Star Trek Discovery: The War Without, The War Within

Discovery’s return to the prime universe has jumped them ahead in time some nine months – and by this point the war with the Klingons has not been going well. Armed with the spore drive, intelligence on the cloaking device, and the unscrupulous mirror Georgiou, Discovery might be the only ship equipped to bring the fight to the Klingons.

I have to admit I was less enthralled with this episode than with the past three, and it wasn’t just because I was trying to set up a new printer at the same time as watching it. This episode is very much one in which various threads have to be put into place, ready for either a grand finale or a frustrating cliffhanger next week. We have Cornwell stepping up to command Discovery, whilst making a deal with the devil in the form of Georgiou. Right now, Starfleet needs Georgiou’s ruthless and aggressive tactics, but giving her free reign in exchange is a move that we all know is going to backfire later on.

Meanwhile, Tyler seems to have shaken off his Voq self to become Tyler once more, but now he has the memory of his betrayal to deal with. He has to face Stamets, whose boyfriend he killed. He must contend with the fact that loving Michael Burnham is a big part of his Tyler identity, but that he also tried to kill her. For Burnham’s part, she is reluctant to engage, and no wonder. Anyone would feel burned after their boyfriend turned out to be a murderous Klingon, but Burnham has other issues too. She was raised by Vulcans, and taught to rely on logic and mistrust emotion – a message only reinforced by the betrayal of the man she loved. Not only that, but she’s still carrying around all this guilt from her own betrayal of Georgiou and the Federation. How can she trust herself when she keeps making such misjudgements? Even her decision to protect Saru from the truth about the mirror Kelpians backfires when Georgiou lets slip about their special meal.

Notes and Observations

  • Cornwell mentions the Enterprise NX-01 having visited Qo’nos a century earlier.
  • The ISS Discovery was destroyed when it came to the prime universe. Starfleet mistook the debris for that of the USS Discovery, somewhat unsurprisingly.
  • It’s a bit of a shame that Tilly is no longer awesome Captain Tilly and is now just the cadet who holds Stamets’ cannisters.
  • Cornwell decides knowledge of the mirror universe must be suppressed for the good of the people, presumably explaining why Kirk et al had no knowledge of it ten years later. At some point, however, Kirk’s mirror universe escapades become known the Starfleet officers in the 24th century, even if nothing about Discovery is on record at that time.

Summary – The War Without, The War Within: Let Tyler be Tyler.

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