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STAR TREK DISCOVERY “Despite Yourself” Review

By on January 8, 2018

Star Trek: Discovery “Despite Yourself”
season 1 episode 10





A Wrong Turn takes Discovery into the Mirror Universe

Star Trek Discovery returned this week from a long winter break. And while the series revisited several of its existing storylines, in a lot of ways it also felt like a whole new show. If there’s been criticism of Discovery, it’s been along the lines that it sometimes it all just didn’t feel quite like Star Trek. It seems one step in changing that involves the trip to the Mirror Universe.

Because that is where the malfunctioning quantum spore drive dropped them off – in the wrong universe. It’s also left Stamets semi-catatonic and looking like a blind prophet, ranting about “the palace” and “the enemy” – the later of which comes into play when his poor sweet better half gets his neck broken, but we’ll come on back to that in a minute.

Discovery arrived in a universe that did not match their own, and discovered in the wreckage the Klingon ship that the Klingons were working with Anorians and Vulcans. What? Well, long time Trekkies know, but it took our team extracting the computer core from the Kligon ship to discover they’d entered the dark, brutal world of the Mirror Universe.

Everything Is Upside Down – And Yet…

It doesn’t take long for the crew to discover the world of the mirror universe. Nor little bit about the counterparts that inhabit it. For example, Lorca is not the captain of the Discovery. Tilly is, because, well, welcome to the Mirror Universe, please enjoy your stay. So, to stay alive, the crew is counting on Tilly to portray her extremely dark counterpart, nicknamed Captain Killy – yes really – to perfection.

But they are not the only ones forced to play a role. It turns out that in this universe, Lorca was attempting to stage a coup against the Emperor and apparently killed Michael in the process (maybe). In order to get information from a ship that had time traveled into the past of the Mirror Universe without a quantum spore drive (in the hope it will give them a way home so that they can deliver crucial information about the Klingons to the war effort), Michael and Lorca set up their own game of pretend. Michael contacts the Shinzhou, which she commanded in this universe, and convinces them she faked her death to capture a fugitive Lorca. Currently in command is Connor, who died in the Battle of the Binary Stars in our universe. He’s none too happy to have Michael back, which leads to a battle to the death in a turbo lift. Having won that, complete with Connor’s body spilled out onto the bridge, Michael is welcomed back with applause, and takes command.

Lorca, meanwhile, is left screaming in an agony booth. But before he went in, Lorca said something interesting: Destiny keeps drawing the same people together across universes. This begs the question: who exactly is the mysterious Emperor? Or is it an emperor at all? This wouldn’t be the first time that we saw female characters have strong lead roles in the mirror universe. Given Lorca’s comments and Michael’s concern over running into dead crewmates, dare we hope it might be an Empress? Paging Michelle Yeoh!


And From the Other Side of the Mirror…

We only really meet one major Mirror Universe character in Connor, but there’s plenty of darkness in this episode coming from her own side of the mirror anyway. Remember all that weird stuff going on with Tyler and L’Rell at the end of the last episode? Well, prepare to have one fan theory at least partially confirmed.

Tyler goes to see his Klingon captor to demand to know what she did to him, only to hear her utter something in Klingon which prompts him to respond in kind. But something apparently goes wrong, because he comes back to his human self, as a confused L’Rell tells him “the prayer was supposed to release you.”

When Tyler goes to see Dr. Culber they discover that his bones have been altered and a personality has been laid over top of his own. From what we’ve seen, that underlying personality is Klingon. so, when Stamets again falls into ranting, Culber turns his back on his patient, and gets his neck snapped by Klingon Tyler.

Where does this go? will Stamets awaken from his creepy ranting state to find the love of his life is gone? Or will Discovery find yet another fold in time and space from which to remake reality? Will Michael discover Tyler’s secret? What is Mirror Discovery doing in our Universe?

We’ve got a whole new set of episodes to discover the answers.

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