Star Trek: Discovery Recap: Lies, Oblivion, And Concealment In Lethe

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Returning 2020

This week’s episode begins with a critical and mysterious Vulcan diplomatic-mission-turned-suicide-attack and ends with the Klingons taking a high-ranking Starfleet officer hostage.

The Discovery, meanwhile, has a mystery of its own: new crew member Lt. Ash Tyler. What we know: his family is either missing or dead, he’s from Seattle (well, outside of it), and he’s good at kissing Captain Lorca’s ass while kicking Klingon ass (both real and simulated).

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Thwarted in his mission to negotiate peace with two Vulcan houses, Sarek does his cool/painful mind meld thing with Michael only to brutally zap her right back out, sending her to sick bay. That’s where the story about being dead for three minutes (killed in a Logic Extremist attack) and brought back by Sarek’s Vulcan soul-sharing procedure comes out.

Now Sarek is in trouble—his last minute escape got him lost floating unmoored across a nebula and the Discovery is the only ship that can save him, authorization be damned. Working with Stamets, Burnham comes up with a way to jolt the unconscious Sarek awake using science, bravery, and, um, pure insanity. Tyler is assigned to fly the shuttle that will take them into the Nebula, ordered by Lorca to bring Burnham back without a scratch.

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Back in Sarek’s memories, he and Burnham duke it out over whether or not he’ll allow her to save him. It’s Tyler that hands her the key to unlocking Sarek’s secret: Burnham’s Vulcan dad chose Spock, his son, to be admitted into the Vulcan Expedition instead of Burnham. But Spock, as we all know, joined Starfleet, so Sarek is ashamed, thinking that he has failed Michael. Finally revealing this secret to her, however, jolts him out of his unconscious state and Tyler and Tilly are able to pick up his transponder signal and save him.

Back on the Discovery, Lorca has a lover’s quarrel that turns into a failed psych evaluation with his former flame, Admiral Cornwell. She’s insisting he step down and get help. His counter move? Sending her on a doomed mission to negotiate with the Klingons. It seems safe to say that Lorca’s actions are certainly questionable, but we still like him.

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5 questions we have about this week’s episode

1. How cool/funny was it to see Burnham and Tilly training in “DISCO” gym gear??

2. The idea of Vulcan extremists is really interesting (not to mention timely). Will that thread continue across the series?

3. Starfleet is worried about Captain Lorca and his alleged recklessness and insubordination—should we be? Or is he an awesome/cool renegade who’s going to win this war?

4. Was Lorca’s backing of the rescue mission just a way to manipulate Burnham further down the road?

5. Did Lorca know that the Klingon peace talks were a trap? Because if he did… yikes.