“Despite Yourself” was an episode filled with surprises for Star Trek: Discovery, with the launch of a Mirror Universe storyline that’s set to last for several more weeks — but perhaps the biggest shock of all was a scene that many never saw coming.

*   *   * MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW! *   *   *

Outed Klingon agent Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) attacks and kills Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz) in sickbay after the doctor uncovers the depths of physical and psychological manipulation that Tyler undertook at the hands of L’Rell, ending the first ongoing same-sex relationship seen in a Star Trek television series.

Harberts, Berg, Chieffo,, and Cruz join Matt Mira on “After Trek.”

As soon as the episode ended, showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg, along with actor Mary Chieffo and Wilson Cruz, all appeared on the post-episode After Trek discussion show, and much of the conversation centered around this fateful moment.

CRUZ: “They gave me a very lovely phone call… there were tears, I won’t lie. And before I get ahead of myself, it’s totally okay for [the audience] to be sad. It’s fine. I’m still here, I’m not going anywhere. This is a chapter in the [life] of this epic love story.

How did I feel about it? I was sad because I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen. I just know that I turned to these two beautiful people [Harberts and Berg] that I trust and love, and said that if this is the way it’s going to go, I’m going to give you everything that I have until I go. And I hope people saw that it was all ‘on the stage’ in this episode.”

Harberts was quick to both discuss and defend Culber’s fate, referencing both his own background and the strength of the Discovery characters.

HARBERTS: “Culber dies because he’s the smartest person on the ship. Anyone who would have come to that conclusion [about Tyler] and confronted Tyler on that would have died. It’s just that Culber was the person who was really drilling down on the mystery of what’s going on.

That was really important to us [because] we love – love – Stamets and Culber on the show. There’s no way, as an out gay writer with an ensemble that’s nothing but LGBT positive and a writing partner who’s supported me my entire career – in terms of being out – there’s no way that you hire Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz to play the first gay couple on Star Trek and have them go for 10 episodes and say, ‘It’s over.’

The whole point of this was, he’s the smartest one on the ship, putting the clue trail together. He was not just a hapless victim.”

Harberts also shared the showrunning team’s surprise at how quickly fans latched onto the Culber / Stamets relationship, perhaps sooner than expected to the writing partners:

HARBERTS: “We always knew that the appetite for a gay couple on Star Trek was, uh, tremendous – we never dreamed that people were going to fall in love with them out of the gate.

This has been the most tremendous experience because Gretchen and I have worked on a lot of shows, and we’ve had fantastic ensembles, but this ensemble has just been embraced. So we always felt, in terms of the storytelling, that the relationship between Dr. Culber and Stamets would actually start to gather a lot of followers and a lot of investment NOW.

We didn’t predict that it would happen the minute that we saw them brushing their teeth! So it’s almost like people jumped in a little early! [Laughs] But we really do see this as the catalyst to really start exploring that relationship.”

Concept artwork — ultimately unused — for a “Mirror Culber.”

With the jump to the Mirror Universe in “Despite Yourself,” After Trek host Matt Mira asked Cruz what he thinks this universe’s version of Culber might be like:

CRUZ: “I think he’s a bit of a mad scientist, probably doing like crazy, experimental things on aliens – kind of like the Germans did back in World War II.”

But that doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing an ‘evil’ Culber in Discovery’s future. While After Trek featured a creative — but ultimately unused — look at what Culber’s Mirror Universe look may have been like, Harberts explained why we won’t see Wilson Cruz saluting the Terran Empire.

HARBERTS: “As we started to think about Culber, and whether he would appear or not, it was [our decision] that we never see him in the Mirror Universe because we wanted to make sure that the image of Culber continues to stay pure, and absolutely not evil.”

Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Culber take a moment. (CBS)

But is that really the end for the “pure” Hugh Culber of the Discovery universe? Harberts and Berg spelled it out:

BERG: “We will see Dr. Culber again. He is not 100% dead.”

HARBERTS: “Everything we do on Star Trek comes out of character and also, as much as we can, grounded in science. Get [the real] Paul Stamets’ book “Mycellium Running,” and give it a read – because his view on the mycellial network and the building blocks of life and how life and death are interwoven will give you very, very good hints as to what’s going to happen.”

*   *   *

In addition to their time on After Trek, Harberts, Cruz, and Berg also spoke to Buzzfeed’s Adam B. Vary about the well-known “bury your gays” trope, a disappointing cliche in which a television series kills off a homosexual character for shock value. Last year, CW series The 100 faced serious backlash from fans and critics alike after a similar event impacted a same-sex couple on that series.

Culber’s death may appear to be the latest in a long and unhappy trend of TV shows killing off their LGBT characters — a creative tic that approached epidemic levels in 2016, popularizing the trope “bury your gays” and sparking major fan outcry.

“I understand why people are upset,” said Cruz, who spent two years working as a GLAAD spokesperson. “I am familiar with the problematic tendencies of television shows to do away with their LGBT characters, especially people of color.”

But Cruz, Harberts, and Berg all insisted to BuzzFeed News that Culber’s death in Discovery will not be another “bury your gays” moment.

“I give you my word that this is not what that is,” said Cruz. “What’s being planned is something we haven’t really had an opportunity to see LGBT characters experience. I’m really excited about it.”

According to the showrunners, Culber’s death will not terminate the character’s narrative arc on the show, nor will it be the last time Cruz appears. “This is a beginning, rather than an ending,” said Harberts. “We’re more than happy to put our gay couple front and center and let them guide the audience on a story of love and loss and redemption and heroism and grief and life and all of those things.”

Knowing the potential for controversy, the team also shared the storyline with GLAAD to seek feedback on the impact of Culber’s death.

“You have to ask yourself, are you worried about an initial reaction, or are you worried about a macro experience?” said Harberts, who is openly gay. “We knew that our side of the street is clean. And we know that our actors understand what this journey is all about. We have faith that if our audience is so enraged and thinks that we would actually lean into a [bury your gays] trope, then they don’t really understand what we’re about as storytellers.”

Understanding the tricky factors at play with their decision, the producers did run it by GLAAD — and received the organization’s blessing. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, spokesperson Nick Adams said that GLAAD is “mourning … the death of a beloved groundbreaking character,” but went on to note that “death is not always final in the Star Trek universe, and we know the producers plan to continue exploring and telling Stamets and Culber’s epic love story.”

For Harberts and Berg, the wide open narrative possibilities presented by Star Trek — a sci-fi show predicted on boldly going where no one’s gone before — greatly outweigh any fear of immediate fan backlash, especially on a show with a serialized storyline that still has five episodes left in the season.

Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber. (CBS)

We’ve got five episodes left in the first season of Star Trek: Discovery — so we’ll see what the rest of “Chapter 2” brings us on the fate of Hugh Culber.

  • Fiery Little One

    I’m taking a wait and see approach with this.

    • Gary Smith

      Me, too, It clearly isn’t over yet.

      • Fiery Little One

        It’s probably for the best rather than allowing a knee-jerk reaction to take over.

    • TG1701

      Hey maybe they have magic blood in this universe too. You never know, right?

      • Fiery Little One

        That’s possible.

  • Snap

    I never saw the attack on Culber as “anti-gay” or whatever (though you know there will be comments in that vein, there always are) rather it was a character I liked and a shocking development.

    So Culber isn’t 100% dead, he’s just… MOSTLY dead?

    • Gary Smith

      my theory Is that his body is dead but, his consciousness somehow lives on in the spore network.

      • SpaceCadet

        Right. I think Stamets will encounter Culber in different planes of existence or something to that effect.

        • Victorinox

          So he is now one with the Force? 😉

          • AmiRami

            lol actually the spore network sounds a lot like mitichlorians.

        • Gary Smith

          If you look up the real Paul Stamets opinions on the myclennal network,
          Theoretically, that might even be scientifically possible.

    • iMike

      Perhaps when they jump back their own universe it’s before the jump out … therefore Culbers would still be alive.

    • I did not see it as Anti-gay. It had zero to do with his sexuality and everything with him knowing something he should not know.

    • TG1701

      Why would it be ‘anti-gay’? You mean people can’t kill off a gay person without being accused of being homophobic?? Do people really think they created the character and gay him an arc just to kill him off for being gay? Its silly.

      • Sadly, some folks think that very thing.

      • Kaisernick

        How many happy gay couples have you seen on tv where one of doesn’t die.
        No i dont think that but there is a reason the article brings up the Bury your gays troupe.

        • TG1701

          The writer who help create these characters is gay himself. And its TV, plenty of people are killed off, gay and straight. It doesn’t make it a conspiracy.

          • JP

            And they’ll bring him back from the dead to make sure nobody thinks it is!

  • Gods it was so good, so very good. Some thoughts
    1: I love what we saw of the connie redesign
    2: This is the first time trek ever shocked me, I gasped when he killed Culber
    3: Those Terran Empire uniforms rock

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    • Captain Lorca, Section 31

      The constution redesign is a huge mistake and violates established canon

      • Nope, canon has,zero to do with look.

        • Captain Lorca, Section 31

          Incorrect

          • Nope, that is not what canon is. Canon as the word is used is events and text, its not visual

          • Melllvar

            An outdated dictionary definition is not really an argument here, clearly in this context the term means… is consistent with that which has come before. C’mon guy

          • Looks are not canon, events are. And even events are flexible in trek as gods knows they retcon the holy hell out of them.

      • Melllvar

        That ship has been in this universe for 100 years. That can explain the design change

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      • TUP

        Ridiculous.

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    • Quonk

      1: I love what we saw of the connie redesign

      I liked the slightly more streamlined appearance, which was very reminiscent of Matt Jeffries’ preliminary Phase II-redesign of the USS Enterprise (which would later evolve into the TMP Enterprise-refit) as seen below.

      But the kinked nacelle pylons looked… weird… just plain weird. And the saucer section indents struck me as really damn ugly!

      But since that episode took great care of establishing a nice, stable canon-connection, I’m kinda expecting – well, hoping, actually – that those design changes will be explained away by the ship having undergone 100 years of repairs, refits and updates…

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4543f07f0499dec508825d33ed4b01d7c01362d0642314defb79fa92ec1467f3.jpg

      • Looks are not canon, people are gonna have to accept this fact. The Discovery crew saw nothing other than a modern Constitution class, they did not comment on any modifications, there was zero confusion over what is was. This ( or whatever the finished version looks like) is the connie

        There is simply no need to explain the change of the look in setting, just as there was zero need or reason to explain the Klingon change for 30+ years. Or explain why Vulcans are no longer greenish

        As for modifications, why would they modify it and not do so to every other connie they built based off this one? Really ENT gave us an explanation as to why an Empire that is not like the Federation have the very same ships, the very same Non-human technology. They took the Plans from the defiant.

        What we saw so far is ships just like the Federation version, no modifications that we can see. So there is zero reason to think they would modify this one.

        • Quonk

          Just saying that parts of it are ugly, while others aren’t.

          • Fair enough

          • Quonk

            Sorry, I just amended my reply, as you can see. I’m just all against that apodictic kind of reasoning, you know.

  • Dreameroutthere

    Something else just occurred to me. The screen display of the Defiant they’re all looking at says USS and not ISS. They’re looking at their Defiant from their universe. This is not a Defiant as seen 100 years after the Empire has had her. That is what Constitution class starships look like their universe. Which leads to me to guess, this is in fact a 3rd continuity besides the Kelvan and Prime universes.

    • Yeah, its been redesigned as we knew it would be. This is prime, they simply updated the look, just like they did in ENT. And this is the same Mirror Verse as ENT.

      • Edgar Pinecone

        The Defiant in ENT was identical to the TOS look.

        • Yeah, and gods it looked silly, dated and clunky next to the far more advanced NX.

          We knew going in they had updated the look.

          • Thomas McAulay

            I think that is why we are only seeing wire diagrams on monitors – I doubt we will ever actually see the ship on screen…

          • Nah, we will see it at some point.

          • Captain Lorca, Section 31

            The NX was not “far more advanced” than the Constution class. Are you on drugs? HAVE you forgotten how the constution class firepower decimated the NX class in the mirror universe?

            Exactly how is the NX class “more advanced”

          • Design form wise, it was more advanced. I am not talking about the BS the show stated, I am talking about the model design and form. Its far more primitive and simplistic.

          • AmiRami

            But you can update the look without updating the basic design (like the kelvin 1701) why go with such a drastic change here?

          • Ummm, the Church design mangled the hell out of the basoc shape.

      • Captain Lorca, Section 31

        The defiant in Enterprise looked identical to TOS. Why it’s changed here is a mystery and breaks canon.

        • Paweł Ausir Dembowski

          Either simply a production mistake or simply the designation of the Defiant AFTER it was taken over by Hoshi Sato.

          • Captain Lorca, Section 31

            I doubt it was a production mistake. I think they changed it because they could. They have said they don’t give a damn about canon and are creating the show they want free of being handicapped by canon.

          • FrostUK

            They most likely refer to it repeatedly as the USS Defiant to keep new viewers understanding this ship is from the same universe as the USS Discovery and therefore it could be the way home.

            It seems to me the data was from the Klingon ship and the ship has been modified, which obviously would happen considering they have had it for decades. It is still immediately recognisable as a constitution class ship, far more so than the Kelvin refit(s).

          • TUP

            They never said that. Stop lying.

          • Yeah why would they keep calling it “USS”?

          • AmiRami

            I don’t think Sato cared.

          • Ya think it would be a pride thing.

        • Nope, a look is not canon. Events are canon, not a look. This is not a mystery to most people, we knew the look had been updated a year before the show started

          • Captain Lorca, Section 31

            Are you seriously trying to argue that a look is not canon? If they made the vulacans in STD a pile of blue goo, would you be ok with that and claim
            Their look does not violate canon?

          • Yep, Looks are not canon. Fans have always claimed it was, but they are not. If they choose to redesign the Vulcan without touching fluff, yeah it would not be a canon violation. After all, in TOS they used to have a green tint that over time was removed.

          • AmiRami

            To be fair TNG changed the look of Romulans and the movies changed the lookk of Klingons. There is precedent for this. But personally I would prefer the look of the connie didn’t change. Seems pointless to me.

        • Thomas McAulay

          The Defiant shown on the monitor is 10 years prior to the Defiant we saw in TOS and ENT. Is it not possible the constitution class was used as a war ship (at the time of Discovery) and later refitted as an exploration vessel? As far as I know there is no established canon on TV for what the constitution class looked like prior to the Cage…

    • Thomas McAulay

      I don’t think so – I think the Constitution class vessel seen on the screen is an earlier version to the TOS/Cage version used in time of war. (i.e. the Klingon war) Defiant would have been refitted later as an exploration vessel and made to look like the Defiant we saw in ENT. The wire diagram shown in the show is the current prime universe version of the constitution class. They are creating a new bit of canon for this class of vessel.

      • Captain Lorca, Section 31

        So, they are violating canon to create new canon.

        • Thomas McAulay

          It’s just a theory but I don’t think so. Discovery is 10 years BEFORE the time when the Defiant disappeared to the Mirror universe and we don’t have any established knowledge of what constitution class looked like before the Cage. It could have been on it’s second refit by then! The design on DSC might be the original design before the ship was modified to be an exploration vessel. Just an idea!

    • JP

      It’s a reboot with inspiration from previous Trek. Don’t think too hard about it.

    • AmiRami

      I don’t think Archer or Sato ever changed the serial number from USS to ISS from In a Mirror Darkly so this should be the Defiant from TOS/In a Mirror Darkly.

  • Captain Lorca, Section 31

    I am so tired of people treating LGBT persons as different. They are just like straight people. Why is all this focus on sexual preference? They don’t write straight people with such a focus on their sexuality. There will never be true equality until people stop going out of their way jumping up and down shouting “LBGT! LGBT!”

    Yes, us straight people know all about you. The vast majority don’t give a crap what you do in the bedroom. Stop so desperately trying to differentiate yourself from straight people and just be you. A gay relationship on screen should be just that, a relationship with zero fanfare. It’s no more special than a straight relationship on screen. Just focus on the stories and the relationships and let the audience choose what they want and like with feedback!

    • Kirksdeadjim

      Well said.Im so tired of all the hype about a same sex couple.its there and thats fine.By making a big deal it will never be the norm.

      • Captain Lorca, Section 31

        Exactly.

        • TUP

          Still don’t get. The only people making a big deal out of it are the ones it bothers.

          • SpaceCadet

            Agreed. Those that are comfortable in their own sexuality or indifferent don’t usually make such an issue of it. And it’s been shown time and time again that people going on and on about how homosexuality is bad or perverse typically have skeletons in their own closet or struggling with their own sexuality such as the ever growing list of Republican politicians caught in compromising positions:

            http://www.newnownext.com/19-republican-politicians-gay-sex/12/2016/

          • TUP

            Agreed. I’m all for freedom of Expression but this veiled and not so veiled homophobia shouldn’t be acceptable here. It’s pure nonsense.

          • JP

            In fairness, the interview all these comments are addressing is making a very big deal about it, first.

          • TUP

            Thats different. It’s a big deal creatively because of people like this poster. The media asks the questions. It’s the same nonsense that came up about Fuller and people getting angry with him for pushing his gay agenda (lol) when it’s the media asking.

            Why? Because it’s still important. So when people say ohh we’re equal get over it. It’s an attempt to quash the importance.

            On the show it’s not a big deal at all. There is no focus on the gay characters relationship in a way that isn’t there for the straight characters.

          • JP

            Well you said the only people making a big deal are the ones bothered by it, but that’s obviously not true.

            It will be really lame if they bring him back.

    • Ed Lilli

      Your straight privilege is showing.

      Firstly, gay people are different from straight people. Straight people fall in
      love and have sex with the opposite gender. Gay people fall in love and
      have sex with the same gender. Of course writers write straight people with a focus on sexuality. Are you paying attention? What do you think romance is for? You might want to rethink your ideas if you plan on dating. If LGBTQ people didn’t fight and jump and down they’d not have made the strides toward equality and visibility now seen in contemporary culture.

      Try. Try to understand. There has NEVER been a gay pairing on Star Trek in over fifty years!
      Think, dude. Think what that must be like for them. Think what it would be like for you.

      Lastly, if you really knew ALL about gays then you wouldn’t have written your misinformed condescension for all the world to read. Also, your thoughts about gays in their bedroom says more about you than it does about them.

      • Captain Lorca, Section 31

        Please don’t use that liberal “straight privilege” crap on me. Gays are not victims so stop trying to gain sympathy by playing the victim card. Why the hell do gays even care or want approval from straight people? Just do what you do and be happy Islam is not the primary religion of the United States. (Yet, cause they enjoy throwing LGBTQ folks off buildings and beheading them. Islam is absolutely incompatible with LGBTQ lifestyles)

        • Sean

          “Gays are not victims…” Gonna have to stop you there. First of all, they’re gay people. If you can call heterosexuals “straight people” you can call homosexuals people as well.

          Secondly, gay people have historically been victims of heinous acts because of their homosexuality. In fact, you point this out just a few sentences later. It’s not just Islam, conservative Christians have killed homosexuals simply for being homosexuals. Similarly, they’ve suffered chemical castration or even prison time for their sexuality.

          In my experience, gay people don’t want “approval” from heterosexuals. They want respect and basic human decency. Acknowledging that LGBT representation in culture has been lacking doesn’t weaken your heterosexuality any more than it weakens mine. What does demean heterosexuals is to refer to “breeding behavior” as you did in another response. That you would be so indifferent to humanity’s ability to experience great emotions and passions cheapens what it means to be human and the joys therein. THAT demeans heterosexuality.

          • Captain Lorca, Section 31

            My point was biologically being gay makes zero sense. The most basic objective of a human is to make more humans. That is literally what our bodies are designed to do. Nothing else.

            Why would nature create an adaptation of creating people who are born gay and are attracted to their own sex?

            I’m not trying to be an ass, I really don’t understand it. Gay people that I try to engage in real life get easily offended when I ask them stuff like this when I have no intention of insults. I simply want to understand.

          • SpaceCadet

            By the way, I appreciate your questions if they’re of genuine curiosity or confusion about homosexuality. I know you bring up the evolutionary thing a lot. As I’ve mentioned, gay men and women are perfectly capably or producing children with the opposite sex and have been doing so probably like forever because they had to hide their true sexuality. If the human race was in fear of extinction because there aren’t enough children being produced, then I as a gay man, would happily copulate with a woman. But I don’t think we ever have to fear of the human race going extinct, as there are plenty of straight people to continue on the breeding. And if you think about it, some parts of the world are overpopulated and this will be a growing problem so in a way, isn’t it good that gay people aren’t adding to this problem?

          • Captain Lorca, Section 31

            Yes.

            I also would be in tremendous pain knowing that the person I love I could never have a biological child with and put our combined genes into that child. Sure we could adopt, or a surrogate. But I would never be able to have with my same sex partner what straight people take for granted, no matter how badly I want it.

          • SpaceCadet

            Well, that’s your own personal feelings about having biological children of your own, but if you’re not gay then you don’t really need to worry about that do you? Being gay and also wanting to be a father at some point, it doesn’t matter to me whether my children are biologically my own or adopted. Being an adopted child does not make one less loved or less a part of the family than a biological offspring. I know of gay couples that have adopted, gay couples where one partner used their sperm to fertilize a donor egg, and gay couples where one partner used his own sperm and the donor egg was from a female sibling of the other male partner thus making the resulting child basically sharing the physical and genetic traits of both same-sex parents.

          • TUP

            He’s not serious. He’s trying to frame his homophobia in legitimacy. It’s sad.

          • Kaisernick

            Well if you look it up scientists believe they have found more evidence linking to the possibility of the gay gene.
            As to why nature would do this, well we dont know, but it could be down to many factors, a mutation, a old evolutionary trait anything.
            some species of frogs and snakes (as well as other animals) can change sex, if we are evolved from at one point a species similar to these then it could be that the DNA that makes up a person can still include this.

            How that DNA works could vary on a number of factors and explain why some are merely attracted to same sex and others feel they are the opposite sex.

            This may seem ridiculous but its just my theory but the point is that our DNA (or genes never know which is the right word) is filled with old bits of junk humans no longer use, well some may use them.

            There that’s the best answer this gay man has.

          • Captain Lorca, Section 31

            So, if there is possibly a “gay gene”, will future parents be able to “turn it off” somehow in the womb? Or, turn it on? Will they be able to pick their daughters breast size, exact height, etc? Where does it end?

            Clearly you see the dangers in this. A madman that somehow gains control and is obsessed with wiping out gays could use such gene science in a way that would make Hitler take pause. Or on the flip side, the madman could be gay and obsessed with wiping out straight people, etc.

            Some dangerous moral and ethical stuff ahead for our grandchildren.

          • AmiRami

            There is literally an ep of the Orville which deals with this very concept. You should check it out.

          • Sean

            There’s a very solid argument to be made that homosexual members of a community would remain childless and could contribute to raising children and free up parents to contribute more work. Alternately, childless members of a community have to expend less energy raising energy and can use that energy to contribute back to the community instead.

            In my well read but amateur observations, homosexual behavior seems most observed in species that have selected for social traits. There’s a very convincing argument that Homo Sapiens with more cooperative attitudes were selectively favored over those who were less so.

            Nevertheless, Homo Sapiens homosexuals are no less people than Homo Sapiens that are heterosexual. Homo Sapiens still faces selective pressures and adaption but we’ve become a series of cultures that expand far beyond our biological directives. Human sexuality lives on a spectrum of heterosexual to homosexual and most people fall somewhere in between. The same largely applies to gender. Many cultures today and throughout history recognize more than two genders. If you want to detach it from cultural context and look at it objectively, it makes for fascinating reading. If you’re truly curious I suggest you dive in!

            This isn’t a bunch of liberal propaganda or talking points. I’ll admit I fall on the left but a lot of my feelings toward human sexuality and gender come FROM my readings on human evolution and anthropology. Many of these things are broadly agreed upon.

          • AmiRami

            How do you know humanity will not evolve into a single sex species? It has happened in nature before. That is the very nature of evolution. Random fluxuations in biology which later transform species. Its no more wondrous than man evolving from Apes.

        • TUP

          You keep attacking people as liberals. Which exposes you. Knock odd the right vs left nonsense. I’m a conservative. So really grow up.

    • Victorinox

      Did you whine when Lorca was nailing Cornwell too? When they showed them literally in bed? How about in those scenes between Burhman and Tyler? Lots of kissing and romance… Did that “fanfare” also bothered you?

      Or literally a single kiss in the entire episode triggered your sexual insecurity so much that you had to go write about how much you don’t want to see them on the screen so you can feel better?

      How pathetic…

      • Captain Lorca, Section 31

        No, because that behavior is normal breeding behavior. Make and female are designed simply to have children. No more. I still have no idea what is going on with nature regarding homosexual people and how they fit in with evolution. I have no idea if they are truly born that way, or choose that lifestyle. In the end it does not matter like I said. Just treat all relationships as equal and normal onscreen.

        • Victorinox

          See? Embracing your homophobia wasn’t hard was it? Sadly, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Homosexual behaviour is normal and abundant in nature.

          In any case, you don’t even meet your own standard. Stamets/Culbert aren’t shown doing anything different than Burnham/Tyler (holding hands, hugging, kissing, comforting each other), which means that they are being treated “equal onscreen”. Isn’t that what you are whining about?

          Obviously your own sexual insecurity doesn’t allow you to see that. But that’s your problem, not the show’s.

          • Captain Lorca, Section 31

            I am not homophobic. Confused perhaps, but I don’t hate anyone. How dare are accuse me of being hateful.

          • TUP

            You’re showing an awful lot of ignorance for someone who doesn’t want to be called a homophobe. Grow up and rather than reply on a Trek forum about your confusions and ignorance, go do some research.

        • SpaceCadet

          I’ve known gay men and women who’ve had opposite sex sexual partners that have resulted in children so the idea that gay people are some evolutionary biological dead end simply does not hold up. There are also bisexuals out there who are perfectly capable of breeding as well.

        • SpaceCadet

          And as a personal anecdote, being a gay man myself, it’s not like I woke up one day and decided to be gay, nor did I want to be because of the social stigma attached to it at the time. I’ve simply had exclusively same-sex attraction ever since I became sexually aware during puberty.

          • Captain Lorca, Section 31

            Perhaps you can explain something to me. How can a gay man marry a woman and have a family and that relationship, only to “come out” years later and destroy that relationship? Aren’t gay men repulsed by the thought of sexual relations with a woman, as straight men are repulsed at the thought of sexual relations with a man?

          • SpaceCadet

            Well, I’ve never been in that situation nor would I want to be but I’m at least sympathetic to a gay man or woman in that situation. I believe those that do enter into those dishonest relationships do so because of social/family stigma to appear straight and have the traditional spouse and family. Other gay people do it I think because they feel if they’re with and love someone of the opposite sex that their same-sex attractions were just a phase or will go away which never happens. So then you have the gay person not wanting to live a lie anymore and they come out and yes, that typically ends in a divorce. Better that than continue to live a lie and be dishonest to everyone. But I believe this is happening less and less because gay people can be open about themselves and not have to fool themselves and others by entering into dishonest relationships with the opposite sex.

            And as a gay man, I wouldn’t say I’m repulsed by straight people having sex. It’s just not something I actively think about. I find a lot of women beautiful, I’m just not sexually attracted to them. If there’s a straight sex scene on tv or in a movie I’m not repulsed. You may find same-sex repulsive as a straight person but you can’t speak for all straight people. I know straight people who are simply indifferent, not repulsed. And I’ve know (and been with) guys that identity as straight but have experimented with other men because it was available or fun, but their ultimate preference is women. I believe sexuality is a spectrum: there’s completely gay, straight, and everything in-between (bi-sexual).

          • TUP

            Wow. Homophobe alert. Please go away troll. Your kind of thinking is gross

        • TUP

          True you have no idea. You’re ona Trek site pushing your homophobic agenda. Give your head a shake. Gross conduct.

    • SpaceCadet

      It’s just a big deal to people, especially those that identify as LGBT because we’ve never seen it on Star Trek before. We just want to see it portrayed correctly, not stereotypically, and what’s so great is that’s the way it’s been treated on this show. Now that’s it been done it won’t be such a big deal the next time and you won’t have to worry about special attention being paid to it by everyone.

      • Captain Lorca, Section 31

        So are you mad that they killed off the only gay relationship? Be honest, did it piss you off a little? Did you sorta expect this to happen?

        • SpaceCadet

          I wouldn’t say mad but disappointed. I don’t watch a lot of television shows and it was exciting to finally see a gay relationship on Star Trek when it wasn’t portrayed not even once in the 50+ years of the franchise. No, I didn’t expect it to happen. So I like the fact that I didn’t see it coming. And it sounds like the character is not completely gone, just maybe dead in the present physical sense.

          • AmiRami

            I have a Q. Why is this the first gay couple in Trek? Didn’t Dax have a gay relationship on DS9 with that dr who also played the Borg queen?

          • SpaceCadet

            This is the first ongoing relationship between a gay couple on a Trek series. Dax isn’t gay. She was just reliving a prior relationship with a lover who had changed hosts.

        • TUP

          They didnt kill a gay relationship. They killed a doctor who happened to be gay. Im sure in your warped mind it pleased you to see it happen. But you’re the one making it all about being gay.

          Repressed feelings, maybe?

    • TUP

      I think its safe to say you dont get it. Which is fine. So maybe just dont comment.

      • Captain Lorca, Section 31

        You don’t have the right to tell others not to comment. Jesus man, what’s got you so upset?

        • TUP

          Im not telling you not to comment. Im giving you friendly advice. When people get that upset over things like gay rights or racial stuff, they usually are missing something and simply being upset because they want people to see it their way.

          Its ok if you dont understand the important of shining a light on same sex couples in this manner.

          Saying they dont need to focus on gays because they dont focus on straight people’s sexuality is akin to saying they dont need to focus on black people because they dont focus on white. Or they dont need to push women because they dont do it for men.

          But that is wrong. For 100 years Hollywood has been predominantly white, male and straight.

          Its cool that you consider everyone equal but saying “look we’re equal so lets not dwell on it” is support for the status quo which is still predominantly white, male and straight.

          Oprah told a story last night about how she felt as a young girl watching Sidney Poitier win an Oscar. And America is hardly free of racism today. And that was a long time ago.

          Unless you’re gay or you “get it”, you cant understand how a young Star Trek fan, a genre likely to be predominantly male, could be positively impacted by seeing a gay couple portrayed just like a straight couple – loving, affectionate and completely accepted like its just another couple by their friends and colleagues.

          And not just a young gay Trek fan, though that’s where the positive development is key. But straight young fans who see it portrayed this way and grow up accepting it as “normal” as opposed to different.

          There is NO difference in how the gay couple is being portrayed on Discovery and the straight couple. The only difference is your perception.

          In short…showing us gay stuff = good, timely, responsible, realistic.

      • Most understated comment ever.

        • Captain Lorca, Section 31

          All you do here is obsessively praise this show to the point where I am wondering if you are an alt of one of the writers of the show. It’s hard to take what you say seriously as you sorta come off as a sycophant.

          • I could care what a clear homophobe thinks. You are here to troll and gay bash, what you think is irrelevant.

          • TUP

            His crazy attack on Oprah in another post shows its not just gays he has an issue with.

            Sometimes I wonder how people become Star Trek fans while completely missing the point of Star Trek.

          • I know! I have seen them come put of the woodwork with DSC

  • Godzilla

    Favorite episode of any Trek in a long time. Great episode. “What the heck heck heck…….HELL!! Hold your horses!!!”

  • Victorinox

    I was actually pretty upset they killed Culbert. But I’m actually more pissed that they spoiled he ain’t dead. I mean come on… I understand they were going to take a lot of heat for that, but can’t they ride it out for a week or two while they bring him back? I’m considering not watching After Trek right after the show. Too many spoilers!

    Also, that Aaron Harberts quote “Paul Stamets’ view on the mycelium network and the building blocks of life and how life and death are interwoven will give you very, very good hints as to what’s going to happen” is frankly terrifying.

    I hope they don’t pull an Into Darkness and bring back the death through some technobabble gimmick that renders death meaningless. That would be much much worse than killing Culbert and spoiling that he isn’t dead in the first place. How many people have they resurrected? Prime Spock, Prime Kirk, Kelvin Kirk, Harry Kim, Neelix, Naomi Wildman, Data? I’m sure I’m missing some…

    • Captain Lorca, Section 31

      Upsetting the easily offended LGBTQ whatever letters they addd this week crowd is a huge no-no in Hollywood, and they can’t risk being labeled homophobes even if it means spoiling your own shows future plot line. That used to be a huge no-no to spoil your own show, now you see how far the pendulum has swung in the other direction.

      • Victorinox

        They have spoiled their own show PLENTY. Frakes spoiled they were having a Mirror Universe episode during the first season. Isaacs spoiled the whole Voq/Tyler thing on twitter (and then tried to walk it back). After Trek spoiled that Cromwell wasn’t dead. None of that has anything to do with LGBTQ stuff. So WTF are you even talking about.

        • Captain Lorca, Section 31

          I am addressing the fact that gay people immediately became offended and accused the writers of being anti-gay by killing the gay doctor and thus killing the only gay relationship in Star Trek history.

          Even if he comes back as magical force mushroom doctor that talks to stamets in his head it won’t be the same as him physically being there.

          • Victorinox

            You are responding a comment that in no way mentions anything about gays, and only describes my shock at the apparent death of a likeable character in the show, and my subsequent displeasure with spoilers. I’d have posted the same thing about any other character in the show that would’ve died in those circumstances, or any other spoiler. Somehow, you decided to make it about gays. Freud would have a field day with you.

          • Captain Lorca, Section 31

            Freud was a quack with incestual weakness

          • TUP

            Even if Culber was really dead, assuming Stamets recovers, hes still gay and thus, single and eventually will be ready to mingle.

          • Victorinox

            At least we may finally get to meet the Chief Medical Officer #glasshalffull #iratherhaveculberback

          • AmiRami

            Culber isn’t the CMO?

          • Victorinox

            Nope…

          • AmiRami

            huh. ok thx.

          • mr joyce

            except this is not a fact, its your opinion you formed without reading the article properly. the article did talk about a possible backlash, but it was not one from the thoughts of the fans, but from the fans of a different show.

            the discovery writers were not accused by gay people of being anti-gay.

        • TUP

          The funny part about this is, people were getting whiny about them trying to keep Voq/Ash a secret and now whining over blowing a spoiler.

          They managed to keep the death a secret. And saying he’s not 100% dead sounds like he’s not coming back 100% either. Who knows. Its their show and they can spoil anything they want. You have to reveal some things to be communicative with your audience.

    • JP

      The only thing worse than worrying about getting PC heat for killing a character they explain was entirely organic to be killed is ressurecting him in the name of PC.

      I thought the SJW fear mongering before the show aired was overdone but they aren’t doing themselves any favors with these interviews.

  • SpaceCadet

    Very engrossing, enthralling episode! It made me wish the rest of the season was available for binge watching!

    The Culber death took me by surprise! This really is the Game of Thrones of the Star Trek series where any (or at least not main cast) prominent good guy/bad guy character can be killed off without warning. And it was an upsetting death, one because the character was compassionate and likable, and two, he was part of the first ever gay couple on a Trek series. I’m at least glad the showrunners discussed the very troubling TV trope of gay characters being killed off because I had the very same thought when it happened. But I’m sure like they mentioned it’s not the last we’ll see of the character due to different timelines, time travel, parallel universes, dreams, flashbacks and and who knows what else. Haha.

    The Voq/Tyler confirmation was not so surprising but still awesome to finally see confirmed and the awakening of the sleeper agent by his controller L’Rell. I’m not buying the total transformation of a Klingon to human (or at least that initially fooled the transporter, medical scanners, and that Klingons even have such technology) but hey, I’ll just go with it for the sake of the story. So I guess there is a real Tyler out there (or he may be dead) for the fake Tyler to fool Starfleet security. And it does seem L’Rell is concerned because Tyler can’t quite reconcile who he used to be. So that’ll be interesting to see play out and what the fallout will be once it’s revealed he killed Culber. Speaking of which, you’d think there would be some security alert when the internal sensors note there are suddenly life signs for one less crewman aboard.

    Loved all of the mirror universe references to TOS and ENT. Tilly playing the part of her counterpart and the alternate uniforms were all fun. We got to see enhanced agony booths. Looking forward to seeing how our crew gets out of this mess and back “home”. I’m curious to see how the mirror universe Klingons appear make-up wise (if it’s the Prime Universe DSC look, the TOS look, or the movies/TNG look). And maybe we’ll finally see how an Andorian appears on this show.

    The fight scene between Burnham and Connor was brutal and well shot by Frakes. Loved her use of disabling the gravity in the turbolift. And you could feel how hard it was for her to have to kill him, essentially seeing him die for a second time.

    I predict the Terran Empire emperor (empress) is Georgiou. But I guess we’ll just have to wait a little while to find out!

    Oh, and I think Stamet’s warning not to enter the palace has to do with Burnham meeting the emperor/empress.

  • Captain Lorca, Section 31

    This spite drive nonsense is starting to feel like a cheap gimmick that they can use to enable easy plot escapes when they write their way into a corner.

    So the doctor is dead, now he will appear as a “force mushroom” dead guy that stamets sees? That’s pretty cheesy.

    I greatly dislike how traditional warp drive has been absolutly thrown aside in this show.

    • TUP

      I wonder if thats who viewers of TOS felt when they were subjected to “warp drive” as a plot device to travel huge distances from episode to episode.

      • Captain Lorca, Section 31

        They were fine with it sad it was shown the ship moved from place to place in a logical way.

        They stole jumping from BSG remake which shows insta travel.

        • TUP

          Its a plot device. Its not the new way to travel for Star Fleet.

      • AmiRami

        to be fair though, WARP is a real life theoretical method of propulsion by bending space. The idea of a biological “force” method of travel (while also a real theory) seems someone out there to me. No pun intended.

  • First, I love the show, The 100. When I read in this article that it had caused a kerfuffle when they killed off an LGBT character, I honestly could not figure out who or what they were talking about. Then I followed the link to read the reference, and it was about Lexa dying. Now, THAT was an LGBT relationship portrayed right. It was so natural, it didn’t even garner my attention, it just seemed genuine, real and normal. What’s more, her death also seemed to naturally fit the plot and to fit with Clarke’s tragic lonely narrative. So, I don’t know why people would have been upset about them “killing an LGBT” character.

    In DSC, I was genuinely shocked and saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of Culber. Before it happened, I was thinking to myself, this is not going to go well. But I was expecting him to get severely injured and left bleeding out. But not to be killed so definitively. It did not cross my mind, however, that they just killed an LGBT character. I can understand, however, if you are an LGBT person and are paying close attention to many shows and start to notice a trend, that it might begin to feel like an annoying trope. it just didn’t occur to me personally before it was pointed out.

    On afterthought, maybe the fact that Lorca mentioned bringing another doctor in for objectivity was a foreshadowing of the fact that the ship “has” another doctor. So, there is no question now about who will be the ship’s doctor, it’ll be that other guy already mentioned. Unlike in Voyager, where the ship’s complement was so small it only had one qualified doctor, forcing them to fallback on an EMH. (Which, hopefully, this show will never have, due to technology progress and continuity.)

  • Victorinox

    Are you guys ready for Empress Georgiou, somehow a descendant from Empress Hoshi Sato?? That’d be cool.

    • TUP

      I sort of thought the idea of making them related was a bit too on the nose. And would anyone find it offensive that they take a Japanese character and a Chinese character and say they’re related because they’re both Asian?

      But realistically doesnt it matter what ethnicity they are? Being Asian is the visual connection for people. In the future, Earth’s borders shouldnt matter.

      I like connective tissue in canon so I hope they ARE related and its explained that the Defiant kept the Sato Dynasty in power for 100 years.

      • Victorinox

        How do you know Georgiou is Chinese? As far as I know, they only established she was born on Earth, but not where, or what is her family heritage.

        I understand Michelle Yeoh is Chinese, but Sir Stewart is British, but Picard is French so ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        • Spyros Spyrou

          Pretty sure Georgiou is a Greek name.

          • Victorinox

            In 200 years, globalization will make names (and accents) completely unrelated to countries.

          • mr joyce

            picard was named picard by the tng show creators to identify him as french though, so how do you explain the gergiou naming decision when michelle yeoh is east asian? or another one is the tyler naming choice, when shazad latif is of south asian origin?

          • Victorinox

            I read somewhere that the novel Drastic Measures establishes that Georgiou is her husband’s last name. Also, the novel is supposed to describe the events on Tarsus IV with Georgiou and Lorca as the main characters. And we know that supposedly Hoshi Sato dies at Tarsus IV. So there could be a connection there in the prime universe.Maybe Georgious was going there to help mom?

            Meanwhile, in the MU, she could’ve killed mom to become Empress.

          • mr joyce

            greek by marriage maybe?

          • Spyros Spyrou

            A definite possibility. Heck, we don’t know much about her background… she could even be an adopted child into a Greek family.

          • Quonk

            But then Philippa is actually a Greek name too. Adoption is certainly a possibility. Well, chances are this will never be adressed – just like Monsieur Picard’s perfect RP accent – but who knows, maybe she’s supposed to be half-Greek…
            Keep in mind that Michelle Yeoh’s not Chinese in the first place but Malaysian (which, granted, is easily overlooked given her background in HK-cinema).

          • Georgiou’s last name comes from her ex-husband (as detailed in the “Desperate Hours” Discovery novel).

        • TUP

          Very true.

      • SpaceCadet

        I think it’s bit hokey to say they’re related because they are both Asian. It’s as silly to me when months ago someone was saying how wonderful it would be if Burnham would be a descendant of Uhura and it was like a passing of the torch. Why? Because they’re both Black? You mentioned in the future Earth’s borders don’t matter. I agree. There should and probably will be a lot of interracial mixing and breeding. Therefore, who’s to say that Picard doesn’t have a little bit of Georgiou’s DNA in him or Seven of Nine has doesn’t have a little bit of Mayweather’s DNA in her. Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not in there. Personally, it would be a lot more naturalistic if Georgiou was simply groomed to be the Empress by Sato, and not someone who is a direct descendant.

        • TUP

          That was my initial thought too. It might work only on the contest of the story of a dynasty in the sense the power that comes with controlling the defiant for 100 years tipped the scales in the favour of Sato and her followers and/or descendants.

      • JP

        A Korean and Japanese can both be Sulu, so some fluidity is not unrealistic.

      • AmiRami

        As an Asian man myself I wouldn’t be at all offended by the idea and I quite like it in fact. I’d love to see that the Sato line stayed in power post IAMD.

    • AmiRami

      I’d dig that

  • Captain Lorca, Section 31

    This Voq/Tyler stuff is pretty sad and uninteresting. I hope it’s ended quickly and they move on.

  • iamawild

    I have to admit, I let out a VERY audible “HOLY SH*T!!” when I saw that scene. Never saw it coming.

    This series has some incredible writing, acting and imagery. Keep up the good work, Discovery.

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  • JP

    Obvious to anyone else that Lorca is from the Mirror Universe?

    The Voq thing is finally “revealed.”

    If the doctor isn’t really dead I’ll be annoyed, though all the apologizing in this article indicates his orientation will save him. Whatever.

    I enjoy the Mirror Universe a lot but I’m pretty ho-hum on Discovery. I wish to God this wasn’t a prequel… it means the only stakes we have in the story are the characters, and most of the characters are uninteresting. They’re falling into the “main cast” trap that Voyager and Enterprise fell into.

    If it isn’t Michael, Lorca, Stamets (plus his not-dead boyfriend doctor) or the goofy girl (I never remember her name) they basically don’t exist. It would almost be jarring at this point to have the daft punk bridge officer start speaking or having an opinion. I’ll tune in to follow the Star Trek story, but I already know how this ends. If I have to tune in only to see what happens to these characters, I’ll keep letting my friend send them to me. I don’t care enough to pay to follow them.

    It really feels like 5 people run the whole ship.

    Maybe it’s just because I’m rewatching DS9 right now… My bar is too high.

    • Nebula1701

      Star Trek has always been character driven and Discovery is just finding its feet. It’s the first season, as well, and most of Trek has had a bad track record with their first seasons so its way to early to count it out. BTW that girl you can’t remember is Sylvia Tilly HOW CAN YOU FORGET HER? She’s one of the best characters on the show! :O

      • AmiRami

        I agree that most Trek struggles in its first few seasons but this is a show trying to carry a whole streaming service. They need to do better. The only other example was VOY which carried UPN on its back. And we all know how that turned out.

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