While en route to a top-secret diplomatic mission to meet representatives of two Klingon houses, Sarek (James Frain) is injured and his transport ship disabled by a suicide-bomber who identifies himself as a member of a group of logic extremists who oppose Vulcan-human integration and Federation involvement. Sarek’s distress is sensed (and felt) by Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), who persuades Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) to mount yet another Discovery rescue mission.

In the meantime, Lt. Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) is proving his loyalty to Captain Lorca and is promoted to security chief aboard Discovery. Lorca assigns him to pilot Burnham’s shuttle through the Yridia Nebula in an attempt to rescue Sarek. With help from Cadet Tilly (Mary Wiseman), Burnham is able to connect with the unconscious Sarek by way of a super-juiced-up mind-meld augment that taps into Sarek and Burnham’s shared katra.

The successful link exposes Burnham to a painful Sarek memory and a dark secret he’s protected: Burnham was never denied admission to the Vulcan Expeditionary Group years earlier, as she was lead to believe; Sarek was required to make a choice between his two non-fully-Vulcan children, Burnham and Spock, and he chose Spock – a decision he never reveal to Burnham.

Sarek (James Frain) reveals his secret choice. (CBS)

Sarek is successfully rescued but his injuries prevent him from resuming his mission with the Klingons on Cancri IV. Standing in for him is Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook), who, despite her close romantic ties to Lorca, is intent on removing him from command over concerns for his mental stability. The peace talks end up being a Klingon trap, Cornwell is captured, and the episode ends with Lorca leaving the decision to rescue her in the lap of Starfleet.

This episode is a fine vehicle for Lorca, and Jason Isaacs continues to add layers to a complicated character. The knee-jerk reaction in a review like this is to focus on the Sarek-Burnham plot and that surprise character revelation, but let’s begin with Lorca here. He goes from stern mentor in his early scenes with Tyler, to compassionate and accommodating captain with Burnham, to charming manipulator with Cornwell, and then to paranoid war soldier with a phaser at the ready by episode’s end.

As fans, we’re we’ve grown accustomed over several series to seeing our captains struggle with the aftermath of war or being victims of alien imprisonment. Discovery brings a raw intensity to that familiar captain’s struggle.

When a startled Lorca leaps out of bed and aims his phaser at Cornwell, it becomes especially clear that Lorca is not a well man. But he’s a guy that doesn’t want to lose his command, and he’s not willing to step down, even though it may be in the best interests of Starfleet. His decision to essentially abandon Cornwell to the Klingons (or, as he put it to Saru, leave the decision to Starfleet) may not be the most admirable thing for a Star Trek captain to do, but it makes sense as something his character would do. Cornwell has now become a threat to him and his career in Starfleet.

Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brooks) is shocked to see Lorca’s (Jason Isaacs) true state. (CBS)

The beauty of Star Trek: Discovery so far is how it has managed to tell personal stories against a very dark backdrop — in this case, war. I’m reminded of what made “Yesterday’s Enterprise” from The Next Generation such a standout installment, and that was a very personal, and redemptive, story about Tasha Yar. That episode also featured the Federation at war with the Klingons, but it all took place in an alternate timeline formed by a temporal rift.

As intriguing as the war timeline was, it was never the real story in “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” It was all about Tasha and her finding a renewed purpose (and, some could argue, a corrected fate) aboard the Enterprise-C as it attempted to restore the proper timeline.

“Lethe,” in the best Star Trek traditions, doesn’t get lost in the muck and dirt of this overarching war story. It’s all about character. We see the friendship and mentorship between Tilly and Burnham continue to grow in a light-hearted scene early in the episode, when the two are exercising. We also, of course, get some significant character development when Burnham discovers Sarek’s secret and confronts him about his decision on that fateful day on Vulcan.

Amanda Grayson (Mia Kirshner) stands with a younger Burnham on Vulcan. (CBS)

Sure, the mind-rescue plot feels a little too familiar for Star Trek and I’m still not sure I’m on board with the series’ decision to shoehorn Burnham into Sarak’s family tree; there’s something a bit too obvious in terms of fan service and legitimizing Burnham into Star Trek canon. Could they not have created another Vulcan character for this part?

That said, Sonequa Martin-Green and James Frain file fine performances in this episode. Burnham’s expression upon learning she has been denied acceptance is heartbreaking. Burnham’s story is capped by a wonderfully realized scene in the end where Burnham bonds with Lt. Tyler concerning her emotional struggles with Sarek.

That scene with Tyler, however, did raise a question in me. As satisfying as it was, I wondered initially why she chose Tyler with whom to have this personal talk – as opposed to, say, Tilly. Is it because Tyler, like her, is an outsider who was selected and favored by Lorca? Is it because she’s romantically interested in him? Or is it because we need to be clued-in that Tyler will be playing a larger role in future episodes, especially as it relates to his relationship with Burnham?

On the downside, Stamets’ “groovy” scene was a bit too weird for comfort. The show needs to quickly resolve what’s going on with him after his assimilation into the spore drive. I kept getting uncomfortable flashbacks to “drunk”-Data from TNG’s “The Naked Now” or from the Star Trek Generations movie, where Data turns giddy after assimilating his emotion chip.

Tyler (Shazad Latif) and Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) finally connect. (CBS)

And what’s with the food slot on Discovery? I’m not sure it’s a downside, but it’s certainly amusing to hear a replicator respond to a request – in this case, from Burnham – that the order is “appetizing and nutrient-filled”.

It’s worth noting that the “Lethe” teleplay is credited to Joe Menosky, who filed some of Star Trek’s finest episodes during the show’s Rick Berman era, including “Darmok” – a fan favorite that’s often regarded as a high-water mark for The Next Generation.

It’s difficult to see where Menosky’s fingerprints are on this episode, but what we do have is an installment that nicely strikes a balance between its light and dark elements, as some of the better crafted Star Trek stories have always done.

Star Trek: Discovery returns this Sunday with “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad.” Watch for our ongoing Canon Connections series to continue later this week as we look for the ties to Trek‘s past in this most recent episode!

Rob Heyman is a freelance journalist and entertainment critic. He is a regular contributor to both TrekCore and The Logbook, where he has written episode reviews of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager, and the Star Trek movies.

Discovery:
Desperate Hours



Discovery:
Drastic Measures


  • I enjoyed the hell out of this one. That bit of backstory on Spock and Serak was just fantastic.

    • Matthew Burns

      I did too. And I thought going in I may find this one a bit boring.

      I’ve never been a Sarek fan myself. I was pleasantly surprised with what I watched. Really some great meaty growth for Lorca and Burham charactérs in particular. Stamets got very little screentime this week – I reckon next week we will get some answers to his apparent change in character…

    • TUP

      They’re using Sarek very well…as a supporting character. He has never felt “forced” on Discovery yet. In fact, no one has.

      It does make me wonder if their claim that they will show us more of a transition to TOS will show itself more concretely utilizing these characters…even though Akiva apparently claimed Spock would never appear on the show.

      Also it makes me wonder what Fuller’s idea was…supposedly to span generations and hop to TOS next…would we follow Michael? Follow Sarek?

      • Quintillion Tesla

        I think if DSC can maintain its success, they CBS may be buoyed and decide it CAN afford ( budget-wise ) to have the show span different generations/different ships – I would LOVE to see that ultimatley, but completely understand why CBS didn’t want to blow their money with such a gransd scope right at the outset.

        • TUP

          One thought was the Spore Drive being able to time jump and the ship either accidentally or purposely jumps eras but maintains its secrecy. In that way, you dont have to spend money updating the expensive sets…just some of the CGI and smaller sets of other ships/planets etc.

          • Quintillion Tesla

            I was kind of hoping we’d have more of the Shenzhou era filled in via flashback.

            I hope we will get to see the ENTERPRISE under Pike one day. Maybe save that for November sweeps in season 3 or so.

          • TUP

            Sweeps dont matter anymore, in streaming anyway. But I agree, it would be an easy way to juice the interest.

  • Gary Smith

    I agree.

  • Victorinox

    We are quickly going from “they are killing the franchise” to “the franchise is killing it!”

    Check out these Average Demand Impressions numbers from Oct 5 to Oct 11. Where are those that said nobody would sign up to watch new Star Trek?
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c40e01dbf159642737d1a743d9569d92255c2c8e33c76ce451eaea6fbf7863e9.jpg

    • Shadowknight1

      Paramount needs to see these numbers and get to work on Trek 4 before the iron cools, metaphorically speaking.

      • I would love to see a 4th, STB was great.

        • Quintillion Tesla

          Dependant on DSC’s ( hopefully ) continued success, I do wonder if one day we’ll see a new TREK TV show based around Kirk, Spock & co ( based on the new aesthetics of DSC )?

          Failing that, I would love to see a two-part DSC story ( eventually – not anytime soon ) that features Pike and the Enterprise.

          • I am unsure they will reboot the Kelvin timeline. I would love to see the Constitution class and to see how its been redesigned( something that seems to upset folks )

          • TUP

            They should let CBS produce the next film and Paramount distribute it. Cant go back to Bad Robot.

          • SpaceCadet

            CBS doesn’t produce feature films. It is strictly a TV studio.

          • TUP

            They actually own a film division called CBS FIlms. It’s very small. Interestingly, its films are distributed by Lionsgate.

          • SpaceCadet

            Ok, technically I stand corrected but reading up on that division, the relatively small budgets of the movies they support would never be enough for a major cinematic production like Star Trek entails.

          • TUP

            Very true. I just think CBS has shown a much greater level of care with Star Trek (from the remastering of TOS and TNG to Discovery). CBS could certainly get the money if they wanted to.

            But something along the lines of CBS handling the creative and Paramount handling the distribution (and likely part of the funding) makes sense. Sort of like how Sony still produces and distributes Spiderman but Marvel stepped in to handle the creative.

          • FrostUK

            CBS seem to actually like Star Trek. Lot of time, effort and money went into those TNG remasters and I personally think they’re great.

            I hear the ENT blu-rays are good, and it seems the crew and cast were allowed to be vocal in the BTS videos about issues surrounding the production, which is pretty cool. In comparison I’ve heard the producers at Fox removed almost all footage of Fincher’s conflict with the producers for the Alien 3 special features.

            Star Trek DSC feels more like Star Trek than the Kelvin movies.

          • Quintillion Tesla

            I think Bad Robot mismanaged TREK from STID onwards, so yeah, in spite of BEYOND, I think it perhaps needs to go to another production house. I suspect if we do see another Kirk & Co film, it’ll be a recast.

          • TUP

            Wrong writers from the start. Orci and Co. just werent good enough to pull off a more nuanced story. Drooling transformers is what they do best.

          • Quintillion Tesla

            I think ( to try to be fair ) writers have to write something that has to be signed off by the top heads. I’m not saying they were PREVENTED from telling a better story, but it was Paramount who signed off on STID.

            If there were caveats in place that they must use KHAN ( which I wasn’t opposed to at all if done right – a big screen version of Space Seed openbed up to cinematic possibilities might have been GREAT ), Paramount should not have signed off on the lacklustre story of STID, nor should they have allowed Bad Robot to have a hiatus of FOUR YEARS from the first movie.

          • TUP

            I’d you follow Bob Orci you can tell the war on terror story from STID was likely his idea. It was just too one dimensional. In many ways it was timely but they told such a shallow story with shallow characters that it just didn’t resonate.

    • Locutus

      How are average demand inpressions calculated or what do they represent?

    • Thomas Elkins

      Didn’t they offer a free trial? Does this list consist of those who stayed after the free trial or just all the sign ups in general? How many stayed after the trial period ended?

      I’m just curious.

      • GIBBS v2

        I’m curious about that too.

        The window of Oct 5-Oct11 is after the third episode and the airing of the 4th. Not sure what it means. These are legit subscribers? How long was the free trial?

        • TUP

          It would jive with some speculation about Netflix’ higher than expected sub increases to where some cirlces are attributing it to Star Trek.

      • TUP

        They all have Free Trials. Churn is important but I believe its far harder to get someone to commit to the act of signing up, whether its free or not, then it is to keep them. Thats the point of free trials…get people over the hurdle of signing up.

        Netflix literally built itself on the free trial.

    • TUP

      So if I understand Demand Impressions (or expressions, unless those are different things), they are only used within one country (ie. cant compare them country to country). And they represent the amount of expressed interest across multiple platforms with different weights given to different “expressions”. ie. a “like” on FB is weighted differently than something else.

      So its a measure of how much a population expresses a demand for a title.

      If Im correct, its an interesting figure and certainly a good thing. Especially when timing is factored in. For example, Stranger Things would be expected to generate a lot of demand expressions this month since it’s returning to Netflix. House of Cards would not since it’s in the middle of its off-season (but HoC is in the news because Russians studied it).

    • Keith Melton

      If CBS is smart they should broadcast all 15 episodes next summer to get more signups for season 2. I know plenty of trek fans who refuse on principle to pay for AA but if they had a chance to watch it all on regular TV they might be convinced to join.

      • Victorinox

        Or…. you can use the free trial week to, you know, TRIAL the show? If you are going to wait until next summer you can just binge watch season 1 in a week for free.

        • Keith Melton

          Well sure, but there are still people who won’t pay for “a whole nother streaming service” who already pay for cable (or get CBS over the air)

    • Starshipdown

      Do you have a direct link to that webpage?

  • Shadowknight1

    I don’t understand the gripes about Burnham being adopted by Sarek. Mainly the ones saying, “Why wouldn’t Spock have mentioned it?!” Why would he? He didn’t even tell Kirk and McCoy about who his parents were prior to them arriving on the Enterprise in “Journey to Babel”, nor did he mention Sybok until Sybok had commandeered the Enterprise. Even among his closest friends, Spock is a very private individual.

    • Yep, Spock told no one a thing ever.

      • Quintillion Tesla

        Hate it when people are calling the Burhma storyline a “retcon” – it is nothing of the sort. It’s a “reveal”.

        • Yep, i have had to explain a dozen times why its not a retcon.

        • Lyk

          Well the Klingons are clearly retcon’ed in a terrible way though….

          Burnham i really don’t give a shit about, don’t liked her, never will like her.

      • Gary Smith

        Spock didn’t mention Sybok until his brother threw him and Kirk & Mcoy into the brig

    • It isn’t Spock’s failure to MENTION Michael that I find disturbing. I think Spock’s understanding and acceptance of humanity would have been broader than was shown in TOS if he’d had a human sister.

      I’m still enjoying the show quite a lot; I just think of it as being in an alternate universe. TOS Spock didn’t have a sister, but Discovery-universe Spock does. That works for me. 🙂

      • Not at all, she was trained to act Vulcan, she is just now starting to understand how to be human.

      • mswood666

        I don’t see how, as the entire time she was on Vulcan, she was acting in a very Vulcan manner. If anything, I would think it would make it harder for Spock to understand why the rest of humanity was so overly emotional in comparison.

        • I agree, it was only after he rather psychotic break she even started to act human or human like. She had just walled off her emotions.

      • Quintillion Tesla

        “TOS Spock didn’t have a sister” – no. They just didn’t mention it, just like Sybok.

        Besides, fostering children in the same household doesn’t mean they MUST be viewed as siblings. My friend’s mother has continually fostered young people for years under the same roof as my friend, but he would never view them as a direct “brother” or “sister”.

        • TUP

          I come from a foster home (I was an adopted child and my parents had many foster children come and go). WE always thought of the foster kids as “brother” and “sister”. But we knew other foster homes where it was more formal that they were not related.

          Michael was young enough that she could have called Sarek & Amanda mom & dad if they had intended her to be that close knit. That she refers to them by their names tells me that there was always a distance. Spock was probably less a brother and more “a kid I grew up with”.

          • Quintillion Tesla

            I appreciate your point, thank you.

            I think in my friend’s case, he is a lot older ( by about 20 years ) than the foster kids his mother looks after. And even though they live under the same roof it’s a case similar to what you say: “Spock was probably less a brother and more “a kid I grew up with” “.

            That said, we are yet to see how the story fully unfolds. Perhaps Burnham’s fate is ultimately a tragic one – one that both Sarek and Spock have an understanding about – one that the’ll never speak of again.

          • TUP

            It almost has to be a tragic fate, doesnt it? Unless she never gets a commission back and thus her mutiny status is why she’s never mentioned again.

      • Thomas Elkins

        I’d be curious to know more about a potential Michael-Sybok interaction to be honest. He was a Vulcan who embraced his emotions and tried to get Spock to embrace his when they were young. Surely Sybok met Michael at some point? Unless he was banished from Vulcan before hand or something. They never said when that actually happened.

        • Quintillion Tesla

          It may be possible that Sybok fled the roost when Spock was very young ( if we are to give any credence to the deleted scene from Star Trek 5 ).

          That said, you’re right – the Sybok situation is vague, though I imagine Michael must have encountered him at some point seeing as she was taken under Sarek’s wing from when she was very young.

          • Keith Melton

            Maybe Micheal being brought into the household is what made him rebel and run away in the first place?

          • Thomas Elkins

            It might be vague, but now that I think about it Discovery may have already answered the question. Burnham said in a previous episode that she lived with Sarek’s family which included their son. She said son and not sons. This is either an oversight because they forgot about Sybok, (which you can’t blame them since so many people like to forget about STV), or it’s an indication that Sybok didn’t live with them at the time.

        • Ya know, Sybok cpuld be yet another “experiment” that went sidewise on ol daddy.

          • Thomas Elkins

            Serak is an interesting character isn’t he. I mean, he’s pure Vulcan and yet he marries emotional human women. He has a half human, half vulcan child who struggles with his emotions. He has a full Vulcan child who totally embraces his emotions and now we learn he adopted a full human child.

            Dude might be Vulcan, but he sure does have a thing for emotions.

          • This new information makes all that fit so well. He has this hypotheses , this goal he champions and its just “Logical” for him to do what he has to prove that goal. Look at it.

            1: Marrying a human to produce a half Vulcan child is a logical step to prove human emotions can be over come and they can be as logical as Vulcan.
            2: Taking Micheal in was a logical step as he had an experiment just dumped in his lap. A human child he could raise to prove his hypotheses.
            3: Mind melding with Micheal was also logical. all his work, his experiment was about to be undone, so it was “Logical” to take extreme methods to save it.
            4: as I said, even Sybok could fit, he was the first try, the first experiment and he failed.

            The reality is, we have seen real life people pull stuff like this. His children were not so much his children as he experiments, his proof he was right.

      • GIBBS v2

        I’m confused about the ages. Did Spock ever really know her cause he was already out into the world when she came along?

        • SpaceCadet

          They did know each other. In a previous episode Burnham mentioned how Amanda would read Alice in Wonderland to herself and Spock as children. And in this episode it is revealed that Spock has not yet had the opportunity to apply for the Vulcan Expedition as Burnham just did so the implication is that Spock is a little younger than Burnham.

          • GIBBS v2

            Fascinating.

        • TUP

          No, Spock is much younger. Memory Alpha says 4 years younger though I thought it was more like 7-8 years younger. The actress is playing a younger character I guess.

          • Quintillion Tesla

            Yep Spock would be about 24 or so at the time of “The Vulcan Hello” episode.

        • Latasha Divalish Pierce

          Actually, Spock is the younger of the two.

      • TUP

        Keep in mind that Spock was very very young when Michael went to live with Sarek & Amanda. And they clearly instilled in her a Vulcan way of life. So its not like Spock grew up with a super human acting older sister.

        In fact, he grew up seeing Michael’s humanity shamed somewhat and told she had to repress it to succeed. Which would reinforce to Spock that he needs to repress his own human qualities.

      • Gary Smith

        Not if he already left home by the time Burnham came into Sareks life.

    • Eric Cheung

      The one relatively legitimate criticism I’ve seen of the Burnham/Sarek relationship is less about how Burnham affects what we know about Spock, but how this makes Star Trek seem like a smaller world, akin to Star Wars everything involves the Skywalkers stuff. I don’t terribly mind, but I can see the point.

      • TUP

        I understand people saying that. But its not that “our” heroes are everywhere. Its that the window being opened for us to look is about our heroes.

        Sarek being on the show is not because he’s everywhere. its just thats who the series chooses to be about.

        Star Wars is similar in that the saga is about the Skywalkers (plus one can argue they are destined to do what they do via The Force).

        • Eric Cheung

          Yeah. I didn’t say I agreed, necessarily. Just that I can kind of see where they’re coming from.

    • Indeed. I’d argue that *not* making Burnham part of Sarek’s family would be detrimental to the show and wouldn’t make much sense. Sarek is quite obviously a proponent of Vulcan/Human integration, he has taken a human wife, had a vulcan/human child, and now taken on a full-human ward in her time of need. Did he do all of these things for sentimental reasons? Doubtful. Sarek is a diplomat, he strives to help varied races come together in peace.

      If you put Burnham into a random, new Vulcan family, it loses its power.

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  • Latasha Divalish Pierce

    So, what if Lorca is the spy? We never saw what happened with his first ship, we only have his word for the events. So what if Lorca was replaced with a Klingon spy altered to look like him? Would that explain why there were no “obvious” injuries to him after he was tortured by L’rell? It would kind of address behavioral changes and his duplicitous conduct. Just something I’ve been mulling, since the “Ash is a spy” thing seems so obvious.

    • Quintillion Tesla

      I was thinking that too. What if the whole Ash-is-Voq thing is a red herring? I was just pondering on this the other day.

      • Latasha Divalish Pierce

        Glad I’m not alone in my thinking!

    • That would be an excellent twist

      • Latasha Divalish Pierce

        Exactly! I just re-watched episode 4. He knew how to pilot that Klingon shuttle well enough to give Ash instructions. Then I thought about Voq’s eye that was injured during the fight with Burnham. Anyway, I’m going to anxiously stay tuned to see if I’m on to something.

        • That is a fun theory

        • Quintillion Tesla

          I wonder if Lorca is then a “Manchurian Candidate” type of spy ( rather than an actual altered Klingon himself ) – i.e. he may not even realise he is a covert operative until he is “activated” by the Klingons*?

          *Another note, it’s clear that these new Klingons are without Honour – I wonder if there will be an exploration of this, and how perhaps other Klingons reclaim the sense of Honour ( yes, I am aware the Honour trope in TREK was not established until the TNG times ).

          • Klingon Honor is always very iffy. In TOS they mostly lacked it, later on it really only counted if ya won and ambushes and such are totally fine.

          • Latasha Divalish Pierce

            That is a better direction for the theory! But I’m still not sure the eye injury is just a coincidence. If he’s Voq, he ‘rescued’ Ash out of jealousy because he was sleeping with the captain. As for the honor of these Klingons, I believe we are seeing representations of some of the lesser known Klingon houses. This could explain why their looks and behaviors are slightly different. Quonos is a huge planet so there could be different “ethnicities” of Klingon. Another random thought.

          • Quintillion Tesla

            Excellent points. I am really enjoying your comments, and I DO hope the show makers do take note of the smart theories and ideas fans are formulating.

          • TUP

            My feeling is that a “swerve” only works if the clues make sense. For
            example, they could really fool us by making Tilly an Andorian out of
            the *ahem* blue. But if there is no reason or any clues, its not very
            interesting.

            A good swerve means that when you see the reveal,
            you kick yourself because the clues were there all the time. Like in
            The Sixth Sense.

            So I LIKE the Voq is Ash clues. And its why
            Im glad they didnt use a different actor. Preserving the logic is more
            important than fooling everyone. Westworld is the same…people had it
            figured out and thats ok. it was still fun to examine the clues.

            Speaking of which, this is hilarious

            https://twitter.com/realjavidiqbal/status/922883335113887744

          • Quintillion Tesla

            Lol, He’s already gained a follow from me!

          • Latasha Divalish Pierce

            Yes, that was pretty funny!

          • Quintillion Tesla

            I do want to go back and check out Lorca in previous episodes for clues – tribbles/eye-problems/etc.

            I know Robert Meyer Burnett says a Starfleet Captain would NEVER kill his own crew ( and the show lost him ( Burnett ) dues to Lorca’s actions ( and Saru’s ), but I say the show is buidling up an intriguing story about WHY these characters are behaving the way the are.

            If the payoff is good, then it will have been worth it. I’d rather take risks with characters than have the blandness of a Deanna Troi or Kes, or the bad acting of Dr Crusher and Wesley.

          • TUP

            Yeah but we also dont know for sure what happened on Lorca’s old ship.

          • Latasha Divalish Pierce

            The Tribble hasn’t been alluded to since episode 3. That would definitely be a litmus test. Lorca’s eye injury is a well documented plot device, but he is the only survivor of the battle. There’s no one to corroborate his version of events.

          • Latasha Divalish Pierce

            I certainly agree with you! The evidence is mounting for either scenario- I’ve watched all the episodes again with a keen eye. I guess I may be over thinking, but that’s what I appreciate about this iteration of Trek. The solutions are not tied up with a nice big bow at the end of each episode. I’m truly enjoying the journey!

          • FrostUK

            Also interesting that he didn’t kill the female Klingon, but he did kill all the others.

          • Latasha Divalish Pierce

            I found that interesting, too. He’s a decent shot. I think he intentionally shot the wall and didn’t intend for her to be injured by the ricochet.

          • Latasha Divalish Pierce

            Piggybacking your thoughts though, there is the question of the weird scars on Lorca’s back….

          • Quintillion Tesla

            Yep, good catch – there MUST be something to that.

          • Snap

            I’m gonna call it: it’s an encrypted message detailing the recipe for his fortune cookies.

          • Snap

            The honour trope was actually first seen in The Search For Spock. After Valkris delivered the Genesis video to Kruge and revealed that she had watched it, Kruge told her she would be remembered with honour before destroying the ship she was on.

            But yeah, it is still a significant amount of time in the future from Discovery’s present setting.

        • Jorge Alonzo

          And how does he miss killing L’rell with the disruptor rifle in that close range? Unless he missed on purpose. I’m liking this theory…….

          • Latasha Divalish Pierce

            Right! The ricochet is what hit her.

    • Snap

      The giant wrinkle in that theory is the giant tribble in Lorca’s ready room. There’s no way it would be trilling if Lorca was really a Klingon in disguise. They easily blew Arne Darvin’s cover so Lorca wouldn’t stand a chance if he was really Klingon.

      Similar with Ash. There is no logical way he could exist as a Klingon spy aboard a Federation ship because all it really should have taken was the transporter chief locking onto their life signs and saying “Uh, sir… one of those signatures is Klingon” or a routine (let alone post-rescue) medical examination would easily give it away.

      Klingons don’t just look different than humans, or have multiple redundancies in their anatomy, but their basic biology is unique. It took McCoy all of reading Darvin’s blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature to realize he was a Klingon. There’s also the fact that Voq is nowhere near as good an actor to be able to pull off such a deception. He was too inept to maintain the loyalty of his crew and practically handed Kol the deed to the ship.

      L’Rell, on the other hand, I could see possessing the skills to undertake such a mission. The only way I can see Ash being Voq is if Voq was literally turned into Ash in which case he wouldn’t even be “Voq” anymore. But considering the Klingons aren’t omnipotent like Q, I would have to call BS if the resolution to the story was that Voq was literally transformed into a human. Even with Bashir’s genetic resequencing, he was still completely human, just with everything which his parents were ashamed of having been altered.

      • Latasha Divalish Pierce

        When is the last time we saw or heard the tribble? Was it before or after Lorca was captured? Lorca was dead set against going to a doctor to have his eyes checked, also. The admiral said sex with him was “not the same”. Could just be lines in the script or hints. I’m having fun with this. The tribble would alert if we’ve seen scenes in the ready room- unless Klingon Lorca already got rid of it. Have we even seen Ash in the ready room as of yet? I’m going back to take another look.

        • Snap

          More accurately, Lorca was dead set about keeping his own eyes instead of receiving prosthetic eyes. While Liorca may be the captain, there is one person aboard Discovery who can give him an order: the chief medical officer.

          Don’t forget, once Lorca and Tyler were rescued, Saru told Burnham that Lorca had yet to be cleared to return to duty and, specifically, command). Logically, if Lorca required clearance it would come from the medical staff and with a new arrival who was also in something of a disheveled state, it goes without question that he would be checked out as well.

          As for the tribble, I am certain it was at least in “The Butcher’s Knife…” Picard’s fish wasn’t always prominently featured in a scene but, with the exception of when Jellico was in command, it was there. It would be cause for concern if the tribble was actually MIA.

          • Latasha Divalish Pierce

            Admiral Cornwell: Get your damned eyes fixed!
            Lorca: You know how I feel about doctors.

      • Latasha Divalish Pierce

        And the Discovery crew couldn’t even ascertain with certainty that Lorca and Ash were piloting the shuttle. They hailed it on Saru’s hunch.

        • Snap

          Well, they would need to be scanning it and if opening communications or energizing the transporter would give away their presence and location, scanning most definitely would, as we have seen countless times in Trek where tactical has reported they were being scanned

          • Latasha Divalish Pierce

            It’s going to be great to see how this season is resolved. Maybe I’ll notice something else and concoct another theory as new episodes air. But for now my musings are that there is an impostor aboard the Discovery and I can’t rule Lorca out.

  • Quintillion Tesla

    In this episode, when Sarek’s fringe gets swept upward a little ( as in the top photo ), he looks much more like Mark Lenard’s Sarek.
    My only gripe ( VERY minor nitpick ) about James frain’s Sarek is that I wish they’d cut his fringe a little shorter to make it more in line with “classic” Sarek.

    • Eric Cheung

      I guess he prefers it shorter in his old age!

  • pittrek

    This was the first “good” episode of Discovery. Finally they started to work on the main important thing of every series – the characters. I agree with the reviewer that they should come up with a completely different Vulcan family, and there were way too many stupid things for me to able to love it, but it’s honestly pretty good.

    • TUP

      Ive read a couple of people suggest they should have used a different Vulcan family. But I guarantee had they, you’d have more people saying “why didnt they just use Vulcan’s we knew?”

      The point of the show was to delve into some Sarek lore. Or at least, one of the points of the show.

  • Fiery Little One

    … What Lorca does next will be interesting.

    • dixonium

      Agreed. This was the most interesting twist in the plot for me. Lorca’s in an interesting position, and there’s the potential for some dramatic conflict. As you say, it all hinges on what he does next.

      • Fiery Little One

        I think the next few episodes will be the make-or-break point for him. The fallout from this will have quite the effect on everything.

  • Joe Cool

    Michael being shoe-horned into Trek history and Spock’s family bothered me at first. But then I realized I have friends I’ve known and hung out with for many years, and we haven’t talked about our siblings. It just hasn’t come up. I’ve known people really well for many years, only to discover in a passing comment that they have a sibling(s).

    That being said, who is to say that Spock didn’t mention this to Kirk and others off camera between episodes? After all, the episodes are focused 45 minute stories in the lifetimes of characters we are to believe have lived for decades . . . I mean, you can watch LeBron James play hundreds of basketball games for 14 years, and he’s not mentioning about his family members while he’s in the middle of playing basketball . . . It’s a conversation for another time and place.

    The only line of dialog that doesn’t hold up now to this “retcon” is when Sarek shares the mind meld with Picard. Spock and Amanda are mentioned, but not Michael . . .

    However, in the same episode Picard says he only meant Sarek once briefly, at his son’s wedding. We always assumed that was Spock . . . On the otherhand, maybe Picard went to a wedding for another son of Sarek. Maybe Sarek has 5 other children, for all we know (including Sybok, lol).

    • Eric Cheung

      Well, I guess Picard and Sarek don’t talk much about Sybok after the mind meld either…

      • Joe Cool

        To be fair, I don’t recall any place on the screen where it was said that Spock was an only child. The animated episode infers he is any only child, but wait! It’s easily explained that Michael and any other children were not at home when older Spock visits the house. With the age gap, Michael could have been off planet at that point. . . . I just watched the cartoon series for the first time recently, so that episode with young Spock is fresh in my mind.

    • Quintillion Tesla

      “Maybe Sarek has 5 other children, for all we know (including Sybok, lol).”

      The Vulcan Brady Bunch.

      It’s actually be “Logical” for him, as someone with a keen interest in exploring Vulcan/Human ties.

      • TUP

        In fact, when asked why he married a human woman, didnt Sarek reply “It seemed like the logical thing to do”?

        • That line makes so much more sense now.

        • Snap

          I think what made it really funny was it was a conversation between Sarek and Spock after the blood transfusion and it was played completely straight and matter of fact. Both bemused at emotional human Amanda and Spock wondering what could compel Sarek to marry her.

          The scene in “Lethe” also fits perfectly with Sareks character, considering his admission of “my logic is uncertain where my son is concerned, but there was no way in hell he would have made that admission unless it was a last, desperate attempt to bring Spock back.

    • Vulcans do have a “mate or murder” season every 8 years

    • startrekker1701

      And then there’s Sybok!

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  • Eric Watson

    I just noticed a 3rd Star Trek Discovery novel on Amazon that can now be preordered. “The Light of Kahless.” I like that they are making all these tie in novels.

    • GhostLoveScore

      how do these novels work? Are writers working with show producers to get some behind the scenes info or are they completely made up? What’s the situation with Trek novels, how are they allowed to sell?

      • Eric Watson

        They are allowed to sell because they’re licensed by the studio. And yes they have inside access to the show

    • That’s actually not a novel – it is the collected reprint of the STAR TREK: DISCOVERY comic series that is starting in the next few weeks.

      • Eric Watson

        Really? Very cool. That excites me even more.

  • startrekker1701

    Why do comments get locked on other threads?! Very frustrating.

    • they tend to close threads once the review thread is started.

    • We announced our plans for weekly discussion before the season started — if you missed it, we open up a spoiler discussion thread Sunday evenings, and then once our review is posted migrate the conversation over to the new posting.

      Once there are 300+ posts in an article comment section, new comments tend to get lost in the middle of the volume of conversation.

  • usscantabrian

    I’ve been mulling over the Ash / Voq thing, and someone may have covered this before, but what if Ash was disguised as Voq? Maybe a Starfleet Intelligence or Section 31 agent undercover as Voq? One of the problems I see with that theory, though, is how would he un-Voq himself aboard the prison ship last episode unless he had help or some faction(s) of the Klingons were in on it too?

    (This might not make tons of sense, but throwing it out there.)

    I definitely felt this episode was probably the best Discovery episode so far. Michael’s characterization makes a lot more sense (she was really flip-floppy in the first few episodes).