Cycle up yer spore drives! STAR TREK DISCOVERY is amping up the action and anticipation in preparation for the ultimate episode of its second season. Part one of “Such Sweet Sorrow” laid the groundwork for its second part along with some groundwork for season 3.
Lots of tearful goodbyes peppered this episode, and as with any season finale, fan theories about what the next season will look like abound.
STAR TREK DISCOVERY S02E13: Where No Show Has Gone Before
One leading fan theory is that DISCO’s third season will take place entirely in the 32nd century, which would be a helluva narrative shift away from the pre-STAR–TREK timeline that has been the show’s focus since its pilot. The only iteration of Trek that featured a similar plot point is STAR TREK: VOYAGER.
Although Voyager and her crew remained firmly situated in the 24th century, their voyage took them 70,000 light years away from the familiar embrace of Starfleet. And, if Discovery is headed to the Control-controlled future of the 32nd century, help will be hard to find.
Burnham’s big plan is to use a freshly built Red Angel suit to bring herself and Discovery to Terralysium. Getting to Terralysium would be a win, win for Michael as it is, presumably, where her mother wound up and the only place in the time stream free of Control-susceptible technology.
STAR TREK DISCOVERY S02E13: “Such Sweet Sorrow” – Po-Away
Luckily, Discovery’s crew just happened to pick up a high-value stowaway before heading to the 32nd century. In a clunky callback from SHORT TREKS episode “Runaway,” Po returns just in the nick of time, giving the crew of Discovery a method of re-crystallizing spent dilithium crystals — Po invented the technology while recovering from a broken eye socket.
That Starfleet engineers of the 2250s are unable to recreate something invented by a 17-year-old until the 2280s definitely says something — either Po is just amazing or Starfleet’s engineers need some remedial classes.
STAR TREK DISCOVERY S02E13: “Such Sweet Sorrow” – “It’s good to be home.”
The two big goodbyes for fans go to Captain Pike and Dr. Culber who are both leaving Discovery for the Enterprise. Strangely enough, though, neither Spock nor former Terran Emperor Georgiou leave with them. Captain Pike is back where he should be, aboard Starfleet’s flagship, but what the heck will happen with Spock? Trek canon describes the pointy-eared science officer as being on Earth as early as 2261, so whatever happens in the 32nd century, canon only allows Spock a 23rd-century absence of four years at most.
STAR TREK DISCOVERY S02E13: “Such Sweet Sorrow” – Final Thoughts
The big questions of part one of “Such Sweet Sorrow,” beyond what the heck DISCO’s third season will look like, for this reviewer focus on what will happen to Michael Burnham. Based on the fact that there’s no mention of this integral character in any other iteration of Trek, it could very well be that Burnham will erase herself, at least as viewers and characters know her, from existence in an effort to stop Control.
This would tidily wrap up and temporal paradoxes that might threaten established Trek canon without totally undoing everything the show has set up thus far.
Other questions involve what is going to happen with the unexploded torpedo that will get lodged in Enterprise’s hull. Both Burnham and Reno witness this future event. My bet is, based solely on the fact that Tig Notaro is kind of a big name, that Jett Reno will sacrifice her own life in an effort to save Starfleet’s flagship. Whether or not this will act as the impetus to spur Burnham on to erase her own existence in an effort to save all sentient life will have to be decided in part two of “Such Sweet Sorrow.”