The long wait is over, season 2 of Star Trek Discovery premieres tonight, and we’ve got everything you need to know going in!
From peace and quiet on a warm summer day, to a grab for power, two friends coming to blows with one dying in front of the other, then to a prison cell, past a governing figure trying to end the mission and outright cannibalism, a ship of the dead reawakened, a man in another persons skin, a mad leader bent on total domination being brought into custody while another leader fell off the map…. wait, is it just me or did the first season of Star Trek Discovery cover the full gamut of the first 9 seasons of The Walking Dead in their first 15 episodes?
I think they kind of did.
So rather than saying *Spoiler warning, this article will give away some key plot points to Star Trek Discovery Season 1* I’ll add in that it may also somehow spoil nine years of The Walking Dead too…. weird.
Today we’ll look at where the characters stand following season 1, give you a quick refresher on how the galaxy is shaping up and touch on Star Trek Short Treks first four episodes as there has been some suggestion that they will somehow tie into season 2.
Pictured: Chris Obi as T’Kuvma. STAR TREK: DISCOVERY coming to CBS All Access. Photo Cr: Jan Thijs © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.
The Federation Vs. Klingon war.
Season one opened with Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) inadvertently sparking tensions with a religious faction of the Klingons, this lead to a call to arms for all the Klingon houses, and in trying to prevent tensions from becoming an all out war with a Vulcan technique known as the Vulcan Hello Burnham mutinies against her mentor and Captain, Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh).
In one last desperate play to prevent a war and save their crew Burnham and Georgiou attempt to capture the Klingon leader and self anointed prophet T’Kuvma (Chris Obi), but when he kills Captain Georgiou in front of Burnham she instinctively kills him creating a martyr rather than capture him and create a symbol of shame for the Klingon people. During the battle that follows many Starfleet ships are lost, including theirs, the USS Shenzhou.
Following a time jump, The now stripped of rank prisoner for life Michael Burnham is recruited by an experimental ship, the USS Discovery and her Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Issacs), to help in the refining of an experimental Displacement Activated Spore Hub (DASH) Drive that allows discovery to instantaneously jump through a network in sub space to any place they wish, but it comes at a cost as they eventually learn that to make it function they have to use an alien species of Tardigrade to navigate the network. This eventually leads to health issues for the tardigrade.
After a few successful missions using the DASH drive Captain Lorca is captured by the Klingons, who after the death of T’Kuvma are lead by Kol (Kenneth Mitchell), and held prisoner and tortured by L’Rell (Mary Chieffo). along with a Starfleet officer, Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif), and a criminal named Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson).
Captain Lorca and Ash Tyler escape from the Klingons, but due to the aforementioned health issues for the tardigrade their engineer Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) is forced to inject himself with tardigrade DNA and run the DASH drive himself. Following the jump we see Stamets looking at himself in front of a mirror before walking away, however his reflection doesn’t follow his movements.
“Choose Your Pain” — Episode 105 — Pictured: Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS
© 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.
Possible Peace, and the search for Sarek
On a mission to broker piece between the Federation and Klingons Sarek (James Frain) is sent to meet with Kol, however he is attacked along the way by a group of extremists, during the search for Sarek we learn a little more about the back story between Michael Burnham and her brother Spock.
In the mean time Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook) travels to Discovery to take his place, and after sleeping with Captain Lorca she tells him that she will be removing him from Command of Discovery for his own mental health, but before she can put her plan into action she is taken prisoner by the Klingons who had used peace talks as a ploy to capture high-ranking Federation staff.
Harry Mudd returns for revenge on Captain Lorca and Ash Tyler for failing to rescue him from the Klingon ship by use of a device that creates a time loop allowing Mudd to practice taking over the ship over and over until he is able to get his plan together. However the now genetically modified Stamets is able to keep his memories of each time loop and with the help of Michael Burnham is able to trick Mudd into breaking the loop when he is taken away by his wife and father in law.
The best defence is a good offence…
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After failing in a battle against a cloaked Klingon ship the crew of the Discovery begins working on a plan to penetrate the cloak, visiting a planet with special properties which they believe to be uninhabited they put their plan into action, but quickly discover that the planet is actually filled with lifeforms. Against the orders of Starfleet Command Discovery remains to defend these lifeforms from the Klingons.
Meanwhile Admiral Cornwell brokers an uneasy alliance with L’Rell who will allow the Admiral to escape as long as she is granted Asylum, but when the pair are caught making their escape L’Rell is forced to beat the admiral leaving her very near death.
Discovery puts it’s plan into action, sending a boarding party to plant sensors aboard the Klingon Ship of the Dead to allow them to figure out a way to see past their cloaking device, while aboard the away team is able to rescue Admiral Cornwell and L’Rell, but Tyler suffers an apparent mental trauma while aboard the Klingon ship and has a breakdown.
Meanwhile Discovery makes 133 micro-jumps with Stamets operating the DASH drive, pushing him beyond his limits and leaving him exhausted, but thanks to his work they are able to destroy the Klingon flagship. With one jump to get them off the front lines to go Stamets says it will be his last, however Captain Lorca alters their course taking them to an unknown place where they are surrounded by debris from Klingon ships.
“The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry” — Episode 104 — Pictured: Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham. Photo Cr: Jan Thijs/CBS
© 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.
The crew quickly learns that they have entered a parallel universe where the major power is an evil group called the Terran Empire who have all the same pieces as their universe just in a different order. Posing as their counterparts aboard the ISS Discovery, captained by Ensign Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) they try to find enough information to return to their universe.
The mentally broken Ash Tyler is triggered by a code phrase given to him by the defector, L’Rell. Not yet fully aware that he is a Klingon masquerading as a human Tyler murders Stamets partner, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz)
Their plan to gather information leads Michael Burnham, who in the mirror universe had been Captain of the ISS Shenzhou, but is now presumed killed by the wanted Gabriel Lorca, to pose as her own counterpart having faked her own death to capture Lorca. Lorca is tortured by her crew as Michael Burnham assumes command of the Shenzhou.
After secretly meeting with the members of the anti-Terran resistance Burnham learns the truth about Ash Tyler and orders him beamed into space, where he is secretly rescued and incarcerated by the Discovery. Burnham’s meeting with the resistance has meanwhile caught the attention of the Terran Emperor, Phillipa Georgiou.
Strange new worlds, and new histories revealed.
Stamets, who had been in a coma since the jump to the Mirror universe finds himself awake inside of the mycelial network, the subspace network that allows for DASH travel, along with his mirror counterpart who is responsible for corrupting the network during an experiment gone wrong. the two work to free themselves of the network and are able to eventually repair it enough to allow their use of the DASH drive to continue and prime Stamets to return to his body.
Burnham and Lorca are summoned aboard the ISS Charon, the emperors Capitol Ship, so Burnham can report to the Emperor and Lorca can be tortured for his attempted coup against her, during the meeting Burnham realizes that her Captain Lorca has actually been the mirror Lorca all along. Lorca meanwhile releases his former crew, all of whom were already being tortured aboard the Charon and they attempt to seize control of the ship and the Empire.
During the ensuing fight Burnham and Georgiou come together to defeat and kill Lorca, in exchange for causing chain reaction that will allow Discovery to return to the prime universe at the cost of the Charon, they execute the plan but as the Charon is destroyed Burnham has herself and Georgiou beamed to Discovery where they ride back to the prime universe together.
“The War Without, the War Within” — Episode 114 — Pictured: Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Jan Thijs/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.
The end of the beginning
Upon their return to the prime universe Admiral Cornwell assumes command of Discovery and orders them to Starbase 1 for a last stand against the now dominant Klingons. While en-route to the battle the former Emperor Georgiou reveals that she defeated the Klingons in the Mirror universe with a surprise attack on their home planet committing genocide. The Admiral orders discovery to replicate the Emperors attack with Georgiou assuming her prime identity as Captain Georgiou and taking command of Discovery.
Once at the Klingon home-world a drone with a bomb capable of destroying the planet is sent into a volcano to be detonated, but Burnham makes an impassioned plea to the Admiral and Georgiou not to end the war this way and instead to find another solution.
Eventually Georgiou agrees to hand over the detonator in exchange for her freedom and it is given to L’Rell who leverages the threat of destroying Qo’nos to force the Klingon houses to come together under her rule of a new United Klingon Empire and to end the war against the Federation. Ash Tyler, who now has access to his Klingon memories opts to stay behind with L’Rell.
The final setting
As the Discovery warps to Vulcan to pick up their new Captain they receive a distress call and drop out of warp to find the USS Enterprise.
In bonus scene the mirror emperor is by a man named Leland (Alan van Sprang) who she immediately picks out as a spy, he offers within section 31.
Star Trek Short Treks
We have also seen the first four episodes of Short Treks, which may tie in to later episodes of Star Trek Discovery. Each one has been followed on Redshirts Always die with an immediate (Spoiler Free) review. For the purposes of todays review we’ll touch a little more on the stories of each.
Short Treks Runaway (Full Review)
An episode entirely focusing on Ensign Tilly as she does battle with an invisible force in the mess hall aboard Discovery, it turns out to be a runaway member of the royal family who leaves with some good advice for her current situation. Now Ensign Tilly has a powerful friend.
Short Treks Calypso (Full Review)
I can’t say enough good things about this episode, we meed a new character named Craft, a man who wakes up aboard a far more advanced version of the Discovery, yet still the same ship, and lives aboard alone while interacting with the computer. As it turns out we are very far into the future and the evolved version of the ship waits for her crew to return. There’s something special about this episode, be it that it’s further in the future then we’ve seen, the loneliness of the ship as it creates holographic friends for Craft, or the disturbing idea that the crew at some point will abandon the ship, leaving it to wait thousands of years for people who are long dead and turned to dust. Great Episode.
Short Treks The Brightest Star (Full Review)
In another biographical episode we meet a young Saru (Doug Jones) the only one of his kind to join Starfleet. What we didn’t know, he is actually the only member of his pre-warp species to leave his planet. Recruited by Captain Georgiou after crafting a communicator out of parts left over by aliens who come to abduct his people for unknown reasons.
Short Treks The Escape Artist (Full Review)
Who doesn’t love Harry Mudd? In this episode we watch a wheeling and dealing Harry try to talk his way out of a bounty hunters clutches, it’s a brilliant look at the character and has a great twist ending. Needless to say we haven’t seen the last of Harry Mudd.
L’Rell Qonos Chambers Season 2 Discovery
What to look forward to in Season 2
We know a few things about the upcoming season, first that it has been extended to 14 episodes and will feature the Enterprise under Captain Pike (Anson Mount) and his science officer Spock (Ethan Peck) as they go on a mission with the newest Section 31 agent.
We will get to know Captain Pike better as he leads Discovery on a mission to solve the mystery of the red bursts seen across the galaxy and learn about why Spock is missing from the Enterprise when the season begins.
The Klingons will also have hair, soothing those with concerns over their status in canon (Although we all know, Discovery’s Klingons Are Canon) and we will see if the promise of a closer to the original ‘more trek’ version of Star Trek Discovery will come to pass.
How to watch discovery on 1701…. Yes, today is Enterprise day, the 17th of January, 17 01 2019
Season 2 of Star Trek Discovery will première:
on CBS All-Access January 17 at 8:30pm ET.
In Canada on Space January 17 at 8:00pm ET.
And Internationally on Netflix January 18.
You will find ongoing coverage of Star Trek Discovery season 2 on Redshirts Always Die throughout the entire season.