Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Discovery - Episode Guide - Season 2

Star Trek Discovery on CBS All Access!As with every Star Trek series since the Next Generation, Discovery took a while to find footing. Even though Discovery season 1 was universally acclaimed among fandom as the best (or perhaps second-best if you want to argue for TOS) debut run of all the STs, season 2 shifts gears into some literally classic Star Trek done up in that famed mega budget that CBS All Access producers are investing – and may have finally, definitively, established Spock as the most important character in the ST universe.

In the mold of Deep Space Nine, Discovery season 2 introduces (or reintroduces) a spate of new characters, some recurring, some strictly for this story arc. Returning to the show are the pre-TOS bridge crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701: the aforementioned Science Officer Spock, Captain Christopher Pike and the enigmatic Brainiac known almost entirely as “Number One.” Returning from Discovery mythos are EEEEevil Captain Philippa Georgiou in the role of Section 31 agent, plus Ensign Tilly’s BFF Queen Me Hani Ika Hali and Saru’s sister Siranna continue their respective Short Treks stories. Coming aboard the Discovery as new crew are the deadly sarcastic engineer Jet Reno (who may yet become this series’ Mister Scott) and security detail Commander Nhan.

As for plot, damn, this thing is epic. Planets throughout the quadrant are investigated, there’s pingponging through time, callbacks aplenty to ST mythology and, yes, epic space battles. As Commander Data once said, “Yes!”

Star Trek: Discovery episode guide – Season 2

1. Brother. Picking up directly after the season 1-ending cliffhanger, the reason for the Enterprise’s emergency distress call is immediately revealed. The Enterprise had been investigating one of seven signals seemingly randomly disbursed throughout the quadrant when suddenly knocked out of commission. Commander Michael Burnham leads a hazardous away mission to rescue the survivors of the wrecked USS Hiawatha who are eking out survival on a nearby asteroid. While nearly dying, Burnham has a strange, vision-like experience, and she sees a red-colored humanoid figure. Pike takes command of Discovery, and Burnham discovers that her brother Spock had dreamt of the seven signals. ***

2. New Eden. Discovery follows a second signal to the planet Terralysium, where the descendants of humans taken from Earth in the 21st century live – shades of Voyager’s “The 37s”. Among the dominant culture’s religion is a belief in the “Red Angel,” a being identical to that seen by Burnham on the asteroid in “Brother.” Pike soon discovers that the Red Angel literally existed – or exists. In the subplot, it’s a head trip for Tilly, as an old friend joins the crew – an old friend that’s been dead for years. Jonathan Frakes directs for even more of that 90s Trek feel. ****

3. Point of Light. Spock’s mother Amanda visits Burnham on Discovery, providing her with Spock’s medical records as well as proof that he, too, had visions of the Red Angel in his childhood. Meanwhile, on Qo’NoS, Georgiou of Section 31 helps keep L’Rell in her position as head of the Klingon Empire by faking the deaths of Ash Tyler/Voq and their baby. Tilly’s head trip is diagnosed as due to a parasite and she is, apparently, cured. ***

4. An Obol for Charon. In the TOS tradition, an episode title grounded in mythology! In its death throes, a living planetoid yanks the Discovery out of warp so as to transmit in data form its memories from thousands of years of travelling about the quadrant. Unfortunately, this biological phenomenon triggers a fatal but normal condition in Saru. Tilly deals with her own condition, as the parasite reattaches itself to her, threatens the Discovery which is destroying the being’s ecosystem and appears to consume Tilly completely. Though Saru asks Burnham to perform his death rites, she finds Saru can survive the process and in fact is made all the stronger for it. ***

5. Saints of Imperfection. Tilly has been pulled into the mycelial network and discover that the ecosystem destruction has been caused by Dr. Culber, who somehow exists in the pocket world despite his apparent death at Voq’s hands. ***

6. The Sound of Thunder. The next signal leads to Kaminar, Saru’s home world and the site of the Short Trek “The Brightest Star.” Much is revealed of Saru’s people the Kelpians and their predators, the technologically-advanced Ba’ul and a killer twist leads to Saru essentially born again as a total badass. ****

7. Light and Shadows. While still in orbit over Kaminar, Pike and the Discovery crew investigate a temporal anomaly, which turns out to be the result of future technology. This technology soon invades the cyborg Lt. Airiam. Plot B has Burnham traveling to Vulcan, where she finds Amada hiding the clearly psychologically shattered Spock. Though Sarek advises they turn Spock over to Section 31 and Starfleet, Burnham instead escapes with him via shuttlecraft. ***

8. If Memory Serves. Burnham brings Spock to Telos IV, previously seen in the TOS pilot episode and again in “The Menagerie.” The Telosians – you know, the big brain dudes – heal Spock with their mental powers and contact Pike telepathically to notify of their location. A nice callback to TOS. ****

9. Project Daedalus. Admiral Cornwall boards the Discovery again to confront Spock, Pike, Burnham and the rest with footage showing Spock murdering three in the psychiatric hospital. Instead, they soon find that Starfleet’s new artificial intelligence program, called Control, has been manipulating Starfleet and Section 31 in order to prevent Spock from revealing his knowledge of a future in which Control conquers all carbon-based life. When Control attempts to steal information gleaned from the sphere, a Discovery crew member sacrifices her life. ***

10. The Red Angel. Tilly discovers a bio-scan of the Red Angel entity which reveals that the humanoid inside the suit is in fact Burnham. Burnham in turn deduces (incorrectly, as it turns out) that the Red Angel is drawn to moments of her personal peril. Using Burnham as bait on quite a nasty undeveloped planet, the Discovery gang indeed gets manage a manifestation of the being, shown to be Michael’s mother… ***

11. Perpetual Infinity. Dr. Burnham’s backstory: The Red Angel is an experiment in time travel that she hastily donned when Klingons attacked the Burnhams’ home. Dr. Burnham was flung nearly 1,000 years into the future, from where she attempted to change the Control-dominated future by returning to the past. After literally hundreds of attempts, she was ensnared by Discovery’s trap. Meanwhile, Control, now in control of Section 31 head Leland, again attempts to steal the sphere’s data as the Discovery crew is trying to download it into the Red Angel suit. Control/Leland manages to get just over half the data. ***

12. Through the Valley of Shadows. Otherwise known as Pike Leaps into the Pantheon of Great Captains. A signal brings Discovery to the planet Boreth, whereon a group of Klingon monks guard time crystals – and suffer the strange effects of essentially living within a temporal anomaly. Needing a crystal to power the Red Angel suit, Pike takes it despite a warning that he’ll be shown his inevitable destiny, i.e. the vegetative state in which he’s seen in “The Menagerie.” Soon, a whole fleet of Section 31 ships under the command of Leland/Control, and thus Pike makes the decision to destroy Discovery rather than let Control attain the sphere’s data. ****

13. Such Sweet Sorrow, Part I. How a streaming series of only 14 episodes can ever feel padded, but such is the case with part 1 of the season-ender. After the entire crew is evacuated from the Discovery onto the Enterprise, which is back in working order under the command of Number One, Pike et al find that Discovery, loaded with AI data, will not be destroyed. A signal draws the two ships to Xahea, home of Tilly's friend Queen Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po. Po helps the crews in working the Red Angel suit and a new plan is formulated: Burnham will wear the Red Angel suit and anchor the Discovery to it, bringing the sphere data 1,000 years or so into the future – and thus out of reach. ***

14. Such Sweet Sorrow, Part II. Space battle time! The Enterprise attempts to fend off Section 31 ships who would stop Burnham and the Enterprise. Klingon ships enter the fray, as does another unexpected and timely ally. Burnham experiences a half-dozen trips into the future and back to the past: Namely, to the times and spaces of the signals Discovery has traced thus far. Ultimately, the Discovery and a skeleton crew is sent into the far-flung future of the Short Treks episode “Calypso.” A satisfying, fast-paced, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink conclusion to one of the strongest seasons in all of Star Trek history – so far… ****