Star Trek: Discovery Recap: Unsubscribing, Klingon-Style

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Photo: Jan Thijs/CBS
Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery

The War Without, The War Within Season 1 Episode 14
Editor's Rating 2 stars

IMPORTANT DISCOVERY WIG UPDATE: Georgiou has the wig now. At least, I’m 98 percent sure. It’s not Tilly’s wig, obviously (RIP Tilly’s wig), but it’s definitely a wig, because the show was really stressing her long bob (an excessively long bob! One would almost call it a distressingly long bob, like when you meet a guy with really long fingernails) right up until she pops up in the Captain’s chair posing as her still-dead Prime counterpart, complete with Classic Georgiou’s haircut, which is a very spiral-y sort of long pony. Which means that Admiral Cornwell, in order to perpetrate this deception on not only the Discovery’s crew but the entirety of Starfleet, at some point either replicated or ordered someone else to replicate a wig for Mirror Georgiou, and I think that’s amazing.

Guys, I did not love tonight’s episode and I had to focus on something, so I went with wigs. I stand by that choice!

Oh, also, Saru just sort of casually announces a new form of treason upon Mirror Georgiou’s arrival (despite having no idea of the plan that would eventually form around her), saying that anyone who acknowledges her presence onboard to the rest of the crew is committing an act of treason. Which: Is that even within a captain’s purview, to just arbitrarily and without review add to the list of Things That Count As Treason? “WHO POLICES THE POLICE,” I wrote in my notes, in what is almost certainly a slightly inaccurate use of the phrase. Surely Starfleet has an official channel for deciding what is treason and what is merely punishable! (“Wait, they’ve been to the Mirrorverse? I thought this show was about Tarsus IV,” said my friend, who had joined me for the second-to-last episode of the season with absolutely no context, at which point I paused the show for at least six minutes to explain.)

Right-ho, Tyler is sort of, mostly, maybe fixed because of what the show has decided to call “species reassignment protocol” and which I have cheerfully decided to call “Cartesian dualism nonsense.” So he’s Voq-free, or at least as Voq-free as it is possible for one to be after Klingon grafts, and weirdly there still seems to be confusion over whether or not Ash Tyler ever “really” existed, which is just straight-up not germane at this point, given that no one onboard ever knew the original Ash Tyler. Whatever else you want to say about him, the guy certainly exists now. And the mycelial network is down again; I don’t even remember why at this point because the network seems to go down an average of three times an episode. But it’s down again, is the point, which is why the crew has to Genesis Device an entire moon in order to harvest enough spores to jump to Qo’noS, the Klingon homeworld, and “take the war to the Klingons’ front door.”

This is Mirror Georgiou’s game-changing plan, by the way, the plan that was so good she convinced Sarek to initiate a game of subterfuge and lie to his own daughter: “Have you tried attacking?” (At this point, my friend gave up on listening to me talk about Tarsus IV and started doing push-ups on the floor to see how many he could do in a row; I think he got to 12 but he can probably do more.) It’s not a bad plan, it’s just a little wild to think that no one else in command would have had a similar thought in the last nine months. (Also, everyone continues to refer to Georgiou as Emperor and Your Highness in absolute earnestness, which feels adorable and mildly condescending.) But that’s the plan, since the remaining Klingon forces have fragmented back into their respective houses and mostly given up on the dreams of uniting the Empire, instead settling to just smash anything Federation-labeled within reach. (Also, there’s a scene where Stamets and Tyler have a painful run-in with one another in the hallways, and I’m 90 percent sure a cadet walking behind them was wearing a uniform with a crop top. It was amazing.)

Cornwell pays a visit to L’Rell in the brig, either in a last-ditch attempt to convince her to help out the team, or else to try to goad her into giving up the key to defeating the Klingons, which according to L’Rell, is just “conquer us or we will never relent,” which is neither new nor useful information.

The part of tonight’s episode that had me absolutely hollering at my television was how both Saru and Tilly pressured Burnham into going and seeing Tyler, and the seemingly intentional use of domestic-violence language: “He’s lost his badge,” “He’ll never fly again,” “He’s not the same person.” Obviously the dynamics of the situation are different inasmuch as Tyler was never in control of Voq’s actions, but the parallels are numerous and apparently on purpose. It … did not work for me! When Burnham finally visits him, his apologies almost immediately vanish as he alternately cajoles her into staying with him, then gets angry when she won’t, suggesting that since he wasn’t able to successfully murder her, it’s somehow her job now to help him get better. “Yikes,” I wrote in my notes. “Yikes yikes yikes!” She leaves, thank God, after encouraging him to rebuild himself on his own — the way she did, and I swear that if next week’s episode undercuts that moment in any way, I will start a riot.

Also from Tilly this week: “Did you think signing up for Starfleet, you’d be forced to see war and death? I didn’t. Does that make me naive?” Tilly. Yes.

The moon gets terraformed! There are spores-a-plenty! Qo’noS is full of caves, so they can map it from the inside and figure out which shipyards and defense systems to bomb. ONCE AGAIN THE HOLLOW EARTH THEORY SAVES THE DAY! Georgiou has a kicky new military-grade wig! Who do you think is going to get a redemptive death in the season finale? I think L’Rell is the number-one contender, followed by Tyler, then Tilly, then Stamets. I don’t see Georgiou dying again, but I am ready and willing to be proven wrong. (I also think there’s an orgy in next week’s episode based on the preview. If you feel you must, Discovery.)

I’ll leave you with this, a running tally of characters we have seen rock a long bob in Discovery, in order:

1. Admiral Cornwell, perfect length
2. The redhead with the radio in her forehead, a little choppy but has a nice swing to it
3. Georgiou’s, needs to be two inches shorter at least

N.B. “I think I did 20 or 25 push-ups, not 12,” my friend said. “Write that.” “I will write that you said that,” I said.

Star Trek: Discovery Recap: Unsubscribing, Klingon-Style