Star Trek: Discovery’s 14th episode, “The War Without, The War Within,” will air this weekend. StarTrek.com gets you ready with both a preview of the new episode and a look back at least week’s installment, "What's Past Is Prologue”…
“Today,” Mirror Lorca declared to his followers, “is the day we reclaim our empire.” Mirror Landry is by his side, ready to have some… fun. “They told us you were dead,” she notes. Lorca asks, “And you believed them?” Landry smiles. “Not for a second, sir.”
Lorca has been to another universe and back, and he insists that Emperor Georgiou’s ship is exactly where it needs to be. “You think I’d come all this way without a plan?”
Discovery captain’s log, stardate 1834.2. En route to Terran Flagship, the spore drive is operational again, thanks to the full recovery of Stamets. But Stamets was unable to save Discovery’s mycelium crop. Stamets’ fear is that Mirror Stamets has already contaminated the network, with possibly “catastrophic results.”
The Discovery and Charon are both powered by mycelium, but not in the same way. “We ride along the network with the spores,” Tilly explains. “That orb (on the Charon) is pulling power directly out of the network.” The process is poisoned… and untenable. Mirror Stamets was seeking a solution when he got trapped in the network with Stamets. “The network will continue to deteriorate, everywhere,” Stamets says. “Here in this universe, back in ours, across the entire multiverse…” Saru asks, “And when it does?” Stamets replies, “Life as we know it will cease to exist.”
On the Charon, Lorca taunts Emperor Georgiou. “Hello, Philippa…” He contends the Terrans need a leader who’ll preserve their race and way of life. “Try as you might, it’s clearly not you,” Lorca spits. “Even Michael knew that. It was her great shame.” Lorca implores those on the ship to renounce Georgiou… and live. As always, “Burnham is not to be touched. She is integral to our future plans, a future where we, together, will make the empire glorious again.”
Mirror Stamets, with Mirror Lorca's help, concludes that an ion storm swapped the Lorcas' transporter signatures. “To me, it was physics acting as the hand of destiny…” he declares. “… My destiny.”
Mirror Lorca’s forces battle with the emperor’s in a firefight. Emperor Georgiou escapes via emergency transport. “You didn’t warn me she could do that, Mr. Stamets,” Mirror Lorca growls. Mirror Landry looks to Mirror Lorca and asks, “Please tell me we can kill him now?” Mirror Lorca says that depends on whether Mirror Stamets can disable an emergency transport system. “I can,” Mirror Stamets swears, bartering for his life. “I can do that.”
On the Charon, Burnham reports to Saru aboard the Discovery. Saru says it’s good to see her, calling “my friend.” She reveals to Saru that Lorca is one of them… Terran. “He used us and the Discovery to jump here, to his own universe,” Burnham explains. “It was his plan all along.” Saru questions how did he not sense anything. Stamets realizes how Mirror Lorca played him, altering the coordinates of his last jump. It hits the entire crew: they’ve been fooled and betrayed, and the risk remains that Mirror Lorca will take Discovery back to “our” universe and bring the whole Terran fleet with him.
Mirror Lorca has his mu-ha-ha-ha moment by the Terran throne, then prepares to drop Mirror Stamets into a living core of the mycelial network. “It’s poetic justice, don’t you think?” he muses. “The scientist destroyed by his own creation? Just kidding… I hate poetry.” With that, Mirror Landry shoots him in the back. They can barely celebrate, as Landry learns of an unauthorized ship-to-ship transmission. “That’ll be my Burnham,” Mirror Lorca says.
Mirror Lorca wants Burnham by his side. She belongs here… with him. Starfleet, he claims, “is a social experiment doomed to failure. Childish idealism. Every species. Every choice. Every opinion is NOT equal, no matter how much they want it to be. The strong and the capable will always rise. Like you and me.” Burnham’s gifts, he tells her, surpass Mirror Burnham’s. “I see your power and I’m offering you a future,” he remarks. “I have been since the day I brought you to Discovery. Take it.” The conversation, held over comm, gives Burnham time to elude Landry.
Burnham and Emperor Georgiou engage in conversation, each dropping bombshells. Mirror Lorca has taken everything from her, Emperor Georgiou asserts, including (Mirror) Burnham. “You lost a daughter, an empire,” Burnham tells the emperor. “I lost a captain, and a life. Both versions of me betrayed both versions of you. I won’t let that happen again. And I won’t let you die again.” She promises to stop Mirror Lorca. “I see why he is so enamored with you,” Emperor Georgiou replies. “You almost make me believe you can do it.” Burnham promises she will do it.
Saru rallies his Discovery crew. His species can sense the coming of death and he doesn’t sense it today… because he’s surrounded by a team he trusts. “And, make no mistake,” he vows, “Discovery is no longer Lorca’s. She is ours. And today will be her maiden voyage. We have a duty to perform, and we will not accept a no-win scenario.”
Mirror Lorca settles in on his throne. Landry informs him Emperor Georgiou’s lords and senior officers are dead; everyone else has sworn allegiance to him. “I’ve just been thinking about everyone who’s ever said victory felt empty when it was attained,” Lorca notes. “What a bunch of idiots they were.”
Burnham arrives… with Emperor Georgiou as offering. She won’t let another crew die on her watch. Mirror Lorca asks if she’s prepared “to condemn Philippa here to death.” Burnham replies, “… She’s not my Philippa.” She offers herself to Mirror Lorca in exchange for the lives of her crew: “But know this… I’m offering you my mind. Nothing more.” Lorca agrees and says, “Welcome home, Michael.”
Stamets and Tilly work side by side on the Discovery. There may be a way out of this: “the mother of mycelial shockwaves,” as Stamets puts it. In a nice moment, Stamets thanks Tilly for inspiring him; they share a smile. “Now,” he requests, “please inform the captain of your findings. Looks like we may be going home after all.” Mirror Lorca appears on viewscreen. The crew won’t die today because Burnham chose to be with him. “I am where I need to be, Saru,” Burnham states. “This is my place.”
The battle is on. Phasers blast the throne room. Emperor Georgiou fights Mirror Lorca, Mirror Landry and Lorca’s loyalists. Mirror Lorca does everything possible not to harm Burnham. Burnham finally gets the upper hand. “We would’ve helped you get home,” she says. “If you had asked. That’s who Starfleet is. That’s who I am. That’s why I won’t kill you now.” Enter the emperor. “But I will,” she declares, and runs a sword through his back. Mirror Lorca stumbles toward Burnham. “We could have…” And, with that, Emperor Georgiou shoves Mirror Lorca into the core below.”
Emperor Georgiou and Burnham prepare to part ways. “Find a way home,” the emperor implores. “Live.” Enemy forces approach. Meanwhile, Saru orders Burnham transported back to Discovery. As the process begins, Burnham pulls the emperor next to her.
It’s time for Discovery to jump. Stamets steps into the spore chamber. Discovery enters the Charon’s interior, heading toward the core. Fire! Spores everywhere. A bubble of sorts protects the Discovery. “The ambient mycelial energy is interacting with the drive,” Tilly announces. The spore drive engages. It’s working, Stamets shouts. The network is regenerating. Something’s not quite right, though. Stamets doesn’t know where to go.
In the mycelial network, Dr. Culber comes to Stamets. “The network is a gift,” he tells Stamets. “It’s the thread that weaves life through space.” The doctor tells his partner to follow the music, their beloved opera. “The way,” Stamets marvels, “it’s clearing in the forest.” Discovery emerges on the other side, safely. “Thanks, Hugh,” Stamets says, before ordering Tilly to figure out where – and when – they are.
It turns out they overshot… by nine months. Saru scans the war map. “If the map is to be believed, it appears… the Klingons have won the war.”
Next on Discovery...
In "The War Without, The War Within," Burnham and the U.S.S. Discovery crew are faced with the harsh reality of the war during their absence. In order to move forward, Starfleet must use unconventional tactics and sources to take their next action against the Klingons.
The trailer for “The War Without, The War Within” heralds the return of Admiral Cornwell and Sarek. Cornwell divulges that the fleet is down by a full third, while Sarek says “Starfleet tactics have failed us.” The latest looming fight is personal to Burnham, who notes, “I started this war, and I needed to finish it.” And it looks like two unlikely figures – Emperor Georgiou and Sarek – are about to team up.
When Star Trek: Discovery ends, After Trek begins. Stream it Sundays at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT. Joining host Matt Mira will be: