Predictions for Star Trek Discovery “Chapter 2”
Star Trek Discovery is coming back to paywalled television on January 7th. The last we left our intrepid explorers, they were killing Klingons in orbit of Pandora or something. I dunno, it sucked, either way.
The producers then retroactively declared the first 9 episodes of Season 1 to be “Chapter 1” and that the next 6 would be “Chapter 2.” OK, anyway. Here are my predictions for the remaining 2/5ths of this trainwreck. I mean, “modern storytelling.”
1. The Voq Reveal
This one is first because it’s almost too obvious. As soon as Voq disappeared and Tyler appeared in “Choose Your Pain”, it was pretty clear that they were the same person, or character, or whatever. Some think that Voq physically transformed into Tyler, but that’s not correct. L’Rell’s mystical Klingon harem transferred his soul (or whatever Klingons call their katra) and put it into Ash Tyler — a real person. That explains why Tyler has a full backstory, and passes medical scans, as well as why he only started having flashbacks the last couple episodes. And the series of flashbacks Tyler had in the last episode, including him being strapped to a bed, and having sex with L’Rell, were not memories of Tyler’s past, but memories of Voq’s. Voq’s Brain is trying to assert control over Tyler and will probably succeed now that L’Rell is on board and able to coerce him into his mission. This would also parallel with Burnham’s own katra experiences where she relies on Force visions with Sarek for guidance, but her beau is tortured by his.
2. The Lorca Reveal
Again, another “it’s almost too obvious, it’s a misdirect” prediction here. Lorca has always been a little “off.” He was introduced to the audience through his eye sensitivity, or, for those who don’t get symbolism: he physically recoils against the brightness, preferring to live in darkness. Get it? He’s a homicidal maniac who sleeps with a gun under his pillow and tortures animals, all while working for a Starfleet that is dedicated to peaceful exploration.
Actually his revealed backstory has already given us his arc: he was the “sole survivor” of the USS Buran. But he wasn’t. Prime Lorca died on the Buran and somehow Our Lorca — from an alternate parallel universe — found himself alive in the Prime Universe. Not coincidentally, “buran” is Russian for “blizzard.” (Get it? What does a blizzard look like — is it bright or dark?) Anyway, Our Lorca has relations with Admiral Cornwallis and she’s like “You didn’t have these scars last time,” and he’s like “Oh, don’t worry about it. I’m a badass. Also, you should go on this suicide mission…” Cornwallis isn’t making it up: Prime Lorca didn’t have those scars; Our Lorca does. Then in the last episode he ominously tells Stamets about the secret map he’s been making and the possibilities of jumping to Alternate Parallel Universes. Yep. The last scene has Lorca telling his crew they’re going “home” before he sabotages the final jump and upon their arrival, Saru doesn’t recognize the stars. So, yeah. Lorca — not of the body.
3. The Mirror Universe Reveal
Ever since Frakes let it spill that STD would be going to the Mirror Universe (but not in his episode), everyone and their grandmother has been trying to find a way to fit STD into what we know about the MU. Except, it isn’t in the MU. The MU has an established set of visuals and jargon and oh who am I kidding, DISCOVERY could not care less about continuity. But luckily for us, ENTERPRISE already established the founding of the Mirror Universe arc, so STD can’t screw with that too badly. Basically, my prediction is STAR TREK SLIDERS, and the Disco will warp to various alternate universes, the Mirror Universe being one of them. And in that episode, Burnham will learn what it means to be human. Again. And yes, of course there will be one Alternate Parallel Universe where Tilly is in command. Also, it’ll be in the future. And she’ll be in Command Gold.
4. The Burnham Character “Arc”
Speaking of, we finally get to the very heart of the matter. First, some stipulations: a) Burnham is a horrible character, b) Burnham is a pointless character, and c) Burnham’s character arc is incredibly predictable: great officer falls to the bottom, and must find a way to get back to being great, learning valuable lessons in the process. So how do we get her there?
Well, she begins the series as a human trying to imitate a Vulcan. She’s overly precise, she’s humorless and cold, and she has that stupid Vulcan haircut. Her attempts at “logic” of course fail miserably and she’s responsible for a galactic war that claims billions of lives. After being Starfleet’s first mutineer, she gets to the Disco and is stripped of rank and status and has to learn how to be human. Currently, via Tyler, she’s exploring her heart and what it means to love. Soon, when The Voq Reveal happens, she’ll learn heartbreak. As for her career, she’s overwhelmingly disrespected by (almost) everyone on both the Shenzhou and Discovery. Saru has told her off now a couple times, letting her know in no uncertain terms that he resents her promotions and finds her a disgraceful officer. At some point she’ll have to make the turn to becoming a model Starfleet officer, not a selfish, egotistical one. She’ll have to put the safety of the ship over her personal safety and probably be forced to kill Ash Voqer or L’Rell or both. This will result in her earning Saru’s respect and at the end of the series, after Burnham kills Lorca and saves the ship from destruction or saves a world from annihilation or something, Saru will submit to Burnham’s command, acknowledging that she’s matured into a real leader. Yay!
5. The Big Picture
The first four are what I think will happen in “Chapter 2” aka the last 6 episodes of Season 1. This one is more of a big picture prediction, where the story is headed, in general. Of course this requires the show to have a predetermined plot trajectory. This show was only guaranteed and planned for one season, although, Fuller’s planned first season was pretty much “Chapter 1”/the Klingon War and is now over. So where do these writers take it? They can’t be oblivious to the overwhelming negativity from their target audience, right? They can’t be ignoring the reams of valid criticisms being raised, right?
Anyway, the first and biggest complaint of the show is that it’s wrong. Everything from the history to the uniforms are wrong. So how do they fix this? Because they’ve “assured” us that it will get close to what we know from TOS later in the season. Ok, so how do we get there? Total protonic reversal, that’s how.
The ending of the story has the Disco crew figuring out all this — that the Spore Drive can not only travel between universes, but it is actively changing the trajectory of those universes. Burnham will mutiny against Lorca. Saru will recognize her character arc is complete and submit willingly to her taking command of the ship — fulfilling both of their characters arcs. But there’s a problem: the universes are all screwed up. Luckily, Nice Stamets has a plan: use the spore drive to destroy the spore network and restore the timeline. But there’s a hitch — the Disco will be erased from the timeline in the process. Burnham blames herself for the death of millions of people, so she’ll go for it, with some dramatic trepidation. After all, it’s the only “logical” solution.
The final act of the story will be Burnham captaining the Disco into the spore network, destroying the gateway between universes in a blinding light. The timelines reset, but Burnham and the Disco are sacrificed, their existence erased from history. Then there’s a montage of the universe in a state of normalcy: Sarek raising Spock and Sybok on Vulcan, Georgiou (in Command Gold) and Saru (in Science Blue) on the Shenzhou, and Lorca (in Command Gold) joking around with his crew on the Buran. Burnham’s voice-over is something dramatic about how “to be human, is to love” and that the human soul has an innate drive to boldly go where no one has gone before. Cue the Star Trek theme by Alexander Courage.
The post-credit scene will be Burnham waking up on the bridge of the nearly-destroyed Disco, surrounded by sentient tardigrades. “Welcome home, Captain.” And Anas gets all the royalties he’s owed.