Dayyyyyyymm. This episode was mind-blowing.
Yesterday I told my bf I didn't really feel like watching the latest episode of Discovery. He asked me if I thought it was the weakest series so far and I answered that it was difficult to say. Like I've mentioned in my reviews, every Star Trek series has its fair share of pretty lackluster episodes. What they get right is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts - and Discovery had not yet reached that wholeness. Which I didn't find odd considering that it hasn't even finished the first season. But yesterday, after the last episode that revealed so much of what we had been expecting, I felt a bit drained.
Episode 12, the one episode I decided to not watch as soon as possible, is of course the episode that brings it all together.
Let's start from the top though. The last episode revealed a whole lot of things, but it ended with Georgiou (I absolutely hate trying to spell that name by the way) turning up as the mirror universe Emperor.
So this episode starts off with Philippa (as I will call her from now on) inviting Michael to her palace which is actually a massive starship that looks like it's run on a tiny star (?). Pretty cool. I read in a post by Kotaku that the empire has probably learnt its lesson from the events that unfold in ENT (which I had actually forgotten about) where Sato destroys emperor Archer because his palace is immovably on earth. Michael finds out that the information about the Defiant she retrieved is pretty useless, so somehow she needs to get to the archives in the palace anyway.
|And apparently this was the standard uniform.|
Meanwhile on Discovery, we get to see what is going on inside Stamets' head aka the mycelial network. Turns out mirror-Stamets also ended up in here, they meet up and he explains the situation briefly. Not only are they both stuck in there, but the mycelial network is becoming corrupt. My first reaction to mirror-Stamets was that he seemed like a pretty nice guy, considering he too is part of the overly-evil Terran empire. Of course I was wrong about that.
As Stamets is trying to help mirror-Stamets and himself get out of there, he finds Culber, who also is in here for mysterious mycelial network reasons. It turns out that mirror-Stamets is the reason the network is corrupted. Culber helps Stamets wake up from his coma, in what is a really sweet scene, but this also leads evil mirror-Stamets to wake up and we don't know what kind of problems that is going to bring yet...
Meanwhile back on Discovery the (at this point) side-plot of Tyler being Voq continues to play out. Saru apparently didn't get information from Michael that Tyler is Voq somehow, so to solve the problem he asks L'Rell for help. After some persuading she agrees to free Tyler from Voq (so apparently it was only a mental thing and not a physical), but it's difficult to believe that was the last we saw of Voq and that Tyler is just all well now.
Back on the palace spaceship, Philippa is offering Michael some Kelpian soup. Not made by Kelpians, made of Kelpians. Yeah, apparently they eat Kelpians in this universe, not that I am surprised. Then she tells Michael she knew that she and Lorca were plotting against her and now she is going to execute her. Before she does, Michael decides to tell her she is not the Michael Philippa thinks she is. So Philippa stays her hand. Michael tells Philippa everything about the mirror universe, what information she needs to return and that they'll be out of Philippas hair as soon as they get it. Philippa tells Michael that the way the Defiant made it through is not going to work for them as it also seems to make everyone insane. Michael mentions the spore-drive to Philippa, which seems like a really bad idea. Philippa makes it seem as if she hasn't heard of it before, but considering mirror-Stamets was working on it that seems odd.
As they talk, Philippa tells Michael more about the plot that mirror-Michael and Mirror-Lorca had against her. This information leads Michael to come to the conclusion, and this is the real bomb here, that her Lorca is actually mirror-Lorca who this entire time has been conniving to get back to the mirror-universe to finish his coup on Philippa.
This hit me like a sack of bricks. This has been foreshadowed so brilliantly, without me being able to pick up on this possibility at all (like I've mentioned I am not very good with these things). But it makes perfect sense! All the times I've mentioned that I like the moral dubiousness of Lorca, the way he just seemed like he had an ulterior motive. He has casually mentioned things throughout that suddenly seem a lot less like odd anecdotes and a lot more like him bringing his plan to fruition. I just could never in a million universes have guessed this was it but not only was the setup for this perfect, it also brings everything that has happened so far together. As soon as they ended up in the mirror universe I was wondering what this was leading to. Now that too makes perfect sense. Lorca has been the key figure since episode one.
I just really hope they can treat this setup the way it deserves for the rest of the season.
And I know I really want to see what happens next.