Star Trek: Discovery season 2, episode 11 recap: Perpetual Infinity


The identity of the Red Angel has been revealed! The crew of Star Trek: Discovery captured her, but they haven’t realised that Control is also back in action.

"“I was wrong to judge you as unfit to process your own emotions.” – Spock"

In the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery, we relive the final moments before Michael Burnham’s family was killed by the Klingons on the Doctari Alpha research outpost. While Burnham’s father, Mike (Kenric Green), stayed back to protect his family, Burnham’s mother, Dr. Gabrielle Burnham (Sonja Sohn), hid her daughter in a closet and jumped into the Red Angel suit. She promised Burnham she would return in an hour, but the Klingons’ phasers caused her suit to malfunction and send her… 950 years into the future.

When Burnham wakes up after being saved in the previous episode of Star Trek: Discovery, she believes she only imagined her mother was the Red Angel, but Philippa Georgiou and Dr. Hugh Culber confirm that, indeed, Burnham’s mother is alive. Burnham is desperate to see her mother again, but Culber and Captain Christopher Pike ask for patience.

Gabriel is in containment as she is unconscious. Spock has found over 800 log entries belonging to her. Burnham starts viewing them post-haste. Though Gabrielle was able to travel through time, the anchor wouldn’t let her stay in place. This explains why she was missing from Burnham’s life for so long.

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Gabrielle made a home for herself on an M-Class planet in the future. She found that time was malleable, but her every effort to stop Control’s take over failed. That’s why she guides the sphere to upload its data to Discovery. She believed it would be safe with them.

“Perpetual Infinity” — Ep#211 — Pictured (l-r): Shazad Latif as Tyler; Anson Mount as Captain Pike; Doug Jones as Saru of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: John Medland/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The anchor is also the reason the planet that Gabrielle is being contained at the moment is in upheaval. The universe is pushing back and it’s going to win soon if Paul Stamets and Culber don’t wake up the patient.

Meanwhile, Control has taken over Captain Leland’s ship and has restrained him. Its diabolical methods include transforming holograms into Discovery crewmembers. But Control has no emotions – this worked fine when it was emulating an emotionless Vulcan Admiral, but Michael Burnham, Captain Pike, and Saru do not look convincing at all. Having said that, Sonequa Martin-Green, Anson Mount and Doug Jones are doing a spectacular job as stoic holograms in this scene. It’s especially compelling given how expressive Sonequa’s performance was in the opening scene of this Star Trek: Discovery episode.

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Realizing its failing, Control wants to take control of Leland’s body. Control believes that its goal is the fulfillment of Leland’s mission, and with that, the AI painfully injects itself into Leland.

Possessed Leland suggests to Ash Tyler and Georgiou that the Red Angel is a deception created by Control. He tells them that he saw Gabrielle’s dead body all those years ago and that his hypothesis is that Control is using her as a Trojan horse to get the sphere’s data. Since Discovery is woefully unmatched for future tech, Leland dispatches Tyler to get the data. Despite Tyler’s reservations, he must do his duty.

Culber has woken up Gabrielle, and she asks specifically to meet the Captain. Burnham is outraged, wanting desperately to meet her mother. But Culber and Pike insist they respect Gabrielle’s wishes. Gabrielle tells Pike to delete the sphere data as the only way to stop the AI from evolving. She won’t stop traveling through time till she successfully stops Control. Surprisingly, Gabrielle knows nothing about the Red Signal. But then, what are those signals?

“Perpetual Infinity” — Ep#211 — Pictured (l-r): Anson Mount as Captain Pike; Ethan Peck as Spock; Wilson Cruz as Culber; Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Steve Wilkie/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Saru is devastated at the thought of deleting the sphere data, but Burnham makes for a compelling case. Tyler, in the meantime, brings up the fact that Gabrielle may have a hidden agenda. But that argument falls on deaf ears. Pike orders Saru to delete the data to save the universe, unaware that Tyler has been secretly downloading it using Section 31 tech. He doesn’t complete the download, however. When Saru tries to proceed with the deletion, the data starts creating new firewalls around itself using ancient language. This will not be easy.

Spock has found Gabrielle’s logs about interacting with him. She believed that Spock’s human-Vulcan heritage allowed him to process the information she shared with him through the mind-meld. His dyslexia, especially, allowed him to filter through the data. This realization gives Spock some perspective, and he apologizes to his sister for judging her for so many years.

He and Burnham convince Pike to let Burnham beam down to meet her mother. Burnham is afraid to lose her mother, but Gabrielle’s long years of seeing people she knows and loves die over and over again have inured her to emotion. She’s willing to lose Burnham again, as long as the universe is saved.

In the meantime, Tyler, who has been in two minds about Section 31 on this season of Star Trek: Discovery, puts his foot down and refuses to continue his mission. Realizing it can’t change Tyler’s mind, Leland agrees to abort the mission.

Since the crew of Discovery aren’t able to destroy the data, they have to find a workaround. Spock, Burnham, and Stamets hit upon a new plan – download the data on to the Red Angel suit (which has unlimited storage capacity) and thereby create a perpetual infinity loop whereby Control can’t get to the data because it’s in the future. But how will the crew save Gabrielle?

Using Dark Matter, the team will detach Gabrielle from her anchor and allow her to remain in the current timeline. This is not what Control wants. But, it’s a clever AI. Through Leland, Control asks Georgiou to complete Tyler’s mission and kill Gabrielle. It feeds Georgiou’s ego, but has it convinced her?

“Perpetual Infinity” — Ep#211 — Pictured: Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Steve Wilkie/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Georgiou beams down to meet Gabrielle. While engaging the doctor in conversation, Georgiou begins downloading the data. Gabrielle informs her that sometime in the future Georgiou sacrifices herself to save Burnham, but Georgiou doesn’t believe her. When Gabrielle pleads with her to take care of Burnham, she repeats the same words as Control. Georgiou knows something is up.

Georgiou disables the data transfer and contacts Tyler, asking him to check on Leland. When Tyler does so, he sees that Control has possessed Leland. Leland is too strong for Tyler – he stabs Tyler and beams down to the surface. Tyler is able to get a message to Discovery, but they’re helpless as Leland starts taking out the crew in an effort to kill Gabrielle and continue downloading the data. While Georgiou fends him off, Gabrielle sees no other choice than to go back to the future. Burnham requires some convincing, but she finally destroys the containment field. Before Gabrielle is forced to return, she tells Burnham that she’s been watching over her all these years, and she’ll continue to do so till they are together again.

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The away team are beamed back to Discovery, but Leland gets away. Tyler has somehow found an escape pod and is retrieved by Discovery. Gabrielle sends a message to Burnham promising to return to her daughter. Spock reveals that Leland retrieved 54% of the data, but he has hope. Spock believes they can still win. Over a game of chess, perhaps the siblings will figure out how.