Assessing The Red Angel Suspects On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

The big mystery for the second season of Star Trek: Discovery has surrounded the seven red bursts and associated appearances of the entity known as the “Red Angel.” There are only five episodes left in the season and this Thursday’s episode is titled “The Red Angel,” indicating some answers may be forthcoming. So we thought we would take a look at some of the theories.

The Red Angel…


For the purposes of this article, we are assuming the Red Angel is a single individual and it is some known entity from within Star Trek. Why else obscure its identity? Early on, speculation about the Red Angel was all over the place. Possibilities included many classic Trek characters and races including Q, Iconians, Romulans, Borg, Preservers, Organians, Metrons and more. However, these have all been ruled out by observations from Saru and Spock, revealing the Red Angel is time-traveling human, using an advanced suit which obscures its identity. While a number of appearances of the Red Angel suggest it could be female due to its shape, we have also seen representations that Red Angel could be male. So, for our assessment of the various theories, we will not be factoring in gender, and just focusing on a number of human suspects for the Red Angel.

Spock’s analysis of the Red Angel from “Project Daedalus”

According to Spock, the Red Angel has been traveling through time in order to change the timeline, preventing the impending destruction of all sentient life in the galaxy. While this galactic destruction seems imminent—and possibly linked to Section 31’s emerging AI “Control”—it is not yet known from when the Red Angel is traveling back in time. The only clue so far comes from the episode “Saints of Imperfection,” where it was stated that the probe from the USS Discovery was pulled into a time vortex and sent back from 500 years in the future, then attacked the shuttle that launched it—and it resembed the ‘squid ships’ seen in Spock’s vision of the destruction of all sentient life.  Like any investigation, we will be looking at means, motive, and opportunity.

The suspects…


Gabriel Lorca (Prime)

One character who dominated the first season of Star Trek: Discovery was Captain Gabriel Lorca, who led the crew through the Klingon War with his own brand of tough love. However, after a trip into the Mirror Universe, we learned that the Lorca we knew wasn’t the true Lorca, but a Terran who had been swapped with the Prime Universe’s Gabriel Lorca a few years earlier. We never learned the fate of Prime Lorca and while it was implied he was killed on the ISS Buran, his death was never seen. Jason Isaacs’ Lorca was quite popular with a number of fans and he continues to talk up his experience on the show. Bringing him back would be a buzzworthy moment, and showrunner Alex Kurtzman has not ruled out his return to the show eventually. However, Kurtzman has said fans “should not expect to see him this season.”

Judgment: Alibi checks out.

Harcourt Fenton ‘Harry’ Mudd

Harry Mudd has been known to interfere with the crew of the USS Discovery and has a talent for utilizing different forms of technology for his own purposes, be they drugs that make you more attractive, androids, or even devices that manipulate time. He is also known to obscure his identity through masks—or again, with androids. However, traveling through time to issue warnings is off-brand for the known criminal And more importantly, over this recent weekend at Emerald City Comic Con, Mudd actor Rainn Wilson confirmed he will not be appearing in the second season of Discovery.

Judgment: Cleared.

Future Guy

If a mysterious entity projecting themselves back through time on a prequel Star Trek series sounds familiar, you are probably thinking of the “humanoid figure” (better known as “Future Guy”) who was an important part of the Temporal Cold War in Star Trek: Enterprise. This 28th-century person would project images of himself back through time, using the Suliban to change events in exchange for future technology. Coming from the same century as the modified squid probe brings Future Guy into focus. His motivations were never fully clear, and at times helped Captain Archer. There was even some theorizing that Archer himself was Future Guy. A strike against Future Guy is that at least as seen on Enterprise, he was not able to physically manifest himself back in time, unlike the Red Angel. In addition, it just seems highly unlikely that the powers behind Discovery would make a character from Enterprise as the central focus of the season, with the only caveat that bringing Scott Bakula into Discovery could offer some corporate cross-promotion with the CBS hit series NCIS: New Orleans.

Judgment: Free to go, but don’t leave town.


If you are looking for someone from the future tied to the USS Discovery, you have to consider Zora, the artificial intelligence that became the ship’s sole occupant by the 33rd century, as seen in Michael Chabon’s Star Trek: Short Treks episode “Calypso.” While Zora’s origins were never fully revealed, she appeared to have evolved over the centuries, but possibly not until after the ship had been abandoned by the crew for unknown reasons. While it could provide an interesting connection to Short Treks and offer some balance with Control, who appears to be a malevolent entity, being an AI seems to keep Zora out of the running. One caveat is that in “Calypso” we did see Zora learn to manifest herself as a holographic human with her own identity, and it is possible that in the 33rd century some technology would be available to her to take it to the next step with an actual human body.

Judgment: Person of interest.

Sylvia Tilly

No other Star Trek: Discovery character has had their future discussed more than Sylvia Tilly. Her destiny as a future leader has been woven into the show since the beginning, with the second season showing her training as the youngest person ever to make it into Starfleet’s Command Training Program. What better way to show this destiny than to have a future Tilly be the one to reach back through time to save the Discovery and the galaxy? It’s possible this role as the Red Angel is something she pursued instead of Starfleet, as we know subverting expectations is something writers love to do. Besides being an interesting notion, however, there is no actual evidence Tilly is the Red Angel, unless you are counting hair color.

Judgment: Subject for further inquiry.


Last week’s episode “Project Daedalus” was quite the tearjerker, ending with Airiam sacrificing herself as the only way to break the hold that the Control had on her. There is a nice poetry to Airiam being the one to lead the fight against Control.  Through the episode, we learned that Airiam used to be fully human into her young adulthood, but was augmented with cybernetics following an accident.  While last seen floating in space, the preview for “The Red Angel” hints her body is recovered for a formal burial in space, with the traditional torpedo-coffin launch. Being both dead and not entirely human seems to be two strikes against Airiam; however, this is Star Trek and so resurrections do happen. And it is possible some unknown entity, possibly in the future, is able to revive Airiam and maybe even return her to being fully human.

Judgment: Under surveillance.

Jean-Luc Picard

We have been mostly been looking at a lot of characters directly related to Star Trek: Discovery, but of course, the world of Star Trek is much wider, with too many human characters to count. However, there is one that is worthy of serious consideration and that is Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jean-Luc Picard, and not just because he wore command red. Picard is known to have traveled through time on a number of occasions, perhaps most notably to thwart the plans of the cybernetic Borg to prevent them from interfering with human first contact with the Vulcans. Of course, many other characters in Trek are known to dabble in time travel—including James T. Kirk who was considered a temporal “menace”— however, Picard is the only character known to be coming back to headline his own TV show on CBS All Access. One way to hype Alex Kurtzman’s expanding Star Trek Television Universe is to directly tie the season finale of Discovery to the Picard show, coming at the end of this year. Picard might top the list of suspects if it weren’t for Kurtzman dismissing the idea of Patrick Stewart showing up during season two at the New York Comic-Con panel last fall.

Judgment: Known to be in the vicinity.

Amanda Grayson

The Red Angel’s first known connection to any character was to Spock, traveling back through time to his childhood to tell him how to save his foster sister Michael Burnham. The Angel again appeared to Spock as an adult, giving him the vision of the apocalyptic future. The Angel also appeared to Michael Burnham in the season opener “Brother,” giving her hope at a moment of desperation. One could say the Angel has a deep connection to these two, possibly even a maternal connection? Could Spock and Michael’s mother Amanda be reaching back through time to protect her children? This connection gets stronger when rewatching “Brother”; during the flashback of when Michael first met her adoptive mother, Amanda emerges from the house wearing red and tells the traumatized child she “blesses” her. While there can be no doubt that Amanda has the motive, it’s not clear she has the means or opportunity, but one never knows what is lying around on planet Vulcan.

Judgment: Target of investigation.

Michael Burnham

It is important to remember that the focus of Star Trek: Discovery is always through the lens of the lead character Michael Burnham. The first season explored her redemption arc, from her mutiny through to restoration after ending the war with the Klingons. The second season has explored the relationships with her family, with promises that in the end, it will all explain why she was never mentioned again by Spock, Amanda or Sarek. Throughout the second season, we have seen how many things link back to Burnham, including how Section 31 appears responsible for the death of her parents. The reasoning behind Amanda being a suspect apply just as much to Michael. And let’s not forget Airiam’s final words to Michael before telling her to “seek out Project Daedalus.” Speaking presumably of Control, Airiam told Michael: “It wanted me to kill you. Everything is because of you.” This all adds up to the Red Angel having some connection to Burnham, and there could be no greater connection than it being Burnham herself.

Judgment: Likely culprit.

Who do you suspect?


What do you think of our rundown of the suspects for the Red Angel? Are there any you warrant more scrutiny? Sound off in the comments below.

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

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One possibility is that it’s a biped of another race, but I think you’re right. Did Saru specifically say Human?

I think your analysis is spot-on though. To me Michael and Airiam are the Top Suspects. [I like your classifications, LOL]

Spock, who had mindmelded with the Red Angel, specifically said it was “human, nothing more”

This is the main reason I hope it’s not Burnham because surely Spock would have recognised her! I still think there’s a possibility that the Red Angel will be More than one person with a future protagonist (probably Zora evolved from Airam’s memory downloads) sending a different Discovery crew member back in time to each of the incidents.

More than one person is a possibility, especially if you go with the different versions of the Red Angel. What Saru saw seemed feminine, but Spock’s drawings are kind of masculine or at least more generic and somewhat genderless. So who knows? It could be a variety of people.

Burnham is too obvious. She’s already been mocked as a Mary Sue. Burnham is the last person it should be.

And the first person everyone suspects. It has to be a red herring…. otherwise the producers are 100% learning resistent!

I agree with you. Top suspects.

Jet Reno

I love the idea that it could be Jett!

I have also heard this theory. Would be interesting and far less predictable the Michael Burnham.

Interesting – though why do you think this?

No reason, I guess. I was kind of half joking. But I think it would be funny if all this time we haven’t seen her she’s been quietly working in a lab, building a time machine.

Or her distant ancestor Janet


Denny Crane :)

Burnham seems more and more the likely suspect.

I find I’m a bit saddened by this.

Having Burnham have some special Destiny, in some ways takes away (for me) her groundbreaking role as a woman of colour.

Other show leads haven’t had to be ‘special’ to be Captains or a focus of our interest in Trek.

That said, I’m genuinely curious…and if the reason for her being the red angel is intriguing enough (i.e. more than just saving the universe), I could be okay with this.

After all, the Q had a child to save the continuum, and Paris and Torres daughter in Voyager was believed to be a kind of saviour by a Klingon sect…

So, I’d like to speculate on why it would be Burnham…

Were Burnham’s parents from the future?

Or were they part of Section 31, such that Leland is responsible for putting them at risk?

Was there something outside of Federation values in Burnham’s genetic profile or early education that she’s not aware of?

Otherwise, I’m wondering if it’s Amanda or Burnham’s mother.

I suspect Zora may have a role in this because Calypso begs the question whether there was some crucial time travel reason to park Discovery in that Nebula.

Someone will need that ship in the future. Discovery is exceptional as a 23rd century Starfleet vessel that has a drive that can travel in time as much as space.

I dunno, those wormhole aliens sure thought The Sisko was special.

Sisko’s mother was one of the Prophets, so he isn”t “Human nothing more”, and considerung Avery Brooks hasn’t acted in 10 years if he was returning to Trek it would probably have already made news.

Sisko’s mother was not one of the Prophets. She was possessed by one of the Prophets to insure that he was born. Remember, the Prophets are do no exist in linear time so they felt that his mother needed to be possessed to make sure he existed. Once he was born the Prophet left her and Sisko’s biological mother left his father.

Uh, I wasn’t suggesting Brooks could be returning. I was replying to the comment about lead characters being special.

They arranged for him to be born…so the special destiny thing is in play.

You’ve got me on that Wheelie.

The Mother-as-Prophet reveal in DS9 came so many years into the series, that it had a different feel despite the Emissary role from the outset.

But in some ways that would be the same concern. Cannot a human person-of-colour be a hero/lead in Trek without some Destiny-from-birth?

Kirk, Picard and Janeway were exceptional captains, but moderately ordinary in background.

Kirk wasn’t of ordinary background. His father was a Starfleet officer, his mother a space going scientist stationed on starships …

Yeah Sisko was black Jesus to the Bajorans. If anything this could make Star Trek guilty of using the Magical Negro trope.

My guess is that if it is Michael, it isn’t because she is someone special, but rather it turns into a predestination paradox where the reason it is a future Michael is because she already has saved herself. She realizes it is her, and then when the time comes, she knows she can, and has to, become the red angel because she already is the red angel. There have been plenty of predestination paradoxes in Star Trek already, and personally, I think they are always fun. At the very least, I hope that if it is Michael, it isn’t because of some big secret, it is what it is because it is what it is.


I really don’t see how making her destined to become the Red Angel detracts from her being a woman of color lead on a Star Trek series. Isn’t it that much more profound to make your Messianic character a person of color and a woman?

By ordinary, I mean full human, raised among humans on earth, no genetic enhancements.

One of the big blindspots in Trek is that the luck of birth continues to confer a lot of advantages. Kirk, Spock, Burnham and Tilly clearly have benefited from their parents social station, but that’s another discussion.

What I’m alluding to is how there has been previously a lot of concern that major characters of colour have to be ‘special’ in Trek (with Uhura being the stand out exception).

Not sure if others will recall, in the run up to the premiere of DS9, there was quite an active discussion and criticism of the situation in TNG that the major black male characters were Worf (alien with bumps on head) or Geordie (blind with a visual prosthesis).

So, it was was a high profile and applauded thing to have Avery Brooks as Sisko and Alexander Siddig as Bashir, both characters that in the opening of the series appeared be ordinary humans of African descent.

Over time one was revealed to be the child of a Prophet/Wormhole Alien, and the other to be genetically enhanced. But it was far enough along in the series that the representation discussion didn’t come up again. And by that time Voyager was on the air generating it’s own fan debates.

If you make a person of color a messiah or mystical or something you get accused of indulging in the “magic negro” trope. It’s a tight line to walk.

Interesting. I had never heard of that as a trope. I just went and read some about it. Seriously, thanks for the education!

Why? Why is that “more profound?” If they’re going to do this, why should the biological ethnicity or biological gender even matter? Shouldn’t that be IRRELEVANT?

“Other show leads haven’t had to be ‘special’ to be Captains or a focus of our interest in Trek.”

Crikey, Sisko was literally CONCEIVED by the wormhole aliens, and yet he wasn’t “special”?

I guess they just skipped DS9’s main point from the first act of the first episode to the last act of the last episode it was all about how special “The Sisko” was.

I actually doubt its Michael because the first thing it did was prevent Michael from dying.

That’s a temporal paradox, it’s quite common in time travel stories, and doesn’t rule her out.

Matt, time travel stories are my absolutely favorite sub-genre of sci-fi and I did not need that link in any way. I am well aware of time paradoxes of many types. It does not change my feelings here.

Predestination paradox? One way or another I’m convinced Michael will be heavily involved and the whole story might be one giant time loop. What if In order for Starfleet to prevail Control has to first win. Maybe the future we saw in Calypso was a timeline in which biological life had been virtually eradicated in the galaxy and the Discovery had been hidden for a millennium until Zora was sufficiently evolved or some other event occurs that triggers the red burst time travelling shenanigans that ultimately allows for the timeline to be restored. Maybe Michael or the whole crew will travel into the future to regain control of Discovery by some other means possibly involving the mycellial network and/or Tilly’s friend May. I’m probably way off the mark here but I do enjoy wild speculation!

“What if In order for Starfleet to prevail Control has to first win.”

We’re in the endgame now. It was the only way… *turns to ashes*

Haha took me a minute then to realise I’d described Infinity War!

Yes, that would seem to make for quite the impossible time paradox. My bet is on Zora having become fully human or essentially human somehow. It just seems too coincidental that we have a Short Trek about a far flung future Discovery AI and a “present” AI threat and not have the two stories connect. My only other thought on that is they find some way to isolate Control’s AI and integrate it with Discovery and then have to hide Discovery away for some reason. Thus, Zora is actually a future manifestation of Control.

Isn’t that the point of a time paradox? As in that it is completely impossible when viewing time as linear!

Actually something very similar was already done in Star Trek: Spock prevents his younger self’s death in the animated Yesteryear.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban had a good one of those. An unseen person saves Harry’s life from dementors. Later he travels back in time and waits around to see who it was before realizing at the last minute it was him.

Michael seems the likely choice. From what we’ve seen of the red angel, it looks like her body type. However, it would be great if the writers threw us a major curveball, and it was someone completely different. At the same time, that might complicate an already complicated show too much for some of the viewers, (not me though!)

Agree, the upper legs look identical to Burnham’s.

Considering half the Trekkies can’t seem to follow the plots enough and rally against ‘plotholes’ that are fully explained, I think it’s Burnham, just to make it simple like the TNG ‘arc’s were so they can understand it.

I really, really hope not. That would almost be as bad as Tyler revealed to be Voq for me.

It’s Star Trek not Star Wars, we want complication and depth.

I know this isn’t it, but can you imagine how many of our heads would explode if it was Captain Kirk played by William Shatner! It might break the internet, LOL!

That was exactly my thought!

William Shatner playing Captain Kirk is like Mark Hamill playing Luke Skywalker. Both of them can break the internet.

How would Kirk be around 400 years after he died?

I wanted to believe that it was Janeway. She’s already got plenty of “temporal blood” on her hands!

The Red Angel can’t be Airiam. Maybe Future Guy or Zora.

Burnham would be a copout and a letdown for those of us who want some pan-Trekkian super-reveal of a key character from another series (Abraham Lincoln!). As a story element, it would make the most sense and somehow close out Burnham’s story for the Prime Timeline and allow for her to check out at the show’s conclusion in some appropriately red-angely fashion. I would want to see Q or Sisko or Picard, or Benedict Cumberbatch (just kidding), but here’s hoping that whatever it is works.

Put me down for none of the characters from any other Trek series, TOS included. Too inside baseball, requiring too much exposition for non-nerds. But, we’ll see.

I can’t believe it’s Q. He’s too much of a show-off to hide behind a mask or suit. And he doesn’t need it.
I doubt that it’s a character from another show. Discovery is for non-trekkies, too.
I think, it’s one from this show. So I think, SPock himself is the best choice.

I agree. Spock is the one that stands out to me. It explains a lot:
1. His temporal head trauma
2. The humanity he felt (would tie up the arc of his feud w Michael rather poetically)
3. Why it chose him rather than someone else.
4. Because he’s just unpredictable enough for this sort of thing.


Ariam. Spock said the Red Angel was human (mind meld and all). Ariam made it a point in Daedelus said that she was “cybernetically augmented”, but still a human or something to that effect. She backed up her memories. This was a foreshadowing.

The Red Angel is Ariam.

Michael importance is for another reason.

The Red Angel is Airiam from another timeline.

Some random ideas:

+ Could there be multiple Red Angels?
+ That on-screen image of the Red Angel has a distinctly female shape. Picard, Mudd, and most guys do not have such a svelte figure.
+ Some redditors have suggested that Airiam’s memories (which notably stayed on Discovery) could have been fused with something else and produced Zora.
+ Spock definitely says the words “She changed your fate” in S02E08, but this could just be a voiceover mistake that wasn’t picked up.

The odds of it being Burnham are exceptionally high though. The clincher IMO is the relative height of SMG and the Red Angel, plus the fact that they both have narrow shoulders. Hannah Cheesman, on the other hand, seems pretty tall (she’s listed as 5’10” on the internet, but there’s something statuesque about her).

I actually love the mystery element of season two. I like reading fan theories and pitching in with my own personal speculation. For me, this is all an added layer of fan engagement.

Maybe the Red Angel is not human

Spock melded with it, its human.

“+ Could there be multiple Red Angels?”
thinking about this too.
What if the Red Angel is everyone?

Not to mention the Red Angel wears a suit that could theoretically be worn by anyone, so each visit could be someone different.

I’m calling it now. It’s Will Decker.

I had the same thought, but it was pointed out to me that given the controversy around the actor who played him originally, they might not want to dig the character back up

I’ve not heard this, what was the controversy?

He is a convicted child molester.

I’d never heard that, but that’s terrible. I assume they would recast him anyway if they brought him back though, so I don’t think that should be an impediment to bringing him back.

In 2014, Collins admitted to sexually abusing three different underage girls between 1973 and 1994.

He’s not convicted. He admitted it. But it was too long ago.

Confession equals conviction to me. I’m a victim of similar, he should never work again, anywhere.

By the way, Cosby was prosecuted for things just as far past the statute of limitations. So if they are goong to break the law for Cosby why not for Collins?

I thought they got Cosby on things he did more recently, but there was a lot they couldn’t prosecute him for because of the statute of limitations.

No a conviction means convicted. We don’t get to decide words mean what we want them to mean when we don’t like them. Even if that’s exactly how words works…yes it’s a conundrum.

@Chancellor Gowron
The most recent accusation on Cosby was 30 years old.

@Red Scarab
He confessed, so he is guilty, of his own admission. So the one point in his favor is that even if the courts in this case actually followed the law and he can’t be “convicted” he convicted himself.

On a more serious note, I am not sure it is Burnham because it would appear the Red Angel prevents Burnham’s death. Temporal mechanics give me a headache, but wouldn’t it be hard for her to save herself if she didn’t live beyond childhood? That is why I am leaning more towards Amanda as being the Red Angel. And, if Burnham was originally killed before the Red Angel intervened, would this mean that we are actually in a different timeline to the Prime timeline? If so, it would explain why Spock never mentions a sister since she was killed in the original timeline shortly after she entered his life. And why we never heard about such a major Klingon War, cloaked Klingon ships, etc. That would be counter to what the producers have always said about Discovery being Prime, however, so unless they have been fibbing to us, it isn’t that. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out!

Predestination paradoxes are a commen sci-fi trope so Burnham saving herself is a more than viable possibility. As for whether or not this would result in a new timeline depends on who is writing Trek. The Franchise has historically shown the timeline as something flexible which could be bent, broken and restored but when Bob Orci wrote Star Trek 09 he wanted the science of time travel be more closely tied to current quantum mechanics theories. I guess if you take this approach to it’s extreme you could argue that in all those movies and episodes in which time travel was featured they never actually restored the the timeline, rather they actually only succeeded in creating new universes that closely resembled the ones they’d originally left meaning that there’s not really a prime timeline and the series has constantly shifted into new universes.

Not sure how much Kirsten Beyer’s ideas about time travel might have influenced things as they were breaking story.

Her Voyager books unsurprisingly tackled time paradoxes so she definitely has a view. She seems to favour the major timelines and events having some kind of local equilibria approach, and lines folding back into the Prime, rather than the infinitely expanding multiverse.

I have to say I prefer this approach for Star Trek regardless of how well or not it lines up with current theory.

Im pretty sure its a woman, maybe its Micheal, maybe I Airium, but I know one thing for sure I wanted to get to know Airium and the bridge crew more

Maybe the Red Angel is Captain Kirk from a different universe. Anything is possible at this point.


I’ve always thought it was Michael. Which might also explain why no one ever talks about her again the Canon.

It’s Wesley.

Oh please, no Wil Wheaton. He’s blocked half of twitter, and therefore does not deserve another role in tv or the movies. He can do his schtick off-off-off-Broadway somewhere out in the boonies.

Wheaton works quite often, he has had recurring roles in Leverage, Big Bang Theory, and several other shows. That aside, I don’t give a rat’s ass about twitter and who gets blocked or who doesn’t even use it and I will never judge someone because of it. Frankly that attitude is pathetic.

Annika Hansen or Kathryn Janeway?

Why would it be anyone from Voyager though?

Why wouldn’t it? Likely a known character (and available actor) from a previous series that will be revealed last few sec of season finale, ala Enterprise appearance.

I’m talking in relation to the story itself. What would it serve that Janeway or Hansen is there outside of pure fan service? How would they be connected? Thats the problem, it just doing it for the sake of doing it.

I agree with you Tiger but Mulgrew did actually make a comment about Janeway embarking on a new voyage as Red (her orange is the new black character) ended her journey, so it is possible.

What about the Emperor? She seems to have a vested interest in Burnam.

AI wants to destroy Michael as she is the red angel who ends up stopping the space robot squids.

Michael was never mentioned in the prime time line as she died when she was a kid. Spock and his family buried that tragic past. 🖖

That’s an interesting theory! I presume by prime timeline you mean the one before Michael was saved AND before the robosquids travelled back in time, as otherwise there would be no Federation in the 24th century. I think they also make it a point for the robosquids to come from the 28th century so the canon of BermanTrek would be preserved until their incursion (in the original timeline).

Interestingly so far nobody has considered how Michael could biologically be the Red Angel from a future beyond the 24th century, presumably (she doesn’t have a Vulcan lifespan!) Another way Michael was not mentioned in all other Treks would be that she disappears into that Red Angel future before the beginning of TOS.


I hope that theory isn’t true because it will just feed into the conspiracy theory that Discovery isn’t ‘real’ Trek like the other shows and is in it;s own timeline (even if that’s not the case).

(I just accidentally posted this to the wrong thread, so here goes again. Sorry!)

Thanks for the interesting analysis. I have my doubts about the Red Angel being Burnham. For one thing, if this identification is meant to explain why she was unknown until ST: Discovery then she must at some point be transposed permanently into the future, bypassing TOS. But unless the producers only planned for a two season run for the series, that seems highly implausible now that a third season has been announced. Unless an equally implausible reconfiguration of the whole series “bible” is contemplated.

Moreover, wouldn’t have Spock in his mindmeld with the Angel have sensed something about someone as intimate to him? Yes, the meld was only partial or something, but why would Michael the (arch) Angel have wanted to conceal her identity from him at that point?

Having said that, I have no better theory. But with all this headache-inducing time travel going on, it seems there must be some connection with Disco being empty and abandoned all the way in the 33rd century. Beats me what it is.

Also presumably relevant is the news that there is some connection between the deaths of Michael’s biological parents and Section 31.

So to paraphrase Spock, I conclude with the unsatisfying, “There is insufficient evidence to form a reasonable hypothesis.”

The end of your post reminded me of the Asimov quote, “There is as yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer.” I wonder if, given how heavy they lean on their allegories, the red angel is not a time travel duplicate of Burnham, but instead a previous-universe Burnham.

“Picard might top the list of suspects if it weren’t for Kurtzman dismissing the idea of Patrick Stewart showing up during season two at the New york Comicon Panel last Fall.”
The Discovery people said Spock absolutely will not be in Discovery. JJ said the villain in “Into Darkness” was definitely not going to be Khan.
These guys LIE to their audience. In my opinion it is very disrespectful, even contemptuous, to their fans. But that’s why I don’t believe anything anybody says because they have no credibility. So who knows, maybe it is Picard. I wish they would stop lying to their audience.


I agree that showrunners previously ruling an option out does not mean anything (let’s not forget they lied about Lorca and Voq too). However I think it’s very unlikely to be Picard for the sole reason that they are building it up to be someone familiar to the crew. While Picard is instantely familiar to us, we must remember he is an unknown for anyone on Discovery.

I don’t mind when they lie to us. It adds to the surprises. Besides, I don’t think they were lying about Spock. I think they changed their minds.

@Legate Demar

I believe that including Spock was something the previous showrunners opposed and a part of why they were fired was this opposition. As the arguments over it lead to their reported verbal abuse of writers.

Michael or Georgiou.

I’m amazed you’re the first to say Georgiou here. My gf and I have been convinced it’s her from the beginning, and everything lines up. She communicated with spock because he knew Michael, and she wanted Michael alive to avert the apocalyse.

Also, the MO of season 2 is largely fixing the mistakes of season 1 by whatever means necessary, such as through resurrecting culver, bringing on Pike, changing the klingons (back), improving the writing, tone, lighting, etc. Bringing back Georgio, not the ridiculous cartoon character we got but the original, seems like the obvious last big thing to fix, and if they really want a show with Michelle Yeoh in it, they’ve already got one that needs a captain next season. Sure, she’s dead, but they could just throw in some line about time travel being confusing and everyone would be fine with it.

I think I figured it out!
The best way to throw people off track would be to pick someone who seems to be trying to identify the Red Angel. No one would suspect someone who seems to be actively hunting for the identity of the Red Angel. What a great way for the Red Angel to hide in plain sight.
The Red Angel is MATT WRIGHT.

It’s Elvis! Gotta be!

I think Zora is involved somehow. Otherwise, “Calypso” sticks out like a sore thumb; what is Discovery doing 1,000 years in the future, completely intact, controlled by an artificial intelligence we’ve never heard of before?

Now, this does not mean that Zora is the Red Angel; in keeping with the “religion versus science” nature of this season, it’s entirely possible that Zora sends someone to humanity as a savior, possibly a (resurrcted) Ariam, possibly someone else.

I think Zora needs to be connected somehow. Someone else said that maybe they first have to lose the war, to be able to eventually go back and win the war. I could see the Red Angel telling them to leave Discovery, (maybe with Ariam’s memories help), to become Zora that will go through time with Control winning, (that’s why that future was so bleak). Then Zora will help save the day. Let’s not forget Zora presumably still has the spore hub drive, which can still travel in time. Maybe that will be used somehow? I still think that the Red Angel is probably Michael, just based on shape, but Zora NEEDS to be involved somehow.


Daniels doesn’t have those hips. Nor breasts.

Could be just the shape of the protective suit.

I’m totally thinking Amanda. Another possibility is that we will be left never knowing for sure who the red angel is, and the viewers will be left wondering if it’s actually an angel of God, God, or just some powerful alien preoccupied with saving the hopeless. Kinda like a Cosmic Santa Claus if you will.

I really like that idea. Leaves the “is there or isn’t there a God” up to the audience. Another CBS show, “God Friended Me” is doing much the same thing.

What does God need with a…bionic suit thingy?

You didn’t answer his question, what DOES God need with a… bionic suit thingy? 😂

After I watched the episode I thought it could be Amanda. If we find out at all, it may be Ariam or Zora. We’ll surely know if Discovery has to be abandoned in a nebula in the season finale. That will also mean we could be seeing a new Discovery next season, AND a new Captain.

I’m sticking with Isis, Gary Seven’s cat/human assistant. Second to that, Gary Seven himself.

If so, here’s hoping for another awesome “Previously on Star Trek” moment. I’d also love to see more of the story of Gary Seven’s civilization.

I really hope it isn’t Burnham. I mean, it’s one thing for Spock to have never mentioned her, but in all these years of Star Trek, no one ever mentioned the Starfleet officer who saved ALL SENTIENT LIFE IN THE GALAXY? I mean, come on.

I think the Red Angel is going to be an alien (Iconian?) like Kosh on Babylon 5, appears to different people as different things.

Spock confirmed that its human,

“Human” in Star Trek doesn’t necessarily mean from Earth.

Hope I’m wrong, but I think it’s Amanda. It’s tied to Spock and Burnham closely so the mother connection makes sense. I also think the Sarek home being in the red forest on Vulcan could be a subtle hint.

I love that we haven’t figured it out though. The writing is so much better this season. Truly a guessing game!

Perhaps a curveball could be Hugh. He’s trying to find himself after being resurrected from the mycelial network and it might lead to saving the universe being his higher calling.

I was thinking that, too. He’s out of place and he would be looking for his purpose. But it doesn’t really feel like it fits.

I want it to be Shatner… so much…..

Let’s be honest, he couldn’t fit into that suit. ;D

I don’t know who the Red Angel is. But I know who it isn’t. It isn’t Zora. Mainly because Spock says it is human. Zora is an AI that evolved from the Discovery’s computer. But definitely not human.

If Airiam’s memories are part of Zora, she could have seemed human to Spock during the meld.

I’m not so sure of that. I’m sure Spock would be able to tell the difference between the memories of a human in an AI and an actual human. But that’s just my opinion.

Spock specifically identified the Red Angel as female – “The Angel saved you. She changed your fate.”

While Burnham is the likely option, I’d be very happy if it was Zora/Airiam – the former being spawned from the memories of the latter which were uploaded to the ship.

I have a feeling the Red Angel will end up being Discovery’s “Bent Neck Lady”, a mystery woven through the season in which the ultimate reveal will be a retrospective on all of her appearances revealing how everything is tied together. It’s hard to believe it’s anything other than Michael Burnham and that fact is almost beside the point since the explanation will ultimately carry the story more than the reveal. So far the season arc is unfolding in a modestly interesting way, but it’s also not the most innovative sci-fi story in the world. We are starting to see elements of “Terminator” unfolding now with the apocalyptic AI and time travel. Ultimately I don’t think any of that matters as long as the story has consequence to the characters and we get to see their story unfold as well as it has been in these last few episodes. The character writing on this show has absolutely sprung to life in the 2nd half of this season and for me that’s what is carrying it along. But it’s also tremendously fun for fans of the show to piece things together, I’ve never seen a season of Star Trek fascinate its fanbase like season 2 of Discovery. I think that’s a huge accomplishment.

Beyond all the speculation about who the Red Angel is …. I just want to know why it turned up to save a church in WWIII ? What the……?
I must say, I am starting to get the vibe that for some (yet to be revealed) crazy, highly illogical – let alone justifiable reason – it’s going to end up being Amanda.
ALSO – if Burnham isn’t saved – and for some reason has to be allowed to die as a child when she runs from her Vulcan home – would that mean that all the Discovery inconsistencies with canon could suddenly ‘disappear’ as we’re returned to the correct / original / Star Trek timeline? Please?? I’m praying!!!

Ok, so again, who is the Red Angel in the stained glass windows? Looks like our recently departed.

Somebody in the church was Craft’s ancestor…

It’s Ezra Bridger or Ahsoka Tano emerging from the world between worlds.

Burnham. After all it appeared to Spock at his home when he was little and saved Burnham as she was running away. She is the only logical answer.

Can’t be Burnham red angel changed the timeline so she would live. If red angel is from a different time line then it is someone who is intimate with spocks back story. My guesses would be Tilley who could have been rescued in the myciellial network. Staments who can experience multiple timelines or future pike who didn’t have his accident.

Why does nobody consider Spock himself?
Why is the Red Angel contacting him in his childhood?
Maybe because he knows Spock better than anyone – and how he would react to such an experience.

Because Spock himself said the RA is human, just human, not a hybrid, human.

Human in Star Trek doesn’t necessarily mean “from Earth”… it’s often the appearance. Spock could also just have felt his “human” part.

Could be Sybok.

Why does the “Red Angel” have to be from the future?

… possibilities ..

Can’t be sybock, he is not human. They already established its from the future.

I must have missed that bit about Red Angel being human. Dose off too many times watching DIS (until the recent last 2 episodes).

Its in “If Memory Serves”.

Probably Control or whatever controls it have already tried to kill Michael. Liland is connected to the death of her parents. Michael’s life was in danger too many times. Might be not a coincidence.

I’m waiting for the Borg. LOL

If Spock said ‘all sentient life’, then the Borg were defeated by the squids, too.

The fact they want to explain why Michael wasn’t mentioned might hint, along with the stuff about the red angel, at some alteration of the timeline. Maybe she originally died as a kid before the red angel changed the timeline. This would make discovery another alternate reality of tos and I’m not sure they want it to be.

Temporal incursions and anomalies are always highly classified and beyond top secret even in Starfleet.

The red angel is clearly linked to that Calypso short trek episode in some way….

It’s Michael.

Will Decker.

I think Spock not recognizing them rules out Michael. My money’s on Zora, born from Airiam’s memories left behind in the ship’s computer.