Whenever we think things cannot get more emotional or complicated, we’re proven wrong! This week’s episode “The Red Angel” barely gave us time to catch out breath, as it contained a lot of revelations and more emotions than we could handle. Frankly, we can feel that we’re headed towards an epic season’s finale!
A gripping intro: The crew says goodbye to Airiam
The episode starts with Airiam’s memorial service. We listen in as crew members share what Airiam meant to them. Clearly her loss has a deep impact on the crew. This emotional scene seems to set the mood for the entire episode which focuses a lot on individual characters struggling to deal with their own issues and come to terms with everything that has happened.
The Top 3 revelations
The Red Angel is Michael Burnham from the future or… wait, it’s her mother???
It’s Tilly that makes the shocking discovery when finding a file containing the bio-neural signature of the Red Angel in Airiam’s system: “Michael, it’s you!” Dr. Culber is quick to confirm this information, pointing out why biometric scans can never be wrong:
“Humans have a few neural wildcards that anything artificially generated couldn’t replicate.”
Did anyone else notice that he looks as if he’s having a revelation about his own situation while sharing this little fact? Good for him! Spock also readily accepts the fact that Michael seems to be the Red Angel, even while Pike is still baffled:
Pike: We’re saying that Michael, our Michael Burnham, is gonna wake up one day, access time-travel technology that doesn’t exist yet, and take it upon herself to save the galaxy?
Spock: “That supposition fits her emotional profile rather precisely. Particularly her drive to take responsibility for situations often beyond her control.”
Michael: Thank you for sharing that with the group, Spock.”
Once again, Spock’s banter with Michael is hilarious. When Michael questions why she wouldn’t just say so if she knew about an apocalypse, Spock replies teasingly: “Perhaps you simply have a penchant for the dramatic.”
Just when everybody has come to term with the Red Angel’s identity, Michael is in for the biggest surprise of her life. In the final scene, fully expecting to come face to face with her future self, she is instead faced with her mother! We didn’t see that coming!
Section 31 initiated “Project Daedalus”
Remember Airiam’s last words? As it turns out, “Project Daedalus” wasn’t too difficult to find. We learn that it is Section 31’s very own project, started as a means to explore time-travel and gain a strategic advance. The Red Angel’s suit? It also belongs to Section 31 and was invented during a “temporal arms race” with the Klingons. It was also believed to have been destroyed by them. Now Section 31 wants it back at all costs – no surprise here.
The Red Angel appears whenever Michael is in mortal danger
Spock finds out that the Red Angel always appears whenever Michael is facing danger. Consequently, the easiest solution to capture the Red Angel is by putting Michael in a life-threatening situation. Oh, the joys of being Michael Burnham! Catching the Red Angel seems to be the only way of stopping Control, so that’s why everybody decides to go through with the rather crazy, not to mention downright dangerous plan of using Michael as bait. She only has to be on the very brink of death for the plan to work out, so what’s the fuzz?
Great character moments
There were so many great character scenes in this episode! Here are some that really affected us.
Michael and Leland: The truth about the death of Michael’s parents
Okay, he really had it coming! This week’s episode sees Leland putting on his big-boy pants and owning up to his mistakes. When Michael confronts him, pointing out that she deserves to know all the facts about “Project Daedalus”, he finally admits that Michael’s parents are dead because he was “young, ambitious and careless.”
Having always believed that her parents were dead because of her wanting to see a supernova, Michael sees red and punches him in the face – twice in fact: One for her mother, one for her father.
Spock and Michael: Finding closure (?)
When hearing what transpired between Michael and Leland, Spock comes to talk to her. He finds her in the gym taking her anger out on a sparring dummy. Spock tries to get through to her, telling her once again what he already tried to make her see previously: That she had been a child, that she cannot be hold accountable for how she behaved as a child, that she isn’t responsible for every single bad thing that has happened since then. Finally, he accepts her apology while also making it clear that she has nothing to apologize for. See… was that so hard? Apparently, yes.
By the way: The way they sit next to each other, still a bit apart, but with the promise of closure, certainly tugs at our heartstrings. And it doesn’t help that Spock says the sweetest things:
I do wish I’d been there when you struck him. I believe I would have found the moment… satisfying.”
Yes Spock, we understand. It was deeply satisfying for us as well!
Hugh Culber and Amiral Cornwell: Talking about love and walking new roads
It’s no secret that Admiral Cornwell used to be a therapist and as the ship is lacking a counselor, Hugh seeks her out – a great idea! The admiral proves to be quite empathetic and it is obvious that she gets Hugh’s issues and the identity problems he is currently facing.
In a chilling moment, Hugh admits to having “never felt more along in [his] life.” And while he realizes that Paul Stamets loves him and also remembers loving him, he isn’t sure about his feelings for him in the here and now. However, the one thing he feels confident about is the fact that he doesn’t want to hurt Paul.
When they speak about the nature of love, Admiral Cornwell tells him:
Love is a choice, Hugh. And one doesn’t just make that choice once. One makes it again and again”
She also gives him the following piece of advice:
The only way to make a new road is to walk it.”
Although this scene was a short one, it was really intense and hurt so good!
Michael and Ash: Finally reconciled
It’s a moment a lot of us have been waiting for: In what is a bittersweet and utterly soft scene, Michael and Ash finally reconcile. She apologizes for lashing out at him and he forgives her. They then give in to their feelings and kiss. Michael also opens up to him about her vulnerabilities, admitting she’s scared. We feel like this could be a new chance for them and can’t wait to see where their relationship takes them.
Even though some question marks remain about certain aspects of the plot (Why did everyone so readily believe that Michael was the Red Angel? Also, why didn’t Section 31 speak up much earlier about Project Daedalus? That could have saved everyone so much time and trouble!), “The Red Angel” was a good episode that we mainly enjoyed because of all the great character scenes.
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Star Trek: Discovery airs Thursdays at CBS All Access
Featured Image: Michael Gibson/CBS All Access