Star Trek: Discovery season 2, episode 13 recap: Such Sweet Sorrow Part 1


The penultimate episode of Star Trek: Discovery season 2 gives us our first look at the Enterprise and the power of the time crystals.

"“Most people will never get a chance to learn what’s in their own hearts.” – Captain Pike"

The crew of Star Trek: Discovery is preparing to abandon ship. The auto-destruct is about to be set so as to destroy the ship and avoid Control getting its hands on the sphere data. Captain Christopher Pike’s ship, the Enterprise, has been called on to take on the evacuees.

The crew bid farewell to their beloved ship but Michael Burnham is no longer certain of her next move. She is devoted to the idea of bringing her mother back from the future, but also to her mother’s mission of saving the galaxy. As the last of the crew leave Discovery, Burnham gives in to her curiosity and touches the time crystal that Captain Pike had procured in the previous episode of Star Trek: Discovery. What she sees frightens her – for all intents and purposes, there is more death and destruction in store for the crew of Discovery, and perhaps even the Enterprise.

Pike and Saru activate the self-destruct sequence and board the Enterprise. The production team has accurately captured the look and sound design of the ship from the original Star Trek series, though one wishes we were seeing the Enterprise under better circumstances.

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Captain Georgiou arrives and takes an instant dislike to the décor (but, of course). She is keen to get her hands on Leland and is intrigued by Burnham’s discovery about Control’s nanobots. As the bridge crew prepares to witness the destruction of Discovery, the unforeseen happens – the auto self-destruct function fails.

Pike fires a barrage of photon torpedoes at Discovery but to no avail. Spock surmises that the sphere data has probably merged with the Discovery to protect itself. Meanwhile, Control’s ships are gaining on the Discovery.

Burnham is on edge through all this – she finds herself aboard the Discovery witnessing the imminent destruction of the Enterprise and the death of the entire crew at the hands of Leland (who is still under Control’s possession). Realizing that firing at Discovery is the cause of this vision, Burnham – now back in the regular timeline – stops Pike from firing the torpedoes. Was Burnham hallucinating, or is the time crystal trying to help?

Burnham suggests that they need to use the time crystal to take Discovery ‘out of the galactic equation’ – to send Discovery to the future, away from Control’s reach.

“Such Sweet Sorrow” — Ep#213 — Pictured (l-r): Anthony Rapp as Stamets; Doug Jones as Saru; Shazad Latif as Tyler; Ethan Peck as Spock; Ronnie Rowe as Bryce; Oyin Oladejo as Owosekun; Patrick Kwok-Choon as Rhys; Mary Wiseman as Tilly of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Ben Mark Holzberg/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

And with that, the opening credits. In honor of this episode’s central focus on the time crystals and the Enterprise, the revamped credits showcase the journey that the characters of the show have been on. I love the floating shards of crystals and the touches of red that pay tribute to the Enterprise.

Back on the Enterprise, the senior crew convenes for a meeting to discuss how to send the Discovery to the future. Paul Stamets believes he and the Engineering crew can rig up an exoskeleton like the Red Angel suit that Dr. Burnham wears, but the only person who can use the technology is Burnham. How will Burnham find her way back, though? Pike believes the Red Signals will help her, and Spock agrees. Burnham is likely behind the Red Signals since her mother assured them that she was not. They will just have to have some faith.

Just then, a fifth Red Signal appears. Essential crew beam aboard the Discovery so that Stamets can jump the ship to the Red Signal’s location. With Control only five minutes away, Pike orders engineering on both ships to retrofit all the shuttles for battle stations. It helps that Number One has already done that for the Enterprise; Stamets will have to get that underway on Discovery.

While supervising in Engineering, Hugh Culber comes to meet Stamets. The two have struggled with their relationship, but now is the time for closure. Stamets tells Culber that he plans to stay away from starships once Burnham’s mission is over and wishes Culber happiness with whomever he finds next in his life. Culber thanks him and informs Stamets that he will be joining the Enterprise crew when they rendezvous with them.

Turns out, the Red Signal has appeared above Xahea, which is exciting news for Sylvia Tilly. In the first episode of Star Trek: Short Treks, Tilly had helped the queen of Xahea, Her Serene Highness Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po (Yadira Guevara-Prip) recover her confidence and return to her duties. Tilly believes she can convince Her Highness to help Discovery.

“Such Sweet Sorrow” — Ep#213 — Pictured: Yadira Guevara-Prip as Po of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: John Medland/CBS ©2018 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Po is delighted to see Tilly again, and enthusiastically figures out a way to create a supernova that can power Burnham’s suit. Jett Reno explains that the ship doesn’t have enough energy for Po’s experiment unless they use the spore drive. Only trouble is, using the spore drive will put it out of commission for 12 hours. There are enemy ships bearing down on the Discovery, how can they wait? Pike doesn’t care, he knows they have to.

There is yet another problem, the crystal will likely burn out before Burnham can return from the future. Burnham announces to the crew about her one-way trip to the future. While most of them are devastated, Ash Tyler is outraged. He’s still in love with Burnham and he’s no longer trying to hide it. With no other option, Burnham take’s her leave with an emotional speech.

Burnham is surprised to see her foster parents, Amanda, and Sarek on Discovery. Sarek says their katras helped him locate her. Burnham tearfully thanks them for giving her a family when she had lost hers. Once they leave, Tilly has a surprise for Burnham – all of Burnham’s friends have decided to stay onboard Discovery and be with her. Burnham is overcome by their sacrifice, but can’t change the crew’s mind. This is such a quintessential Star Trek scene – except can we trust anything Burnham is seeing since she touched the time crystal?

Turns out Tyler has decided not to accompany the rest of the team. He wants to ensure that something like Control doesn’t happen again and to do that he must stay with Section 31. Both Burnham and Tyler are heartbroken and share a passionate goodbye kiss.

“Such Sweet Sorrow” — Ep#213 — 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.

Tilly is struggling to power up the crystal for Burnham’s suit. She asks Stamets and Reno for help, and the only solution Reno can come up with is to open the cage containing the time crystal so that it can charge faster. This means Reno will be affected by the crystal, but she’s willing to take that risk for the sake of the mission. Reno sees the same visions that Burnham saw – the Enterprise with an undetonated photon torpedo trapped in her hull. Is this future set in stone?

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It’s time for another goodbye. Donning his iconic gold Enterprise uniform, Pike prepares to take over command of the Enterprise. He and the crew honor each other before he leaves with Tyler by his side. Tyler mentions that he needs to finish something before the battle begins. What’s he up to?

As Discovery and Enterprise prepare for battle, they find themselves surrounded by enemy ships. How will they win this fight? We will only find out during next week’s Star Trek: Discovery season finale.