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Fridge Brilliance

    Season 1 
  • When the first pictures of the final design of the USS Discovery appeared, some people questioned the logic of its hull design, with the saucer section being made up of concentric circles with only relatively small connections other than to the main spine, as it would make moving around the ship highly problematic. Once the ship debuted on screen, the logic of the design became apparent ... being a science vessel conducting dangerous experiments, the saucer's shape make it easier to quarantine the command section from the rest of the ship, and isolate sections of the saucer from each other.
  • T'Kuvma's plan to unite the Great Houses against the Federation seems like a poor one given there's no reason for them to unite behind him. However, his death at the hands of Michael Burnham guarantees the result he wanted. The Federation is "already" at war with the Klingons as a whole because of his actions and they won't want to look like cowards by letting other Klingons die battling a foreign enemy. They also have a rich target right on their doorstep which is valuable for looting.
  • In "Battle at the Binary Stars", T'Kuvma "accepts" Admiral Anderson's proposal for a cease-fire, only to then launch a sneak attack on the Europa. Later on, in "Lethe", Houses D'Ghor and Mokai arrange a Peace Conference that turns out to be a trap that captures Admiral Cornwell. These are hardly the tactics of an honorable Proud Warrior Race like the Klingons; if anything, they're more fitting for the Klingons' mortal enemies, the sneaky Romulans. When you think about it, this gives new depth to the enmity between the two races — despite the Klingons' bluster about honor, they're Not So Different from the Romulans, so whenever the Klingons deal with the Romulans, they're seeing a reflection of themselves that they don't want to face. On the flipside, the Romulans are proud of how sneaky they are and consider the Klingons hypocrites for not admitting the same about themselves.
    • As Worf pointed out in "The Way Of The Warrior," in war, nothing is more honorable than victory.
  • According to Star Trek: Voyager, there's a massive cult of Klingons who believe Miral Paris is the Kuvah'magh or "Savior of the people." This is likely from T'Kuvma's name being remembered among the immortal heroes of the Klingons (or he took the name from the concept).
  • People have made a lot of speculation about this being in the Kelvin timeline (i.e. the Abramsverse) due to the aesthetics as well as advanced technology on display but Star Trek: Enterprise actually had people mucking around the timeline as well. The Xindi war never occurred in the original Star Trek timeline as well as the Suliban uprising. As such, technology could have been advanced significantly in the mainstream timeline as well. It's also possible it's just a TV series and we shouldn't take it too seriously.
  • In past Trek, starships of that era are not supposed to be able to fire weapons under cloak. In tacit obedience to this rule, one of T'Kuvma's "Black Fleet" starships rams directly into the USS Europa while under cloak.
  • The three leaders of the Great Houses who first meet with T'Kuvma act in a way that reflect how their Houses are described or shown in this series or as previously shown in other Trek series. Kol (House of Kor) is a conservative, classist, and dismissive of those of low birth or outcast, as Kor was described as being in Deep Space Nine. Dennas (House of D'Ghor) is wearing the most obvious bling and isn't as obsessed about tradition, just as the House of D'Ghor was later shown using the very atypically Klingon methods of financial trickery to get richer on the same series. Ujilli (House of Mo'Kai) wants to learn more information, and L'Rell later reveals that Mo'Kai are known for being spies.
  • Having Tilly be the first character in any official Star Trek series or movie to say "fuck". The situation in which she does it makes her look so adorable that one can't help but be amused by it, thus disarming a lot of the criticism breaking the F-bomb barrier would likely create.
  • Why Sarek was so furious at Spock joining Starfleet. Because he chose Spock to join the Vulcan Expeditionary Group over Michael. The fact it was rendered meaningless by Spock's actions means he destroyed the dreams of his other child for no reason. We also get a sense Sarek's pride never let him admit it to either.
    • Possibly another reason Spock joins Starfleet. His big sister (even if she and Sarek don't really act like she's his sibling) is in Starfleet. However strained his relationship with Michael was, and whatever trouble she got into (i.e. mutiny), Michael loves being a member of Starfleet. At her lowest point she would never have badmouthed Starfleet, so even if she only talked to her family sporadically after she left, Spock would've gotten a more positive view of Starfleet than most other Vulcans who would be groomed for the VEG. Sarek screwed himself by keeping Michael out of the VEG
    • Also, this really borders on WMG, but when Spock's accepted to the VEG in the Kelvin timeline, the council mentions that his human mother was considered a disability and praise him for overcoming it. In addition to the Fantastic Racism that causes Spock to turn the offer down, perhaps Michael's another reason that he became the first Vulcan to decline admission to the academy. He probably came to the logical conclusion that if he was "flawless" but almost declined because he was half-human, then Michael, being the top of her class and otherwise being the "logical" choice, was definitely declined for being human, which isn't really wrong. Now, this leads to the same conclusion, that he would be infinitely better off in Starfleet, but it adds stronger reasoning behind Spock's refusal than just an offhand comment making him snap.
    • Oh, and Sarek's reasoning behind choosing Spock over Michael is "logical". Spock was smart, and if he was denied after Michael got in, despite being a actual Vulcan, Sarek probably assumed that Spock would eventually think that something was up. This would lead to family tension, which would be bad. Also, due to Vulcan lifespans, Spock would serve longer in the VEG than Michael, and may have brought more change to the VEG over time.
    • More Fridge Brilliance for the concept as a whole, the Vulcan councilman said that the VEG would only take one minority officer at a time, except that Spock and Michael are, as far as can be inferred as of the middle of season one, so far are at least several years apart in age. So doesn't that seem a bit weird? Two token minority officers over the span of several years out of an organization that presumably has dozens of starships and hundreds of officers doesn't seem like a lot, right? So why the hesitation? Because Vulcans lifespans are very long. Societal changes for them is much slower than in humans. One of the reasons they fear and respect humans is because we move at an exponential pace compared to them, so our perception of how fast societal reform should be is different from theirs.
    • Sarek isn't just ashamed that he chose the wrong child, he's ashamed because he gave up. When he talked with the councilman, he didn't argue at all for the right of both of his children to go into the academy, or tell him that the choice was an unfair one, he just gave in to make sure that at least one of them did. It wasn't just that his daughter was kicked to the curb, it's that he lost control of his emotions, and gave into his fear of failing, and in the end, he ended up failing pretty much everyone anyway. No wonder he considers it his greatest failure...
  • When Michael talks about her feelings she gets a lot of That Makes Me Feel Angry Info Dumps. It seems like clunky writing but that’s exactly how a human raised as a Vulcan would start to process their emotions once they felt free to start expressing them more. YMMV of that explanation compensates for the aforementioned clunkiness of course.
    • Burnham is much more relaxed when she talks to Tyler at the end of "Lethe", whereas before that in the series she was largely restrained and logic-driven. Her attitude before could be seen as constantly trying to prove she was good enough to be compared to a Vulcan, based on Sarek's lie-by-insinuation that she'd been rejected as not being good enough. When she learns the truth, that she had been good enough and that her rejection was due entirely to things she had no control over, she realizes she doesn't have to prove anything to Vulcans.
    • Whenever Burnham meets new people, her entire demeanor changes compared to when she speaks with people she knows. Compare how she talks to Ensign Tilly to when she talks to Tyler later. With Tilly she's relaxed but with Tyler, whom she just met, she is cold, emotionless, and stoic. AKA, just like a Vulcan. When she's encountering new people she defaults to what she's used to, which is acting like a Vulcan. It's similar to how most people act wildly differently when meeting new people as opposed to close friends, only with Burnham, her default mode is being Vulcan-like because that's how she was raised.
  • In "Lethe" it appears that Lorca set Cornwell up to be captured by the Klingons just so she wouldn't report his unstable behavior and not ready for command. However, the revelation this is The Mirror Universe Lorca throws it in a new light. Lorca knew he had to take care of Cornwell as, with their past relationship, she might tumble onto how he wasn't the Prime!Lorca. Indeed, her study of the scars on his back indicates she suspects something off.
    • Indeed, earlier in the episode, Cornwell mentions a past encounter and "you don't remember that?" Lorca brushes it off as "can't believe it was so long ago" but in reality, it's because he's not the Lorca she knows. Not to mention her openly stating "you've changed in the last few months" and literally going "you're not the man I knew."
  • Why so few Vulcans are seen in Starfleet in The Original Series (and the ones, aside from Spock, that are mentioned are on a Vulcan-only ship), is explained by the revelation that prejudice against humans is apparently still common among Vulcans. While only a tiny minority go to the extremes of trying to kill humans on Vulcan like a young Burnham, the attitude is acceptable enough for the people running Vulcan institutions to freely admit they want to keep human presence out. It's logical therefore, that they'd generally avoid the human-dominated Starfleet and the Vulcans that were there would likely gravitate to all-Vulcan crewed ships.
  • Harry Mudd's reaction at being trapped on a planet with Stella androids is easily explained by "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad". His punishment was being forced to live with Stella, a woman he'd never loved in the first place. After presumably spending years like that before escaping, it's no wonder he was horrified when Kirk did it to him again.
    • Also why this Stella seems so different from Android Stella. Android Stella is HIS perception of Stella, not how Stella really is.
    • The Short Treks episode The Escape Artist reveals that Mudd apparently managed to get away from Stella and her father fairly quickly. This also helps explain the appearance of the Stella android; assuming he hasn't seen her in the meantime, not only does the android Stella represent his distorted impression of Stella, it also represents her looking a decade or so older on top of that; given the way he is, of course he's going to make her not only act like a screeching, annoying, harridan, he's going to exaggerate being a decade older and make her look like one too.
  • Mudd seems like a Karma Houdini, getting off essentially scot-free, until one remembers that he still had total control of the ship's computer. They had to do something to get him off so they could regain control over the systems, and allowing him to think he's won until he's utterly thrown by the appearance of Stella and her father (and forgets he has control, so he doesn't stop them from beaming him out) was the only option they had.
  • The idea of finding Earth creatures such as tardigrades and Prototaxites in space is actually consistent with the panspermia scenario previously made canon by the TNG episode "The Chase".
  • The care the crew takes to imitate a Terran Empire ship in "Despite Yourself" not only goes as far as the paint job and computer displays, they make sure no non-humans are on the bridge where they might be seen in visual communications. Less obvious is that Detmer also isn't at the helm, which becomes well thought out precaution to take when they're meeting the Shenzhou, where Mirror-Detmer is still serving.
  • A big one for the producers. The early pre-release stories that Shazad Latif was originally supposed to play Kol but instead was recast as Tyler, supposedly because of allergic reaction to the Klingon makeup, provided cover for possible leaks that he was playing Voq; anything that connected Latif to playing a Klingon could be dismissed as a mix-up about that earlier story, and by making it Kol, he'd be further connected to an important Klingon ... just not the right one.
    • Furthermore, Latif's role of "Kol" at the time was described as a "protégé of T'Kuvma", which is exactly what Voq turned out to be; perhaps it was reported (or leaked) accurately, but the names were changed later on to aid in Hiding in Plain Sight.
  • During the time he and the other Klingons were stranded, Voq refused to contaminate their ship by repairing it with parts from the Shenzou. When it emerges that Ash Tyler is actually a heavily modified Voq, it's pretty clear that L'Rell cannibalised the real Tyler for parts to make Voq's disguise.
  • There's a Stealth Pun at play with Voq's title as Torchbearer. All that remains of the Torchbearer is Ash.
    • And his Mirror Universe counterpart is the "Fire Wolf", continuing the theme.
  • Voq came across as somewhat noble and heroic when he first appeared but as Ash, seems straighforward bad. This, however, makes perfect sense given the context. When he first appeared, Voq's primary opponents were other Klingons and he had to deal with Klingon politics more than anything else. As Tyler, however, his primary opponents are the good guys (from the audience's point of view). It would be akin to seeing a Cold War story about a Soviet intelligence officer bravely dealing with internal politics and threats within the USSR, but then he survives all that and then goes out on a mission to assassinate a NATO leader, reminding everyone that he might be heroic, but he's a heroic enemy.
  • While the Terran empire had been Putting on the Reich, the uniform also resembles that of Klingon Empire of 22nd century... which would make sense, as in prime universe, the Klingons are the antithesis of Starfleet.
  • In prime Universe, Georgiou was cannibalized by the Klingons. In mirror universe, she become the eater of Kelpien instead.
  • During the meal with Mirror Georgiou, Burnham was having some kind of soup. Then Georgiou, using chopstick, pick up an almost translucent ganglia. The closest equivalent to Earth Delicacy? Extremely High Quality Shark Fin soup, where each transculent tendril-like fin fiber is so thick you can pick it up by the chopstick like noodles, and the grade just below does resemble a row of threat ganglia. Subtle.
  • In the TOS episode Mirror Mirror, Prime!Spock is able to apprehend and incarcerate the Mirror away team almost immediately. This is not just because they are finding it hard to pretend to be civilised, as he says... it's because it's likely Prime!Starfleet has a data file on the Mirror Universe from the data Discovery will presumably be able to bring back. Spock is exaggerating for a joke, which is well within character for him.
    • Alternatively, he spent time on Discovery during the whole Control shitshow, and among his allies was Mirror!Georgiou, a Terran former dictator making just enough effort to not alienate people but not enough to hide her true nature. He would have recognised Mirror!Kirk's attitudes from what he overheard about Terrans from the crew, and in particular, Michael, or from overhearing interactions with Mirror!Georgiou, and he would have been sworn to secrecy on what knowledge he had on the mirror universe, including how to tell if someone's a Terran, meaning he would have needed to come up with some believable bullshit to hide the fact he was aware of the mirror universe's existence prior to the crossover. Mirror!Kirk, Mirror!Uhura, Mirror!Scotty, and Mirror!McCoy weren't aware that the prime universe exists and wouldn't have known how to behave in this strange universe where humans and aliens are treating each other as equals like Mirror!Lorca did, meaning they would have raised every "these people are Terrans" red flag almost the moment they were beamed in. In particular, if Spock was aware that Terrans are sensitive to light, any strange, out-of-character reactions to the light of the transporter room would have warned him that he may need to order them thrown in the brig, allowing him to act quickly.
  • Why was Lorca able to blend in so well? The Emperor trusted him with the most classified missions, so he must have known about the prime universe and had an idea of how to behave.
  • All the *actual* Starfleet officers on Discovery are actually normal, heroic Starfleet officers we know and love. The bridge bunnies don't have much characterisation yet, but even Tyler (when he's Tyler) is a normal stand-up Starfleet guy. The only one who isn't is Stamets, and he's a scientist. Burnham doesn't count, because she's not an officer, and the others... well.
  • The fact that the Terran Empire in the 2250's is ruled from a flagship/palace makes perfect sense considering that Mirror!Sato's claim to the imperial throne relied entirely on her control of the Defiant and its superior firepower. She would've been forced to spend the rest of her life and reign aboard that ship or risk somebody else usurping her like she did her emperor. This policy would have likely been continued by her successors even as they changed flagships.
    • The Emperor's throne on the Charon's bridge has nowhere to sit, because the Emperor cannot afford to show weakness. On the other hand, it seems designed to provide quite a bit of cover, allowing the Emperor to retreat to it to avoid being flanked in the unlikely event of an attack. In contrast, the Emperor's sanctuary features comfortable chairs.
  • It's all too clear why we never see the Spore Drive in shows set in the future: successful navigation either requires torturing an innocent creature, or genetic modification that violates the Eugenics Laws. Since the Klingons have their own reasons for not wanting anything to do with genetic engineering, and the Federation would have banned it as well, the spore drive most likely got buried in the same box as the Genesis Device and never became the subject of any further research. It only got used in Discovery due to the war and the morally dubious nature of the commander of the ship using it. As such, for instance, even if Janeway had heard of the drive, it's unlikely Voyager has much information on file and certainly not enough for her to reconstruct it, so it never comes up because it's easier to steal Borg trans-warp technology or work on the Quantum Slipstream Drive.
    • And with The Reveal in "Vaulting Ambition" that Mirror-Stamets' exploitation is gradually corrupting and killing the mycelial network, it may simply not exist in the future for the Federation or anyone else to make use of in any significant way. It's possible, though, that the method of cross-universe transportation seen in DS9 episodes makes use of the mycelial network somehow in order to bridge the gap between realities.
    • Despite the fact that the Mycelial network recovered, the improper use of it can wipe out life. If Star Fleet is willing to use Omega Protocol to ELIMINATE omega particles, overriding prime directive, in order to ensure warp travel is possible, how much more measure would Starfleet do to such research to prevent the cease of very existence across multiple universe?
    • The whole thing where the test ship was thrown into a parallel universe then ended up in the wrong time period on its return journey makes an excellent case for the spore drive being declared unsuitable for general use.
      • It is explicitly mentioned that the knowledge of mirror universe is made confidential by Starfleet command in order to prevent people from crossing over to "bring back a lost love". Being one of the known technology that does it, its existence will probably be supressed too.
    • Finally, the last bomb is dropped in "An Obol for Charon", which reveals that the jumps are devastating the biosphere in the mycelial network. There's no way Starfleet will allow its use to be continued.
    • No, the final bomb comes at the end of "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part II" — after Discovery is sent to the future to keep anything like Control from getting its hands on her, Spock recommends that nobody ever speak of Discovery or her spore drive again, and Starfleet apparently accepts his recommendation.
  • The episode that introduces Captain Lorca is called "Context is for Kings." The episode "Vaulting Ambition" provides new context which puts his actions in that episode in an entirely new light.
    • On a similar note, one might have assumed that when Lorca ordered the USS Glenn destroyed at the end of that episode, he did it simply because the accident that killed its crew also shredded the ship's superstructure, leaving it beyond any hope of repair. Given what we find out later, however, his main reason may in fact have been to prevent Starfleet using the Glenn to investigate the eventual disappearance of the Discovery and potentially following it into the Mirror Universe.
    • And speaking of "Context is for Kings", Lorca's Title Drop to Burnham is extremely telling when it's revealed that he wants to rule the Terran Empire with Burnham as his consort.
  • Unnecessary as the idea was, humans from the Mirror Universe having light sensitivity isn't totally contradicted by the older series. On TOS, we followed "our" crew in the MU and not Mirror Kirk in the main one. On DS9, most Mirror Universe episodes featured the regular cast going over there rather than vice versa. And even when humans (like Mirror Jennifer) do cross over, DS9 is a former Cardassian station and is pretty shadowy anyway, even with the lights turned up to nearer human norm.
  • Discovery makes it back to the prime universe at the end of "What's Past Is Prologue", only to find they've returned several months after they left and the Klingons have won the war. It's a Foregone Conclusion that it will be in OK shape for TOS to happen, but knowing that they've just come Back from the Brink like that lends episodes like "Errand of Mercy" a new perspective.
  • Unlike the depictions in other Star Trek shows, the Terran Empire isn't depicted as being very high on traditional Fanservice in the Mirror Universe here. The uniforms, while form fitting and made from a material which brings to mind leather or latex, don't show much skin. Also, the Terrans are far more exclusionary of alien races compared to other depictions, even from the original series' depiction only a few years later. Thus, we can assume that Emperor Georgiou was simply rather more conservative than other Emperors have been, a trait which may have been shared by her immediate predecessor, but certainly not by her successor, given the far more revealing uniforms worn by the Imperial Starfleet and the inclusion of aliens such as Vulcans.
  • Burnham's decision to let Mirror!Georgiou go free with a simple warning of "be good" seems pretty short-sighted in light of the latter's demonstrated attitudes toward pretty much every other intelligent species and the very idea of working in harmony with them... until you realize that Mirror!Lorca, who was apparently so bigoted that he didn't find Mirror!Georgiou bigoted enough, was able to set aside his own ingrained attitudes well enough to fake out Starfleet, so there is a chance that Mirror!Georgiou would be able to do the same out of sheer pragmatism, if nothing else.
    • Mirror!Georgiou's falling in line out of pragmatism is even more likely; unlike Lorca, Georgiou is known (by Starfleet Command) for who she really is; consequently, they are more likely to have her under a microscope to make sure she doesn't step out of line.
  • Kol's death as the bridge of his ship is engulfed in flames neatly mirrors that of General Chang. The contrast of Chang calmly reciting Shakespeare vs Kol's impotent rage does much to establish the two extremes of Klingon culture, not to mention how the two Klingons view their Federation adversaries. And of course, both leaders meet their deaths in battle when the clever Starfleet officers find a way to defeat the cloaking devices that they rely too heavily upon.
    • Also on the subject of General Chang, with the reveal that the Klingons being bald in the first season was due to them shaving their heads in a time of war, it further expands Chang's conservatism in The Undiscovered Country - he is adhering to this tradition, at a time when Klingons either are going to go to a self destructive war or they must rely on the good intentions of the Federation. While Gorkon and others are long-haired, he's almost completely bald, a striking difference from every other Klingon in that movie. (And, potentially, a reason the tradition fell out of favor, to avoid comparisons to him and his assassination of Gorkon.)

    Season 2 
  • The return of the Klingons' familiar Barbarian Longhair in Season 2 is explained (or handwaved, depending on your view) as being a result of them shaving their heads in times of war. This recalls Star Trek (2009), where Word of God explained that Nero, Ayel and their crewmates aboard the Narada shaved and tattooed their heads as a mark of their Roaring Rampage of Revenge for the loss of Romulus. As TOS and other Trek series would show, despite their mutual enmity, the Klingons and Romulans are Not So Different after all.
  • In "The Brightest Star", we see Lieutenant Georgiou land in a shuttle with the registry of "SHN-03", implying that she came from the USS Shenzhou. It's no wonder that she's quite fond of the "very old ship" when she later serves as Shenzhou's captain with Saru and Burnham as her senior staff.
  • The Klingons' attitudes about the Federation in Discovery's time are a reflection of the scene between Quark and Garak regarding "root beer" in "The Way of the Warrior," which also symbolized the Klingons entering conflict with the Federation (where "root beer" meant "the Federation"): "If you drink enough of it, you begin to like it." The rhetoric that T'Kuvma uses speaks to how the Federation would infect them with their culture, weaken them not through military victory, but by making them soft and weak by way of mixing and melding their cultures, rather than remaining separate.
  • Pike's observation that the captain's ready room has nothing to sit on, only a table/console that Lorca stood behind, with no place for a visitor to sit, points out something obvious in retrospect: Lorca had arranged his ready room to be similar to the Emperor's throne room on the ISS Charon.
  • Someone on Reddit pointed this one out: The fortune cookie that Pike finds in the ready room seems particularly relevant to him (although he has no idea of this), but it would be equally relevant to the last person who likely read it: Captain Lorca, just before setting off to overthrow the Terran Emperor. The cage in his case might refer to the Prime Universe, which he secretly found intolerable to live in (but was much safer than his home universe). And the loss which isn't eternal could be his failed attempt to kill Georgiou and seize her throne, despite his apparent death.
    • It also could apply to the prime Gabriel Lorca, which a tie-in novel revealed is still alive and imprisoned somewhere in the Mirror Universe; it may be foreshadowing that his imprisonment won't last forever and that his "loss" is not permanent.
  • Christopher Pike is a lot more laid back than Gabriel Lorca was, joking around with his crew and at one point insisting that all of his bridge officers introduce themselves without ranks because those "don't matter." Either this attitude is a result of the Enterprise's previous exploration mission where the crew would have spent quite a long time with each other with few other close connections, or else he could have been chosen for that command specifically because of his attitude. Imagine five years of having Lorca lean on you!
  • Saru mentions that a Kelpien who doesn't accept death or harvest by the Ba'ul when it's their time goes insane. With the reveal that allowing the process to continue causes the Kelpiens' threat ganglia to wither and fall off, causing them to lose their constant sense of fear explains why they believe it to be the case; to a species where a state of constant fear is an inherent part of their psyche, a member who isn't afraid all the time would be, from their point of view, insane, and someone who suddenly found themselves not afraid all the time could very well go overboard and engage in risky behaviour leading to their deaths.
    • Reinforcing this was Saru's behaviour in "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum". From Burnham's point of view, when he lost his sense of fear thanks to the planet's inhabitants he went bonkers, with seriously skewed judgement and willingness to harm his crewmates to the point where it came very close to a situation where they might have had to harm or even kill him to protect themselves. To a Kelpian, it would seem much worse.
  • Thinking about Pike's line in "The Cage", when he mentions he's not used to having women on the bridge (with the exception of Number One) just made me realize that he probably felt the same way when assuming command of the Discovery three years later, as there were several Bridge Bunnies there. The fact that he doesn't demonstrate anything and, on the contrary, acts as a warm, fatherly figure to his crew means one of two things: either Pike has grown more accustomed to having female co-workers, or he was purposely masquerading any potential awkwardness on his part, in order to be a better leader for the Discovery crew. The brilliant part is that both of these possibilities help one realize how much Pike strives to be a good captain, regardless of any possible flaws he may have.
    • Of course, the Doylist explanation is Values Dissonance between today and culture 50+ years ago, so such dialogue would be considered an Old Shame and so everyone pretends he wouldn't actually have said anything like that.
    • Another possibility is that the line about women on the bridge was meant (in retroactive hindsight) as a joke on his part, potentially to explain any awkwardness between him and Yeoman Colt (the Talosians state that she's very attracted to him, and Pike is implied to return that interest, even if he refuses to act upon it). That some of his jokes fall flat would be in character with how he's presented on Discovery, particularly during his discussion with Michael Burnham and Amanda Grayson where he jokes about Michael being bossy and gets a glare from Amanda in response.
  • Saru's people being prey never really made sense. They have eyes on the front of their face rather than the sides. Prey animals tend to have their eyes on the side. They also have the ability to pick up and throw weapons like spears, which should have prevented them from being prey animals a long time ago. For the longest time this just appeared to be a combination of writers not doing their research, and the practical limitations of cosmetics. But the revelation that Saru's people evolved as predators means it makes perfect sense.
    • This also changes something that happened in Season 1 in "Choose Your Pain". Saru identifies that the Klingon fighter being piloted by Tyler and Lorca is being pursued by the others, and it's shown he instinctively recognizes the patterns they're using as being that of hunters chasing down prey. As the time, it was assumed (including by the character himself) that he knew that because he identified as the one being chased. In reality, he was identifying as one of the predators.
  • Despite Section 31 having previously appeared to be experts in black operations and consummate manipulators, Mirror-Georgiou seems to have no problem running circles around Leland and getting what she wants, which, given her background makes sense. In the Prime Universe, members of Section 31 may stand out for their ruthlessness, willingness to do what has to be done and to use the people around them, but in the Mirror Universe, that's something everyone who wants to succeed has to be good at if they expect to thrive and keep the rewards of that success. This is especially true for Georgiou, who, as Emperor, would have to be an expert at it to have achieved the position. In effect, compared to Georgiou, Section 31 would largely be amateurs.
  • As revealed in "If Memory Serves", Burnham had called Spock one of the most vicious slurs a small child like him could be called; a halfbreed freak. Although Spock later (wrongly) rationalizes it as having done him good, he still holds a deep anger over it and reacts negatively when Burnham refers to him as "family". Given the way Spock, like Sarek, is shown to hold a grudge, it provides an easy explanation as to why he never mentioned a foster sister in the future.
  • Georgiou casually mentions that after the Talosians attempted their mental illusion trick on her, she wiped them off the face of their planet. That said, if the Talosians had an idea of how Georgiou and the Terrans operated, the best way to be rid of them would be to give them the illusion that they had done just that. Especially since we know the Talosians live below the surface of Talos IV.
  • The reason Starfleet stopped using holograms for communication? Captain Pike's distaste for them and their limited range have been suggested as factors, but "Project Daedalus" demonstrates a far more pragmatic reason, as Control demonstrates how easily they can be weaponised by impersonating the dead Section 31 admirals flawlessly (well, almost but for Saru's enhanced eyesight) for over two weeks.
  • The reveal that the Red Angel is Burnham's mother and wasn't Burnham herself as revealed in "The Red Angel" makes sense if one thinks about it; if it was a future version of Burnham, then Future-Burnham would be fully aware that a trap was being set up and the crew had contingencies in place to save Present-Burnham; someone else not being present as it was being planned wouldn't.
    • For his part, Spock also realizes the flaw in the plan, ironically demonstrating his devotion to his sister by working to ensure her imminent death, where before he had worked to save her. But then this works just as well regardless of the Red Angel's identity, given the Red Angel's previous demonstrated habit of showing up when Michael was in mortal danger, except that she had appeared to other people to get them to save Burnham in the past, which would prevent the trap from working in the first place.
  • The elaborate designs of the Klingon ships in season one are the result of twenty-four different Great House ship designers attempting to out-badass each other. When they pool their resources and stop trying to compete with each other, the designs get a lot more straightforward and no-nonsense — like the D7.
    • Speaking of the D7, look at its main body (especially when L'Rell is showing the hologram of it to the other Houses). Now look at the main body of Discovery. Similarities abound, no? Did the Klingons notice something about Discovery's geometry that makes it a superior warship? Are they paying respect to a Worthy Opponent? Or are they hoping to figure out Spore Drive tech for themselves, and designed the D7 to implement it? All of the above?
    • They went back to their mid-22nd century design style, clearly basing the D7 on the D5 and even restoring the old type of Bird-of-Prey from the ENT era instead of the stylized ones from the war.
  • The fame of Captain Kirk's Five Year Mission, in Universe, makes a lot more sense with the events of the Klingon War. Despite the stated Mission Objective of 'To Boldly Go where No One has Gone Before", it spends a lot of time on diplomatic missions within Federation Space, visiting remote colonies that haven't had a lot of Starfleet presence in a while (probably because of ship losses and many of the remaining being on the Klingon Border), and acquiring Natural Resources. Enterprise also stops several existential threats to the Federation, stop the Klingons in their goals of expanding territory and gaining resources, and the exploration it does do could easily be imagined to reignite the scientific and exploration passion within the Federation.
    • The need to heavily fortify the border with Klingon Space also explains the scarcity of other ships in TOS, and the frequent 'Only ship in the sector' situations.
    • The war, needing to guard the border with the Klingons, and the events that led to the War starting in the first place, also explains Starfleet's extreme caution regarding the Romulan Incursion. It cannot afford another major war, and certainly not one on a second front.
  • Having Terralysium be in the Beta Quadrant makes a great deal of sense if Discovery explores it in Season 3. The Bajoran Wormhole leads to the Gamma Quadrant, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had interactions there with its dominant power, the Dominion. Delta Quadrant has already been seen with Star Trek: Voyager, and Alpha Quadrant is where most of the action in prior Star Trek series have taken place. Aside from the region occupied by the Klingons, which is traditionally seen as a small section immediately adjacent to the Federation, Beta Quadrant and its inhabitants hasn't been seen.
  • The fact Pike seems so upbeat despite having a vision of his future might not just be how emotionally grounded the man is; he now has evidence the future can be changed, so there's always the hope he's not destined to the fate he saw. And even if he is, he knows gave his health for something good and noble. . . training the next generation of explorers to boldly go where no one has gone before. Pike seems the kind of man who'd consider that a fair trade.
  • The Klingon reinforcements sent to assist Enterprise and Discovery at Xahea consist of one older warship (a massive but somewhat impractical ship designed primarily for ramming) not seen since the pilot and several brand new battlecruisers. It's likely that L'Rell jumped in the most capable ship that happened to be in orbit, took off while the new battlecruisers were readied and launched from their shipyards, and left the rest of the fleet to defend Klingon space. She may have simply brought ships crewed by warriors loyal to her House rather than risk bringing ships from other Houses that might be unpredictable players in the battle.
  • In the pilot episode, Ujili of the House of Mo'kai is one of the first Klingon leaders to hear out T'Kuvma. As we later learn, he is also the uncle of L'Rell, one of T'Kuvma's more prominent followers. It makes sense that either he wants to hear what T'Kuvma is about to find out what his niece has become involved with, or even that he and L'Rell arranged this beforehand as a means to help advance T'Kuvma's agenda, especially given his demonstrated loyalty to L'Rell, at least after she ascends to the Chancellorship.
  • In The Short Treks episode "Q&A", Number One urges Spock to keep any weird quirks to himself, no matter how painful it is for him, if he wants to be seriously considered for the Command track, implying that she's had to do the same. This shines a new light on Burnham and Saru's mentorship of Tilly on the main show. While Tilly is urged to study hard, exercise more, and maybe talk a bit less, it's never suggested that she needs to stop being weird in her own way. It seems that in the years that passed between Spock and Tilly joining Starfleet, the organization's attitudes towards such quirks has changed considerably.
    • And what causes Number One to make this suggestion? Seeing Spock smiling when he first arrives on Enterprise. Very out of character for him, based on every iteration of Spock we've seen since 1966 (barring some Early Installment Weirdness in "The Cage/The Menagerie" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before." So why would Spock be smiling? Well, being half-human, being shunned on Vulcan for this fact on the assumption that he has "more emotions" than Vulcans, or is less capable of controlling them, here he's arriving to his first assignment, after graduating the Academy, ready for his life in Starfleet, and among a predominantly human crew. People who, finally, won't judge him and shun him and ridicule him if he occasionally indulges himself in expressing an emotion. Except they will, because they're used to "regular" Vulcans, who will never admit (least of all to humans) that they even have emotions. Number One is basically pointing out that this isn't a vacation from his Vulcan discipline and training, Spock will still need to at least wear the mask. At least, until Kirk and McCoy come along, who won't rib him (too hard ... usually) if he lets the mask slip every now and again.
  • It can seem strange for patriarchal Klingons to accept L'Rell as their chancellor, but then they were forced into the situation, and Kol-Sha does try to force her to abdicate not long after. Presumably, she proved to be such a good chancellor that they willingly offered the position to Azetbur 45 years later, especially given the popularity of Azetbur's father Gorkon. While canonically we don't know of any other female chancellors, one of The Lost Era novels have Azetbur assassinated shortly after the Treaty of Algeron is signed, and her successor bans women from being able to hold the office ever again. This may also explain why it's unusual for a female to lead a House in the 24th century, even though we saw at least one lead a House in the 23rd.

    Season 3 
  • When the Discovery is retrofitted, she is rechristened to the Discovery-A. It's a rather unusual tactic, since that honor is usually reserved for ships that are destroyed or retired (as the Enterprise was). However, there's a rather ingenious reasoning behind it; officially, Discovery was destroyed in 2258. Since she's from the past and in direct violation of the Temporal Accords, it only makes sense to rechristen her to the A in order to avoid arousing suspicion from Starfleet officers who aren't aware of her time-traveling jaunts. Likewise, the fact that she is now equipped with 32nd century technology makes her look more current even to those who might be familiar with ancient Starfleet ships. Adira had previously commented on the oddity of Discovery having such ancient technology, but looking as if she were almost new. Now she has technology to match her apparent newness.

Fridge Horror

    Season 1 
  • It seems that Admiral Marcus, for all his Blood Knight jerkassery, wasn't far off the mark about the Federation and the Klingon Empire being headed for war. In fact, in the "prime timeline" that Discovery chronicles, the two sides actually went into a shooting war, whereas they haven't done so (on-screen, anyways) several years later in the "Kelvin Timeline". Crossing into Fridge Brilliance, this may be due to the arrival of the Narada and the subsequent huge advances in Federation technology acting as a deterrent to the Klingons in the Abrams films' timeline, whereas there's no such factor at play here in the TV series.
    • Given the cut scenes from the film showing that the Romulan crew of the Narada were imprisoned on Rura Penthe for most of the time until Spock appeared, the Klingons may have been focused on the Romulans as the bigger threat, assuming they didn't realize the ship was from the future.
    • In the 2009 film, it is mentioned in passing a couple of times that nearly four dozen Klingon warships were destroyed by Nero's ship, so presumably that put them on their back heels just as the loss of Vulcan and the Starfleet relief force would have done the same to take the wind out of the Federation. Thus, the confrontation between both groups was delayed, if not averted.
  • Some of the screaming you heard in the Klingon prison cell where Lorca and Tyler were kept was quite clearly in English. This series has been unusually strict for Star Trek in not applying Translation Convention. Does this mean there are other Starfleet officers trapped in that prison?
    • Or Federation civilians like Mudd? Did Mudd once have compatriots or a crew? Just how long have the Klingons been capturing and incarcerating citizens, aside from Starfleet officers? And one could wonder how this leads to Kirk's later belief that "Klingons don't take prisoners" (other than Fantastic Racism, of course).
  • After being stranded, the Sarcophagus's crew ran low on food and ate Georgiou's body. The Sarcophagus could retrieve corpses via tractor beam. There were probably thousands of non-Klingon bodies floating around at the battle site...
  • Assuming Tyler isn't lying about his imprisonment (as pointed out elsewhere, the timing doesn't line up with what L'Rell has been up to), L'Rell's attraction to him may very well have been because of how much of a fight he put up as a captive, given that Klingons consider a good fistfight to be foreplay. This presents all manner of unsettling implications regarding how Klingons treat prisoners.
  • Stamets' romantic advice to Michael is rather sweet, but less so when you realize that his personality has been changed such that he's no longer the person he was describing that his boyfriend, Dr. Culber, originally fell in love with (and we see that his boyfriend is pretty worried about him).
  • Culber's description of what was done to Tyler's body is in itself disturbing, but there's one aspect that's implied: the detailed scan picked up extensive scarring around all the major organs (aside from the brain), but the organs themselves apparently didn't raise any red flags, suggesting they were fully human. Which means that Voq had the real Tyler's organs transplanted into him.
    • By extension, it's an Offscreen Moment of Awesome for the Klingons' surgeons, since they managed to modify Voq into Tyler while getting basically all of the human anatomical details correct, or at least correct enough to fool advanced Starfleet medical sensors and tests for several months.
  • Saru is a mild-mannered science guy who runs like a speeding locomotive and throws around grown men and women like they were ragdolls. He's a member of a prey species of his home world. What the hell are the predators like?
    • "The Sound of Thunder" finally answers this question: The predators are mature Kelpiens. Saru's people aren't prey, they're adolescents. The Ba'ul convinced the Kelpiens they were helpless prey and instituted a culling program to prevent them from maturing after they were nearly hunted to extinction by the Kelpiens.
  • A wonderful one for Starfleet and humans of the Prime Universe. If Lorca is actually Mirror!Lorca, and he's passed all Starfleet psychological tests other than those only picked up by a close confidante or lover, that means that Prime!Starfleet officers after a few months of war are psychologically similar with a Terran.
    • The alternative is no better - after a few months of war, Starfleet considers people with the psychological profiles of Mirror!Universe Terrans to be fit for duty on the front lines. Staring into the abyss indeed...
    • How about the fact that until the reveal, one of the running theory among fans is that Lorca/Discovery is Section 31? In short, what Section 31 normally do is no different from that of a non-impulsive, calculating Terran? He Who fight monsters indeed!
    • Of course, there is a third alternative; Mirror!Lorca is just that good at manipulating people. Note that for over a year and a half Mirror!Lorca successfully conned everyone, and even commanded a multi-species starship without slipping up or giving the crew, even the non-human ones, a hint of being a paranoid xenophobic fascist megalomaniac. And that's on a ship where the first officer can instinctively sense danger.
    • With Episode 14, we are leaning toward that Starfleet is indeed not that much different from Terrans, seeing they not only accept Terran!Georgiou's suggestion, but made her the Captain of Discovery.
    • Now that we know those black badge have relationship with Section 31, and they gone out of the way to recruit Emperor!Georgiou, Section 31 is worse than the Terran. In fact, it is entirely possible it's not so much as Lorca pass the psychological test but Section 31 either covers up any failure and let him run around, or actually had recruit him with the return as his reward. Brrr....
  • Miror!Sarek's presence among the rebels, coupled with the way Discovery (and Enterprise) have established that the Empire treats non-Terrans, forces one to realize the circumstances of Mirror!Spock's conception were probably… less than consensual.
  • Mirror-Georgiou seems to be quite willing to help the Federation defeat the Klingon Empire, despite the fact that she's a fascist, speciesist, murderous despot, and the Federation is filled with liberal, egalitarian space-hippies. Think about why she is so willing to do so from her point of view, even if she thinks the Federation is weak and pathetic and the Klingons fit her politics much better. Humans are the closest thing to Terrans the Prime Universe has, and seem to be the primary species of the Federation, so she's going to support humans over any other species. So, um... thanks, I guess?
  • Mirror-Georgiou gets parole even after the Qo'nos mission is aborted, because... she hasn't committed any crimes in the Prime Universe. Even if Burnham had wanted to imprison or arrest her, she would have had no choice but to let her go.
    • Not only that, she was GIVEN Captain Georgiou's identity, meaning that, for all legal purposes, she IS the Prime-Phillipa Georgiou. How's that for a legacy, where you die and a tyrant takes over your life?
  • Watch Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country after watching Season 1 of Discovery, and remember the dates of each installment — 2293 and 2256-57. The young ensigns, NCOs, and lieutenants who fought on the front lines of the Klingon War depicted in Discovery in their twenties eventually become the Admirals and Captains in their fifties and sixties at the time of the Khitomer conference. They've seen a lot of death and destruction, and the horrors of fighting a species like the Klingons, who don't follow "our rules" of war and will happily wage wars of genocide. These are the people who you're trying to convince to give peace a chance. Suddenly, Admiral Cartwright's (and even Kirk's) outright hatred of the Klingons in VI seems a lot more understandable.
    • Worse, is perhaps Ensign Tilly one of those people? The series certainly seems to be setting her up to one day be The Captain, or even more than that ...
      • Of course, as of Season 3, Tilly and the rest of the crew have jumped to the 32nd century, so clearly none of them were involved in the situation by the 2290s.
  • Which seems more likely: that Mirror Culber and Stamets just happened to be pansexual? Or that they just weren't suicidal enough to refuse the whims of an Ax-Crazy tyrant droit du seigneur-ing her way through the Empire?
    • Or she was lying her ass off. All to relish a little more of his discomfort, and to push him and Hugh closer together.
      Stamets: Well in my universe, and pretty much any universe I can possibly imagine, I'm gay. And so is he.
      Georgiou: Of course you are. I'm glad we all see what's right in front of us.
  • In the pilot, we learn that Sarek saved Michael's life when she was a child by transferring part of his k'atra to her. This resulted in the two of them sharing a telepathic link. Sarek sharing his k'atra, or Michael breaking that link by traveling into the distant future might have contributed to his developing Bendii Syndrome by the time of Star Trek: The Next Generation. To paraphrase Babylon 5, there was a hole in his mind.

    Season 2 
  • The Discovery having been abandoned while in perfectly acceptable working order in "Calypso" raises an interesting question: Zora states the crew evacuated the ship. So why didn't Starfleet try to recover a perfectly good starship? It seems to mean that the crew hadn't been able to send any kind of message, even after they left the ship ... and no one made it home to tell what had happened.
    • Given that the crew explicitly ordered the ship's computer to hold position no matter what, they seem to be intending to come back to Discovery at some unspecified future point in time. This doesn't work if Starfleet (or the V'Draysh) retrieves the ship in the meantime and takes it somewhere else. It's likely that this was why no message was ever sent.
    • Given the Control story arc in Season 2, it now seems possible that Zora is being quarantined, either to prevent her from being infected by the malicious time-traveling AI, or to prevent her from spreading it to other ships. The latter could be troubling given that she just sent Craft off in one of her shuttles...
    • Alternately, Zora is evolved from the Sphere data that Control hasn't gotten, and her quarantine is a means to prevent anyone from getting a hold of it? We have seen that the data will work to preserve itself, so setting off the self destruct might not be an option. "Calypso" does happen to take place in about the same time period as where Doctor Burnham ended up. The Ved'Raysh may well be the future people of the Federation unwittingly following the orders of Control puppets used to replace their leadership, as we saw happen with Section 31.
      • As we see in "Such Sweet Sorrow", setting off the Self-Destruct is indeed not an option because the data simply takes over the ship's systems to protect itself. Instead they decide to use the Time Crystal to send Discovery into the distant future...
    • Wordof God is that "V'Draysh" is a corrupted pronunciation of "Federation." Either Craft's people are some Maquis-esque splinter group, or the UFP of the far future has taken a serious turn for the worse. (Or both)
    • As of the Season 3 opener, it seems that the Federation has mostly collapsed, though there are still a few ships with Federation transponder codes poking about, they don't seem to be talking to each other. It's still not clear if this is the same time period as when Calypso takes place.
  • In order to frame Spock for murder, Control creates holo-footage of him killing three doctors, even though Spock only neck-pinched them. If their deaths were faked, then surely someone would have seen or heard from them — unless Control killed them itself to sell the deception. Given that it impersonated a cadre of admirals after eliminating them, it's certainly plausible.
  • Chancellor L'Rell may have been committed to preserving the peace between the Klingon Empire and The Federation, but Star Trek: The Original Series shows the two powers being constantly on the verge of open warfare. Sounds like her chancellorship wasn't as long as she or the Federation had hoped...

    Season 3 
  • As of Season 3, we have "The Burn", a disastrous incident sometime in the 31st Century where the vast majority of dilithium mysteriously and spontaneously "went boom". Book, who explains what happened, doesn't go into detail, but this apparently included ships that were at warp, or in deep space. Assuming the sudden loss of dilithium didn't simply wipe out most ships that were at warp, there's still the fact that a lot of starships would have been effectively stranded at sublight speed... without any hope of rescue.
    • As of "People of Earth", we have the explanation that all of that dilithium spontaneously became inert (as opposed to exploding), leading to uncontrolled matter-antimatter reactor overloads and breaches. The only ships that would have survived would be those whose warp reactor systems were offline at the time. And even then, as soon as a ship tried to power up a reactor relying on an inert dilithium crystal, it too would have exploded without warning. Imagine being aboard a ship that hadn't yet received any notice of what was happening, picking up numerous warp core breaches on long-range sensors, and then trying to go and assist only to instantly become part of the carnage.
  • Remember Daniels, the 31st-century Time Cop who dealt with Archer and the NX-01 Enterprise? He may have lived to see the end of the Temporal Wars, only to witness an apocalypse that brought the Federation to its knees (assuming he survived The Burn at all, and leaving the unanswered question about whether or not he was finally Out of Continues).
  • In the season 3 opener, Molly the trance worm swallows Michael whole. Michael goes in head first. And comes out head first. Either that worm's gullet is wide enough for a human to rotate 180 degrees, or Michael reached its stomach, where she came face to face with the two other guys Molly had just swallowed (who were both trying to kill her) before being spat out.
  • Since "The Burn" apparently affected anyone using dilithium to regulate matter-antimatter power generation, logically an exception to the powers impacted would be the remnants of the Romulan Empire, which has traditionally relied upon artificial singularities for power and/or reaction regulation (instead of dilithium). So, it stands to reason that in the wake of the Federation's collapse (and likely that of the Klingon Empire as well), the Romulans, who we last saw in a very antagonistic stance with the Zhat Vash in 2399 in Star Trek: Picard, probably ascended to become the preeminent power in the region as a result. And they would have remembered how the Federation never came to their aid when Romulus and Remus were facing a supernova, so it was likely less of a benevolent aid takeover and probably military conquest instead.
  • "Die Trying" brings serious doubts on the survival of the Terran race post-Deep Space 9. According to Georgiu's interogator, who's also a historian, there's been no crossings between both universes in over 500 years. The last time the Mirror Universe was seen, back in 2375, the Terrans were fighting for their freedom in an universe that hated their guts. The episode also reveals they had a tiny difference in their genome compared to the Humans, which might be the source of their natural malevolence and ruthlessness. If the crossings stopped so long ago, it's possible the Terrans returned to their old Stupid Evil ways and rebuilt their Empire, only to be defeated by their enemies once again, this time, in a more permanent way.


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