This article contains spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery season four, episode six.
Inspired by the Akaali orb given to her by Felix during the evacuation of the asteroid colony in “The Examples,” Captain Burnham creates her own holographic family tree whose branches include Saru, Captain Georgiou, Spock, Emperor Georgiou, and both her natural and adoptive parents. Michael informs Cleveland “Book” Booker that Discovery will be entering the subspace rift left behind by the DMA, news which quells Book’s hope that the ship might jump outside of Federation space to investigate the anomaly.
Saru briefs the captain about Starfleet’s previous encounters with similar phenomena, mentioning missions experienced by the iconic crews of Enterprise and Voyager. Just as Captain Picard learned in The Next Generation’s “Force of Nature,” Discovery can not approach the region at warp, while Stamets rules out the use of the spore drive over fears about the rift’s impact on the mycelial network. Burnham and Saru also discuss Zora’s newfound emotions, an evolution which seems to have been organic. However, Zora can tell that the captain feels uneasy about the situation.
On the bridge, Burnham explains that their mission’s goal is to gather clues that could lead them to the DMA’s creators. Discovery passes through the rift’s barrier and enters an area that appears to be devoid of anything. Star Trek fans may initially think of Captain Janeway’s journeys in “Night” or “The Void,” but Ensign Adira Tal theorizes that Discovery’s sensors are simply not detecting whatever is out there. A DOT is launched, but the drone slowly disintegrates as it reaches a toxic boundary. The crew fires a photonic flare, allowing them to calculate that this perimeter will hit the vessel in approximately thirty minutes.
In the forward lounge, Gray asks Zora about the dilemma, but the A.I. is feeling overwhelmed by a rush of data from the internal sensors. Gray sets out to help Zora clear her thoughts by employing a Trill game as a form of distraction. We learn two intriguing facts during the contest: Zora selected her name for its meaning (‘dawn’ or a ‘new day’), while Gray reveals that he chose his own name, as well.
Unable to reinforce Discovery’s shields or complete the scientific mission, Burnham opts for a rare retreat, but there’s not enough navigational information to accurately chart a return course. Despite the chief astromycologist’s objection, the captain determines they must jump out of the region. With Stamets needed to monitor systems, Book takes on the responsibility of operating the spore drive. Unfortunately, an energy surge strikes the Kwejian and Stamets is forced to abort the sequence.
Although he appears unharmed, Book begins to see visions of his deceased father, who criticizes his son for staying with Discovery rather than leaving to hunt down those responsible for Kwejian’s annihilation. Doctor Culber determines the illusion to be a physiological result of the surge that will eventually subside. As for the mycelial network, Stamets locates holes that seem to have been caused by the same thing currently besieging the starship. On a positive note, the energy that passed through Book left behind trace amounts that could shed light on the void.
A sudden hull breach forces Zora to erect a containment field that prevents Ensign Cortez from reaching safety. Though not as distressed as The Doctor was in Voyager’s “Latent Image,” Zora clearly feels guilty over Cortez’s death. Gray comforts Zora, quickly realizing that Zora had been able to detect the breach with external sensors. Gray and Zora brief the bridge crew, who propose that the A.I. could guide them out of danger by following a signal sent through the void.
Book continues to face off against his hallucinations, and his father attempts to fuel anger within his son. Stamets determines that the particles left in Book’s brain originated in the galactic barrier, the energy field surrounding our galaxy that the U.S.S. Enterprise tangled with in “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” “By Any Other Name,” and “Is There in Truth No Beauty?” According to this evidence, the DMA and its creators must have come from outside of the Milky Way.
Stamets asserts that pinpointing the highest concentration of these extragalactic particles will allow them to find their way out of the void. With shields failing, Burnham orders the crew to suspend themselves in the pattern buffer (think Scotty’s return in TNG’s “Relics”) for the return trip. Burnham puts on an environmental suit and remains on the bridge, consoling Zora and witnessing the plasma barrier tearing away pieces of the hull. As the captain loses consciousness, she entrusts Zora with rematerializing the crew.
Burnham awakes in sickbay to learn that the entire crew survived the ordeal, but Discovery requires a pit stop at the Archer Spacedock for repairs. Saru is dazzled by the speed with which programmable matter is used to patch the ship, but Book remains preoccupied with the hatred he feels toward the DMA’s creators. Saru responds to the Kwejian’s statement by citing his own struggle in overcoming the pain the Ba’ul’s culling efforts had inflicted upon his family, a difficulty the Kelpien had previously brought up in “All is Possible.” In the captain’s quarters, Zora marvels at the family tree that Michael assembled, deciding to create one of her own from images of Discovery’s crew.
“Stormy Weather” advances season four’s narrative by chronicling Zora’s continued evolution and disclosing that the DMA’s creators do not hail from our own galaxy. Captain Burnham and the artificial intelligence establish a unique understanding with each other, yet Book’s illusory father tries to erode his son’s relationship by claiming the captain will always put Starfleet before Kwejian. Since Stamets believes that a more in-depth analysis of the energy particles will unveil the whereabouts of the DMA’s creators, we are closer to determining the anomaly’s mysterious origins than ever before. Stay tuned as we continue to boldly go…
Jay Stobie (he/him) is a freelance writer and consultant who has contributed articles to StarTrek.com, Star Trek Explorer, and Star Trek Magazine, as well as to Star Wars Insider and StarWars.com. Jay serves as a BoldlyGo Campaign Ambassador for The Roddenberry Foundation. Jay can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @StobiesGalaxy.
Star Trek: Discovery currently streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. Internationally, the series is available on Paramount+ in Australia, Latin America and the Nordics, and on Pluto TV in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom on the Pluto TV Sci-Fi channel. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave. Star Trek: Discovery is distributed by ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group.