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Star Trek Discovery Theory: Emperor Georgiou Is Merging With Prime Universe Self

Are Mirror Georgiou and Prime Georgiou merging together in Star Trek: Discovery season 3? Premiering in 2017, Star Trek: Discovery immediately hit viewers with a surprise twist, as Michelle Yeoh's Philippa Georgiou, touted as a main character, was killed by Klingons barely moments after making her debut. Star Trek: Discovery season 1 would later introduce a new version of Georgiou from the infamous Mirror universe - a brutal, hate-filled dictator and leader of the Terran Empire. Mirror Georgiou traveled back to the Prime universe with Michael Burnham and co. and earned her freedom by helping Starfleet win their war against the Klingons.

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A supporting character throughout Star Trek: Discovery season 2, Georgiou found herself on board the titular ship when it zoomed towards the 32nd century, and is an (almost) trusted member of the main crew in season 3. However, Georgiou isn't quite herself in the future. While the witty retorts and cold demeanor are still present, Georgiou is suffering blackouts, flashbacks and blank spells. Something is fundamentally wrong with the former Emperor, and her condition can be added to Burnham's growing list of mysteries to solve in Star Trek: Discovery season 3.

There are a host of explanations for Georgiou's behavior, from a repressed memory rearing its head, to experimentation by Starfleet's shady futuristic version of Section 31. But there are also enough clues to suggest that Mirror Georgiou is now involuntarily merging with her deceased Prime universe self.

The Mirror Universe Is Closing Off In The 32nd Century

When the Discovery crew rendezvoused with the 32nd century's iteration of Starfleet, the ship's entire company was subjected to a thorough, passive-aggressive debriefing session, but Georgiou was afforded special treatment. The Discovery's resident Empress was interviewed by Kovich (played by a game David Cronenberg), who proved an intellectual equal to the cunning Georgiou, watching on blankly as she disabled his EMH assistants simply by blinking. Kovich's team recognized Georgiou as hailing from the Mirror universe, and made some shocking revelations about the state of Star Trek's parallel world. The most fascinating reveal is how the distance between universes has been expanding since the Discovery's era, with the last known crossing-over taking place around the 27th century. The Mirror universe is inherently mysterious in its nature, and Star Trek: Discovery season 3 is set in uncharted timeline territory, so there's no precedent for what happens to a person whose home universe is literally moving away from them.

Plenty of Star Trek characters have walked freely between universes without suffering permanent side effects, but that was while the gap between worlds remained narrow. What happens to a Terran stranded in the Prime universe if the Mirror world is no longer in reach? Is it possible that the dimensional distance weakens a Terran's presence in the Prime world, allowing their native counterpart, whether alive or dead, to bleed into the consciousness of the outsider? This would certainly explain why Kovich is taking such a keen interest in Georgiou. The emotionless scientist admits to a long-standing interest in Terran biology, and he might be intrigued to witness how the growing gap between universes affects a live subject.

Did Starfleet's Section 31 Trigger Georgiou's Transformation?

Kovich's intrigue seems more than that of a simple observer, and it's surely no coincidence that Georgiou's strange behavior begins immediately after her debriefing session. Answers may lie in the other Mirror universe reveals made by the future's Section 31. Before disabling the holo programs, Georgiou is told that over the past 900 years or so, the Federation has conducted fruitful experiments on Terran subjects. Apparently, the Prime universe scientists of the 32nd century are so familiar with Terran biology, they were able to isolate a specific strain of DNA that determines their evil nature. Georgiou immediately cries foul, dismissing the idea as a feeble attempt to get inside her head, but what if the holos were telling the truth? After all, they were able to determine Georgiou's otherworldly origin via a simple scan.

If Starfleet scientists really did identify the root of the Terrans' nastiness, the natural next step would be finding a "cure" that could turn an angry, raging visitor from the Mirror universe into a charming, compliant delight. One possible way to achieve this might be to blur the lines between the Mirror universe Terran, and their double on Prime universe Earth. By infusing the two personalities, Starfleet could effectively neutralize the threat of errant Terrans crossing universes simply by changing their biology.

This process might've already been triggered for Georgiou off-screen in Star Trek: Discovery season 3. During the interrogation scene, Georgiou pays particular attention to Kovich's glasses, and the camera also deliberately lingers on his unique spectacles. Something in those snazzy dark frames perhaps triggered the process of crossing Mirror Georgiou with Prime Georgiou, or at least knocked her unconscious so the real procedure could be carried out.

Georgiou's Personality Has Been Gradually Changing

It's no secret that Mirror Georgiou has been gradually softening during her time in the Prime universe. Not so long ago, the Terran would sooner turn Saru into a delicious soup than accept his authority, but now Georgiou seems largely willing to tolerate the Kelpien's command, even if she still doesn't take orders from the captain directly. During her unauthorized mission to the salvage planet of Hunhau with Burnham, Georgiou displays a willingness to indulge her partner's morality, where once she would've refused to be part of any foolish rescue mission. Kovich correctly speculates that Burnham herself is behind Georgiou's diminishing ferocity, and this was made clear by the Terran's relief when the Discovery and Michael reunited earlier in the season.

However, Georgiou's changing personality may support the idea that merging Mirror and Prime parallels is possible. Elsewhere in Star Trek lore, plenty of characters have spent extended spells in the Mirror universe without adopting traits of their other self - Gabriel Lorca in Star Trek: Discovery season 1, for example. Additionally, Georgiou's softer nature started emerging before her jump to the future and her encounter with Kovich. However, there has never been a situation quite like Georgiou's, where a Terran has taken permanent residence in the Prime universe, then jumped into a future where her original world is no longer in touching distance. Could Kovich have taken advantage of Georgiou's growing emotional attachment to Burnham, and used the natural schism between universes to pry open her personality, causing the original Georgiou to imprint onto the former Terran Emperor? This would certainly explain their "the weakness of people is other people" exchange.

The key to this mystery is probably San - the gravely injured figure Georgiou is glimpsing in her flashbacks. The scene appears to take place in the Mirror universe, but why doesn't Georgiou seem to remember the event? Additionally, would the old Emperor Georgiou really be caught crying over a dead body, no matter how close she might've been to the victim? Instead, Mirror Georgiou might be experiencing a traumatic memory that belonged to her counterpart in the Prime world - some defining moment that perhaps inspired the original Philippa to join Starfleet or traumatized her for life.

A Merged Georgiou Sets Up Star Trek's Section 31 Spin-Off

A merging of two Philippa Georgious would be an exciting development for Star Trek: Discovery, but potentially hold more significance for the upcoming Section 31 spin-off. A project still currently in the pipeline at CBS All Access, Star Trek's Section 31 spin-off is set to star Michelle Yeoh, but it's not yet clear where the story will sit in her character's timeline. A convergence of Star Trek: Discovery's two Philippa Georgiou personalities could prompt the character's departure from the main Discovery crew, striking off alone in order to rediscover her sense of identity.

If the distance between the Mirror and Prime universes is connected to Georgiou's condition, it's also possible that Starfleet might ignore the Temporal Accords and send the Empress back in time to avoid any further degradation of her psyche. This would neatly set up the Section 31 spin-off, with Georgiou and Tyler reuniting, and the Empress' violent instincts now tempered by a tiny bit of Captain Georgiou inside her head. Although Starfleet might loathe the idea of yet more time travel shenanigans, Georgiou's presence in the 32nd century could be slowly killing her, creating an entirely new character that's half renegade badass with a pocket-sized book of withering insults, and part noble captain who would go to any lengths to protect her crew. The thought of losing her edge might be too much for Star Trek: Discovery's Georgiou to take, sending her running back to the 23rd century.

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