Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

Spock and Burnham head to Talos IV, where the process of healing Spock forces the siblings to confront their troubled past. Stamets desperately tries to reconnect with an increasingly disconnected Hugh, while Tyler struggles to shed the crew’s suspicions of him due to his past as Voq.



"Personal log, Captain Christopher Pike. Stardate 1532.9. Still no word from Commander Burnham, but I know she won't give up until she finds her brother Spock. As much as it pains me to think the worst of any Starfleet division, I do hope she locates him before Section 31 does."

Aboard NCIA-93, Leland and Georgiou confer with members of Starfleet Command; Admiral Patar tells Leland that Spock is to be apprehended as soon as possible, and that in helping him escape, Burnham has committed another act of mutiny. Leland accepts responsibility for the security breach; the admiral concurs with this, and emphasizes that Spock's foreknowledge of the Red Angel and the red bursts constitutes vital intelligence. The Andorian Admiral asks if they are tracking Burnham's shuttle, to which Leland replies that they only had a trajectory lock for a few minutes before losing its signal; Georgiou adds that Burnham disabled the transponder, and would likely hide the shuttle's warp trail. As Spock is in need of medical attention, Georgiou concludes their list of destinations would be limited, and suggests looking into any off-world Vulcan medical facilities. Patar adds that Control's threat assessments would prioritize them, and asks for any further suggestions – clarifying that her question was for Georgiou when Leland makes to answer. Georgiou suggests putting out a Federation-wide alert for Burnham's shuttle, with the exception of the USS Discovery. When the Tellarite Admiral asks why, Georgiou points out that they don't want personal entanglements to complicate the search, and that Burnham is likely to reach out to Pike for help. Patar asks Leland if he has an agent aboard Discovery; Leland confirms that Specialist Tyler is aboard. The admiral instructs Leland to inform them if Burnham contacts Discovery before closing the channel. As they return to the bridge, Georgiou admits to Leland that she's bothered by the reliance on computerized threat assessments, and that in her universe, the artificial intelligence answered to her rather than the other way around; Leland sarcastically asks how that worked out for her. Since she was "on a roll", he adds, perhaps she could find a reason for Discovery to stand down and relay the orders to them.

Georgiou contacts Pike and Tyler, telling them that Section 31 would find Spock and Burnham, and will have a "lovely time" answering questions. In the meantime, since Discovery was forced to destroy the modified probe, Georgiou instructs Pike to comb through the debris to find out what it was made from and why it was trying to access the ship's computer. Pike is skeptical, asking if Georgiou was sure that Burnham received the hails from her ship and deliberately ignored them. When Georgiou asks why she would lie, Tyler replies that Burnham always had a logical motivation for her actions. Georgiou emphasizes that, no matter how Tyler may feel about Burnham, she is aiding and abetting a Starfleet officer accused of murder. Pike points out that Spock is also Burnham's brother, and that there were many approaches to the issue – and that Discovery could be a more valuable asset to the search. Georgiou makes clear that Discovery's job is to find more intel on the probe, adding almost as an aside that Section 31 needs to know immediately if Burnham contacts them, before cutting the transmission. Pike tells Tyler that his patience for discretion is worn thin, and demands to know his exact relationship with Burnham. Tyler replies it is one hundred percent professional, but admits that at one point he had been in love with her, and that she was "not entirely disinterested" in him. However, he felt he violated her trust because he wasn't who she thought he was (referring to his "dual identity" as Voq), and she moved on. Pike is concerned that Tyler's feelings could get in the way of the mission, to which Tyler is emphatic that they won't.

Meanwhile, aboard her shuttle at high warp, Burnham reviews the information on file about Talos IV – how it had a thriving population until it was devastated by nuclear war, and that the surviving indigenous population developed powerful psychokinetic abilities; the computer also adds that travel to Talos is prohibited by Starfleet. Burnham administers a hypospray to Spock and tells him they are approaching Talos, and that she hopes he finds what he is looking for. As they enter the restricted space, Burnham is astonished to find they are approaching a black hole, and attempts to reverse course to escape it. Spock rushes to the controls and holds Burnham back, taking the shuttle towards the singularity. As the computer counts down to structural integrity failure, the black hole disappears, showing the planet before them; the black hole was a Talosian illusion. Burnham realizes it was a test, and comments they were "really on the other side of the looking glass now".

Act One[]

Paul Stamets takes his still-disoriented partner, Dr. Hugh Culber, through the corridors of Discovery, commenting that things should still feel familiar. "More or less" is Culber's quiet reply. Stamets believes that they should take advantage of this opportunity, adding that Culber wouldn't believe how much personal time he had accumulated. Culber believes full well, as Stamets was always in his lab, even weekends and nights; Stamets awkwardly notes that it was "good news" his memory was fully intact. At that moment, both men spot Tyler – the man who had killed Culber – walking the corridors. Stamets promises to make a formal request to have Tyler's quarters moved from that deck, so that Culber wouldn't have to see his face every day. As they arrive at their quarters, Culber does not follow Stamets inside; he watches Tyler walking into a nearby turbolift, and they briefly make eye contact before the turbolift doors close.

On the bridge, Pike asks Airiam about the audit of the ship's data core. Airiam reports that the probe used multiple SQL injections, but she was finding no compromised files. Saru hands Pike a list of facilities he had asked for; Pike orders him to start with Quiliam Station, and work from there. Tyler recognizes Quiliam as a Vulcan hospital, meaning that Pike is looking for Spock and Burnham despite Georgiou's orders to collect debris from the probe. Pike replies that they are collecting debris from the probe, and directs him to Tilly, who invites Tyler to step into her "office". She reviews the footage of DSC 05 being attacked by the squid-like probe, followed by footage post-self-destruct. They had recovered one metric ton of material from the debris – and all of it is from the shuttle, with none at all from the probe. Pike remarks that they don't know how that's possible, but points out they're doing the job they were given. Pike understood that Section 31 wanted them to stay put, but he was not going to ignore a crisis involving his officers.

On Talos IV, Burnham lands the shuttle, telling Spock she was going to have a look around; Spock remains silent, as he has throughout the trip. Burnham grabs a phaser pistol and steps out onto the surface. All around her is a chiming sound from blue-leaved plants in the vicinity; when she touches the leaf of one, the chiming stops for a moment. She suddenly sees a woman approaching the shuttle, and hurries back down. Burnham holds her at phaser point and asks if she is Talosian; the woman replies that she is Human, but a "permanent resident". She turns to Spock, identifying herself as Vina, asking if he recognized her. When Burnham demands to know who she is, Vina explains she was an old "friend" of Captain Pike, and asks if he was coming back as well. She explains she had been on a survey ship that had crashed on Talos long ago, and that the Talosians "put her back together". The Talosians communicate with her psychically, and Vina relays to Burnham to transport herself and Spock below the surface so they could examine him. Burnham realizes that this was why Spock brought them here, and asks Vina for the coordinates.

Beaming into the Talosians' refuge, Burnham is surprised to see Vina walk up to them, and asks if she is real – to which the Keeper answers that she is very real, as he materializes with two other Talosians. The Keeper apologizes for the difficulty entering the atmosphere, as illusion was their best defense. Burnham asks if they could only speak telepathically; the Keeper replies aloud that they would use the "ancient way" if she preferred. Burnham then asks why Spock would risk their lives coming here; scanning him telepathically, another Talosian says that Spock is experiencing time as a fluid rather than linear construct, and that conventional logic is unable to help him interpret such an experience. Burnham realizes that Spock knew the Talosians could help him; the Keeper confirms that Spock knew conventional medicine would not be able to help him, and that if the variance continued, he would lose his mind, permanently. When Burnham asks how this change of experience could have happened, the Keeper replies that it would be easier to show her his thoughts rather than explain it, and asks for something in return: The memories of what caused the rift between Spock and Burnham on Vulcan, the full experience of their childhood conflict. Burnham is incensed, asking if they wanted to experience her and Spock's pain for their entertainment. The Keeper explains that this was how they understood, how they had survived. "Survive another way," Burnham bluntly replies. The third Talosian explains that there was no other way to save Spock's sanity. Vina advises Burnham not to resist; the Talosians dive deeply into "our minds, our hopes, our memories, our fears, even our dreams". One of the Talosians removes the illusion of Vina's youth and beauty, showing her to be scarred and deformed. She explains this was how the Talosians found her, and gave her the choice – live as she was now, or as she had been before. To save Spock's mind, the Talosians would have to disengage him from logic, but Burnham must be the one who pays the price. The Keeper asks if they may watch Burnham relive the memory. Burnham reluctantly concedes, but demands to see Spock's mind first. The Keeper agrees.

Within his memories, Spock explains to Burnham that he had begun the night she had run away, braving the dangers of the forests of Vulcan's Forge. That was when the Red Angel appeared to him the first time; he had thought it was a dream or a premonition, because the Angel had shown him Burnham's death – killed by a beast of the wilds. Spock went to Sarek and Amanda and explained where he had seen her, allowing Sarek to rescue her. Years later, the Angel appeared to him again, guiding him to a remote ice world where it showed him "the end". Spock performed a mind meld with the Angel, showing him the red bursts and powerful projectiles causing devastation to numerous planets. As the memory fades, Burnham collapses next to Spock, stunned and pained by what she had seen, and looks up at Spock. "Now you see," he tells her, before she passes out.

Act Two[]

In his and Stamets' quarters on Discovery, Culber looks at his reflection in the mirror as Stamets enters with dinner. Culber is surprised that Stamets kept all of his things. Stamets had wanted to send some things back to Culber's mother, but found it was too hard; he wasn't ready to let Culber go. He then serves up the first course – asopao, based on Culber's recipe. Culber admits that he has the memory of it being his favorite food, but it felt unfamiliar to him; all of his senses still feel disconnected to him. Stamets tries to rationalize his disconnect as a kind of "neutralizing shock", and tries to "normalize" things; Culber is incredulous at any of it being "normal", remarking that Stamets had never prepared dinner in their quarters before. Stamets again asks how he can help. Culber explodes, admitting that he doesn't know what to do, but that Stamets kept pushing him to "feel something", expecting him to pick up where they left off as if nothing happened. A shaken Stamets admits that losing Culber was the worst thing that had happened in his life, but he was trying to treat it as it was: a miracle, one he had dreamed about, but is unable to say it had been since Culber died; he asks why Culber is so angry with him. Culber coldly replies that was a good question, before storming out of their quarters.

In his ready room, Pike pours two drinks for himself and Tyler, while reminding the Section 31 liaison that it was his ship and, more importantly, his crew, and that he would not call off the search and leave two of them out there, particularly when one is accused of a crime Pike is not convinced he committed. Tyler, speaking from experience, replies that when one is not in their right mind, they were capable of anything. Pike agrees that may be so with Tyler, but not with Spock. Tyler warns Pike that the entirety of Section 31, not just Leland and Georgiou, have their eyes on Pike and Discovery, and that the search would help them find Spock and Burnham and "bury them". He advises that Pike should trust Burnham's instincts. Pike is confused: If Tyler trusts Burnham more than he does Section 31, why does he work for them? Tyler replies that he knows 31 works in gray areas, and he knows they're dedicated people working for the safety of the Federation; given what he's been through and what he has become, he believes he can be of service. Later, walking the corridors, Pike is approached by Saru, who tells him that someone onboard has accessed the transceiver array and sent out three encrypted, and unauthorized, subspace transmissions – large bursts with petabytes of data. Saru is unable to determine where it was being sent, but Pike believes they can find out who, as not just anyone could access the array. Whoever it is, Saru assures him, they will find out.

On Talos IV, Burnham awakens with a start, with Spock standing some distance away from her, once again controlled and lucid. She mentions how he had seen the Red Angel. "First as a child, then again a few months ago," Spock confirms. She asks who or what it is; Spock replies that if he knew, they would not be there. Burnham clarifies she was asking rhetorically, to which Spock tells her to at least ask something he hadn't asked himself already. He wonders if he has a "valuable question", to which she sarcastically asks about his beard. Burnham then becomes serious, thinking on the devastated planets they had seen, including Andoria and Earth, wondering if the Angel was a time traveler. Spock believes the engineering comprehension needed to build its suit made it likely, as well as the fact that some of the events the Angel had shown him had not yet happened – possible futures, which could be determined by the actions of both himself and Burnham. When Burnham begins to say there was so much she wanted to talk to him about, Spock coldly rebuffs her, telling her he was not there to absolve her, and that it was not about her feelings. Burnham is indignant, saying she had risked everything to bring him there. Spock is not surprised that she feels that way, but states it was he who brought her there to see what he had seen. When Burnham asks how her seeing helped him, he replies he required someone with "context" of his timeline, and of him personally. In other words, Burnham says, he needed family. "An interesting choice of words, coming from you," Spock replies, before continuing, as they had a "great responsibility at hand". He explains that the Angel had a quantum field around it he was unable to infiltrate, but the thoughts he received from it in the mind meld were in fact Human, much to Burnham's surprise. Spock adds that there was loneliness and desperation, and that she would need to see more. Vina explains that their "hosts" would safeguard her mind, offering to let her rest before they continued. Burnham waves that off, telling them to show her more.

Spock's memories turn now to the psychiatric unit on Starbase 5, as he furiously scribbles equations, maps, and other data on the floor of his cell. A psychiatrist enters his cell, accompanied by two security officers. The psychiatrist explains to Spock that there have been signals detected across the galaxy, just like the ones he described. Spock is taken aback to realize that it wasn't a hallucination at all, but a premonition; when asked what he thinks the signals are, he believes they are an attempt to communicate. The psychiatrist believes that perhaps it's something that has happened before, since Spock was a Starfleet science officer with access to the historical record. Spock replies that history would not provide her an answer, and that she should be asking how it was he could remember "tomorrow". He now sees it was a mistake to commit himself, and decides to leave. The psychiatrist says it would be premature, as Section 31 officers were waiting to take him to a specialized facility because his mind was "in crisis", and that the Vulcan part of him needed time to heal. Spock replies that she was correct: time had something to do with it. He then knocks out the psychiatrist and both the security guards. Burnham, silent up to now, asks what happened after that, as Section 31 believes Spock killed these people. Spock replies that her faith in his character has not changed since they were children – she was inside his mind, and yet still wanted confirmation. He asks her if she saw murder here, before leaving his cell.

Back aboard Discovery, an agitated Culber enters the mess hall and approaches Tyler's table, kicking the chair across from him aside and knocking his food tray across the room. As Saru, Tilly, Airiam, and others watch in stunned silence, Tyler apologizes and tries to explain how it was not him who killed Culber. The doctor acknowledges that it was Voq, and demands that Tyler "bring him out". Tyler tries to explain that it didn't work like that; Culber replies that he knew how to bring Voq out. He then knocks the table aside and shoves Tyler as he comes to his feet. As Tilly tries to intervene, Saru holds her back, telling her that "this must be allowed to play out". Culber tackles Tyler across the room, both giving as good as they get; Culber screams at Tyler to "let him out". As their fight winds down, Culber admits he doesn't know who he is anymore. "Who do you think you're talking to?" Tyler asks him, more in understanding than in actual question, before letting him go and leaving the mess hall. Culber slumps into a nearby chair.

Act Three[]

In the turbolift, Pike questions why Saru allowed the fight to proceed. Saru explains he felt the confrontation was "a necessary and unavoidable catharsis" for both Culber and Tyler. When Pike points out it was not necessarily "by-the-book conflict resolution", Saru replies that the Starfleet manual has no guidelines for dealing with "Humans with Klingons grafted to their bones and a ship's doctor returned from the dead", which requires them to make things up as they go along. Pike comments that perhaps before his own evolutionary change, Saru might have made a different call; Saru concedes that is likely. Given the unusual circumstances, Pike is willing to overlook the incident, but makes clear he does not want it to happen again, and that all crew onboard, Saru included, are to resolve any conflicts within the uniform code of conduct.

Entering his ready room, Pike is shocked to see Vina standing in front of him, wondering how she was there. When he had come to Talos, she explains, she had been alone for a long time, but when the Talosians decided they were "unsuited" for one another, when he left, she felt a lot worse because she knew what she had lost. Pike admits he had thought about her a lot since then, and wished she could have come with him. She assures him she didn't need to; the Talosians "brought him back" for her, and she admits that he kept her sane, tethered to what she once felt. He is surprised to see her here, that "this was real". It was as real as it needed to be, Vina explained; the Talosians' ability to project across space was limited, and more difficult the further away they were. Then she tells him there was someone he needed to see; Pike turns, and is surprised to see Burnham, with three Talosians behind her. Burnham explains that she found Spock, and that he directed her to bring him to the Talosians, and that she had learned the truth: Spock was indeed innocent, and there were no murders. She was communicating via the Talosians' telepathy because subspace was likely to be traced. Pike relays what Georgiou told him about the escape; Burnham explains she had gone to Leland, who had planned to use Terran technology to rip Spock's mind apart. When Pike asks what Section 31 wants Spock for, Spock himself steps forward to respond that they wanted his memories of the future. He tells Pike he has seen the end of their current timeline, and to avoid it, they must follow the Angel's design. He admits that he never thought he would ask this of anyone, but nonetheless asks Pike to take him on faith, and tells him he must come for them immediately, if he can. The Talosians are unable to keep the projection up longer, as the image of Spock, Burnham, and the Talosians fades. Vina tells Pike to hurry for his friends, as they were counting on him, before her projection also fades.

In the wrecked mess hall, Stamets suggests Culber should have his injured hand looked at, but Culber refuses, as he can feel it, and he's not allowing anything he can feel to be "fixed". When Stamets suggests that he "come home", Culber rebuffs him, telling him that the version of him that called those quarters home was dead, and that Stamets should move forward and let him do likewise. As Stamets sullenly gives in, he is called to engineering, and he abruptly leaves the mess hall; Pike has ordered a black alert, intending to make a spore drive jump to Talos IV, despite it being in restricted space. Just as Airiam initiates the spore jump, however, the drive disengages, due to a failure in the spore hub. Tilly reports corruption in the duotronics… corruption that appears to have been introduced manually. When Pike asks if this has happened before, Tilly replies it was nothing like this; they ran level-three diagnostics of the spore drive every ten hours, so someone must have deliberately interfered with the system. At that moment, Tyler enters, wondering about the black alert. Pike explains the intention of going to Talos to retrieve Spock and Burnham, but someone appears to not want them to make that trip. When Tyler asks who, Security Chief Nhan replies pointedly that it was someone who wanted them to stay put; Saru also mentions the unauthorized transmissions. Tyler denies it was him, even though the transmissions were sent using his command codes. Pike mentions that he's learned Section 31 has begun using invasive neural techniques, and may have used it on Tyler without his knowledge. Tyler is unconvinced, certain he would know. Pike tells him he can't afford to take that risk, and neither can Tyler himself, before ordering Nhan to confine him to quarters. As he is escorted off the bridge, Tyler warns him that Section 31 will track him regardless. Pike orders Detmer to set a course for Starbase 11 at maximum warp, and to radio ahead that they needed repairs. Saru points out that Starbase 11 is only two light years from Talos IV. Pike confirms that was the point, to make Section 31 believe they were going there; midway there, they will alter course and run silent to throw off any pursuers. As Airiam returns to her station, the three lights that she had seen during the probe's attempted computer breach flash in her eyes.

Act Four[]

As she prepares to board the shuttle, Burnham thanks Vina for her help in saving Spock. Vina tells her that Discovery would be there soon, and there wasn't much time. However, Burnham still owes the Talosians her memory; Vina warns her about letting the Talosians "force payment". Spock says he has already shown Burnham all she needs to see; Burnham replies that now he has to share in one of her memories, the price she agreed to for his recovery. The Talosians awaken their memories.

A young Spock tries to stop Burnham from running away, but Burnham believes she is a danger to the family, as the logic extremists don't like Humans living on Vulcan. While Burnham tries to distance herself, referring to Spock's parents as "his" family and worrying about the separatists attacking "his" home, Spock insists on calling them "our" family, "our" home, and tells her they could fight the separatists together. Burnham, now appearing in the memory as her adult self, tells the younger Spock that he needed to grow up somewhere safe. Spock retorts that safe was a "relative construct" and had different meanings. When Burnham insists she is going, Spock tells her he is going with her. Choking up as she relives the memory, Burnham tells Spock she doesn't want him with her. Spock calls her his sister, before he too appears as his adult self, explaining that she was helping him learn to express his Human half. Burnham retorts that the Human part of him was so small, it would not make a difference to his life. As they shift between their child and adult selves, Burnham tells Spock she doesn't want a "freak" like him as a brother; when Spock tells her he loves her, Burnham dismisses him as being incapable of love, because he is Vulcan, "cold and distant, like a moon somewhere". Spock insists that Burnham promised him she would teach him about Earth, and that they'd live there one day. Burnham replies that she did not want him in her life, ending with, "Stop following me, you weird little half-breed." Spock – in both his child and adult forms – is left tearful by her statement.

The memory fades, and Burnham tries to explain she did not mean any of it. Spock understood she was trying to sever their emotional attachment so that he would be less distraught by her absence, which he calls a "primitive tactic, but logical". Burnham insists it was more than that, that the logic extremists would have targeted her as long as she lived in Sarek's house, and that she did not want Spock hurt or killed, but admits she should have tried something, anything, other than what she did. Spock, to her surprise, expresses gratitude to her, as her words showed him how damaging his Humanity could be; she rejects that idea, saying his Humanity was "beautiful", and that she had only been a child. Spock calls her a "catalyst"; to escape emotion, to escape Burnham, he submerged himself in logic. But his "constant" has always been time itself, and now time, logic, and emotion have all failed him. Multiple civilizations and many millions of lives could be at stake, and he is not prepared. She asks if he is more angry at her for this, or at himself. Spock tells her not to psychoanalyze him, as "better minds" had tried and failed. And yet, Burnham retorts, he chose her for this journey, because he valued their connection, and that perhaps their relationship was the bedrock of his logic, a notion Spock dismisses as "absurd". He concedes, however, that she was right about one thing: It was foolish to idolize her, and he regretted it deeply. As Burnham looks shaken by this statement, Vina approaches to tell them that Discovery was approaching, with another ship close behind them, and that the Talosians wanted to warn them that they were in danger.

Discovery approaches Talos IV at maximum warp, with Leland's NCIA-93 close behind them. Bryce reports that the Section 31 ship is hailing; Pike knows that with Tyler confined to quarters, he wouldn't be the one telling Section 31 where they were. He tells Bryce to answer the hail; Leland tells Pike he knows where he's going, and orders him to stand down. Pike replies he'll obey that order when Leland starts telling him the truth, wondering if he wouldn't find out what he planned to do to Spock. "Last warning, Chris," Leland replies, again ordering him to stand down before cutting the channel. Pike orders Detmer to take them out of warp over Talos IV; once in orbit, he instructs Owosekun to scan for their people. Owosekun quickly finds them and locks on with transporters. However, Tilly reports that the Section 31 ship also has transporter lock. Leland hails again, telling him to disengage his transporter beam or Spock and Burnham would be torn apart, atom by atom. Pike tells Owosekun to mute the screen, and stands in silence while the crew awaits his orders. Vina appears behind him, telling him to "let them go" – not just Spock and Burnham, but Vina and the Talosians as well, and that it was the only way. Pike grimly bids her goodbye, and orders Owosekun to disengage the transporter. As Burnham and Spock beam aboard his ship, Leland tells Pike his cooperation will be noted in his after-action report, and orders Pike to report to Starbase 11 for disciplinary action before cutting the channel; his ship then warps away. Georgiou notes that Leland looks "exceptionally pleased" with himself and wonders if he isn't surprised that Pike gave up so easily. Leland thanks her for her insight, but this time, he will do the talking.

In orbit of Talos, Saru detects a shuttle arising from the surface. Owosekun tries to scan it, but the scanners are being blocked. Bryce asks if he should hail. Pike, realizing what was happening, tells him not to, as "they" wouldn't want to risk their transmission being detected, ordering the shuttle brought aboard and telling Saru to accompany him to the shuttlebay.

Leland asks Burnham why she was on Talos; she does not answer, simply smiling at him. Leland tells her it would be easier if she answered him, or it could go harder. "I beg to differ," Burnham replies. "Say goodbye, Spock." Spock looks at Leland, and raises his hand in the Vulcan salute. "Goodbye, Spock," he says, as both he and Burnham vanish into thin air; Leland is dumbfounded, and asks what is going on. Sure enough, in Discovery's shuttlebay, the real Burnham and Spock step off the shuttle – the Talosians had projected them aboard Leland's ship. Pike asks if Spock is well, to which he replies he is better for being able to see his captain in person, with a hint of a smile on his face. Back on NCIA-93, Georgiou explains that the Talosians of her universe had tried their tricks on her once, and she wiped them out in response. Leland tells her she could have warned him about the scope of their abilities before, to which Georgiou smugly replies that she wanted to see how he would explain this to the admirals.

Back aboard Discovery, Pike asks Spock and Burnham to explain about the Red Angel, to which they say it is Human, and seeks to change the current timeline – a timeline in which all life in the galaxy will be eradicated. Because of Section 31's failure to secure Spock and Burnham, however, Discovery is about to become the most wanted ship in the galaxy. Pike half-jokingly asks Spock if the Red Angel told him anything to deal with that; Spock replies that it didn't, but suggests – based on his "limited experience" as a fugitive – that there was only one course of action available to them: Run. Pike begins telling the crew that he could not ask them to participate in an act of disobedience, but before he gets very far, Detmer asks him for a course heading; Tilly adds that it was probably best they got moving. The rest of the crew gives their silent support. Pike orders Detmer to take them away from Talos at maximum warp.

Log entries[]

  • "Personal log, Captain Christopher Pike. Stardate 1532.9. Still no word from Commander Burnham, but I know she won't give up until she finds her brother Spock. As much as it pains me to think the worst of any Starfleet division, I do hope she locates him before Section 31 does."

Memorable quotes[]

"All this reliance on computerized threat analysis bothers me. In my universe, the artificial intelligence took orders from me, not the other way around."
"Really? How did that work out for you? Why don't you whip up a good reason for Discovery to stand down and relay the orders to them? Since you're on a roll."

- Philippa Georgiou and Leland

"Who are you?"
"Where I come from, the one holding the phaser asks the questions."

- Vina and Burnham

"Do you only speak telepathically?"
"We will converse in the ancient way, if you prefer."

- Michael Burnham and the Keeper, when Michael first meets the Talosians

"Now, do you see?"

- Spock, to Michael Burnham, coming out of his trance

"I don't know what to do! You keep pushing me to feel something! You want me to just pick up where we left off as if nothing happened?! You have no idea!"

- Culber, pouring out his frustration at Stamets

"Why are you so angry with me?"
"You know what, Paul? That's a good question."

- Paul Stamets and Hugh Culber

"Is there a valuable question in your arsenal?"
"Yes. Do you actually think the beard is working?"

- Spock and Burnham

"History will not provide an answer to your query, doctor. Instead you should be asking me, 'How is it I can remember tomorrow?'"

- Spock, to the psychiatrist

"What happened after that? Section 31 thinks you murdered these people."
"I see your faith in my character has not changed since we were children. You are inside my mind, yet you still need confirmation. Do you see murder here?"

- Michael Burnham and Spock

"I'm sorry. I don't expect you to understand, but it wasn't really me."
"It was Voq."
"Bring him out."
"It doesn't work like that."
"I can find him."

- Ash Tyler and Hugh Culber, confronting his killer

"The Starfleet manual offers no regulatory guidelines for interactions between Humans with Klingons grafted to their bones and a ship's doctor returned from the dead."

- Saru, explaining to Pike why he allowed the fight between Culber and Tyler

"Let your friends go. It's the only way. Let them go. Let us all go. Trust me."
"Goodbye, Vina…"

- Vina and Christopher Pike

"This will go easier if you answer me. Or it could go harder."
"I beg to differ. Say goodbye, Spock."
(Spock raises his hand in the Vulcan salute) "Goodbye, Spock."

- Leland, Burnham, and Spock

"Greetings, captain."
"Spock. Are you all right?"
"Much better for seeing you in person, sir. Even if we are riding into danger."
(Spock smiles)
"Is that a smile I see on your face?"
"I believe it is. Yes."
"Well, Welcome to Discovery."

- Spock and Christopher Pike's reunion on Discovery

"Those Talosians tried this trick with me in the Terran Universe once, and I blew them, and their stupid singing plants, off the face of the planet."

- Philippa Georgiou

"I don't suppose the Red Angel offered you any advice on how to handle a situation like this."
"No. But my limited experience as a fugitive suggests only one course of action."
"And what is that?"
"We run."

- Pike and Spock, on Discovery becoming "the most wanted ship in the galaxy"

Background information[]

Story and script[]

  • Burnham and Spock's line, "Say goodbye, Spock."/"Goodbye, Spock", is a reference to a joke famously but incorrectly attributed to George Burns and Gracie Allen ("Say goodnight, Gracie."/"Goodnight, Gracie"); [1] in fact, the routine comes from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, with Dan Rowan and Dick Martin exchanging the lines "Say goodnight, Dick."/"Goodnight, Dick." The same joke, with the erroneous Burns and Allen attribution, was also featured in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Outrageous Okona" with Wesley Crusher and Data.

Cast and characters[]


Visual effects[]

  • Editor Scott Gamzon has explained how the "The Cage" teaser was conceived, revealing the idea was originally intended as a flashback scene for Pike during the episode, "As I was cutting the episode I was wondering if we would revisit the footage from "The Cage" / "The Menagerie" and rewatched both multiple times. [Executive producer] Olatunde Osunsanmi suggested that we attempt some sort of flashback for Pike at the beginning of the episode utilizing the TOS footage in a hyper-stylized way. Ultimately, the flashback version proved a bit too confusing. Upon viewing, executive producer Alex Kurtzman suggested creating a recap using the TOS footage. I then incorporated the idea of also making this seem a flashback for Pike by using the match cut from Jeffrey Hunter's Pike to Anson Mount's Pike. Finally, I suggested using the original TOS score and Kurtzman came up with the vision of 1960s era transitions which our VFX team then created." [2]

Music and sound[]

  • This is the second Discovery episode to feature the original Alexander Courage theme from TOS, this time heard during the teaser.


  • The title echoes part of a line of dialogue from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, in which Spock says, "If memory serves, Regula I is a scientific research laboratory." [3]
  • By way of archival footage from TOS: "The Cage", this is the first Discovery episode to explicitly tie to episodes of a TOS-era story.
  • The four admirals who converse with Leland and Georgiou via holographic communication represent the four founding civilizations of the Federation: one Human, one Vulcan, one Tellarite, and one Andorian. A different quartet of the same species had previously appeared in "The War Without, The War Within" and "Will You Take My Hand?".
  • Lt. Owosekun states that travel to Talos IV is prohibited, and Captain Leland states that Pike and Discovery face disciplinary action, but no reference is made to the death penalty provision of Starfleet General Order 7, leaving it unclear as to whether it was in place at the time of this episode.
  • The Talosians are revealed to have the ability to transmit images across great distances, if only briefly. They projected the illusion of Commodore José I. Mendez in a similar way in TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I" and "The Menagerie, Part II". This may tie in to how Spock made arrangements for Pike's care prior to the events of "The Menagerie".
  • Young Burnham calls Spock a "half-breed". James T. Kirk uses the same insult (albeit only as a tactic both times) on him in TOS: "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" and "This Side of Paradise".
  • This is the first Star Trek episode to feature footage from the original series since DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations".
  • Not for the first time, Vulcan, which was stated to have no moon in "The Man Trap", is seen to have a moon-like object in its sky. Its appearance is unlike anomalous bodies previously seen in Vulcan's sky, looking more like Earth's moon.
  • Vina states that after Pike left her, the Talosians provided her with an illusory version of him, and they spent a lifetime together. In The Cage, she was last seen leaving with this illusory Pike, after it became clear to the Talosians that the real Pike would not stay. The coupling was not referenced in "The Menagerie, Part I" or "Part II", and the footage of Vina leaving with the completely illusory Pike was reused to represent the real Pike, except healthy looking through Talosian illusion, walking away with Vina.
  • In TOS: "Dagger of the Mind" – which is set nine years after this episode – Spock states that he has never used a mind meld on a Human. According to this episode, he melded with the angel as a child, which turned out to be a Human.


  • TRR: "If Memory Serves" discusses the making of, and events in, this episode.
  • It was this episode that won the series its first Emmy Award, for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special.

Production history[]

Links and references[]



Special guest star[]

Guest starring[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]


Uncredited co-stars appearing in the original Star Trek episode "The Cage"[]


after action report; Alpha Quadrant; Andoria; artificial intelligence; asopao; beard; Beta Quadrant; black alert; black hole; carbon dioxide; cephalopod; Class C shuttlecraft; class M; Colby; Columbia, SS; confined to quarters; Control; CTP; data core; dinner; DSC 06; duotronics; Earth; extinction-level event; forest; fugitive; Grayson, Amanda; half-breed; hospital; level 3 diagnostic; light year; logic; logic extremist; mind meld; nitrogen; nuclear war; oxygen; petabyte; probe; psychoanalysis; psychogenic; quantum field; Quiliam Station; Red Angel; sabotage; Sarek; Section 31; shuttlebay vehicle; singing plant; SQL injection; squid; Starbase 11; Starfleet uniform (late 2230s-2250s); Starfleet uniform (2250s-early 2270s); Talos IV; Talos IV (mirror); Talos system; Talosian; Talosian (mirror); telepathy; Terran Empire; Terran universe; time; time travel; transponder; transporter; uniform code of conduct; Voq; Vulcan creature; Vulcan's Forge; Vulcan salute; warp signature

External links[]

Previous episode:
"Light and Shadows"
Star Trek: Discovery
Season 2
Next episode:
"Project Daedalus"