Star Trek: Discovery season 2, episode 10 recap: The Red Angel


Tragedy has struck the crew on Star Trek: Discovery. But with it have come more clues and hints to what the Red Angel is.

"‘Love is a choice. And one doesn’t just make that choice once; one makes it again and again.’ – Admiral Cornwell"

Commander Airiam was discovered to be the source of the messages to Section 31’s headquarters. Following her sacrifice in the previous episode of Star Trek: Discovery, Agent Ash Tyler is finally exonerated. The crew of the Discovery, however, continue to be in mourning for their friend and hero. Funeral scenes on Star Trek shows have a symmetry which Star Trek: Discovery continues – we discover a great deal about each character through the crew’s eulogy for Airiam.

Tyler, who still carries a flame for Michael Burnham, tries to comfort her, but his duty to Section 31 troubles her. Section 31 created Control, and it took over Airiam’s system thereby leading to her death. Tyler claims not to have known about Control, but that may not be enough for Burnham to forgive him.

Sylvia Tilly has found a secret file on Airiam’s system and it’s called Project Daedalus. Those were the last words Airiam said to Burnham before she died. The file contains a bio-neural signature of the Red Angel – the signature is of Burnham. She’s the Red Angel?

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Dr. Hugh Culber is put in charge of scanning Burnham. Every scan proves Tilly’s findings are correct. Admiral Cornwell surmises the data maybe compromised, but Captain Christopher Pike is very confused. He can’t imagine that Burnham will someday take it upon herself to travel through time in an effort to save the galaxy. Burnham’s brother Spock contradicts Pike – that kind of action fits Burnham’s emotional profile perfectly. Now they have to find out what the locations of the Red Signals mean.

“The Red Angel” — Ep#210 — Pictured (l-r): Ethan Peck as Spock; Jayne Brook as Admiral Cornwell; Anson Mount as Captain Pike of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Leland and Georgiou arrive on Discovery with a plan – they have to capture the Red Angel. Burnham agrees. Leland reveals, with some hesitation, that Section 31 was behind Project Daedalus which developed the suit the Red Angel wears. It was a time-travel suit, later believed to have been destroyed by Klingon spies. But somehow, future Burnham managed to get her hands on it to travel through time. She is clearly resourceful, and setting a trap for her will take the best minds of Discovery and Section 31 to achieve.

Burnham doesn’t believe Section 31 has revealed the full truth to her. When she pushes Georgiou for more information, Georgiou points her to Leland. Leland reluctantly discloses more horrifying truths. He knew Burnham’s parents and put them on the Daedalus Project. Burnham’s mother was an engineer who needed a time crystal to make the suit work. Burnham’s parents found the crystal, but Leland allowed the Klingons to track it – a trap that went horribly wrong, with Burnham’s parents being killed. Burnham has spent her whole life believing she was the reason her parents were still on the planet during the massacre – now she knows the truth. Furious, Burnham lashes out at Leland. He deserves it.

Burnham takes it upon herself to confront Tyler about this information. Again, he was in the dark about Leland’s involvement with the death of Burnham’s parents, but this is yet another black mark against Section 31. The bridge between Burnham and Tyler continues to widen. At what point will it be a bridge too far?

Culber has been struggling with his resurrection, so he asks Admiral Cornwell for help. She used to be a therapist, as she mentioned in the first season of Star Trek: Discovery, and has a grasp of Culber’s situation. She explains that Culber needs to work at loving Paul Stamets again – it’s not a one and done deal.

"‘The only way to make a new road is to walk it.’"

Spock unexpectedly appears by Burnham’s side to comfort her. Despite the strife between the siblings, he has finally mellowed, realizing the trauma and guilt that Burnham has spent a lifetime dealing with. While not uttered in as many words, the two finally make amends. Spock also reveals his new discovery about the Red Angel. Its random appearances occur when Burnham is in danger. It’s the old ‘grandfather paradox’ – future Burnham won’t exist if present Burnham dies, so she must be saved. They have finally found a way to trap the Red Angel.

“The Red Angel” — Ep#210 — Pictured (l-r): Shazad Latif as Tyler; Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Ben Mark Holzberg/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Burnham will beam down to a planet with a non-breathable atmosphere. Pike is not pleased with this plan, but with the universe at stake, he allows it. Stamets and Tilly set up the trap, while Culber remains on standby to retrieve Burnham in case the Red Angel doesn’t appear. Despite her crew’s assurances, Burnham is scared. She turns to the one person who has taken all the hits that Burnham can give – Tyler. With a passionate kiss, they bid goodbye. Tyler resumes his duties aboard Section 31’s ship, while Burnham gets ready for the mission.

The trap is set by exposing Burnham to the toxic atmosphere. When it becomes too much for her to take, Culber and Georgiou attempt to rescue her, but Burnham tells Spock to stop them. Spock keeps them hostage, allowing Burnham to die. Where is the Red Angel?

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A few pain-staking moments later, Tilly discovers tachyon beams. The Angel is here. The moment she revives Burnham, Stamets tethers the Angel so she can’t escape. Meanwhile, on the Section 31 ship, Tyler is distraught about not being able to locate the source of the Red Angel’s signal. He isn’t aware that something has taken control of the Section 31 ship and possibly killed Captain Leland.

Unable to flee, the Red Angel leaves its suit, revealing themselves to Burnham – it’s Burnham’s mother!