Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10 recap: Did [SPOILER] die?

Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10
Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10 /

We return to the Mirror Universe in Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 10 as Georgiou attempts to right her wrongs. Does she succeed?

Philippa Georgiou and Michael Burnham traveled to a faraway planet in an effort to find a cure for Georgiou’s trans-dimensional atomic failure. They met Carl who sent Georgiou back to Terra in the Mirror Universe, and in Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10, we conclude the story of Terra.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 10 recap: Redemption

Now that Georgiou is back in Terra, she has one mission—to save her daughter Michael and bring about a change in her empire. But Mirror-Michael is obstinate. This is understandable since she’s been raised by Georgiou.

Michael refuses to give in, despite being starved and tortured in the Agonizer. She remains fiercely loyal to her and Lorca’s cause, even going as far as to keep her cohorts secret.

As Michael is at death’s door, Georgiou recounts the story of how she bonded with her when Michael was a child and had night terrors. It’s a really touching story and one that shows that Emperor Georgiou was always a softie at heart when it came to Michael.

Georgiou leaves a jar of fireflies next to the adult Michael, a reminder that child Michael found solace in a field of fireflies, and Georgiou would join her in those fields. Is this enough to sway Michael to join her mother again?

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Not yet. It seems, surprisingly, that an earnest plea by Mirror-Detmer is what changes Michael’s mind. She pledges undying loyalty to Georgiou again and promises to kill all her allies. Georgiou seems to have finally got what she wanted!

Michael kills off Landry, Bryce, and many more, all with the help of Detmer, who has been sanctioned by Georgiou herself to support Michael in purging the mutineers. If you thought Detmer was safe, you’re wrong. Michael stabs Detmer as her final show of loyalty to Georgiou.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 10 recap: Betrayal

Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou and Mary Wiseman as Ensign Tilly on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10
Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou and Mary Wiseman as Ensign Tilly on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10 /

With her daughter back at her side, Georgiou is able to make waves in the empire. Michael had revealed the emergence of a secret coalition of non-Terran species, who were teaming up to take Georgiou down. Georgiou has used her time waiting for Michael’s return to quash the masses—but her new way of ruling means there’s still hope in the galaxy.

Georgiou is much too smart now to rule with an iron fist. But there’s compassion mixed in there as well. She’s seen another world, another way of life. Georgiou can no longer be as cruel as she used to be.

We see how much she’s changed (and observed) when she makes up excuses for not serving Kelpien ganglia. And later, when Mirror-Saru apologizes that he must leave her because he’s undergoing vahar’ai, Georgiou reveals the secret behind this physiological change. Saru isn’t going to die, he’s going to evolve.

For all of Georgiou and Saru’s confrontations, it’s obvious that the two of them learned plenty from each other and respected each other.

Everything is going swimmingly for Georgiou. This is it, right? The reason she was sent back was to fix her timeline and save her world and her daughter. Right?

Then they come across a clue to Lorca’s location and find a middle man who is transported on to Discovery. Just as Georgiou is about to interrogate him, voila! Michael shoots him and points a phaser at her mother.

She was double-crossing Georgiou all along. And her cohorts? She’s still got Nilsson, Culber and Rhys on her side, and they’re in the brig with all guns blazing. Ah, but Georgiou’s not been caught out. Just because she loves Michael and really wanted her loyalty, Georgiou wasn’t about to let her guard down.

Tilly, Owosekun, and the Kelpiens are also firing. It’s a bloodbath that ends with Michael stabbing her mother, and Georgiou impaling her daughter. Georgiou begins dying in Saru’s arms when she wakes up in Prime-Michael’s arms on Dannus IV.

Georgiou was unconscious for one minute in real-time, but she still clocked 3 months of time in the Mirror Universe. However, Georgiou is still dying. Carl explains that her trip to the Mirror Universe was a test to see if she’d learned anything; would she go down a different route?

Georgiou didn’t fail because Michael died again—she tried her hardest to make a change. And apparently, that’s enough for Carl. So, who is Carl? He is a Guardian of Forever, a living portal first introduced in the original Star Trek series.

Carl’s been in hiding due to the Temporal Wars, and it’s only because of the Sphere data’s vast knowledge that he was tracked down. To save Georgiou, he intends to send her to a time when the Prime and Mirror timelines were parallel—this’ll ensure Georgiou’s atoms stay together.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 10 recap: Goodbye

Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Burnham and Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10
Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Burnham and Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 10 /

So, this is it, we’re really saying goodbye to Georgiou. She embraces Prime Michael as her daughter, while Michael accepts that this Georgiou fills a unique space in Michael’s life. With one final look. Georgiou steps into the Forever portal, seemingly never to be seen again.

Back on Discovery, Book uses Emerald Chain tech to help Stamets and Adira download information from the Kelpian ship they’ve been investigating.

He and Saru get a right dressing down from Admiral Vance for using enemy tech that could compromise the Federation’s most formidable ship. Book assures Vance that it’s safe.

Their conversation is interrupted by the announcement that Michael has returned to the ship, alone. Book immediately rushes to comfort Michael, and Vance offers his condolences to Saru, because there’s no one quite like Georgiou. I love how human and real Vance comes across in a world that’s set centuries in the future. Oded Fehr is killing it!

While Georgiou isn’t actually dead, since she’s never coming back (Michael’s words), Saru must accept that they have to consider her as deceased. Probably, for this reason, Saru gathers the crew to honor Georgiou.

Georgiou gets a beautiful send-off from the crew as they reminisce about why they loved this often acerbic character. A badass who was forthright, but more than anything a friend to them, especially to Michael.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 10 recap: Final Thoughts

I’m still finding it hard to believe that Georgiou’s gone. Even though her entire arc this season was written around her eventual departure from the show, it doesn’t make her loss to Star Trek: Discovery any more palatable.

She grew as a character and brought a kind of representation that’s still missing in genre properties—an older woman of color kicking butt, being arrogant and having fun. Michelle Yeoh spent every moment of her screen time looking like she belonged in the Star Trek universe.

I kept expecting her to return to the end, but the credits rolled, and she was still gone. I hope, somehow, the door’s not closed on this character completely. I know Yeoh has plenty of projects in the pipeline, but if there’s a way for this franchise to draw her back in, I’m all for it.

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What will you miss most about Philippa Georgiou? Let us know in the comments.

New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 are available every Thursday on CBS All Access.