Star Trek: Discovery‘s season 2 finale featured an epic space battle and a radical shift in the status quo that leaves many questions to be answered in season 3. The sophomore season of the sci-fi series focused on the Discovery’s investigation of seven mysterious red signals, the appearance of a being called the Red Angel, and an AI called Control that threatened to wipe out all sentient life in the galaxy.
The only thing standing between Control and its apocalyptic plans was a massive amount of data acquired from an ancient and enigmatic sphere shortly before its destruction. The sphere was hundreds of thousands of years old and had witnessed the rise and fall of many civilizations, making its gathered data enormously valuable – and capable of providing Control with the key to becoming unstoppable. The sphere data protected itself from either being deleted or destroyed along with Discovery, meaning that the only way to keep it away from Control was to send the ship far into the future.
After obtaining a Time Crystal and building a new Red Angel suit, Michael Burnham went back in time to leave the signals that the Discovery had been following, and then opened a wormhole to the future. With the help of the Klingons and the Kelpiens, Starfleet is able to hold off Control’s drones long enough to allow the Discovery to escape… and that’s the last we see of it. Needless to say, there are some lingering questions about the episode, and about Discovery’s fate.
- This Page: Discovery’s New Future and the Kelpiens
- Page 2: Pike, Spock, and Discovery’s Potential Return
In order to fully infiltrate Section 31, Control took over the body of Captain Leland, who was the only living person on any of Control’s ships in the battle. During a window of time when Discovery’s shields were down, Leland managed to beam onto the ship and started searching for the sphere data. Georgiou eventually defeated him by locking him in the spore chamber and ripping the electrical components out of Leland’s body with magnetism – and Leland’s death left the rest of Control’s ships and drones dead in the water. There’s no mention of Control restarting the battle later, which has led some fans to question whether or not Discovery really had to leave after Control was neutralized.
Discovery is now in completely unknown territory, since the version of the future that Gabrielle Burnham came from was one where Control had committed mass genocide across the galaxy. Without that cataclysmic event, there’s no telling what a thousand years of history have done to the future. Are the people of Terralysium (who had managed to survive Control’s attack in the previous timeline) still the same, or was their planet discovered by another race? Does the new future have the same version of Gabrielle Burnham, who still remembers the previous timeline? If so, how did she experience the change in the timeline? Or if not, is she now lost in a timeline that will never come to pass? With the sticky matter of time travel, nothing is certain.
Related to the above question is the uncertainty of whether Discovery is even still a Starfleet ship, since Starfleet and the Federation may not even exist 950 years into the future. Back in the 23rd century, Discovery has been effectively wiped from memory thanks to Pike, Spock, and others who knew about it swearing to stay silent or risk a charge of treason. If Starfleet does still exist in the future that Discovery ended, it may have no records of the ship ever existing. If Starfleet and the Federation are gone, or changed beyond all recognition, then there’s the question of whether Discovery is still subject to Starfleet’s general orders and regulations, or whether it is now a completely independent spaceship, free to create its own rules and missions.
On the road to figuring out what the Red Angel was and what it wanted, Discovery was led to Saru’s home planet of Kaminar, where the Kelpiens were subject to shortened lives at the hands of reigning species, the Ba’ul. After debate about the ethics of intervening with the planet’s society, the Kelpiens were ultimately liberated – at the risk of repeating history and having them potentially hunt the Ba’ul to near-extinction again. With that in mind, it’s somewhat unsettling to see Saru’s sister, Siranna, arrive at the battle in a Ba’ul fighter ship, with no real discussion of how she came to fly it. Have the Kelpiens and the Ba’ul found a way to co-exist peacefully, or do we need to consider the grim possibility that the Kelpiens returned to preying on the weaker species?
Page 2: Pike, Spock, and Discovery’s Potential Return
Fans have been clamoring for a spinoff series with Anson Mount’s Captain Pike, and those who watched Star Trek: Discovery‘s season finale could be mistaken for thinking that season 3 will be the adventures of Pike, Spock, and the Enterprise. The season ended with a clean-shaven Spock arriving on the Enterprise’s bridge, and Pike preparing to set off on a mission to check out a newly discovered moon. There’s already a Section 31 spinoff in the works, led by Michelle Yeoh’s Mirror Georgiou, so Pike and Spock could guest star in that… or perhaps CBS really will give Pike his own Star Trek show.
The Red Angel suit’s time crystal was burned out by the trip to the future, so in theory that should put an end to Burnham’s ability to time travel and destroy any hope of the Discovery crew’s return. However, since they already have the technology, Jett Reno has the know-how to make it work, and they know where time crystals can be found (assuming that Boreth hasn’t been destroyed in the interim years), it certainly seems feasible that the Discovery crew could find a way to time travel again. They left behind friends and family in the 23rd century and would no doubt love to return, even if it means leaving Discovery behind. And speaking of leaving Discovery behind…
There’s some confusion over when exactly the Short Trek episode “Calypso” is set. The trailer claimed that it was set “1000 years after Discovery,” and indeed Zora tells Craft that she was abandoned by her crew a thousand years ago, which led many to assume that it was set in the 33rd century. However, now that the Discovery itself has been transported almost a thousand years into the future, it’s possible that “Calypso” was actually set in the 43rd century – 2000 years after the events of season 2. While “The Brightest Star” and “The Runaway” have both tied into the events of the main show, “Calypso” remains a mystery. Why did the crew abandon Discovery, and at what point did the ship gain sentience? And does the V’draysh, the twisted version of the Federation, already exist in the future that Discovery has gone to?
Why would you ever have a blast door with a manual lever on only side? Also, why couldn’t Admiral Cornwell simply have been teleported to the other side of the blast door after pulling the lever? It seems like there are a lot of ways that this dramatic sacrifice could have been avoided.
Still, whoever designed that blast door does deserve some credit. Pike was able to casually stand a few feet away from an exploding photon torpedo that ripped a huge chunk out of Enterprise’s saucer section, and he barely flinched. That’s some solid engineering.
More: About That Star Trek: Discovery Borg Theory