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Recap / Star Trek: Discovery S1E11 "The Wolf Inside"

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Mirror Sarek sporting a goatee. Like father, like son.

Burnham has to lead the Shenzhou in an attack on the resistance. Meanwhile, Tilly tries to bring Stamets out of his delirious state.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Beard of Evil: Inverted with Sarek, who is a good guy in the Mirror Universe and has a beard. Doubles as a reference to Spock, who was similarly bearded yet not a bad guy.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Why Mirror!Saru saves Burnham from Tyler/Voq.
  • Call-Back:
    • Tilly recalls Stamets referring to her as "Captain" in "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum," deducing that his mind must have made a connection to the Mirror Universe.
    • Voq recounts how Burnham attacked him and killed T'Kuvma.
    • He also refers back to the Arc Words first spoken by T'Kuvma in the opening scene of the show.
      "I wear the face of the humans, but inside I remain Klingon. I remain Voq, Son of None, the Torchbearer."
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  • Call-Forward: Voq refers to the resistance as an "alliance" of species united against the Terrans. By the 24th century, this name will be formalized as the Klingon/Cardassian Alliance.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When Voq takes over Tyler's body, he tries to kill his mirror self. Since Mirror Voq is a stronger and tougher Klingon who can fight just as well, Prime Voq is easily defeated once the surprise wears off. Michael on the other hand does not fare as well against Prime Voq, even though she starts the fight with a drawn phaser.
  • Defensive Failure: Burnham has a phaser pointed at Voq/Tyler, but fails to pull the trigger before she's overpowered. It's probably because she's in shock over learning that her lover is a Klingon sleeper agent and too emotionally conflicted to kill him.
  • Famous Last Words: The last thing Voq/Tyler says before being beamed into space is "Kahless, give me light to see forever" in Klingonese. Subverted, however, as Discovery then beams him aboard before he becomes a Human Popsicle.
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  • Foregone Conclusion: Given what we've seen in TOS and DS9, the resistance won't overthrow the Empire until it allies with the Cardassians, at which point it will become just as oppressive and evil as the Empire.
  • Good Counterpart: Mirror Voq is the leader of an alliance of aliens, rather than a racial purist as Prime Voq is.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Subverted. Though Burnham tries her best, Voq has completely taken over and Tyler is beyond her reach.
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: Burnham lies to Saru about the presence of his double aboard the Discovery, unwilling to tell him that Mirror Saru is a slave.
  • Internal Reveal: The Discovery crew finds out Tyler is really Voq and that he killed Culber.
  • Invisibility Cloak:
    • Mirror Voq's base has active camouflage to keep it hidden from the Terrans.
    • The Emperor's ship evidently has a cloaking device and can fire while cloaked.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Temporarily, at least — Saru chooses not to tell Burnham that Culber was killed because he doesn't want to risk distracting her.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: While Michael can obviously trust no one but Tyler to accompany her on the away mission to the Fire Wolf's resistance camp, it seems odd that Tilly takes over the treatment of Stamets. She justifies this by claiming to have the most knowledge about the spore-based "therapy" she is about to try, but not even having medical personnel present until Stamets flatlines is rather dubious—except for the fact that the only medical character with a major speaking role has just been killed last episode.
  • Mind Probe: Burnham allows Mirror Sarek to meld with her in order to prove to Mirror Voq that she means the rebels no harm. Sarek is rightly shocked by what he sees in her mind, especially his Prime double's role in her life.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Sonequa Martin-Green is in her undies again. The Powers That Be must really appreciate that She's Got Legs.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Burnham can't bring herself to mistreat Mirror Saru, a kindness he repays by saving her from Voq.
  • No-Sell: Prime Voq tries to headbutt Mirror Voq, but in a contest of human head vs Klingon head, the latter proves completely impervious to the former.
  • Not Quite Dead: Tilly is lamenting over Stamets's death when she hears the monitors start to register a heartbeat and brain activity again.
  • Orbital Bombardment: The Emperor's ship razes the surface of the planet where the rebels are hiding with a spread of torpedoes. Her one salvo bathes about a continent's worth of land in fire, showing just how much destructive power is routinely unleashed during starship combat.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Mirror Voq being the leader of a multi-species alliance is such an affront to everything T'Kuvma and Voq stood for that it's enough to allow Voq to overcome the Tyler personality and reassert control.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Intended by Voq/Tyler, until Mirror Saru stops him from killing Burnham.
    (in Klingonese) "I end you in T'Kuvma's name."
  • Red Baron: Mirror Burnham is known as "The Butcher of the Binary Stars," in which she slaughtered thousands of Klingons. Voq has become known as the Fire Wolf. Sarek is The Prophet.
  • The Reveal: Let's see...
    • The Resistance is led by the Fire Wolf, revealed to be Voq.
    • Tyler is really a surgically altered Voqnote .
    • The Emperor is Georgiounote .
  • Rewatch Bonus: With The Reveal that Ash Tyler is actually Voq, the events of "Choose Your Pain" take on a whole new meaning — the Klingons specifically captured Lorca not to torture him for information on the spore drive, but so that he could escape and return to Discovery with a sleeper agent. It also explains why L'Rell decided to defect in "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum" — it put her in position to activate her agent.
  • She Is the King: Georgiou is referred to as "Emperor" instead of "Empress," presumably to hide her identity from viewers until the reveal, fitting the way Starfleet uses "Sir" as a gender-neutral honorific.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: Commander Saru gets in a good one when he apprehends Voq aboard Discovery, after Voq had been Thrown Out the Airlock by Burnham aboard the Shenzhou and Voq angrily states that he should have been left to die.
    Saru: No. We are stranded in a cruel, anarchic world. But we are still Starfleet. And we still live and die by Federation law. No matter how heinous your crimes.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Burnham is seen in one early in the episode, complete with slightly tilted head, while in the captain's seat on the Shenzhou. Indeed, the design of the seat, looking more like a throne, seems intentionally designed to evoke this.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Voq mentions to Burnham how she clawed at his eyes during their fight. As Burnham never went into such detail when deposed, this confirms to her that he really is Voq, not just a brainwashed Tyler.
  • Space Is Cold: The Terran criminals beamed into space are shown immediately icing over.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Voq regains complete control in this episode, when his disgust for his mirror self overpowers the love Tyler feels for Burnham.
  • Stealth Pun: The episode title, once you learn that the Fire Wolf is Mirror-Voq.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Terran criminals are spaced by way of transporter. Burnham exploits this by stashing the data on Defiant on Voq just before he's spaced, having warned Saru to beam him to Discovery right after transport.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Burnham and Mirror Voq unintentionally awaken Prime Voq in Tyler when they discuss how he can lead an alliance of different species in spite of his Klingon ideals.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Stamets meets his Mirror Universe alternate within the mycelial network.
    • The Emperor calls in to berate Burnham for her hesitation, revealing that Georgiou commands the Terran Empire.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Logically averted by Mirror Sarek. His Mind Probe of Michael reveals to him that she's from a different universe, but instead of announcing it and presumably letting the whole meeting slide into chaos, he just proclaims that her intentions are genuine and leaves it at that.


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