8:15am PT by Mike Bloom
'Star Trek': 7 Burning Questions for 'Discovery' Season 2
Star Trek: Discovery has made an effort to embrace elements of modern television, separating it from other series in the franchise. Perhaps the most prominent is the serialization of its storytelling, eschewing more traditional "crisis of the week" storylines in favor of longer arcs. As a result, though the war between the Federation and the Klingons was concluded in the season one finale of the CBS All Access drama, the series had built up several character- and universe-based mysteries that still linger like spores in the air.
"We’ve done a lot of things in season two that kick it up several notches from where we were in season one," promises Discovery showrunner and franchise captain Alex Kurtzman told The Hollywood Reporter as part of a Creative Space interview. "One of the things that has been so satisfying about this season is that while they were coming together in season one as a bridge crew family, this season they are a bridge crew family, and we get to build on that. Much of the plot is going to end up testing what it means to choose your family.”
Ahead of the Jan. 17 season two premiere of Discovery, here are seven questions to ponder:
1. How will the appearance of the Enterprise change the path of the Discovery?
Season one ended on a moment that all fans of the original series had been waiting for since the announcement that Discovery would be a prequel: The appearance of the USS Enterprise. En route to picking up their new captain, Discovery hails a distress call, soon standing nose to nose with the most famous starship in Star Trek history. With it comes a new crew, a new captain (Anson Mount as Christopher Pike), and a possible new set of priorities. Considering Pike’s rank and the reputation of Discovery as an advanced and innovative ship, it’s in the realm of possibilities that the vessel would get commandeered to assist the Enterprise on their newest missions, guaranteeing it is not done seeing action any time soon.
2. How will Michael Burnham handle a reunion with Spock?
The introduction of the Enterprise in Discovery brings with it one prominent crew member and arguably the most famous character from the franchise: Spock, played by Ethan Peck. But his appearance could get complicated by certain individuals aboard the Discovery, namely his father Sarek (James Frain) and adopted sister Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). Considering the preference of logic over emotion on Vulcan, it’s safe to say their reunion will not be the warmest one this side of the galaxy.
3. Will the Klingons remain united?
The war that spanned the entirety of Discovery’s first season concluded with surprisingly little bloodshed, as the Discovery crew was able to get Klingon L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) to declare peace with a threat to blow up their home planet of Qo’noS. Though this tactic got her appointed as leader of the Empire and unified the 24 Great Houses, she now faces the difficult task of keeping them all together. And considering the Klingons’ general distaste of homogenization and unification that fuels their hatred of Starfleet, it’s a task that’s easier said than done.
4. What havoc will Mirror Georgiou wreak on this universe?
One of season one’s biggest twists came with the revelation that captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) was actually his mirror universe counterpart. When Discovery found themselves in his original universe, leading to his death, Michael brought home a stowaway in the mirror version of her late mentor Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh). As Empress of the Terran Empire, this version of Georgiou is clever, conniving and bloodthirsty, understandably the opposite of her equivalent. At the end of the season, her plan to decimate Qo’noS was thwarted, but she still was living out her days on the planet as a cabaret owner. A bonus scene from the finale revealed that she might not be under the radar for long, though, as an operative for the independent security organization Section 31 recruited her for some assumingly nefarious deeds.
5. What will happen to the spore drive?
Discovery introduced a new form of propulsion in the spore drive, which allows ships to make more massive jumps than warp capabilities via navigation of the mycelial network. The season focused on the innovation of the technology with the work of science officer Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp), who put his body and sanity on the line for the sake of his invention. While Stamets said at the end of the season that Starfleet had set the spore drive on ice to find a non-human interface, it’s important to note that the technology is never mentioned in the Original Series. With Discovery serving as a prequel, that could indicate an abandonment of the “black alert” on the whole, either from neglect or a much more catastrophic situation.
6. How will Stamets’ grieving affect his work?
Among the deaths that occurred in season one, perhaps the most tragic is that of Stamets’ partner Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz). The medical officer had his neck snapped while Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) was in a rage, unable to control the impulses from his hidden persona, the Klingon Voq. While it’s an unbelievably crushing moment for Stamets, his own personality changes from interacting with the mycelial network coupled with the urgency of the mirror universe and ending the war put his mourning on hold. But now that peace reigns and the crew has emerged with the Starfleet Medal of Honor, Culber included, Stamets must honestly look his loss in the mirror for the first time. Though he got his opportunity to say goodbye to a specter of Culber while in the network, how can he reconcile working on a ship that contains memories of him in every molecule?
7. What is the Red Angel?
The trailer for season two sets up one of the central mysteries to come with a mysterious “Red Angel,” a figure that has left seven signals across the universe in its wake. But its impact is more than visual, as Spock has apparently formed a mental connection with it. And according to him, it has a message: “Someone or something is going to end all sentient life in the galaxy." Little is known about the Red Angel at this point, though Kurtzman teased at New York Comic Con, “The crew is trying to figure out what they mean. Are they a path, are they a message? There’s a lot of interesting conversation about science versus faith.”
Bookmark THR.com/StarTrekDiscovery for full coverage all season long.