Star Trek Guide

How Star Trek: Discovery Season 2's Finale Sets Up The Section 31 Show

Star Trek: Discovery's season 2 finale not only redrew the show's premise, but it also managed to set up the Section 31 spinoff, starring Michelle Yeoh, that CBS announced earlier this year. After sending Michael Burnham into the future, it also found time to address the state of Starfleet's black-ops agency in a post-Leland world.

Section 31 had its fair share of issues throughout season 2. Leland wasn't a super competent agent to begin with, and after Control decimated the Section 31 leadership and literally made him a puppet, it was hard to see how the organization could recover. But we already knew it would, and Discovery's second season took the opportunity to build in a more compelling backstory for the agency that will eventually serve as the foundation of its own series.

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As an answer to the organization's deeply-rooted issues, Starfleet chose Ash Tyler to serve as its new commander citing his impressive performance thus far and his unique dual perspective as Voq. Both parties agree to make significant changes to the organization in order to prevent anything like Control ever happening again, and making the agency more transparent is a big part of that. Knowing what we know about Section 31 in the 24th century, that scene alone makes for a tantalizing start to the new series.

When Section 31 was first introduced in Deep Space Nine, it was anything but transparent. After they use extreme subterfuge to recruit Julian Bashir, the doctor immediately informs Captain Sisko, and the executive officer of one of the most strategically crucial space stations in the quadrant has never heard of them. We later find out Section 31 operates with almost complete autonomy, but are acknowledged by and occasionally partnered with the highest levels of Starfleet Command. They are the opposite of transparent, so if the new series is starting off with the intention of bringing the agency more into the open, there's a good chance what we'll be watching is the utter failure of that initiative. Star Trek doesn't usually get to play with stories steeped in this much darkness, but the Section 31 series could do that without contradicting Star Trek canon or the overall optimism of the series itself. But there's one element that still needs to be worked out - Philippa Georgiou just traveled to the future.

Georgiou was on Discovery when it bounced nearly a millennium ahead in time, but Michelle Yeoh's been attached to star in the Section 31 show since its announcement. Shazad Latif is an incredible asset, but Yeoh would bring far more attention to the series, and since there's been no news of her exiting the show before it's happened, presumably Georgiou will have to get back in time for the series to get off the ground. Given the sheer amount of magic thinking that governed most of Star Trek: Discovery season 2, finding a way to send Georgiou back in time probably won't pose much of an issue. But how and when that will actually happen might dominate a portion of Star Trek: Discovery season 3, and could also serve as an indicator of when the Section 31 series will get off the ground. Either way, it looks like Section 31 will remain extremely relevant for the foreseeable future.