Star Trek Discovery steps into The Cage with If Memory Serves


Spock and Captain Pike on Talos IV Star Trek The Cage

The latest episode of Star Trek Discovery has taken a step directly into two of the most important episodes in Star Trek lore, and it did an outstanding job of it.

In the latest episode, If Memory Serves, Michael Burnham and Spock arrive at Talos IV, a planet which is immediately recognizable to fans of Star Trek The Original Series, as the restricted planet that Spock faced a court-martial for bringing his crew to in the two-part episode The Menagerie. 

Fans will remember that during the Original Series episodes, which featured footage from the original unaired pilot, The Cage, Captain Pike is essentially held by the Talosians, a race of telepathic aliens,  as a means to help Vina, the sole survivor of a crashed science ship, find love.

This episode began with a look back at The Cage, giving us background on the events that have already occurred while simultaneously giving us a point of reference for the updated look of Star Trek Discovery as compared to the original pilot episode. Did anyone else make the connection between the blue uniforms and those worn by the original crew during the away mission in The Cage?

Captain Pike and Vina, Star Trek Discovery If Memory Serves

The Red Angel Is not…

The episode also closed the door on the fan theory that Vina was the mysterious Red Angel, a theory we hadn’t subscribed to, but none the less it would appear that Vina is out of the running, though the episode did make an interesting case for Commander Airiam, who was recently recast with Hannah Cheesman taking the role from Sara Mitch prior to the second season, with the latter now playing the role of Nilsson. Star Trek Discovery has already been known to play fast and loose with actors and their characters as we saw with  Shazad Latif who played a dual role during the first season and was also credited under the pseudonym Javid Iqbal.

We know that the advanced probe seen in the previous episode, Light and Shadows, was able to somehow download a presumably malicious code into Airiam’s cybernetic systems prior to its total destruction and apparent disappearance. Is she going to turn out to be either the Red Angel or a part of the force that we learned through Spock is going to try to end all sentient life in the quadrant?

Time will tell.

Stamets and Culber in Star Trek Discovery If Memory Serves

Who am I?

The recently revived Dr. Culber finally came face to face with the man who killed him, Ash Tyler, which turned into a fist fight in the mess hall and left us wondering which is suffering from the greater personality complex, the Klingon turned human who’s memory was overwritten by a Starfleet officer or the dead doctor who was replicated by the mycelial network and recreated through the use of a biological transporter born of a rock dwelling parasite.

Culber is having trouble reconnecting with his past life, leaving us wondering whether he will have a future with his former partner Paul Stamets who has been pushing him towards resuming their old daily routine. Initially it looked like it would just be a matter of Culber getting used to having a brand new body, but the issues seem to be pointing towards a much deeper issue.

Spock, Michael Burnham and Captain Pike in Star Trek Discovery If Memory Serves

Spock is back…

By the end of the episode Spock seems to have made a full bearded recovery, with Michael and the Talosians intervention re-grounding him firmly in his timeline which he explains is the basis for his entire understanding of logic. The bad blood between the siblings seems to have been virtually wiped clean, though given that Spock doesn’t seem to have mentioned her to the crew he would spend the bulk of his life with there is likely to be another issue coming in the future.

Discovery is now set to go on the run from Starfleet and Section 31 in an attempt to thwart the coming attack on the sector, and by all appearances Spock will be making an extended stay aboard Discovery during this mission. No doubt we will also be seeing the USS Enterprise return before the season is out and may finally get a full reunion of the original three in Spock, Pike and Number One.

dark. Next. Sonequa Martin-Green and Ethan Peck discuss Spock and Burnham

Star Trek Discovery returns next week with Project Daedalus, Daedalus could of course be a reference to several things in Star Trek history as it is the name of a class of ship, an episode of Star Trek Enterprise which featured a transporter problem, and a novel, however it is more likely a reference to the mythological inventor of the wings used by Icarus as he flew too close to the sun, a tantalizing possible reference to the wings of the Red Angel.