul Stamets, 2256 (“Context Is for Kings”) http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Mycelial_network

albatrosity

I’d like to see them maybe use the Klingon personality implantation technique to find mirror Culber and put his Prime self back in his head. That would at least be a “proven” way of getting him back using known technology.

DIGINON

Since Prime Culber is dead it’s probably a little late to implant his personality into another body.

Phil

He keeps talking about “The Palace” — maybe Stammets is the Mirror Universe Emperor. Lots of unknowns behind those foggy eyes of his…

TREKWEBMASTER

Wow, I like how dark and very dangerous the “parallel-universe” is; and it is a welcome change. Not just the spilling acid on a sickbay counter of The Original Series nor the comedic versions in Enterprise and Deep Space Nine, which seemed more dangerous.

But, in comparison to Discovery, the “parallel-universe” seems quite tame in all of the other Star Trek iterations. I do like Discovery’s version — it’s my favorite flavor frequency.

Good work Jonathan – you kept me on the edge of my seat. And I am so relieved that Dr. Culber isn’t a casualty. I hope not. But we shall see, soon… I like where this “parallel-universe” is heading. There are definitely risks involved for everyone. And unfortunately, no one can opt-out of the risks, so it’s best to make the best out of it…

I really like this direction — Great work and many kudos everyone!!!

An additional fourth theory about Lorca to the 3 others mentioned before:
With having the Defiant, the mirror people develop a plan to draw another prime ship into their universe: Buran. Prime Lorca and his crew are taken hostage and Lorca is sent back to gather something or someone (spore drive, Burnham,…).
He may be prime Lorca beeing forced to something. Maybe he managed to destroy mirror Buran to prevent harm from our universe and now tries to save prime Buran in the mirror universe.
;D

Dom

So, anyone else wondering whether Stammets has become a being who exists across several universes as one consciousness in multiple bodies? I’m thinking of his remark several episodes back where he refers to Tilly as ‘Captain.’

Could it be that there is now only one Stammets consciousness occupying different bodies across the multiverse . . .

Kirk1701

I think it’s more probable that he sees all universes, but doesn’t inhabit them. His brain has been altered so that he sees infinite dimensions, but his body is stuck in three dimensions. The metaphor would be 3d chess, rather than standard. He sees existence in its myriad planes, where his physical body is trapped on the 3d board.

Harry Ballz

Glad they killed off the doctor. What a shitty actor! It was stupid that, at the end of the episode, when Burnham got to her private quarters, she didn’t immediately access her files for the information. Knowing that Lorca is being tortured, and time is of the essence, what does she do instead? Time for a roll in the hay!!?? STUPID!!!!

Mark Lynch

Harry, you’re still alive, my old friend… ;)
(Apologies to Khan for stealing his quote)

Harry Ballz

Yes, still alive, old FRIEND!

How have you been keeping?

Mark Lynch

Here and there, up and down… Surviving.
Tremovie seems to be having a bit of a resurgence, I may have to visit more often… 😉

Harry Ballz

Please do, Mark. We need your pragmatic wit!

Kirok

OK. I saw this episode over the weekend. Signed up late so I only have to pay for one month of this otherwise worthless service. I wish to say that there were still the traditional 5 glitches in the stream. I’m starting to become numb to them. I’m just expecting low quality from CBS streaming at this point. It’s weird but I’ve streamed commercial ridden shows from CBS on their website (for free) and have never had a streaming glitch. Yet I get them when I PAY. That’s effed up. I must first point out that I have a generally negative reaction to the Mirror Universe episodes by now. INHO, DS9 over did it. I will admit I rather enjoyed the two part Enterprise version. It had our guys dressed in TOS costumes and we got to see the TOS sets. We got to find out where the Defiant phased out to. And we got a Gorn. A lot of fun stuff. But at this point I think the well has run dry on Terran Empire stuff. Just like time travel episodes have run their course. That said, it wasn’t as dreary as I thought it would be. I was hoping they would get back after one show. But sadly it’s getting dragged on another week. The mirror stuff honestly overall did not bother me too much. In fact I was more bothered that they did it at all more than anything that happened in the episode. If that concept… Read more »