The following are a few notes I took while watching Star Trek Discovery Season 1 Episode 13. Warning: mild spoilers may be included, though I’ve tried to stay away from including anything too glaring. Either way, consider yourself warned.
So, now that a whole week has gone by and most people who intend to watch have seen it, I can finally talk about the big twist from last week. How crazy is it that, after all this, Captain Lorca turns out to be from the Mirror Universe?! They’ve done a great job all season portraying him as something of an enigmatic character. He was definitely unique among the long list of Star Trek captains, being that he was more of an antihero. It was pretty obvious he was always the type to be more Machiavellian, willing to do bad things if he believed the end result justified it.
After years of seeing Starfleet captains that were typically more morally upstanding, he was definitely a step in another direction. And now we know why. It’s because he was never what he seemed to be. Quite frankly, I thought that was masterful on the part of the writers.
I’m not one who usually gets caught by twists like that, but this one got me. I was definitely not expecting that, which made it great. It reminded me of being back in the old days when plot twists weren’t so common and we weren’t so jaded as viewers. This is even more true when you consider Star Trek Discovery has stumbled somewhat in their delivery of other such moments. Both the true identities of Lieutenant Tyler and the Mirror Universe Emperor turned out simply to be reveals of popular fan theories being true, rather than the shockers they seemed meant to be. This one, on the other hand, nearly brought me out of my seat. I’m personally pretty grateful for that.
As for Star Trek Discovery Season 1 Episode 13, it mostly revolved around Mirror Lorca moving forward with his planned coup against the Emperor. In the midst of that, it was up to Burnham to try to figure out a way to save the crew of the Discovery. Meanwhile, that crew—lead by Acting Captain Saru—were hard at work trying to figure out how to fix the problem with the mycellial network.
Luckily, along the way, Star Trek Discovery Season 1 Episode 13 does give a little background as to exactly how Lorca ended up in the Prime Universe. The only thing I was left wondering is what happened to the USS Buran in the Prime Universe? We know she was his first ship before the Discovery, destroyed in battle against the Klingons. He even used her destruction to explain away his sensitivity to light (apparently something native to the Mirror Universe) as an injury. So, does that mean he purposely destroyed a ship full of people? If so, that’s a-whole-friggin-nother level of evildoing.
And also—without spoiling anything from tonight’s episode—I’m left wondering what happened to the Prime Universe Captain Lorca? We now know Mirror Lorca arrived in the Prime Universe as a result of a transporter accident brought on by an ion storm. Ostensibly, that would make me think it’s likely they traded places. I expect that to be explored in future episodes, honestly. It’s too big of an open question for them not to address it.
I also found it pretty interesting that Star Trek Discovery Season 1 Episode 13 grafted in a storyline revolving around environmental concerns. What I’m talking about, of course, is the Mirror Universe Terrans foolishly depleting the mycellial network of its power, wrecking it in the process. This misuse of a natural resource to the point of destruction for short-term gains is obviously a social statement being made by the show. It’s also very timely for the era in which we live. All in all, it was another great episode, and I can’t wait to see more over the next few weeks.
And that’s especially the case after the episode ending with yet another unforeseen and interesting twist. Truly, this is a great show. Granted, it’s different from what people typically expect of Star Trek, but I personally think that’s a good thing. It shows that the franchise has been able to grow, while still remaining true to many of its core concepts.