Star Trek Discovery - The War Without, The War Within

There is an unwritten rule or, at least a custom, where the penultimate episode of a season series is usually the most impactful or dramatic.  Certainly, "Game of Thrones" has made it a custom to obey this tenet.

So, it's fair to say, following last week's episode of Star Trek Discovery, this particular entry had less fireworks and was perhaps a bit more of a slow burn.  (Although there was a boom at the end.)  So, yes, Discovery broke with the rule.  But, that's not to say the fuse was lit for something bigger.

Following last week's events from "What's Past is Prologue" I think I was dismissive of Ash Tyler's role in this penultimate episode.  I was thinking we'd get some juicy details about the "Emperor's" new role and maybe some Klingon battle scenes.  As it turns out, his involvement actually has a lot to do with this episode's title.

The War Within...

Ash Tyler's mere presence aboard the Discovery could possibly sabotage any efforts they wished to initiate.  This is  especially important, considering the Federation finds itself on ropes against the Klingons.  

The specter of Tyler roaming the hallways could rightly raise the ire of any afflicted by his murderous acts.   He could be seen as treasonous and, yes, a wolf in sheep's clothing. 

Tyler may have been rid Voq's influence but the "war within" also included Tyler's personal battle with himself.  Even he thought he should be sent to the brig or worse.


Leave to Saru to help diffuse an unhealthy situation.  He's become quite the leader and he handled Tyler's case with grace and equanimity.  He realizes Tyler was not responsible for his own action and he is fully resolved to help with Tyler's recovery.  He has set certain boundaries but Tyler is free to interact with the crew.

This is where Tilly comes in.

Tilly can't be long for a Captain's chair not by the way she reads people.

Like Saru, she sees the conflict within and the damage it causes without.   Tyler goes to a public setting but the reception is chilling.  (Shazad Latif is the master of the "mournful hang dog" look.)  Saru may have given him his freedom but he drags his remorseful chains like Marley's ghost.  Tilly needs to act quickly or the boundaries may well be set forever.


This took courage.  Tilly joins Tyler at his table.  She gives him a welcome smile and a few helpful words.  She even actually gets Tyler to lift his chin for a few moments.  It's not long before a few crew mates join in and what could have been a devastating blockade is broken.

There is just one more hill to climb.

There were tears aplenty in this scene.

Tyler opens his heart but Burnham can only Voq in his eyes and his hands around her throat.  Is there no way to break this impasse?  Burnham melted a little and accepted Tyler was a part of her world.  But, with one episode to go and dangerous mission at hand, I'm officially worried for Tyler.  

Will he do something rash or feel compelled to play the hero?

After Tyler was pulled from the Terran universe and underwent an undoing of his "Species re-assignment protocol" I was hopeful for his return for season two as a character.  Now I'm thinking he may want to sacrifice himself to undo all he has wrought.

Oh, and there was this minefield to traverse. 

I think I cringed a little on the couch when Stamets ran into Tyler.  For a second there I thought "gut punch" was going to be taken literally.  Like Tyler's conflict with Burham, I don't see this as reparable.  

The War Without...

Good to be home isn't it?

It seems the "War Without" has a little "Within" factored into it too as the Discovery is boarded by friendly forces.  Apparently, the Federation is a little raw from all their losses and not taking any chances.  This come despite the fact that we learned a little later the "Terran" Discovery was destroyed in battle with the  Klingons.  (I would have loved to see that battle.)

It begs the question if Starfleet has IFF enabled or not too.  You'd think they would.  Plus, doesn't Discovery "vibrate" at a certain frequency so you could tell if she's from the right universe or not.  

Ah well, TV drama I suppose.

Sarek confirms Discovery is the real thing through a Vulcan mind meld, ( I miss the old music that used to go along with that) and discovers a few other nuggets along the way. 

Things are going so badly for the Federation that the Klingons have take to spraying graffiti on their new territory.

This shocked Kat Cornwell to her core.  She may have been able to take torture and imprisonment at the hands of the Klingons but seeing a Starbase overrun is another thing.  Good thing the ever steady Saru was around to jog her out of her catatonic state.  Then things began to pop.

I mentioned before this episode ended with a "boom".  The seeds of which were planted early on.  


The first of which was this little aside from Kat to Sarek.  It actually seemed a little out of place.  Almost comedic.  "Why would she say that?" I thought to myself.  She already knew her Lorca was a dead ringer.   Strange, I thought.

Then we got this scene.

Kat meets with L'Rell and oddly enough they've formed a bond.  Since they seem to share the same fortunes/misfortunes of war, Kat appeals to L'Rell on how this war will end.  L'Rell basically tells her it won't until humanity and the Federation are wiped out.  At least Kat has found a new appreciation for her enemy.

From here I thought this is the point where Kat formulates and trots the "you know who" plan out to the Bridge.  (Boom!)  But no, the fuse was actually lit in this following scene.

All along I was thinking the big reveal at the end was Kat's doing.  Surely, she had a hand in on it. Especially, after her experience with the Starbase and her meeting with L'Rell.  But the real mastermind of the bold stroke to close this episode, was this woman.


All hail the Emperor!

You'll note her response to Sarek about what she wants was her, "Freedom".  Not just the freedom from confinement mind you.  But, the freedom to act and she can't act without power.  

She has it now.


In my last Discovery blog post I went through a roll call of who could possibly sit in the Captain's chair.  This is what I said then.  "Emperor Georgiou.  Ha, I pity the poor Klingons if she is put in charge.  A little too bloodthirsty or win at all cost?"  

I guess the answer is, win at all cost!

I was still caught off guard by this.  To see her walk out as Captain Georgiou "Freed from a Klingon prison ship" was a stunner.

Naturally, Sarek, Kat, Saru and Burnham are in on it.  But Saru and Burnham were blindsided.  And this comes after Saru learns his race were used as slaves in the other universe.  Well, not just slaves, dinner too!  How bitter this must be?

For Burnham, once again one of her spontaneous choices has come back to bite her.  She's essentially put another Terran in the Captain's chair!  God only knows where this will take them.  Well, Qo'nos for one.  That should be fun.  Where else though?  Will this actually bleed into next season?  ("Bleed" being pretty appropriate here.)  

It makes you wonder if Georgiou will take advantage of someone's deperation to complete her mission.  Someone like Ash Tyler?

Odds and Ends


Georgiou is being juuust a little passive aggressive here.

She's getting her jabs in.  First of all, it's her nature.  But, more importantly, she's reminding Burnham they really don't have a background.  It's rather one that has been forced upon her.  We know who has the upper hand now!

We got a Crossfield reference!

USS  Discovery is of the Crossfield class and is named after the aviation pioneer Scott Crossfield pictured below.


Crossfield was a major rival to Chuck Yeager back in the "Right Stuff" days.  Anyone remember who played Crossfield in the movie?  This guy, Scott Wilson of "The Walking Dead" fame.

Small universe.  In case you're curious there are three ships in the Yeager class. 

Also, anyone ever read "The Man Without a Country"? It's the story of a man who was sentenced to exile aboard a ship for renouncing his country, America.  It reminds me of poor Ash Tyler.  In the book, Army lieutenant Phillip Nolan is set adrift in perpetuity.  I don't think Tyler's fate will last that long.

This is what love advice looks like coming from from a Vulcan.  Sarek was actually pretty good at it.  Never regret falling in love.   Judging from next week's teaser and season finale, Burnham is heavily involved with the "War Without".  Now if she can only get over her personal, "War Within".



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