Star Trek: Discovery Recap: The Decisions You Make Despite Yourself

Despite Yourself

Returning 2020

Star Trek: Discovery is back with the second half of the series’ first season and Captain Lorca and his crew definitely aren’t in Kansas anymore. In fact, it’s likely that in the universe the now find themselves it, Kansas doesn’t exist (too nice). Following the Discovery’s latest spore drive jump, the crew detects that they’ve executed an incomplete navigation sequence. AKA: They’re lost. But not for long. The appearance of a Vulcan “rebel” ship is just the first sign that the Discovery has travelled a long, long way.

The series of spore drive jumps has accomplished what Stamets had long theorized the tech was capable of: a leap into an entirely different universe. The hypothesis is that somehow, this Discovery has swapped places with a version of itself from a mirror universe where the benevolent Federation has been replaced by a tyrannical empire in which the Terrans (humans) are feared and hated by every other race in the galaxy—which explains why the Vulcan ship fired on them, and why the Klingon wreckage contains the bodies of Klingons, Vulcans, and Andorians. They’re all allied against the brutal Terrans.

Despite Yourself

To survive, Burnham, Lorca, and the rest of the crew realize that they have to disguise themselves as their Terran doubles. That means that Burnham must pretend she’s back from the dead (and the rightful Captain of the Shenzhou), Lorca has to pretend to be a captured traitor, and Tilly has to pretend to be the feared (and desired) “Captain Killy.” The stakes are high (if they don’t get back to their own universe, the war against the Klingons is all but lost) but it’s still really funny to watch Tilly get an entire wardrobe and personality makeover. She totally rises to the challenge—but by the end of the episode, we’re left wondering if that’s a good thing (more on that later).

Despite Yourself

Aboard the Shenzhou, Lorca, Burnham, and Tyler attempt to carry out their mission to retrieve data on the USS Defiant, a ship that is thought to have also made the jump to and from the Terran universe. Lorca the traitor is sent to the brig to be constantly electrocuted for hours in an Agonizer Booth while Burnham (thought dead in this universe) retakes her rightful place as Captain of the ship after doing away with Captain Connor (he started it).

With Lorca in the brig, Tyler and Burnham have some downtime in her quarters, where instead of discussing the fact that a) He is almost definitely a Klingon, specifically Voq; and b) He just murdered Dr. Culber, they make out instead. While Lorca continues to be electrocuted. Harsh—there’s definitely something very wrong here.

Despite Yourself

5 questions we have about the Chapter 2 premiere

1. Both Stamets (in his semi-conscious state) and Saru (with his threat ganglia) have sensed that something is seriously off with Tyler. How has Burnham, who’s closest to him, not picked up on it?

2. So it’s pretty clear that Tyler HAS A KLINGON PAST, right? The question is, why didn’t that Klingon prayer work to trigger his memory?

3. Wilson Cruz and producers have said although Culber is in fact dead, it’s not the end for his character or his love story with Stamets. The question is—HOW and WHEN will he return?

4. How great was Lorca’s impersonation of a Scottish starship engineer? That was a fun shout out to the original Chief Engineer, Scotty himself.

5. Tilly and Burnham both seem a little too into their Mirror Universe personas. Is it possible that being there is killing who they really are and turning them into their Terran selves?