Stardate not given: Captain Pike is visited by his first officer from the Enterprise, who has managed to bring him data on the trajectory of Spock’s shuttlecraft. But moments after Discovery sets off on that heading, it’s yanked out of warp by a dense sphere of pulsing energy. Attempts to hail the sphere are fruitless, and moments later Discovery‘s systems begin failing, beginning with the universal translator and engineering systems. The fungal life form that Stamets extracted from Tilly is no longer contained, and reasserts its hold over Tilly. Saru, who seemed unwell at a briefing prior to the sphere’s appearance, is now seriously weakened, and reveals that he has entered the Vaharai, the stage of the Kelpien life span at which an individual is ready to be harvested by the alien predators that cull the Kelpiens. Since he is no longer on Kaminar, Saru will not be harvested, but can look forward to slowly going mad as the Vaharai advances; still, he insists on aiding Burnham in trying to stabilize the ship’s systems and determine the sphere’s intentions (which Pike is assuming are hostile). Speaking through Tilly, “May” tells Stamets that Discovery‘s travels through the mycelial network are harmful to the network and the life it supports. Saru deduces that the sphere is also a life form – a dying one trying to pass on all of its knowledge and experience before it expires – and urges Pike to drop Discovery‘s shields to allow the ship’s computers to absorb all of that information. But Saru feels that his time has come too, and asks Burnham to end his suffering.
Cast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Tig Notaro (Commander Jett Reno), Rebecca Romjin (Number One), Rachael Ancheril (Commander Nhan), Bahia Watson (May Ahearn), Hannah Chessman (Lt. Commander Airiam), Emily Coutts (Lt. Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Gen Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. R.A. Bryce), Julianne Grossman (Discovery Computer), Raven Dauda (Dr. Tracy Pollard), David Benjamin Tomlinson (Linus)
Notes: Gum and duct tape, and burgers and fries, all still exist in the 23rd century. (Especially fries, as both Number One and Jett Reno mention them.) Also, David Bowie and Prince still have fans in the 23rd century, as they likely will long afterward. Many of the elements of Kelpien society mentioned by Saru were previously seen in the Short Treks episode The Brightest Star (2018).
LogBook entry by Earl Green