Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Still stranded in the mirror universe, Burnham must try to save the lives of a group of rebels whom she is ordered to destroy by the Terran Empire while maintaining her cover as her counterpart. Meanwhile, a growing terror within Lieutenant Tyler consumes him and threatens the chances of the Discovery returning home.

Summary Edit

Teaser Edit

The USS Discovery crew works hard to repair the ship. In sickbay, Paul Stamets is still dazed, but holding Hugh Culber's body. He talks incoherently about trees.

On the ISS Shenzhou, Michael Burnham is falling into an uncomfortable routine, noting she can't rest at all there. A Kelpien enters, apparently a slave to her, in order to give her a bath. Burnham quickly realizes and must go along to not arouse suspicion. She then goes to the transporter room to attend an execution via beam-out to space. She is almost getting used to the routine. With Ash Tyler, she feels sane again. He calls her his tether, relating an experience from his training. While together, the Kelpien walks in, prompting Tyler to leave under her disguised disgust. She briefly breaks her cold role by giving the Kelpien a name – Saru.

While alone, Sylvia Tilly calls Burnham and puts Saru on. Burnham can't analyze or send the large amount of data from her location, so she'll need to find another way. The call ends after Saru asks if there are Kelpiens on board, and Burnham lies in the negative to save the conversation.

On the Discovery, Tilly and Saru decide not to tell Stamets about Culber. They believe Stamets killed him in one of his confused outbursts. Tilly notes the brain activity that clearly isn't his, so it isn't a murder per se. Tilly comes up with a plan to fix it.

On the bridge, Burnham gets a call from Captain Maddox for a mission: destroy the Klingon stronghold on Harlak. Keyla Detmer starts to prepare the obvious order but Burnham stops her, saying she wants to wait and infiltrate the compound beforehand in order to get information to attack more rebel bases. The order startles the crew.

Act One Edit

Gabriel Lorca is outside an agonizer booth consulting Burnham. He wants to follow through with the mission, but Burnham says she can't do it. She sees the alliance of all these disparate races, and there's hope in figuring out what brought them together. Lorca relents.

Stamets is in the spore chamber while Tilly figures out he has a neuronal link to the mirror universe. She starts to give him spores.

Tyler and Burnham head out for their mission. They're transported to the surface and are very alone for a bit but then fired upon. Burnham gives herself up and they're taken to their camouflaged encampment. There, there's surprised to find Voq, who proceeds to challenge her. She admits the Emperor knows their location and she was ordered to fire on them. She proposes letting everyone escape first. Voq is skeptical, and calls for a "prophet" to intervene – Sarek. He mind melds with her and confirms everything to Voq.

Act Two Edit

Voq agrees to Burnham's deal and prepares to evacuate. Burnham asks them how they were able to overcome their disparate cultures, and Voq explains, mentioning Kahless and the common enemy they face. During, Tyler becomes very uncomfortable and is triggered to attack Voq. They fight, but Voq bests him. Voq challenges both of them, but Sarek emphasizes he still vouches for Burnham, not Tyler. They let him go, and provide some information for her so she can prove her mission was successful.

Tilly explains Stamet's condition to Saru, and sees neuronal patterns returning to normal. Saru is impressed, but soon Stamets starts breaking down. Saru calls for emergency help over Tilly's objections.

Act Three Edit

Burnham confronts Tyler on the Shenzhou, noting the recent events of him having trouble, but he has no excuse. He takes a pause and then admits that he feels something for L'Rell, that he feels forced to listen when she speaks and, furthermore, suspects he isn't actually Ash Tyler. He says he saw himself (Voq) on the planet and it set him off. Surprisingly, he then speaks as Voq and admits to infiltrating the ship. Burnham counters and insists he's Tyler. Then he admits to killing Culber. He goads her at phaser-point with the fight when she killed T'Kuvma, giving a detail that Burnham never reported at the time. He takes her by the neck, but Saru appears behind him, throwing him across the room. Detmer is there, and proceeds to prepare him for transport into space.

Stamets lies in the chamber still. Tilly apologizes to him, despite that he can't hear her. Then, he twitches and her panel lights up. Stamets finds himself in a vast environment full of spores. Then, he sees himself.

Act Four Edit

Burnham attends Tyler's spacing. Detmer triumphantly reads the crime. Burnham steps toward him, very close, and asks for his last words. She then pushes the operator aside and transports him herself. Then, she orders Lorca be brought to her.

In space, Tyler appears and starts to die, but then is soon beamed out – by the Discovery. Saru steps toward him and takes the data chip out of his uniform.

Lorca recommends to Burnham that they need to keep up appearances in case Saru can't decode the data. Then, Burnham finds out another ship is in orbit, firing on the rebel base. Burnham then discovers who it is – Emperor Philippa Georgiou.

Memorable quotes Edit

Log entries Edit

Background information Edit

Cast and characters Edit

  • Of the episodes that Michelle Yeoh participates in, this is the only one in which she is credited during the closing credits with the rest of the guest cast, as opposed to receiving a "special guest star" in the opening credits. This was done to conceal the dramatic reveal at the end of the episode that the mirror version of Philippa Georgiou is the Terran emperor. This trick had been used before, in DS9: "Heart of Stone", for the same reason: to conceal the reveal that Kira Nerys is impersonated by the Female Changeling (Salome Jens) during most of the episode. The use of the typically masculine "emperor" as opposed to the more usual "empress" (which was used by a previous claimant to the title) preserved the effect within the episode's narrative.

Continuity Edit

  • This episode reveals that Voq has been Ash Tyler since the latter was introduced. It was not until the next episode, "Vaulting Ambition", that it was revealed that there was a real Ash Tyler.
  • The mirror Sarek is shown as a leader in the current rebellion against the Terran Empire and working with Voq. In "Mirror, Mirror" Sarek's son Spock is shown to be loyal to the Terran Empire before he tries reforming the Empire to be more like the Federation after meeting the James T. Kirk that traded places with his captain.
  • Mirror Sarek wore a goatee, just like mirror Spock and mirror Soval did.
  • The Michael Burnham and Sarek of the mirror universe never had a father-daughter relationship.
  • General Order 4 of the Terran Empire relates that any race deemed a threat to the Empire is to be destroyed.
  • This episode sets a record for the longest teaser in Star Trek history, at a duration of fourteen minutes and six seconds.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Andorians and Tellarites in Star Trek: Discovery.

Production history Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit


Guest starring Edit


Co-starring Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt doubles Edit

Stand-ins Edit

References Edit

active camouflage; Andorian; brain; buggy; Charon, ISS; command-training program; Discovery, ISS; Defiant, USS; DSC 01; exajoule; Fire Wolf; forest; frontopolar cortex; Gorn; Harlak; Imperial Intelligence; Kahless; Kahless; Kelpien; Klingon; listening station; meter; neuronal link; Master of Poisons; mirror universe; mycelial network; mycelium spore; photon torpedo; pip; rebel; Survived a Mortal Wound; tardigrade; Tellarite; Terran emperor; Terran General Order Four; Terran law; tree; Valor; Vulcan

External links Edit

Previous episode:
"Despite Yourself"
Star Trek: Discovery
Season 1
Next episode:
"Vaulting Ambition"
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