Stardate not given: “Captain” Georgiou is introduced by Admiral Cornwell, under the cover story that reports of her death were exaggerated and she was recently rescued from Klingon territory. The mission proceeds as suggested by Georgiou before, but rather than jumping Discovery into an underground chasm to map the surface for military targets, Georgiou decides she’d rather destroy the planet, destroying the Klingon civilization altogether. Burnham returns to Discovery to confront Admiral Cornwell about the mission, learning that Starfleet Command was privy to the changes in the mission plan. After making an impassioned plea for Starfleet to stand by its code of ethics, Burnham rewrites the mission plan, letting Georgiou go free and placing the detonator of her doomsday weapon into the hands of L’Rell, who uses the threat of annihilating the Klingon homeworld to unite the great houses and end the war. Tyler elects to remain with L’Rell as a peace liaison between the Federation and the Klingons, and Discovery at last returns to Earth, where a full pardon and reinstatement to the rank of commander awaits Burnham. Saru commands Discovery on a course for Vulcan, where the ship’s new captain will come aboard…but this mission is delayed by a distorted distress signal from the U.S.S. Enterprise, commanded by Captain Christopher Pike.
teleplay by Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
story by Akiva Goldsman & Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
directed by Akiva Goldsman
music by Jeff Russo
Cast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Shazad Latif (Lt. Ash Tyler / Voq), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca), Michelle Yeoh (Emperor Georgiou), Mia Kershner (Amanda), Jayne Brook (Admiral Cornwell), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell), James Frain (Sarek), Clint Howard (Creepy Orion), Michael Ayres (Transport Officer), Matthew Binkley (Shavo), Emily Coutts (Keyla Detmer), Riley Gilchrist (Admiral Shukar), Anthony Grant (Er’Toom), Julianne Grossman (Discovery Computer), Harry Judge (Admiral Gorch), Morgan Kohan (Weapons Trader), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Rhys), Crystal Leger (Klingon Player #2), Clare McConnel (Dennas), Damon Runyan (Ujilli). Sara Mitich (Airiam), Oyin Oladejo (Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Bryce), David Benjamin Tomlinson (Klingon Player #1), Bree Wasylenko (Shava)
Notes: Welcome Clint Howard back to the Star Trek fold as the sleazy Orion trader dealing in “smoke”. As a young child actor, Clint appeared as Balok in the first weekly episode filmed, The Corbomite Maneuver, and later appeared in Deep Space Nine (Past Tense Part II) as a homeless man and in Enterprise as a Ferengi (Acquisition). He has also appeared in Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, From The Earth To The Moon, was a regular on the short-lived early ’90s CBS series Space Rangers, and has appeared in many of his older brother Ron Howard’s films, including Apollo 13. If you look closely in the opening shot of Earth, you can see the familiar shape of the Starfleet starbase first seen in Star Trek III, though possibly still under construction. Deanna Troi’s home planet, Betazed, is known to the Terran Empire (if not the Federation) in this time frame, as is Mintaka III (TNG: Who Watches The Watchers?). Emperor Georgiou dismisses the distractions on Qo’noS as “bread and circuses”, name-checking an unrelated original series episode of the same name. While Kahless was first mentioned in the original series (The Savage Curtain), the legend of Kahless’ battles against his treacherous brother Molor is fleshed out in such TNG episodes as Rightful Heir and First Born. Burnham’s description of the real phenomenon known as a phreatic eruption is accurate, but it would have to take place on a massive, worldwide scale to have the planet-destroying effect described. Rather than the customary theme from Star Trek: Discovery, the end credits feature a new recording of Alexander Courage’s theme from the original series.
LogBook entry by Earl Green