Spoiler alert for Star Trek: Discovery episode “Despite Yourself:”
Star Trek: Discovery returned tonight with a shocking death. After jumping into a mirror universe, the crew of the Discovery found themselves in an unfamiliar world. While running tests on Lt. Ash Tyler, who was re-experiencing traumatic PTSD, Tyler killed Dr. Culber. It was brutal death that no one saw except Stamets, the love of Culber’s life.
Tyler’s trauma was brought on by a conversation with his former torturer, L’Rell. In the winter finale, we saw Tyler experiencing memories of his trauma — memories that included both pain and pleasure. During this episode, he remembered a surgical procedure. It was this procedure he wanted Dr. Culber to investigate.
Tyler is Not Himself
Tyler’s surgical flashbacks aligned with a popular fan theory about Star Trek: Discovery — that Tyler is really the albino Klingon Voq. Culber confirmed Tyler’s fears that his body had indeed undergone massive surgery. Culber also explained that Tyler could be a personality created by the Klingons. This statement is what made Tyler so enraged that he killed Culber.
Something else happened that all but confirmed the theory that Tyler is actually Voq. When L’Rell and Tyler exchanged words and he let her out of containment, she began to recite a prayer in Klingon. Tyler knew every word. L’Rell even said, “Why would I want to hurt you? You know what we did. We did it together.”
L’Rell was surprised when the Klingon prayer didn’t restore Voq’s personality right away. She even asked him “What is your name?” So, technically, we’re still in the woods about Tyler’s true identity, but we know that he IS a Klingon.
Sadly these revelations came at the expense of Culber’s life. Although, now that Discovery is in a mirror universe, we could see Culber again. I hope we do. Wilson Cruz has been a delight on this show and it would be tragic to lose him now.
Star Trek: Discovery airs Sundays at 5:30PST/8:30EST on CBS All Access and globally on Netflix the following day.