Welcome to another week where we recap, react to, and ruminate about Star Trek: Discovery. Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 11 – “Perpetual Infinity” took us on quite the ride through time, space, and emotions.
This post will mostly contain minor spoilers and a medium-ish spoiler that can’t be avoided. So, don’t read ahead until you have watched Episode 11.
As with previous posts in this Star Trek: Discovery series, there won’t be a lengthy recap, but instead of we will focus on the basics of what we learn. Once again, I’ll be pulling reactions and ruminations from my Star Trek community.
Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 11: “Perpetual Infinity” Recap
In Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 11 – “Perpetual Infinity,” Burnham wakes up in sickbay, desperate in the hope that who she saw as the Red Angel wasn’t true and that the Red Angel is truly her. Her hope was quickly dashed when it was confirmed that the Red Angle is her mom, Dr. Gabrielle Burnham (Dr. B).
Burnham wants to immediately go back down and talk with her mom, but Pike tells her no for some very valid reasons. Realizing that Burnham needs something to do, he gives her the task of going through her mom’s journal to learn why Dr. B has been jumping through time only to be pulled back to the distant future when all sentient life is destroyed.
Throughout the episode, Burnham and Spock do a lot more reconciliation.
Culber gives Burnham some great insight into how her mom must be feeling with everything she has gone through in the last 20 years of linear time. In the process, we learn a bit more about what Culber is going through as he moves through trauma.
Dr. B lets it be known her reasons for bringing the sphere directly in the path of the Discovery. All of the data that the sphere transferred to the Discovery needs to be destroyed before Control can assimilate it. It’s that knowledge that Control eventually acquired that leads to the destruction of all sentient life. Dr. B’s entire mission has been to destroy it.
As all of this is happening, Control tells Leland “Resistance is futile” “Struggle is pointless” before injecting him with nanites or some similar tech and taking control—no pun intended—of his body. Once Control is inside of Leland, it orders Section 31 to intercept the data that is being downloaded to Dr. B to destroy, making up some reasons as to why it is necessary.
Georgiou and Tyler become suspicious. Eventually, they figure out that Leland is no longer Leland. Control and Georgiou get into some impressive hand-to-hand combat. Control tries to kill Tyler as Tyler is trying to stop the data transfer. Dr. B is pulled out of the linear present time without the Red Angel suit after she and Burnham got to have a very touching moment.
Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 11: “Perpetual Infinity” Reactions
My Star Trek community is still moving to its new home, but we did manage to have a bit of a conversation this week:
G.H. Brothers: Am I the only one in COMPLETE and utter denial that Pike will be leaving at the conclusion of this season? Every passing week being better than the last just makes that fact harder to deal with. So glad we got to spend a significant amount of time with this character for the first time in over 50 years. Jeff Hunter only doing the one episode, and Bruce Greenwood only being a supporting character in Star Trek ’09 always made me feel Pike unfairly got the short end of the stick. Glad we could finally right that wrong.
Uh oh, Jules. Control saying “struggle is pointless” sounds a hell of a lot like “resistance is futile” to me! And then an injection of nanites? Yep. It’s looking like we’re 1001% heading in that direction. Blah.
Me: 1) As I wrote the other week, Pike is quickly becoming my favorite captain. Like 99% there. I’m going to wait until the season is finished to crown him such. I am really going to hate to see him go. As Jaimie said in another thread, it would be nice if he got his own show. I’d watch the heck out of that.
2) If Control turns out not to be the origins of the Borg, I’ll be a little put off. It fits so perfectly and there is no reason for us to see physical Borg at the end of this season. They can just do a quick scene with the Queen making some of her collective, finally giving us a canon origin story.
3) There were so many great human stories this week. It was very good that they mainly focused on Burnham and her mother, while also using it to give us more story for other characters. Like seeing Spock and Burnham reconcile even more. Culber being able to give a bit more info about how he is feeling by giving some insight into how Burnham’s mom is likely to be feeling after all of her experiences. Pike being the perfect mix of firm in his orders while exhibiting compassion by giving Burnham something to do even if it’s not what she wants. Tyler showing his thinking isn’t as gray as people may think and has lines that cannot be crossed. Georgiou has compassion somewhere buried in that facade built by having lived in a Mirror Universe. And Burnham’s mom’s willingness to sacrifice everything to save humanity (more the needs of the many).
Another thing I really enjoyed, how the crew supports each other and lifts each other up during very challenging times. Everyone is there for everyone else to support them in the best ways possible so that they can move forward and get done what needs to be done while not diminishing or dismissing the pain and trauma they are each working through. There is one caveat to this and that is the Stamets/Culber relationship, but my hope is that Stamets will soon make an honest attempt to try to understand what Culber is going through
I’m also very glad that Tyler didn’t die because that would have been rage-inducing.
Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 11: “Perpetual Infinity” Ruminations
Once again, there were a lot of emotions in “Perpetual Infinity.” However, the emotions had the same theme of family, both biological and chosen, and the lengths one will go to in order to protect them. It’s the other side of self-sacrifice that I wrote about last week. It’s the healthy type of self-sacrifice because it is returned fully.
We have watched many different crews throughout the history of Star Trek, and so far, this crew is my favorite. Especially in Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery.
They have this extra bit of cohesiveness that comes as the result of shared trauma and the need to completely rely on each other to stay alive. And there is conflict, but the conflict comes from a different place that we’ve seen in other series. It’s a conflict that feels natural and real. The type of conflict you feel safe having with those you trust and love the most. The type of conflict you can only have if you’re absolutely certain, or at least have 100% faith, that the other person isn’t going to leave as a result.
In the past, I’ve had characters with whom I strongly relate: Spock, Data, and Wesley Crusher. There have been characters that I deeply empathize with, even if I don’t see myself in them: Tripp, Seven, and The Doctor. This is the first time in a Star Trek series that my heart has ached for pretty much all of the characters: Pike, Spock, Burnham, Tyler, Stamets, Culber, Tilly, and the entire crew when they lost one of their own. I may even ache for Georgiou one day.
So far, this season is the most human season of Star Trek in existence and I will die on this hill if you try to fight me about it.
As an end note, my Star Trek community is in the process of moving with the upcoming shutdown of Google+. You can find us and join us at The United Federation of Planets. It’s free to join but there are paid options with extra features to help offset the costs of hosting and building the apps. The Android app is now available and so is the iOS app.
Until next Sunday, Live Long and Prosper!