Star Trek: Discovery season 2, episode 7 recap: Light and Shadows


After being teased for six episodes of this season, fans finally meet Ethan Peck’s Spock in the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery.

"My mother taught me the greatest mysteries come in threes – Earth, Life, Death. The past, the present, and future – that’s where the Red Angel is from. – Michael Burnham"

Michael Burnham gets the green light to head back to Vulcan to meet her foster parents, while Captain Christopher Pike decides to keep Discovery hovering above Caminar. Saru tries to examine the anomaly through which the Red Angel had appeared in the previous episode, but a temporal space rift appears, disrupting their scans, and makes sending a probe impossible.

Pike decides to pilot a shuttle towards the rift and launch a probe from it. He is interrupted by Agent Ash Tyler, who wants to know about Burnham’s whereabouts – he even follows Pike to the shuttle. Pike refuses to divulge any information because he doesn’t trust Tyler or the Klingon inside him. These two are in for a tense shuttle ride.

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While en-route, the shuttle encounters a temporal shockwave in which Pike sees a future version of himself shooting Tyler. Before he can process this vision, they launch a probe into the anomaly but they’re too close to the time rift and the shuttle gets sucked in.

The research mission has now turned into a rescue, but since time in the anomaly isn’t linear, the only person who can help find Pike and Tyler is Paul Stamets – he has a special relationship with time because of the tardigrade DNA he shares from season one of Star Trek: Discovery.

Pike and Tyler continue squabbling inside the time rift. Tyler accuses Pike of being reckless because he had to sit out the Klingon-Federation War, though Pike denies it. They can’t even agree on how to establish a solid destination so that they can escape, and Tyler’s constant refusal to follow Pike’s orders only irks the Captain more. In an effort to indicate their location, Pike orders Tyler to vent plasma fuel into the rift, while they try and head towards a Red Signal. This is the same Red Signal from the previous episode – they’re going everywhere in time because time keeps changing inside the rift.

So much so, that the probe Pike just launched, re-appears with upgraded tech from 500 years in the future and starts attacking the shuttle. It breaches the ship and tries to kill Pike, but when Tyler steps in, it strangles him. This was the vision Pike saw earlier, and he is able to shoot the tentacle, but the probe now attaches itself to the helm and starts searching through the computer’s data. This entire shuttle sequence has such a classic Star Trek vibe to it!

Shazad Latif as Tyler of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: James Dimmock/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The dumped plasma attracts Discovery’s scanners, while Stamets and Sylvia Tilly figure out how to get to the shuttle. Having made calculations using his knowledge of the mycelial network, Stamets asks Tilly to beam him to the shuttle, as he is the only one who can fly them back to safety.

Once aboard the shuttle, Stamets uses the mycelial network as a road map and successfully brings the shuttle back to Discovery. The probe is searching the computers at incredible speeds, and nothing Ash does is able to detach it. Pike sets the self-destruct sequence just as Discovery is able to beam the away team back. However, while studying the future probe’s scan of the computers, Commander Airam (Sara Mitich) seems to have been infected with something. Airam is an android, so perhaps she was the probe’s endgame?

Pike returns to the Bridge relieved to be back. He and Tyler finally see eye to eye – Pike even admits that Tyler was right about Pike’s haste to go on risky missions. Tyler’s concern that the Red Angel may have hostile intentions now sounds a reasonable assumption – the probe was from the future and attacked the shuttle, the Red Angel could follow suit. They are now in a fight for the future.

Meanwhile, Burnham’s return to Vulcan brings back memories of how close she and Spock used to be. She finds Sarek in deep meditation, but his efforts to find Spock, apparently, aren’t working. Burnham believes her mother Amanda knows of Spock’s location, but Amanda refuses to reveal anything for fear of her son being charged for murders he didn’t commit.

When Burnham insists, Amanda gives in and takes her to a cave network where Spock (Ethan Peck) is confusedly rambling to himself. Amanda tells her that Spock has been like this for two days. In the cave walls, Spock has etched the Red Angel, and some numbers that make no sense. Amanda has checked.

Amanda intends to use Sarek’s diplomatic immunity to save Spock, but Sarek appears in the cave, chastising her for harboring a fugitive. Amanda explains why she has done this – it’s because she has sacrificed everything to be on Vulcan, but has never felt that sacrifice reciprocated. She tells Sarek about how Spock’s half-human composition resulted in a version of dyslexia. That made it hard for him to cope with his Vulcan studies – did Sarek even know that? Of course not. Sarek is moved (as much as a Vulcan can be) by Amanda. He decides that Burnham must take Spock to Section 31; they are invested in healing Spock’s mind to find out what he knows about the Red Angel. The reason Burnham should be the one to take him in? So that her Starfleet career isn’t jeopardized… again. Sarek does care, after all.

Burnham arrives at Captain Leland’s ship with Spock in tow. Leland promises to take care of Spock but asks Burnham to rest in the Star-base nearby because only classified personnel are allowed onboard Section 31’s ship. While bidding goodbye to her brother, Burnham realizes that the numbers Spock was writing were backward.

Phillipa Georgiou grabs Burnham as she is leaving and tells her that Leland is lying – Spock is going to be strapped to a memory machine that will destroy his mind. Georgiou instructs Burnham to attack her and rescue her brother. Bad idea, because Burnham unleashes all her pent-up anger on Georgiou. Of course, Georgiou gets back up and shoots Burnham, but she is able to escape with Spock nonetheless.

Leland is displeased with Georgiou, but he can’t push his luck. Georgiou knows that Leland is responsible for the death of Burnham’s biological parents, which is something he does not want Burnham to find out. He’s no longer in charge here.

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As the Section 31 ships leave, Burnham’s ship leaves its hiding place inside an asteroid (ala Han Solo in Star Wars). She asks the computer to scan the numbers Spock’s been reciting – they’re coordinates to a planet called Talos IV. A planet that is significant in Star Trek and Captain Pike’s history.