Star Trek Discovery: Finally a Goatee

Title: Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 11: “The Wolf Inside”
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction
Platform: Streaming – CBS All Access
Director: T.J. Scott
Writer: Lisa Randolph
Rating: TV-MA
Release: January 14, 2018
Cast: Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Jason Issacs, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman
Feature image: Source


“Can you hide your heart? Can you bury your decency? Can you continue to pretend to be one of them? Even as, little by little, it kills the person you really are.” Michael Burnham – Star Trek: Discovery

A crewmember doing repairs aboard the Discovery hears a voice. It is Lt. Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) holding Dr. Hugh Culber’s dead body (Wilson Cruz) saying, “The forest is dark, but I can see him through the trees.” On the Shenzhou, a Kelpien slave who looks like Commander Saru (Doug Jones) comes into ‘Captain Michael Burnham’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) quarters to do her daily ablutions. She has been aboard the Shenzhou for two days, and it is getting to her. Burnham to herself, “Can you hide your heart? Can you bury your decency? Can you continue to pretend to be one of them? Even as, little by little, it kills the person you really are.” She watches as the Terran crew execute crewmembers by transporting them into open space. Later in her quarters in bed with Lt. Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif), she tells him, “We’re all human here. We all start out with the same drives, the same needs. Maybe none of us, no matter what world we’re from, really know what darkness is waiting inside.” Changing tones, she says to Ash, “You remind me of everything good.”  Tyler tells Burnham that during his first year at the academy, he was afraid of open space. Having a tether to the ship was important to him; she is his tether.

She receives a transmission from ‘Captain Sylvia Tilly’ (Mary Wiseman). After they make sure their transmission is secure, Tilly tells Burnham to hang in there. She hands over the transmission to Commander Saru. Burnham tells him she can’t transmit the data from the Shenzhou covertly. Saru: “An oppressive regime is, by nature, a fearful regime.” He tells her that she needs to find a way around their security. Out of curiosity, he asks her if she has seen any Kelpiens. She lies to save his feelings and says she hasn’t. To save her feelings, he doesn’t mention that Culber is dead. After the conversation, Tilly asks Saru to let her work on helping Stamets. She states that he doesn’t have a medical problem, but a spore problem. Tilly explains that an infusion of fungal spores into Stamets’ brain could reverse the neural damage he’s undergone. “A scientist saved by his own specimens,” Saru quips. He gives Tilly permission.

The Shenzhou receives a mission from the Emperor. They are to go to the planet Harlak and wipe out the leader of the rebellion, a person named Fire Wolf and his followers. The crew is ready to bombard the planet from space, but Burnham tells them they are getting soft. She is going down to the planet to infiltrate the rebels to gain some information on the rebellion, and then she wants a landing party to join her to wipe them out of existence. Burnham meets with Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs), who looks like he is feeling the effects of the agonizer booth. She tells him about her mission. Lorca: “You have to do it; sometimes the end justifies terrible means.” Burnham: “Don’t force me to slaughter this coalition of hope.” This coalition is the closest thing this universe has to the Federation. A Klingon leads them; by talking to him, Burnham thinks it could give her a chance to learn how to negotiate with the Klingons to end the war back home. She tells Lorca that she doesn’t have her pips, but she is still Starfleet. Lorca agrees with her and tells her to only take Tyler with her so they don’t get wind what she’s trying to do.

“I see a world bursting with potential… a child molded by wisdom and a seemingly impossible depth of human compassion. She means us no harm.” Sark – Star Trek: Discovery

Burnham and Tyler beam down to Harlak. The rebels immediately fire upon them; Burnham prevents Tyler from firing back and lowers their phasers to surrender. She asks to meet with the Fire Wolf. The rebel encampment is using active camouflage for concealment. Parallel universe Voq is the Fire Wolf. Burnham tells him that the Emperor has found their location and they need to evacuate their base. Of course, Voq thinks this could be a trick so he has their seer, a person they call a prophet to find out if she’s telling the truth. Out comes Sarek (James Frain) wearing a goatee [like mirror Spock had]. Burnham is shocked to see him. He does a Vulcan mind meld on her. Sarek sees images of our universe Sarek with a young Michael Burnham, scenes we saw earlier in the season. Sarek: “I see a world bursting with potential… a child molded by wisdom and a seemingly impossible depth of human compassion. She means us no harm.” After getting the A Ok from mirror Sarek, she asks the Fire Wolf how the different races in the rebel group get along. Fire Wolf: “The light of Kahless guides me in all things.” He explains that after he unified the Klingon nation, they were able to work and cooperate with others. Hearing this Voq interpret Kahless teachings differently from the way it was taught to his universe’s Voq; Tyler freaks out and attacks the Fire Wolf. After the Fire Wolf defeats Tyler, he is angry; he asks Sarek, “The darkness of a Terran soul can now suppress the powers of a Vulcan mind meld?” Sarek stops him from killing Tyler and Burnham telling Voq that he sees that she is an outsider. They give her a cube with information on their group to give to the Emperor, but by the time it has been decrypted, it will be useless. Burnham will give them time to evacuate their base before she bombards the planet.

Tilly is still using the spores to restore Stamets’ neural system. Saru is impressed with her efforts. She takes this time to ask him if he will give her a recommendation to Starfleet’s Command Training Program. He’ll consider it. Just then Stamets goes into cardiac arrest. Saru calls in the medical staff to revive him. Stamets looks lost, Tilly tells him she is so sorry. Stamets neurons start firing, he meets himself in the mycelial network.

“We are stranded in a cruel, anarchic world, but we are still Starfleet and we still live and die by Federation law, no matter how heinous your crimes.”  Saru – Star Trek: Discovery

Once they are alone, Burnham demands the truth from Tyler. She tells him, “This erratic behavior, it’s not because of the new universe.”  Tyler finally comes clean. Tyler: “I don’t think I’m Ash Tyler, Starfleet lieutenant, I have the human’s face, but inside, I remain Klingon.” He tells her he is Voq and he killed Culber. She realizes he is telling the truth. He remembers that Burnham killed T’Kuvma, so he attempts to kill her. Slave Saru saves Burnham by bringing in the guards to drag him out. First Officer Keyla Detmer (Emily Coutts) plans to transport Tyler to outer space as his punishment. Burnham gives her permission. Detmer prepares to beam Tyler to open space, Burnham stops her and tells her she wants to do it herself. Tyler screams in Klingon, “Kahless, give me the light to see forever.” He is beamed off the ship and starts to freeze, but a few seconds later the Discovery beams him aboard. Somehow, Burnham had contacted Saru so they were able to rescue him. Burnham also cleverly placed a physical drive about the Defiant in Tyler’s pocket. Even though heartbroken, she was able to complete her mission. Tyler wanted to be left out there so he could die with honor. Saru: “We are stranded in a cruel, anarchic world, but we are still Starfleet and we still live and die by Federation law, no matter how heinous your crimes.” Saru orders Tyler to the brig.

“When I give an order, I do not expect to be ignored.” Emperor Philippa Georgiou – Star Trek: Discovery

Burnham is with Lorca and she is ready to go back aboard the Discovery. Lorca says that the mission isn’t over yet. They don’t know if the information on the Defiant will help them get home. He knows this is hard for her, and he knows that she cared about Tyler, so he assures her she is not alone, she has him. Another ship appears and opens fire on the rebel base. The Shenzhou gets a transmission from the Emperor. The Terran Emperor is Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and she isn’t happy. “When I give an order, I do not expect to be ignored.”

Michael Burnham has been aboard the Shenzhou for two days and it is getting to her. She wonders how a person can remain good when surrounded by so much evil. The thing the Terrans are best at is cruelty. They would win all the gold medals in the Cruelty Olympics. She can’t transmit the info on the Defiant to the Discovery so she is stuck there. She gets a mission to wipe out the rebellion leadership. Burnham sees this as a chance to find out how Klingons in this universe can work with others, and use that information to negotiate with the Klingons in her universe. Her efforts nearly fail when Tyler goes berserk. The show finally reveals the ‘shocking’ twist the audience has figured out months ago, Ash Tyler is Voq! Try not to faint. I don’t know why show writers think that with their audiences will be surprised by these twists, when you have the same audience working together online to solve these mysteries. Shazad Latif did a good job with his breakdown during the reveal, and Sonequa Martin-Green showed the proper shock and horror to this discovery. Ms. Martin-Green was outstanding in this episode in dealing with everything the mirror universe threw at her. It was fun seeing Sarek with the mirror universe goatee. Burnham was clever in how she got the information on the Defiant to Saru. Of course, she couldn’t enjoy this brief victory; the Emperor bombards the rebel base anyway and the Emperor is the mirror universe version of her beloved Philippa Georgiou. Burnham cannot catch a break.

Everyone thought that Stamets killed Culber. Tilly is busy trying to restore his neurons. Stamets might still be their only way out of this universe. It doesn’t look good when he goes into cardiac arrest. Tilly’s treatments appear to work, Stamets is in the mycelial network where he meets himself. Going by the other Stamets uniform, I think he is his Terran counterpart. I did enjoy Tilly hustling Saru to get his recommendation to the Starfleet Command Training Program. You do you Tilly.

Not a lot happened; we got to see the mirror universe Voq, Sarek, Georgiou, and Stamets. The fight scene between Tyler/Voq and Voq was decent. With Emperor Georgiou showing up, things are about to get wild.

Grade: B






Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
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