Star Trek Discovery: The Wolf Inside

Burnham’s impersonation of her mirror self runs into difficulties when she is ordered to destroy a rebel base. Meanwhile, Tilly comes up with an idea to save Stamets, and Tyler struggles with past memories.

If you thought last episode was full of dramatic reveals and twists, then buckle up, because we’re in for another. The main story this week concerns Burnham trying to secretly make peace with a group of alien rebels, only for difficulties to come from two directions. First up is the thing hinted at last week – that Ash Tyler probably isn’t Ash Tyler, and might not even be human. And indeed, he isn’t. He’s actually Voq (remember him?), surgically altered to appear human and given a new personality, all so that he could infiltrate the Discovery.

Now, on the one hand, this ties up a lot of threads that had been mildly bothersome. What happened to Voq after we saw L’Rell leave him behind? How come Tyler and Lorca managed to escape so easily? It might even explain why L’Rell was sexually attracted to Tyler in the first place, assuming of course that that wasn’t part of the cover story.

I’m still bothered by it, however. Yes, it makes high stakes, high tension TV, but at the cost of one of the main characters. Before this, Tyler’s story was that he was a victim of rape and torture who was struggling with PTSD. This was something Star Trek had only really scraped the surface of exploring before, and I was excited to see it being properly dealt with. Now it turns out that all that was a lie, and Tyler is just a Klingon in human clothing. What will become of him? Will he continue to be a main character? Will the Tyler personality persist at all?

Burnham’s other obstacle shows up at the end of the episode, in the form Emperor Phillipa Georgiou. I’m delighted to see Georgiou back in some form, even if it does mean we’re diverging from the novels, where Empress Sato III was in supreme ruler at this point.

Notes and Observations

  • Can someone survive being beamed into space and then rescued? According to this article, written after the release of Sunshine, you could probably manage up to 15 seconds in vacuum before dying.
  • This is our first look at Andorians and Tellarites in Discovery (that I’ve noticed). Andorian skin is a more intense blue here, and their antennae don’t appear to move and twitch as they did in Enterprise.
  • Even though Mirror Spock is serving the Empire aboard the ISS Enterprise, Mirror Sarek is seen here as a rebel leader. In the mirror universe, he does not have a paternal relationship with Burnham.
  • The USS Defiant of The Tholian Web and In a Mirror, Darkly fame is mentioned as being the key to getting back to the prime universe.
  • Stamets and mirror Stamets seem to be together on some higher plane of existence. Where are all the other parallel Stamets?

Summary – The Wolf Inside: Tyler is out and Voq is in the house.

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