WARNING: Spoilers are unmarked.
"The Vulcan Hello"
- While debating whether the destruction of a Federation communications relay was a random mishap or an act of malice, Saru insists it must be malicious, fully expecting Burnham to disregard his concerns. While she does needle him for his paranoid tendencies, Burnham states that she agrees with him (much to Saru's surprise). Georgiou remarks to the bridge crew that both of her senior officers agree on something and asks to have it noted in the ship's log.
- Saru complains that he can't get a solid lock with the ship's sensors to determine a mystery object's nature. Burnham's response is to physically crowd Saru off of his own station to read the sensor data out loud (mostly just giving off its position relative to Shenzhou). Saru bumps Burnham back out of the way and states that he cannot determine anything useful about it, as opposed to just reading numbers off of a screen like anyone could do. One gets the impression of a pair of bickering siblings, with Georgiou filing the role of an amused parent.
- The officers wonder how they can get a fix on an object in the star system's debris ring (later revealed to be the Klingon beacon) when the ship's sensors cannot lock on. Cut to Burnham, Georgiou, and Saru using the telescope in the captain's ready room to zoom in on the object visually.
- Saru protests Burnham's plan to EVA out to the object due to the hazardous radiation. His description of the effects it would have on her very genetic makeup should be terrifying, except for his choice of words for how her genes would unravel:Burnham: [mock terror] Like noodles?!
- Georgiou suggests, for the sake of safety, that Saru should accompany Burnham on the EVA, only to watch both of them immediately protest: Burnham feels bringing him along would only add to the risk, and Saru doesn't want to go.Georgiou: And you, Mr. Saru? Are you equally happy not to be put at risk?
Saru: Oh, on any occasion, Captain.
- Ensign Connor narrating Burnham's EVA launch like an airline flight. It only adds to the Tear Jerker factor when Connor is later killed during the battle in the following episode.Connor: Commander Burnham, this is Ensign Danby Connor. On behalf of Captain Georgiou and the entire crew of the U.S.S. Shenzhou, we'd like to welcome you to flight 819 with non-stop service to the object of unknown origin. The temperature outside is a brisk -260 degrees Celsius. We are forecasting some mild debris, but anticipate a smooth ride.
- The Reveal that Georgiou had her and Burnham tramp around the desert to make an enormous Starfleet logo in the sand to signal the Shenzhou. After all, if you're going to call for a rescue, why not do it in style?
- Admiral Anderson dryly suggests that Burnham should, in the future, avoid disturbing ancient cultural artifacts belonging to warrior races the Federation hasn't dealt with in a hundred years. Given how frequently "disturb ancient dangerous artifact" was a plot line in previous shows, he's wise to make the suggestion.
- Sarek, while conferring with Burnham via hologram, manages to lean against a piece of furniture in her quarters. Either the software running the hologram is smart enough to adjust for differing room layouts to avoid Sarek clipping through a table when he sits down, or Sarek and Burnham have the exact same furniture layout.
"The Battle at the Binary Star"
- A flashback shows Burnham's arrival aboard the Shenzhou several years earlier, accompanied by Sarek. Burnham's stiffness and insistence on proper protocol lead Georgiou to puckishly suggest treating it as a First Contact situation, much to Burnham's consternation.
- Sarek has some parting advice for his adopted daughter/protege just before he leaves.Sarek: [under his breath] Behave.
- Sarek has some parting advice for his adopted daughter/protege just before he leaves.
"Context is for Kings"
- In the midst of an otherwise very ominous and tense scene aboard the derelict USS Glenn, the boarding party encounters a lone Klingon who tries to warn them to be quiet with a very human-esque "shh."Landry: [normal voice] Is he shushing you?
- Cue the monster leaping out of the shadows and killing the Klingon, while the away team hauls ass in the other direction.
- When they're trying to break open a door to get away from the alien monster trying (and slowly succeeding) to break down another door to get to them, Burnham asks for a phaser. Landry tells her that she doesn't get to have one, but after Burnham basically says she wants to distract it, Stamets almost instantly and silently tosses his over to her. Given how much he's shown to dislike her, one way to interpret his action is him thinking "The person I hate wants to be bait for a murderous monster? Be my guest."
- Also funny is her "distraction":
- Burnham meets Captain Lorca, standing in his darkened ready room, looking out the window at the stars. He mentions an eye injury that requires him to very slowly adjust the lighting in his quarters.Lorca: I like to think it makes me mysterious. [Beat, turns to see Burnham silently staring at him] No?
- He then entirely kills the moment by offering Burnham some fortune cookies.
- Do note that, through the entire ominous start of this scene, you can clearly hear his pet tribble cooing away.
- Lorca, the mysterious, plotting, vaguely threatening captain, has a pet tribble in his ready room, which he keeps within a few feet of a bowl of fortune cookies. Either that thing devours them when he's not around, or Lorca is so menacing that he can keep a tribble away from a bowl of food.
- Well, it's those...or tribbles just aren't interested in sugared and baked wallpaper paste with horrible quotes, rhymes or puns stuffed in them. Which is just as funny.
- This also serves as a bit of Self-Deprecation on the franchise's tendency to nonsensically turn the lights off during serious meetings.
- When Stamets protests Burnham being on the away party, Lorca asks Saru to assess his former crewmate.Saru: She is the smartest Starfleet officer I have ever known.
Lorca: [to Stamets] Huh. And he knows you.
- Cadet Tilly is a spaz, full stop. About 90% of Burnham's responses to anything at all she says is basically a Flat "What".
"The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry"
- The show opens with what looks like an alien landscape with energy bursts, then zooming out to reveal the "sky" looks the same, zooms out further to show pillars growing between ground and sky with energy strikes growing more intense and zooms out even further with dramatic orchestral music to reveal...that it's a clothing fabricator making Burnham's new uniform.
- Tilly brings in a package for Burnham.Tilly: This was sent for you. You were in the shower when that ping went off and that's how I-I was fully clothed so I thought I-I'd save you a trip to the depot—
Tilly: Yes. Well, less extraneous words.
- After Stamets takes a skull fracture that nearly damages his frontal lobe, he dismisses it as "overrated" as it only controls memories and emotions. Dr. Culber decides to save it anyway, "just in case you decide to have a feeling one day".
- Poor "Ripper" gets (mis)named that by Landry (because that bug is not really aggressive if left to his/her own devices)...and, then promptly rips her apart when she gets overly belligerent and way too cocky when trying to get a "sample" while Ripper isn't as far under the anesthetic as she thought. It's rather darkly amusing.
- Stamets is jealous that Ripper the Giant Tardigrade can somehow communicate with the spores.Stamets: Well, that's unfair. I always wanted to converse with my mushrooms.
"Choose your Pain"
- For the very first time in any canon Trek series:
- Mudd is outraged that Tyler and Lorca conned him.
- Tyler repeatedly punching L'Rell probably sends some mixed messages if you understand Klingon courtship. Of course, understanding Klingon courtship leads to her prior abuse of him making a certain unsettling sense as well.
- During Lorca and Tyler's training exercise, the last part of the simulation involved a double column of Klingons running down the hall while Tyler easily gunned them down. It looks hysterically funny, as if Tyler modded the simulation just to run up his score.
- Burnham and Tilly argue over what Tilly should have for breakfast.
- When Burnham and Tilly are exercising, the background music sounds like the main theme — remixed through an old Game Boy.
- The food stations on Discovery helpfully provide nutritional information on the meals ordered.
- Fridge Brilliance to go along with your dose of funny: When Tilly and Burnham meet Tyler, Tilly flounces over and starts talking to Tyler in a very familiar manner, a person to whom she has never been introduced. In most cultures, it would be considered very presumptuous, but she kicks Burnham under the table when Burnham doesn't shake Tyler's hand when he introduces himself to her. A person with some autistic traits like Tilly would know full well or been taught that you shake someone's hand when they offer it to you in greeting, but may not get that you can't just discuss rather personal things with someone without being introduced first.
- Stamets' exposure to the spore drive in the previous episode has apparently mellowed him out to the point he acts like he's on a permanent high. Well, he is taking in shrooms...
- In an unintentional bit of humor, Discovery has custom t-shirts which simply say "Disco." Apparently Starfleet charges by the letter. One wonders if these will be used as an equivalent to redshirts.
- Or it'll be revealed at some point that disco's no longer dead (which, given next episode's party, isn't so far-fetched).
- Burnham wants to talk to Sarek about why he lied to her about why she wasn't accepted into the Vulcan Expeditionary Group. Sarek finds several excuses in rapid succession to avoid the discussion. Burnham leaves, promising that they will have that discussion some day, pointedly referring to him as "Father." The look on Sarek's face afterwards can best be described as "Why me?" Sarek: Renowned diplomat, but not scoring so hot on the "Father of the Year" competition.
"Magic to Make the sanest Man Go Mad"
- The dread and horrible challenge known as...a party.
- Drunk Tilly.
- On that note, Stamets' "I just saw the hottest guy over there and he's in a band" to get Tilly out of his hair.
- Tilly mentions that she used to be into soldiers, but now she's into musicians. Spotting Tyler walking over, she declares that her soldier thing is back.
- Tilly and Stamets as Shippers On Deck for Tyler and Burnham. Even with Stamets explicitly having an agenda since he needs Tyler's help and Tyler won't listen to him but will listen to Burnham.
- Before they get caught in the loop, Stamets is shown as acting like he's totally stoned due to his genetic alteration.
- Lorca's commentary on how a gormagander will get so caught up with feeding that it forgets about mating: "That's as depressing a trait as I've ever heard."
- Mudd's beautiful line on Starfleet ships.Mudd: There really are too many ways to blow up this ship. It's like a design flaw.
- Although it involves casual murder, there's something darkly amusing about all the different ways Mudd kills Lorca.
- Watching this again after The Reveal about who Lorca really is, what he's done, and what he's still planning to do makes it even funnier.
- Mudd's spacesuit has a helmet that looks like a ridiculous ant head with big eyes and antennae. Word of God is that it's styled after the Andorians, but with wildly exaggerated features.
- The "WTF?" look on Burnham's face when Stamets hugs her after they collide in the corridor. And then Stamets saying to Tyler "You're a very tall man" for no good reason.
- After being warned about the Space Whale by Stamets, Burnham requests lead on scientific analysis. Lorca's response: "I don't give a damn."
- Tyler then requests to provide security oversight. Lorca: "I still don't give a damn."
- Every time Saru tries to explain that the Space Whale is not a fish, Lorca just stares at him.
- Just the fact that the alien is straight up described as a Space Whale.
- There's something darkly humorous about Mudd's pained "dammit I gotta do this all over again" expression when Burnham vaporizes herself and he can't then sell her to the Klingons. There's more than a little of a "why go to all this painful trouble, you *know* I can just undo it, right?" vibe to it.
- Stamets comically screwing up the Trust Password with Burnham. Though it's set up seriously when she's whispering in his ear, the next reset he just walks up to her and blurts out "You've never been in love!" without preamble. Burnham understandably reacts as though he's on drugs.note
- Stamets' irritable "can you let me lead, please?" to Burnham, when they are are dancing.
- In the same scene: "Dance with me. For Science!"
- Mudd nick-naming Saru "Lanky" and calling him "the beanpole".
- And making a snide comment about "Random Communications Officer Man", making it explicit how the average Red Shirt is viewed in this franchise.
- "CAPTAIN MUDD??"
- "I never thought I would say this, but I'm actually tired of gloating."
- When the crew put the unexplained plan into action: Mudd enters the bridge, Lorca greets him as "Captain Mudd," and stands to offer him his chair. Mudd is seriously wigged out by this and suspects that they are trying to con him again (He's right, and at the same time has no idea.)
- On a meta level, the reveal that Stella, contrary to Mudd's view of her as a plain-looking screeching harridan (later made flesh in android form), is a young, attractive heiress who honestly loves him even though she knows what he's really like.
- The way the heroes finally win the day: They call Mudd's wife and she promptly comes to take him off of their hands. It brings to mind Trelane and his parents in TOS.
- Every time the loop resets (triggered by the destruction of Discovery and the death of her crew), we cut back to the party, where the DJ is blasting out "Staying Alive."
"Into the Forest I Go"
- Once they've managed to defeat the Klingon cloaking device, Lorca orders a massive volley of photon torpedoes unloaded at the Ship of the Dead. Just before giving the order to fire, he gives himself a fresh dose of the medication which treats his sensitivity to light. Evidently, just so he could watch the explosion.
- The Discovery has to pose as its Mirror Universe counterpart. The biggest obstacle to that is that the captain of the ISS Discovery is Tilly. Yes, the awkward and extremely non-threatening cadet has to pretend to be a vicious war criminal and while she ultimately manages to pull it off, her struggles to do so are hilarious:
- Tilly's first attempt at impersonation causes her to turn into a sputtering mess, so she has to get Lorca to pretend to be the chief engineer and bail her out. Lorca chooses a strange but familiar Scottish accent to disguise his voice with, much to the amusement of the bridge crew.
- Captain Tilly's nicknames include "The Slayer of Sorna Prime," "The Witch of Wurna Minor," and...Saru: "Captain Killy"? That's not very clever.
- His tone is what sells that line. Of all the awful qualities the Terrans have, that is what Saru chooses to be judgemental about?
- Tilly at one point tells the commander of the ISS Shenzhou that if he greeted her the way he greeted his long-lost captain, she would cut out his tongue and use it to lick her boots with a Psychotic Smirk. When the call is over, she looks pretty much like she wants to vomit.
- Mirror!Connor's reaction to the above warning is a grin which could be interpreted as more admiring of Captain Killy's ruthlessness than intimidated by it.
- Mirror!Tilly's uniform features a low-cut breastplate, in comparison to Burnham's more conservative attire. Tilly quips that her mother would approve.
- To get into the Captain Killy mindset, Tilly tries going into Sir Swears-a-Lot mode, calling the Terrans they're about to meet "assholes" and bossing around Discovery's bridge crew. Lorca approves. He'd know!
- After a brutal knife fight in the turbolift, Burnham kills Mirror!Connor and chucks his corpse onto the ISS Shenzhou's bridge. The bridge crew's reaction? Slow Clap. Black Comedy at its finest.
- Emperor Philippa Georgiou's overly long list of cognomens is as impressive as it is hammy: Mother of the Fatherland, Overlord of Vulcan, Dominus of Kronos, Regina Andor, Emperor Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius.
- Burnham compliments the food served at the Emperor's table, and is visibly distressed to learn that she's eating the Kelpian the Emperor made her choose earlier.
- Burnham, standing before the Emperor, tells her that she isn't Michael Burnham, Captain of the Shenzhou and adopted daughter of the Emperor, but rather her double from the Prime Universe, offering Captain Georgiou's Starfleet badge as proof. As soon as the Emperor verifies her story, she kills her entire court without warning, save for one Lord, who she offers the governorship of Andor if he can keep this information secret - and clean up the bodies.
"What's Past Is Prologue"
- Some Black Comedy:
- Lorca declares that Mirror!Stamets is now less useful than he is dangerous to keep around, and states that he's going to throw Stamets into the Mycelial Core, which he feels to be a fittingly poetic death. Then he promptly declares that he hates poetry, and has Stamets shot instead.Lorca: Just kidding, I hate poetry.
- The fact that the Emperor has a trapdoor in her throne room just to throw people into the ship's energy core. Which, naturally, gets used within a few scenes of being introduced, just for the obligatory establishing of its existence.
- Mirror!Landry's Famous Last Words: An audibly nervous question about whether the core's containment field is up or not. Note: Her hand is resting on the containment field's control panel.
- Lorca declares that Mirror!Stamets is now less useful than he is dangerous to keep around, and states that he's going to throw Stamets into the Mycelial Core, which he feels to be a fittingly poetic death. Then he promptly declares that he hates poetry, and has Stamets shot instead.
- Mirror!Stamets' brutally honest response to seeing Lorca again.Gabriel. I really hoped you were dead.
Stamets: Frankly, I'm still stuck on the "not dead" part.
- Before that, Lorca is doing a big speech on how he survived death by being sent to another universe.
"The War Without, The War Within"
- After learning about Lorca being replaced by his MU counterpart, Admiral Cornwell is so angry she disintegrates his bowl of fortune cookies with her phaser. The following camera cut shows Michael, Saru, Stamets, and Sarek sitting around the table the bowl of cookies had been in the center of, with Burnham's wordless look saying volumes about the gesture.
- Sarek and Mirror!Georgiou engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat over Burnham, essentially arguing over which was the better parent to their respective versions of Michael. Sarek claims victory by pointing out his version of Burnham saw through Lorca. This whole argument is funnier when you recall that Sarek's defining trait on this show is that he's a terrible parent, making this victory of his amusingly petty.
"Will You Take My Hand"
- Tilly finally gets to meet her idol. Only it's the wrong one. Tilly's reaction to being in front of Mirror!Georgiou is to awkwardly do the Terran salute.Burnham: Don't do that.
- Georgiou then proceeds to mock Tilly's ginger curls. For the subsequent away mission, her hair is straightened out. One might wonder if this is only for a better crook disguise.
- Drunk Tilly was funny. Stoned Tilly is hysterical.
- After passing out from the first hit and waking up to the Orion trying to steal her case, she just scolds him like a child.
- When she gets mad, he points out she was asleep and he's an Orion. She concedes the point.
- When she realizes she's carrying a bomb, she calls Burnham and immediately admits to being high before explaining the problem.
- After passing out from the first hit and waking up to the Orion trying to steal her case, she just scolds him like a child.
- There's a drunken Klingon taking a leak in an alleyway, and there are two streams. Hilariously enough, this is a case of Shown Their Work!
- Tyler spots some Klingons playing a game which appears to be a cross between craps and shuffleboard, and evidently entails a lot of trash talk. He joins in and seems to do rather well, with his trash talk including, among other things, shouting the word "OWNED!" while bodily crashing into one of the Klingons.
- After he finishes up, he mentions that the Klingons didn't respond to him with hostility because of the novelty of meeting a human who could speak Klingon. Tyler describes it as being akin to seeing "a dog on water skis."
- Tilly orders a quadruple-espresso with milk alternative (which comes out as a single shot, meaning it's quadruple-intensity, not quadruple-servings). The replicator warns her against her Drink Order:Replicator: Ill-advised. That amount of caffeine is not-Tilly: Is my best friend. So shush.
- Of all the things to happen after a *Drool* Hello, probably the last thing you'd expect is for all of the replicators in the galley to go ballistic, bombarding the hapless Tilly with a barrage of food. With the replicators helpfully describing each meal item as it is sent flying across the room. The replicators seem to be particularly excited to announce "French fries!"
- During a tense standoff with the Runaway, the alien is distracted by her discovery of ice cream.Tilly: [sotto voice] And how did you subdue the alien presence, Ensign Tilly?
- After the second or third time the Runaway bristles at Tilly's approach, Tilly responds in kind by hissing back at her, thus beginning their Snark-to-Snark Combat.
- Tilly explains away the mess in the galley without revealing the Runaway's presence by claiming it was caused by a "hormonal space-rabbit." One with mood-swings.
- We see Craft, unconscious and drifting in an escape pod playing Betty Boop cartoons. Zora later notes that he had watched the same video over eight hundred times. Craft explains that he couldn't figure out how to turn it off.
- There's a short bit where Zora introduces Craft to various 23rd century human cuisine. For Taco Tuesday, Zora explains to Craft what a Taco is. Craft's next question is to ask what a Tuesday is.
- When Craft and Zora are watching Funny Face, Craft munches popcorn from a Starfleet-branded popcorn tub.
"The Escape Artist"
- The opening credits set the tone, as the standard intro gets interrupted by a burst of video distortion before the title card displays, with the theme music replaced by a disco remix.
- Mudd insists that he's an innocent man, that he's never even been in such a situation before. A Flashback Cut shows him in a very similar situation, with identical introductory dialogue, just before a Klingon kicks him in the face to shut him up.
- Another flashback shows Mudd trying to talk his way out of a similar situation with an Orion man, who is rather taken in by Mudd's fast-talk, before an Orion woman storms in and reminds her partner that the cell has a (very obvious, with a helpful bright red "recording" light) security camera letting her see the whole conversation. Mudd tries sweet-talking her, only to get tased.
- A couple of times, Kritt seems taken in by Mudd's lies, only to laugh in his face. At one point Kritt asks if anyone has ever fallen for his claims.
- The Reveal that Mudd has been posing as a masked female bounty hunter, selling android duplicates of himself to various dupes who try to cash in the bounty with various Starfleet crews who have obviously become quite familiar with the routine. One ship is shown to have a storage room full of Mudd-droids.
- Pike issues orders to his new bridge crew as they prepare to investigate the mysterious signal.Pike: Rhys, charge phaser cannons. Bryce, start transmitting standard Federation greeting. Owosekun, Saru, Connelly, Burnham, scan what you can. Detmer...fly...good.
- While the landing party is attempting to navigate to a crashed ship on an asteroid surrounded by a ridiculously dangerous debris field that's about to crash into a pulsar, Detmer discovers that the material surrounding them is subject to spontaneously exploding. Saru has his danger-sensing ganglia suddenly emerge when that's announced. When he sees a crewmember staring at him...
- Captain Pike is in mortal danger, and Michael tries to reassure him:Burnham: Trust us, Discovery has you. Right ladies?Detmer: (nervous) Oh yeah!Owosekun: (frightened) Absolutely!
- Michael informs Jet Reno of their current situation:Michael: We're on a collision course with a pulsar.
- Jet Reno is what happens when a Starfleet Engineer internalizes the reputation that Starfleet Engineers have. When asked how she kept her patients alive despite being an engineer rather than a doctor:Reno: Body's just a machine. And I read.
- Reno learns that the Klingon War ended while she was shipwrecked.Reno: beat No one's speaking Klingon so... we won?Burnham: There was an armistice. We're at peace.Reno: An armistice with the guys who drink blood wine?!
- An Uncomfortable Elevator Moment where Connelly gets sneezed on by a Saurian with a cold.
- Pike's hilariously awkward "Bless you" to the Saurian.
- Tilly, as part of her command training, is put in charge of reallocating Discovery's resources, and gives Stamets a new lab by moving someone else into an utility closet.Tilly: I'm drunk on power.
- Stamets intends to transfer to Vulcan, but he has one last piece of advice for Tilly: "Talk less."
- Pike asks for everyone on the bridge to introduce themselves, no ranks. But try telling that to "Lieutenant Commander Airiam," apparently.
- Saru also fumbles a bit when dropping ranks means he only has the one name to offer, no surname.
- The gravity simulator initially appears to be a heavy disk the size of a manhole cover, requiring two crewman to carry and position. Then as soon as they activate it, everyone scrambles out of the way as it unfolds into a massive apparatus the size of a small shuttle, like something out of The Jetsons.
- Tilly talks to the sample of the dark matter rock she has collected, and it abruptly releases a shockwave that sends her flying into a stack of crates.
- Tilly's observation of the dark matter's disproportionate weight, noting not only that a very small rock crushed a table, but that it was awesome to see it do that.
- Tilly has her own version of "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again."Tilly: If X doesn't work, try Y. If Y doesn't work, try Z. If Z doesn't work, try drowning your ineptitude in a Risan mai-tai!
- May, a crewmate who has attached herself to Tilly, is possibly even more spazzy than Tilly, of course, she might be a figment of Tilly's imagination, considering that May has been dead for some time already.
- Tilly's method of getting Detmer on board with her plan:Detmer: For the asteroid to exit at the correct angle, I'd have to execute a sustained circular drift.
Tilly: A donut. You'd be doing a donut in a starship!
Detmer: That's true. [begins grinning like a maniac]
- Pike, recovering from a phaser wound to the ribs, warns Burnham not to make him laugh.Burnham: Fortunately for you, I was raised on Vulcan. We don't do funny.
Pike chuckles, then winces in pain.
Burnham: Maybe I should just shut up.
- Saru catches Pike up on how the spore drive works:Pike: "If you're telling me this ship can skip across the universe on a highway made of mushrooms, I kind of have to go on faith."
"Point of Light"
- Ex-Terran Emperor Georgiou—a ruthless, xenophobic, cold-blooded killer—starts making goo-goo faces at Tyler's Klingon infant son.
- Georgiou suggests L'Rell find a wet-nurse, otherwise she won't have the time to get anything done. L'Rell takes it under advisement.
- The Reveal that when May talks about Discovery's Captain, she's not referring to Lorca, as Tilly previously thought, but rather Stamets, because he's the one who interacts with the spores to make the ship jump from place to place.
- Stamets shows a giddy cheerfulness on discovering Tilly has an extradimensional fungal parasite.
- On that note, Stamets evidently needs some sensitivity training. He manages to repeatedly insult May by referring to her as a fungus and by comparing her to bacteria. The already frantic May is beside herself over the remarks. Not to mention her yelling at him as if he could hear her anyways.
- Stamets does not have a reassuring bedside manner."This might hurt a bit." (It hurts a lot)
- Burnham cracks a joke about why she's so sure there's no teenage girl who'd never cried."I know. I'm a xenoanthropologist."
- Amanda casually informs Burnham that under the circumstances, she did the only logical thing: She stole Spock's classified medical records so Burnham could help her break into them. Burnham's only response is to stare off into the middle distance processing what her stepmother just announced. You can just see her choking back "Mother, you and I have very different definitions of what 'the logical thing' means."
- Burnham is pleading with Captain Pike to decrypt the records. Pike jokingly asks Amanda if Burnham had always been this bossy. Amanda icily replies that on Vulcan, it's referred to as being persistent. And that Burnham learned it from her. Cue an uncomfortable silence from Pike.
"An Obol for Charon"
- Linus expresses sympathy for Saru.
- The Universal Translator goes haywire, causing everyone to start talking in random languages, while their consoles similarly switch to random assorted languages. Of note is Detmer pointing at her own mouth and asking "is this Arabic?"
- Also note: The Captain is speaking French.
- Bryce figures out what's going on and mimes "BOOM!".
- Saru arrives on the bridge, and Pike dryly welcomes him to the Tower of Babel.
- Burnham explains to Saru, the resident Cunning Linguist, about the Universal Translator. His reply:
- And then finally, this bit after Saru gets everyone speaking Federation Standard again:
- Jet Reno is hilarious throughout:
- Her Volleying Insults with Stamets.
- When Brunham realizes that the sphere is trying to communicate:Reno: Well, damn, woman. Go!
- Reno and Stamets undergo a forced Mushroom Samba when May doses them with spores. Stamets realizes something is wrong soon after he and Reno compliment each other's looks. note
"Saints Of Imperfection"
- Tilly practically goes into convulsions and finally gives a Cathartic Scream when May earnestly asks for her help. You know, after having driven Tilly to a nervous breakdown and abducted her into another dimension.
- After all is said and done, Admiral Cornwell, having noted that Pike and Leland are hardly friends anymore, demands that they "cut the manlier-than-thou bullshit" before calling out Leland for playing cloak-and-dagger around Pike when he needed help.
- Pike starts to grin while watching Leland get dressed down, before he realizes that he's next in line, quickly dropping the grin as the Admiral gets on him for looking down his nose at Leland's clandestine mission.
- Pike presumes that, given that Discovery's cooperation with Section 31 will be running a bit longer, that Tyler's assignment as liaison to Pike is now permanent.Leland: Unless you'd prefer Captain Georgiou...Pike: Nothankyou.Cornwell: Nope.
"The Sounds of Thunder"
- Tilly and Airiam have been assigned to go through the massive database Discovery was given by the sphere. Burnham asks to Tilly to look for any information there might be on Kaminar in the sphere's archive.Tilly: That's what Airiam and I are here for. We will find it.
Airiam: There it is.
Tilly: When I said "we", I just meant Airiam.
"Light and Shadows"
- Mirror Georgiou has Burnham hit her to make Burnham's escape look good. Burnham does so... but doesn't wait for the cameras to reset. Gasping for air, Georgiou admits that it wasn't bad, but that Burnham should try again with some feeling.
- Later on, Georgiou gets her back by just barely missing her with a phaser. Burnham's indignant look is met with a smile and a shrug before Georgiou resumes the act.
"If Memory Serves"
- After Burnham wakes up from seeing Spock's memories, Burnham asks what the Red Angel is, Spock says that if he knew, they wouldn't be on Talos IV. The two begin bickering about the Rhetorical Question Blunder, and when Spock asks if Burnham has a question she's never asked, Burnham does pose one: "Do you actually think the beard is working?" Spock then pauses and rubs his hand over his face. Apparently, his Sanity Slippage was so much that he didn't even realize he had the beard.
- The Talosians, Burnham, and Spock troll Leland just before the illusionary Spock and Burnham disappear.Burnham: Say goodbye, Spock.Spock: (gives Vulcan salute to Leland) Goodbye Spock. (Spock and Burnham vanish)
- Nhan is beginning to suspect that something is wrong with Airiam. During a discussion between the two of them, Airiam casually asks if the implants on Nhan's face allow her race to breath in an atmosphere designed for humans, which Nhan uncomfortably confirms. It's a very tense situation, but very prone to Black Comedy given that Nhan was introduced wearing a red uniform. During the episode's climax, Control!Airiam does indeed try to kill Nhan by ripping her implants off, but it is Airiam who dies at Nhan's hands in the end, after Nhan narrowly survives.
- During the fight between Control!Airiam and Burnham, Michael finds herself overwhelmed in the fight against her cyborg crewmate. At one point Burnham resorts to attempting a drop-kick against her opponent, which mostly results in Burnham bouncing off of Airiam and falling gracelessly on her back.
"The Red Angel"
- When discussing the Red Angel's patterns, Spock snarks that it fits with Burnham's Chronic Hero Syndrome, Survivor Guilt, and It's All My Fault tendencies.Burnham: (annoyed deadpan) Thank you for sharing that with the group, Spock.
- Spock finds Burnham working out her aggression by kickboxing against a sparring dummy. He observes that Captain Leland probably appreciates her decision to practice against the dummy, rather than continuing to practice on Leland's nasal cartilage.
- Georgiou continues her pastime of making the uptight Starfleet officers uncomfortable:
- In response to a string of Techno Babble from Stamets, Georgiou gives him an intense look and remarks that he's smarter than Mirror!Stamets was, but also more neurotic, before asking if he's considered medication. After an uncomfortable beat, Stamets decides the only possible response is to throw out more Techno Babble as if nothing had happened.
- Culber walks in, dressed sharp and claiming to be looking for Admiral Cornwell. Tilly's response is interrupted by Georgiou, who chides her for attempting to diffuse the "male tension" rather than relishing a little discomfort. Also, she seems to have nicknamed Tilly "Red."
- Also, Georgiou has joined the long list of characters who feel the need to stop Tilly from rambling. Even Georgou's ability to enjoy public discomfort has limits.
- When Georgiou encourages Stamets to continue with his Techno Babble, calling him Paul, he continues talking his way through the engineering problem at hand, while she stands very close to him and makes a show of Eating the Eye Candy. Finally, she compliments him, saying he is much savvier than Mirror!Stamets was. Cue an incredulous Culber, still standing at the door:
- Stamets interjects, assuring Georgiou that in this and in any other universe, he's definitely gay. She freely agrees, pleased that everyone can see what is plainly obvious, before leaving the room in an uncomfortable silence.Tilly: What just happened?!
- How does Georgiou figure out that Leland has been compromised? Because he has abruptly stopped acting like a spineless idiot.
- Spock likes science.
"Through the Valley of Shadows"
- L'Rell meets with Tyler and Pike to discuss the Federation's need for Time Crystals from Boreth, a Klingon world. After the initial problem of convincing the Chancellor to allow Starfleet to get their hands on such potentially dangerous material, L'Rell moves on to arguing with Tyler about letting him go down to the planet for the crystals, which is actually an argument about putting their son at risk. As the argument escalates and switches into Klingon, Pike is left momentarily gobsmacked as he watches the two scream at each other before interrupting and announcing that he'd go instead.
- Burnham comes up with a plan for her to go after Leland by herself, to avoid putting Discovery at risk. Saru immediately approves the mission. Burnham, clearly having prepared for a lengthy argument to convince Saru of the mission's necessity, is left to respond with a beat and a "Huh."
- Spock explains that he was ordered by Saru to accompany Burnham on her mission, and casually refutes her attempts to dissuade him. She's left to let out a frustrated snarl.
- Having noted the tension between Stamets and Culber, to the point that it's clearly distracting Stamets, Commander Reno makes the decision to speak to Culber and prod him to talk to Stamets and clear the air... by barging into Sickbay, loudly declaring a medical emergency: She has a hangnail.
"Such Sweet Sorrow"
- Tilly is quite excited to learn that their mission is taking them to Xahea. When asked what she knows about Xahea, Tilly replies "The Queen." Remembering that nobody actually knows that Po was aboard Discovery due to Tilly not reporting her, everyone is left clueless as to how and when Tilly would have met her, or why they'd never heard about it until now.
- Tilly keeps letting slip details of Po's previous visit, to include stowing away in a cargo pallet. Further, Po mentions that Micheal is taller than she looks in her photos. Michael stares off into the distance trying to figure out when Po could have seen a photo of her.
- In her universe, Georgiou was The Dreaded Terran Emperor who could have people killed at a whim. In this universe, she's a nobody that Po doesn't have to take sass from. Because Po is a Queen, and invoked a law to that effect. She punctuates her point by handing Georgiou her empty ice cream bowl as if Georgiou's job on the ship is to wash the dishes. The Terran is left speechless.
- Mirror!Georgiou joins the growing list of Michael's acquaintances who call her out for her habit of making every problem her exclusive problem to deal with. And warns her that Georgiou isn't the only person willing to exploit that. Michael responds by acknowledging her "gaping character flaws" in the most sarcastic manner possible.
"Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2"
- Reno gives Burnham a time estimate. Burnham asks her if she can cut that estimate in half. Reno bluntly replies that no, she can't.
- Leland hails Discovery to demand they surrender the Sphere data to him. Georgiou informs him that they were just talking about him, and that everybody hates him.Georgiou: Congratulations.
- Multiple of the exchanges between Georgiou and Nhan, such as:Georgiou: Leland, you look well.Nhan: For a couple batteries and data core stuffed in a meat sack.Georgiou: Kind of like an AI sausage.Nhan: Ew.Control: Women! Stop talking!
- When Saru tells Reno to hurry up with the time crystal, she snaps back "Get off my ass." Then realizes she just said that to the CAPTAIN. So she tries to fix it by saying "Sir! Get off my ass, sir!" as the turbolift closes, while Tilly gapes like a codfish.
- After the Klingons enter the battle, L'Rell's ship is hit and she grunts in pain as she is thrown backward. Tyler goes to check on her when she starts laughing. With a nice gash on her forehead, she states that she thought that her reign as Chancellor would be a "bloodless" one.
- Saru's sister is among The Cavalry, turning up in a Ba'ul starfighter. Saru has a bit of a hard time processing this last detail.Saru: You... have learned to pilot a fighter...
- Tilly tells Saru that she can re-energize the shields, but she has to close her eyes to do it as the last time she did work like that she was blindfolded for a bar bet. Then when she completes the repairs she states, "Someone owes me a beer."
- The first thing Po does after revealing to Pike that she's in the middle of the battle flying a shuttle is to claim diplomatic immunity for stealing it.
- During the denouement, all of the Starfleet characters are being interrogated, and they are instructed to give their name and rank. Number One, naturally replies:
- The officer debriefing Tyler notes that, after everything that's happened, Section 31 will likely be reorganized to operate more transparently from now on. Anyone who's seen Star Trek: Deep Space Nine knows that's not exactly how things turned out...
- On Netflix, one of the show's options for subtitles is Klingon. (That is, subtitling the English with captions in Klingon, not the other way around.)note
- The Starship Shenzhou is presumably named for the Real Life Chinese spacecraft. The name translates from Chinese more-or-less as "Divine Craft" or "Vessel of God." What does God need with a starship?
- In response to the common fan theory that Ash Tyler was really Voq the Klingon in disguise (and that Voq's actor, Javid Iqbal, is a pseudonym for Tyler's actor, Shazad Latif), Iqbal — or someone posing as him — created a Twitter account and started trolling his fans by posting pictures of himself on set with Voq's head poorly photoshopped over his real face. He also started every tweet by insisting he's a real actor and that Latif is "a totally different person".
- The second season has a Story Arc centering on a mysterious being known as the "Red Angel." It's easy to see how this could result in more literal examples of Rouge Angles of Satin than one normally encounters online.
- Chrys Reviews' created recaps of both seasons' episodes, consisting of alternate subtitles playing up each scene for comedy. For example, from the Season 2 opener "Brother":Sarek: I found an orphan.Amanda: What happened to the parents?