The episode begins with Captain Lorca receiving an order from a StarFleet admiral to return to Federation territory rather than engaging the Klingon Ship of the Dead, leaving Pahvo undefended. Instead, he looks for a solution, and they come up with a plan to gather data about their cloaking device, using Discovery’s spore drive making multiple micro-jumps. Lorca shares with Lt. Stamitz, the navigator who has interfaced with the spore drive, that they have detected pockets of negative energy as a result of their jumps, possible clues to other universes. The captain shows that he cares not just about winning the war, but about the future that lies beyond it.
One of the nice little details was seeing the transporter crew operator making the Original Series movement to operate the transporter – but on a touch screen rather than levers!
While Burnham and Ash are on board the Klingon ship placing transmitters that will allow them to figure out how to detect cloaked Klingon ships, they detect a human life sign, and discover Admiral Cornwell. Ash goes into shock when he sees L’Rell, the Klingon who tortured and raped him. Later in the episode, he finds the courage to speak with Burnham in vague terms about his experiences.The episode ends with Stamitz offering to make one last spore jump – and something goes wrong, and the ship’s crew cannot figure out where they are.
Something definitely had to be done to explain the total absence of reference to (never mind use of) spore drive technology in any other Star Trek series. But it sounds like they may have just turned Discovery into Voyager, which would be a very risky move, to say the least. On the other hand, it may be that they have traveled to a parallel universe, with no real hope of getting home, which would make for a scenario that connects with individual parallel universe episodes, but would be unprecedented as a focus for a whole series.
Discovery may have boldly gone too far. But where do you think it has ended up?