Lorca Has A Message For the Emperor In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Clip From “What’s Past Is Prologue”

The Mirror Universe story comes to a head this Sunday in “What’s Past is Prologue” in a new clip from this weekend’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery featuring Mirror Lorca and his opposition to the Emperor.

Warning: Spoilers


Issacs loves the Mirror Lorca twist

Speaking of Mirror Lorca, today actor Jason Isaacs used “Flashback Friday” to remember the good times when Lorca was just the captain of the USS Discovery. Adding the “suckers” hashtag for everyone who fell for the ruse. 

More about this week’s episode


Episode Description

Lorca plans to move forward with a coup against the Emperor, propelling Burnham to make a quick decision to save not only herself, but the U.S.S. Discovery.

More TrekMovie coverage

8 New Photos from “What’s Past is Prologue”

More images and behind the scenes photos from “What’s Past is Prologue”

Episode 13 of Star Trek: Discovery will be available on CBS All Access on Sunday, January 28th by 8:30 pm ET. It will air in Canada on the Space Channel at 8:00 pm ET the same day and be available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada on Monday, January 29th at 8 am GMT.

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

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Anyone notice Jason is wearing Prime uniform from his tweet today?! (It’s just little unzipped)

#FBF means FlashBack Friday. That’s a photo from earlier in the season.

as Isaacs says, suckers lol I knew he wasnt prime lorca when he setup cornwall to be captured by the Klingons

It was the agonizer scar that convinced me.

I must say I LOVE Jason Isaacs in this clip. He was built for this mirror universe character.

This story arc is freakin’ amazing.

For the love of all things. Don’t kill off Lorca. The only strong male character (with the best acting skills) in the whole shebang.

I kinda think Stamets fits the bill, literally injects himself with alien DNA just to avoid killing something and puts himself at insane risk. That takes some serious balls.

Agreed, Mystical. Love Rapp’s performance as the dedicated, gutsy scientist … who’s not always very likable.

But I love Jason Isaacs too! Lorca and Stamets are opposites in some ways: Stamets, intellectual and at one with his spores, while Lorca is a man of action and a supreme strategist I mean plotter ;^) … but both are impatient with fools!

I agree. He’s needed.

Eh, this is starting to smell like the MU will still be around in Season Two. It is what it is, but for my two cents, I’d rather it be elsewhere.

I have to agree Phil. I love the MU story lines but in smaller dosage. I’m fine if they stay here the rest of the season but I’m hoping by season two they are someplace else, prime or otherwise.

It may. But it keeps the status quo. Keep Georgiou and Lorca. Arguably the two best characters (actors) on the show

Question is, if Lorca is the mirror universe version, where is the prime universe Lorca? Did he actually die on the Buran and the other Lorca stole his identity?

I’d like to know what happened to Prime Lorca.

I get the feeling we are going to find out very soon.

I hope he’s still living

Though a sneaky little part of me likes “tricksy” Lorca.

excellent drama, looking forward to Sunday

Jason Isaacs is my favorite part of this show. I hope he survives the finale.

I would agree very strongly with that Dennis C.
I’m very fond of the whole cast by now, but I would definitely miss prickly Captain Lorca.

Make the empire glorious again, hmm where have I heard that before?

MEGA lol

Oh man, things are about to get CRAY CRAY up in here!

Its interesting he sees Michael as part of the Empire too. I have a feeling she doesn’t want to have any part in it though. ;)

I’m loving this story line but honestly it doesn’t FEEL like a first season story line. It feels like something you do in third or fourth season. It feels like something Voyager would’ve attempted later on. Its not a bad thing, it just feels different compared to all the other Trek shows doing something like this so early.

They aggregated some algorithms and figured out the beats that work, man. What did the fans like best this week? Crunch that in. What was the response to last week’s show? Crunch that in ….
I honestly think this is part of modern TV production.

I know I’m just saying its not like the other shows that started a bit lighter and you saw them do their thing first before diving into the heavy twisty stuff. Obviously TOS never did stuff like this since it was episodic but even later shows waited to do deep dives like this. Again I’m not saying its a bad thing since I can honestly say its only been the MU stuff I’m finally loving the show BUT I do wonder are we ever going to do anything like just exploration and being ‘out there’ like most of the other shows were or is this the show and its going to be a lot of crazy big story lines?

If so, I’m all for it if its good (like the MU story and not the Klingon one) but I wouldn’t mind the ‘let’s just see what’s out there’ stuff too.

Even before the show started the producers said that they want every season to be a (new) big story line. They may sprinkle in more stand-alone episodes from time to time (like the Mudd episode this season) but I don’t expect them to go back to the episodic format of most previous Trek shows.
If they decide to do a “let’s see what’s out there” story line my guess is it would be something like what people expected from the premise for VOY: put the ship some place really far away and have them figure out this new environment and how to get back without a Starfleet safety net.

CBS didn’t want to do that. Fuller’s idea. But since the show is doing so well they may have not leway now

I’m thinking of something like Enterprise third season with the Xindi. Even though it was a heavy story line they still managed to do some actual exploring too.

In this new, streaming TV universe, content providers have to do anything necessary to hook viewers, both initially and long-term. Why are Netflix series so consistently strong in terms of quality and viewer interest? Because they’ve analyzed the data behind what their audience is interested in, and created content accordingly. (House of Cards was determined by viewer interest in Kevin Spacey, director David Fincher and the popularity of the original mini-series on Netflix.) On top of that, shorter seasons (anywhere from 8 to 13 episodes) mean that plot developments move quickly and every episode has some kind of cliffhanger that encourages you to binge watch.

As long as the quality of production (including the acting and writing) is strong, I’m all for this new paradigm. I’m tired of 22-26 episode seasons in which 1/3 to as much as 1/2 of the episodes are mediocre. Trim the fat, focus on the best parts of the story and give every character something meaningful to do. It makes the content that much more rewatchable.

This is the first Trek since TOS that I’ve watched each episode more than once and still enjoyed it.


No I get all of that and fine with it. But you can still have stories about the ship meeting aliens, visiting planets, etc.

I mean I just hope not every story line will simply be about war and conflict. DS9 had plenty of it but they actually still explored here and there and that show wasn’t really about exploration either.But yes they had more episodes to do it in.

I wish I can say I watched more episode than once but the first half didn’t do it for me outside of the Sanest Man and because I love time travel stories. But I will definitely rewatch the MU ones.

I rewatched DS9 in its entirety several times (although I rewatched all of them and still do) but I love that show to death.

Oh, but if we went back to a purely episodic format, where would we put the Wacky Ferengi Episodes, Cute Kid Episodes, Relatives Visit the Ship episodes, etc.?

There is a huge difference between the mirror universe episodes of previous shows and this Discovery arc. In previous shows, the mirror universe was a funny diversion. They went there for one or two (ENT) episodes at a time to have some fun, and by the end everything was back to how it was before. In contrast, the mirror arc on Discovery will have lasting consequences for the show as a whole. These episodes are there to move the characters forward. I’m pretty sure they won’t just hit the reset button when this arc ends. Their experiences in the mirror universe will stay with the characters and inform their decisions in the future. At least, that’s my feeling.

I actually really disagree with that. The DS9 arc weren’t comedies and they did move the stories forward. I mean they took the Terran empire and tore it all down and then we basically got a resistance movement out of it where they came ahead again. Its true though it didn’t change the DS9 characters much but mostly because the entire crew was never stuck there. It always just 1-2 characters.

Enterprise didn’t change much and thats because it had nothing to do with the PU characters and was more of a set up for the universe.

I like the serial story telling, makes the whole series more epic, forces it to avoid the usual tv dumb down

Anyone remember the theories that Lorca was going to turn out to be Captain Garth and that Discovery was a ripoff of Axanar?

Yeah that was funny.

“Make the Empire Glorious Again”…wonder who that’s aimed at? ;)

Trek has always had a progressive agenda or slant of some sort, and the producers have made little secret of Discovery’s criticism of the far right and other forms of western extremism.


Yes, Star Trek has always had a liberal slant to it, and that’s one of its selling points. But it’s usually handled with some subtlety and grace. It’s not whacking you over the head going THE BAD GUY IS TRUMP! YOU GET IT, RIGHT? SEE? TRUMP BAD! Well yeah, no duh Trump is bad. I didn’t want a Trek series to give me the fever dream reboot of the election. This is just stupid. I’m trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, and hoping the whole last 3 episodes of this season isn’t going to be so tactless and heavy handed with the blatant beating over our heads, but I’m not going to be surprised if it goes the way I hope it doesn’t.

I’ve come to accept it, gets liberal types watching. Then they watch TOS eventually and realize all the best episodes are NATO beating communists, pro Vietnam intervention, Federation miners and traders being saved and evil collectivist uniminds and end up free market libertarians. Like a gateway drug, even in Discovery the MU a way better plot than the magic mushroom fake science.

Star Trek has ALWAYS been a liberal show. I mean seriously. TOS and TNG especially. DS9 was the one that felt a bit more greyer but obviously based on the same framework as the other two. Enterprise actually went a bit more conservative in its third season with the Xindi story line which was an analogy for 911. But the show has been a liberal affair and got more so for the 24th century shows.

TOS has money, independent traders, Spock telling Kirk he must logically blow up the Romulan bird of prey before it crosses the neutral zone, crazy incompetent bureaucrats , Kirk ready for war with the Klingons (he is a soldier not a diplomat!), Kirk providing weapons to beat the Klingons in Vietnam while ranting on how great the US constitution is to the kohms. Very liberal stuff.

You picked a few things out of 80 episodes. That’s not hard. Point being it was a pro liberal show ESPECIALLY for the 60s.

Today it looks a bit less but that’s due to 50 years of progress.

Liberal, not Leftist. There’s a difference.

Your comment would be true in Mirror Universe, but in this universe, complete bullshit

@Cmd. Brennon, you say that liberals watch TOS and see “NATO beating communists” and “pro Vietnam intervention.” You do, in your majestic wisdom, get that NATO was established under a Democratic president, we intervened in Vietnam (for good or ill) under a Democratic president?

Give me a break.

You mean the kind of subtely and grace of “let that be your last battlefield”? The subtlety and grace of “the outcast”?

Trek has always beat you over the head with its subtlety.

In fact I’d say a lot of Discovery is far more subtle than Trek of the past.

This blind, obsequious devotion to past Trek has people completely ignoring that a lot of what is being criticized in Discovery has been seen before in Trek many times, and in some cases is a hallmark of the franchise.

Flat out: you are wrong. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Just keep getting friends to watch TOS. Even Discovery – the talk isn’t “man that magic mushroom plot”, it’s Michael mutinied to fire first, will she find redemption coupled with some simple “mirror universe/Captain killy is a cool arc”. Just like TNG now is “the Episode where they defeat the collective unimind (ie the borg). Action adventure / wagon train to the stars is just more fun.

TOS isn’t coming back. Get over it.

I like Discovery but it’s much more DS9 than anything. Which isn’t a bad thing but maybe feel too cynical for some That’s what they said about DS9 as well.

Honestly, my heart sank when I saw this preview last night. Not only am I disappointed that Lorca is apparently indeed evil, but the injection of the over-the-head Trump stuff just took me out of it, immediately. I’m a lifelong Trek fan, I’m all about the morality play aspect of the series. But to have him say things like “Make The Empire Glorious Again” is way too on-the-nose. I watch this stuff to get away from reality, not be reminded of it. C’mon.

LOL I just heard that Empire line. I loved it.

Don’t get sand in your ears

Same here. Crosses the line into political satire.

Funny you just described Trump’s presidency.

The photo that is part of this thread actually reminds me of Balok’s ship from “The Corbomite Maneuver”.