If you’ve been watching Star Trek: Discovery this season, you know that somewhere between Burnham’s mutiny and Stamets’ spore drive, we ended up in the Mirror Universe — and not just any Mirror Universe — the one where Starfleet is known as the Terran Empire and all of our favorite Star Trek characters are crazy, warmongering alternate versions of themselves.
When the crew of the Discovery arrived in this Mirror Universe in the episode “Into the Forest I Go,” they had no idea what was ahead for them, or who was ahead, including fallen characters and former Captains. As Discovery is on the verse of concluding its first season, lets take a look at the craziest elements in the Mirror Universe, so far.
Georgiou is Alive & Ruling
The death of Captain Philippa Georgiou was a tragedy. Georgiou was a beloved Starfleet captain, a woman who believed in diplomacy and Michael Burnham’s mentor. Her death catalyzed the war with the Klingons and sent Burnham to prison.
When the U.S.S. Discovery arrived in the Mirror Universe, they quickly learned that things were different there and that the dead could still be alive. While Burnham hoped Georgiou would be alive in this Universe, there’s no way she knew that Georgiou would turn out to be the ruthless Emperor of the Terran Empire!
When the pair came face to face, Burnham was in complete shock. She felt equal parts excitement and equal parts terror. She quickly had to figure out if she could lie to a woman she once loved and served under. Running out of options, Burnham finally revealed her identity. Georgiou strangely spared Burnham’s life (and murdered nearly everyone else in the room), even though Georgiou knew Burnham wasn’t her Burnham.
Tilly is Captain
The Mirror Universe doesn’t just bring the dead back to life, it gives characters completely different personalities and lives. For instance, when searching the Mirror Universe logs of the Discovery, the crew identified that Tilly was not a Cadet, but a captain — and not just any captain — captain of the ISS Discovery.
Tilly wants to be a captain one day, so the Mirror Universe was a bit of wish fulfillment for her. Tilly wasn’t ready to be a ruthless captain though and she had to pretend numerous times to be the embodiment of her Mirror self, “Captain Killy.” Tilly looked fierce and played the part to perfection, especially when she had to insult the other Captain over the coms. Her delivery of Commander Riker’s iconic phrase, “what the hell,” was just brilliant.
The Mirror Universe Tilly is also known as “The Slayer of Sorna Prime,” “The Witch of Wurna Minor,” and “Captain Killy.”
Lorca is From the Mirror Universe
Here’s the big one: the Mirror Universe is supposed to contain doppelgängers — not return them. Gabriel Lorca was supposed to be a Starfleet captain. He was supposed to be the sole survivor of a Klingon attack. He was supposed to be this great man from the Prime Universe. However, as Georgiou revealed in the final moments of “Vaulted Ambition,” that the Lorca we have come to know is actually the Mirror Universe version of himself.
While we don’t know how Lorca made it to the Prime Universe or exactly why, this character reveal came as a huge shock. This man somehow impersonated a Starfleet Officer, commandeered the Discovery, pulled Burnham out of prison and used the Spore Drive for his own nefarious and potentially dangerous purposes.
Voq Fights Himself
In the midst of all the “Is Ash Tyler really the Klingon Voq” debate, Tyler actually came face to face with Mirror Universe VoQ in the episode “The Wolf Inside”. When Burnham went to negotiate with the Rebels, she met the Rebel leader, Voq. Burnham was surprised to see T’Kuvma’s torchbearer, a Klingon who swore himself to purity in the Prime Universe, working with different species, like Vulcans and Andorians.
During the meeting, Voq’s presence triggered Tyler and he tried to kill Voq. Now that we know that Tyler really was Prime Universe Voq, it’s crazy to think that Voq was really fighting himself. It was a great scene that presented a visual metaphor for the battle Voq/Tyler was waging inside himself.
Burnham Ate a Kelpien
The grossest and most harrowing twist of the Mirror Universe was the enslavement of Saru’s species, the Kelpiens. On board the Shenzhou, Saru was Burnham’s slave. He bathed her, fed, and served her. His people had no names, but Burnham called him Saru anyways.
When Burnham reunited with Georgiou, Georgiou asked Burnham to “pick out a Kelpien.” Burnham likely thought she was choosing someone to serve her aboard the Emperor’s ship. This was not the case. Burnham was picking out which Kelpien she wanted to eat! At dinner Georgiou even offered to handfeed Burnham the threat ganglia! No wonder Saru is afraid of her!
Star Trek: Discovery airs Sundays at 5:30PST/8:30EST on CBS All Access and globally on Netflix the following day.