“Wherever we go from here, we go together.” -Culber
Previously on Star Trek Discovery: Control won’t stop coming for the Sphere Data, which has merged with Discovery. The crew devises a plan to send Disco into the future, where the data would be out of reach, by building a new Red Angel suit from the Section 31 specs. Culber (Wilson Cruz) decides to take some steps to move forward and join the Enterprise crew, leaving Stamets (Anthony Rapp) behind. The fifth Red Signal appears above Xahea, and Tilly (Mary Wiseman) just happens to know Po (Yadira Guevara-Prip), the Queen and a brilliant engineer. They use her tech to charge the crystal, but expect the constant use necessary for this mission to burn it out, so this will be a one-way trip. Tyler (Shazad Latif) and Burnahm (Sonequa Martin-Green) make out, and the Section 31 Armada arrives, surrounding Disco and Enterprise.
Pike (Anson Mount) is back in command of Enterprise, and Saru (Doug Jones) is in the center seat on Discovery. Their one goal is to make sure Burnham and Discovery make it through the wormhole to the future, and keep Section 31 out of their way. Spock (Ethan Peck) and Burnahm are racing to Engineering to build a new Red Angel suit. Both ships have launched all of their shuttles and pods to battle Section 31 and protect Burnham on she launches… in the suit the entire engineering team is scrambling to build.
Personal Pet Peeve: During the pre-battle sequence, Number One (Rebecca Romijn) and Detmer (Emily Coutts) have an exchange in which Number One response to Detmer’s specific piloting instructions with, “In English, please. I can’t blow a path through what you’re saying.” Number One is first officer and helmsman, and the apocrypha surrounding her character is that this nickname comes from her being the top of her year on Illyria before joining Starfleet. My personal affinity for this character means that this line makes me rather angry. Number One is an officer who should not need arcseconds explained to her. I understand that the writers may have felt the need to explain this to the audience, but they could have used a different character rather than undermining the intelligence of this one. Okay, I’m done.
Jet Reno (Tig Notaro) is still charging the time crystal, and they’ve got about 4 minutes before the battery is full. Rhys (Patrick Kwok-Choon) reports that there’s only one lifesign on any of the Section 31 ships: Leland (Alan van Sprang). And subspace relays are down, so they can’t call for backup. Just for the before the battle, Saru takes a moment to quote Sun Tzu, surprising/impressing Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh). Disco receives a hail from Leland, demanding the Sphere Data. Which Saru rejects. And suddenly, all of the shuttles launch from the Section 31 ships, putting our heroes at a distinct disadvantage. And the battle begins, with Disco and Enterprise both taking significant damage as Burnham and Co. continue to build the suit.
Po has stolen a shuttle to join the fight, and contacts Pike – she’s noticed that the Section 31 shuttles have advanced shielding, and can’t be taken out one on one. They need to be hit simultaneously on both port and starboard if the Federation ships are to stand a chance. Pike relays the commands to his squadrons, and designates Po as their squad leader. Georgiou suggests that Saru invite Leland on board, and she’ll deal with him. But Saru wants none of it – he’s focused on getting Burnham to open that wormhole. Reno’s finished charging the time crystal, and she and Tilly head to Engineering.
Suddenly, the ships turn their attention away from Enterprise in an attempt to bring down Disco‘s shields. But Pilke won’t let that happen. Enterprise diverts power to shields and flies between Disco and the Section 31 armada. The engineering team is putting the finishing details on the Red Angel suit as they run it to the shuttle bay, and are severely jostled as Disco takes a hit… one that results in Stamets being impaled. Tilly and Nilsson (Sara Mitich) take Stamets to Sickbay, Reno cleans up the debris, and Burnham and Spock continue to the shuttle bay.
With sparks flying all around them, Spock puts the time crystal in the suit, and then Burnham puts it on. He’s going to pilot a shuttle to guide her, but she’d much rather he stay on Discovery. Not gonna happen. They share an additional moment of familial reconciliation before getting on with the mission. In order for Burnham to launch, Discovery has to lower their aft shields. Shuttles will form a tactical escorts for her while Enterprise falls into the protect Disco while shields are down. As they fly, on of the shuttles takes a hit, which ricochets into Burnham’s path, but she’s able to stabilize and continue.
Intruder Alert on Discovery – someone beamed on board while the shields were down. Of course, it was Leland, who enters the bridge, guns a-blazing, taking out several of the crew. He quickly exits again, presumably to go after the Sphere Data, and locking the door from the bridge. Georgiou attempts an override.
When Burnham and Spock reach a safe distance, they land on a piece of debris, but the suit won’t allow her to set coordinates in the future. Enterprise is hit with an un-detonated photon torpedo right in the saucer section, and it is definitely lodged in there. They attempt to lower the blast doors, but one is stuck. Cornwell (Jayne Brook) and Number One head out to take care of the situation manually. Disco only has 9% shield strength remaining, and Burnham continues to struggle with her navigational controls. This is the moment she saw when she touched the time crystal, the beginning of the end.
Just in the nick of time, a Klingon Cleave Ship decloakes, taking out a few of the Section 31 ships by just ramming into them. Oh, and there are Baul fighters, too, one piloted by Siranna (Hannah Spear), commanding the “warriors of Kaminar.” Turns out that Tyler not only reached out to the Klingons, but the Kelpiens as well. They may not all be “friends”, but L’rell (Mary Chieffo) confirms that “The Klingon Empire will always fight to preserve our future.” Oh, and a D7 is on the way, too.
Spock has an epiphany: Each of the signals is directly linked to an element needed for them to win this battle. The time crystal showed her one possible future, not the definitive outcome. And in order for her to take Discovery into the future, she must send the first 5 signals.
On Enterprise, Cornwell and Number One have received the torpedo, and estimate that they have only 15 minutes to find a solution. On Discovery, Georgiou finally gets the door open, and she and Nhan (Rachael Ancheril) confront Leland. Sickbay is overflowing with causalities, but Culber finds Stamets and treats him… and also professes his love. He’s realized that he doesn’t want to make a new home, because Stamets is his home. Our Space Boos are back together.
Burnham is setting the final coordinates for her jump as the debris where they’re parked is hit again. Spock’s shuttle was hit, but he insists she go. And the jumps begin; They take us back through each of the first 5 signals we’ve seen so far, and how Michael directed their fate at each location (and catching up anyone who didn’t feel like spending 13 hours watching all the other episode this season).
Meanwhile, the shields have failed in Zone 4, but Tilly on it (but she’ll have to fix it with her eyes closed, because the only time she’s done it before while blindfolded for a drinking game). Leland, still looking for the Sphere Data, has an epic fight with Georgiou and Nhan in the corridor, and the gravity systems are failing. So the “downward” orientation of this fight shifts several times throughout, and it’s pretty darn cool. Leland knocks out Nhan, but Georgiou is able to retrieve a phaser and shoot him… only for his nanobots to immediately repair the damage. So instead, she lures him away.
On Enterprise, Cornwell and Number One have tried disabling the torpedo and reprogramming the guidance system, but neither have worked. And for some reason, they’re not able to reprogram the blast door. With less than 5 minutes before detonation, Pike calls Number One back to the Bridge, and he’ll take her place. Cornwell and Number One share a knowing goodbye as the camera focuses on the blast door’s manual override. Outside, the battle rages on as the Klingon Cleave Ship is taking some hits, and L’Rell is loving it. And also seems to have the full devotion of her crew and fleet.
Georgiou and Leland arrive in Engineering, and it’s suddenly obvious to him that Georgiou would want the two most valuable assets on Discovery – the Sphere Data and the Spore Drive – in the same place. Fortunately, Georgiou is able to lock Leland into the Spore Cube.
Pike catches up with Cornwell, but she kicks him back out right away. She’ll bring down the blast door manually. This isn’t his time. Cornwell brings down the door manually and turns to face the torpedo head on as it explodes and Pike watches. After the explosion, Saru checks in on them. Pike reports that they’re okay, but they’ve lost the Admiral.
Michael returns to Spock after sending all the signals, and is able to set her coordinates in the future. For the first time, Saru mentions that they’ll have trouble tracking her in the wormhole. So she’ll have to send the 6th signal so they can follow her through. Unfortunately, Spock’s engines were disabled when his shuttle was his, and he’s not going to be able to make it back to Discovery. She’ll have to leave him behind. But not before she encourages him one last time to both reach out and let people in. And she promises to send the last signal, through the wormhole, when they’re safe on the other side.
Pike returns to the Enterprise bridge, as Spock calls for rescue, and they beam him out. Tilly gets the shields on Disco back up to 40%. And then Michael takes off, with Discovery close behind. As they enter the wormhole, Saru and Pike bid each other a final farewell. In Engineering, Leland’s trying to punch his way out of the Spore Cube, but not so fast – Georgiou’s magnetized it. Leland falls to the ground, losing nanobots all the way. The Section 31 ships are dead in the water, and Enterprise picks them off, one by one. Po, Siranna, L’Rell, Tyler, Spock, and Pike all watch as their friends family disappears through a wormhole, aiming for a time 930 years in the future.
Back on Earth, in San Francisco (with the Golden Gate Bridge seemingly covered in solar panels – nice touch), several of Enterprise‘s officers – and Tyler – are being interrogated by Starfleet Command. They’re story is that Discovery was destroyed, and they’re sticking to it, despite long range sensors picking up gamma rays and gravitational waves that would indicate a quantum singularity (wormhole). But Pike, Number One, Spock, and Tyler all insist that they saw Discovery explode. Starfleet believes that they’ve completely eradicated Control. Tyler is been promoted to Commander of Section 31. And Spock suggests that, in order to protect the timeline, all remaining officers be ordered to never speak of Discovery, her crew, the Spore Drive, the Red Angel, or any of the connected events ever again.
Several months later (124 days, to be exact), Spock believes they have successfully concealed Discovery‘s true fate from Starfleet. And Sarek and Amanda understand that they cannot speak of Michael in public. Spock feels more certain of himself, and who he wants to be. He is still looking for that 7th signal, but chooses to believe that they were successful.
In the final scene of the season, a clean-shaven Spock enters Enterprise‘s bridge, donning his blue Science uniform… much to everyone’s surprise. Number one has detected an anomaly – a red signal – in the beta quadrant. Spock heads to his station for analysis and it’s such a beautiful update of the backdrop we’re used to seeing behind Leonard Nimoy, including his little viewfinder. Let’s be real – the entire Bridge is just gorgeous. And with that, Enterprise is on its way to explore a new moon, and the credit role over a mashup of the Discovery theme and TOS theme that’s absolutely beautiful.
So what’s next for Disco and her crew? Maybe we’ll be exploring the future, free from complaints about breaking canon. As we know, some fans have been very vocal about wanting a story set far in the future, and this would be much farther than we’ve gone before. And now, we have a much clearer route to “Calypso” now, which answers many of the questions I had upon first viewing the short. I guess we’ll just have to wait for Season 3…