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Recap / Star Trek: Discovery S2E03 "Point of Light"

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Amanda Grayson comes to Discovery to seek Burnham's help for Spock, Tilly keeps seeing her dead friend May, and L'Rell and Ash deal with resistance from the Klingon Houses in the effort to unite the Empire.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Adult Fear: L'Rell and Tyler's child is kidnapped by Kol-Sha.
  • Agent Scully: Amanda had always rationalized young Spock's knowing where Michael had run off to as him logically deducing it rather than his insistence that a Red Angel had told him where she was.
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  • Attack Drone: Mirror-Georgiou has a drone which vaporizes the members of House Kor.
  • Bait-and-Switch: May doesn't believe that Pike is the captain because she's remembering someone blonder, who Tilly takes to be Lorca. Turns out she's describing Stamets.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • How dare Kol-Sha wear face paint to a high council meeting? Why, it must be removed immediately - and Tyler does just that. Which smears his hands with the listening devices in the facepaint, allowing Kol-Sha to eavesdrop - exactly as he planned.
    • L'Rell fakes the deaths of her son and Tyler, claiming Tyler killed the child and tried to kill her, while Kol-Sha died protecting her from Tyler. She states that she's unable to have children any more and now considers all Klingons to be her children, dubbing herself "Mother" of the Empire. All of this is to make the Council believe in Klingon unity, that she's ruthless enough to kill someone she's close to, and that she will have no heir to replace her in the future. All while avoiding the political complications of accusing the House of Kol of dishonor, by instead making Kol-Sha a martyr for her cause.
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  • Battle Couple: L'Rell and Tyler get in a brawl where they take down a group of Kol-Sha's guards.
  • Blatant Lies: The Emperor insists she's Captain Georgiou, despite Tyler (and presumably L'Rell) knowing full well that's nonsense.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: When L'Rell won't turn over control of the Empire willingly, Kol-Sha paralyzes her and then uses her thumb to sign the contract.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Burnham feared that the logic extremists might target Spock if he remained near her, so she said something to him that soured their relationship from then on. We're not told what it is, but it's something so bad Burnham isn't even willing to speak it to Amanda.
  • Call-Back: During the discovery of May's true nature and how and when Tilly might have been infected, there's a Flashback to the scene the previous season where it showed a glowing spore settling on her shoulder and vanishing.
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  • Camera Screw: SF Debris complained about how much this episode abuses technocrane camera flyovers and rotation.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Rather than fight L'Rell and Tyler at a disadvantage, Kol-Sha uses a paralyzing weapon to disable them.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • L'Rell presents the plans for the iconic Klingon D-7 cruiser, announcing it as the base for a new unified Klingon fleet.
    • L'Rell and Tyler's son is left with the monks on Boreth, the same monastery which played a key role in Kahless' return.
    • Klingon blood is once again pink.
    • Klingons have also started regrowing their head and facial hair. Apparently, it was customary to keep a bare head in time of war.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: The title of the episode is a reference to the story of Kahless' departure from Qo'nos, when he indicated a star in the sky, and instructed the people to look for him "on that point of light". That story and the monastery the Klingons would later build on the planet Boreth, which orbited the star that Kahless had pointed to, made their first appearance in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Rightful Heir".
  • Decapitation Presentation: L'Rell presents the supposed heads of Tyler and her child to the rest of the council to cement her rule. In reality, their heads are very convincing fakes made by Section 31.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Tyler is treated like crap by everyone on Qo'noS except L'Rell, and he gets pissed at her for not telling him about their son.
  • Faking the Dead: Section 31 provides L'Rell with fake heads of Tyler and their son so she can convince the council that Tyler killed the child and she killed Tyler in turn.
  • Foreshadowing: Tyler is shown having trouble washing the paint off his hand which he had smeared from Kol-Sha's face. Kol-Sha later reveals it consists of nanotech that he was using to listen in on Tyler and L'Rell.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: L'Rell expresses jealously that Tyler trusts Burnham more than her.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Kol-Sha claims he is trying to overthrow L'Rell (and eventually kill her) because she's conspiring with the Federation and he sees her movement toward Klingon unity as a threat to his House's power. His coup attempt results in his death, L'Rell really conspiring with Section 31, and using his death to further advance her goal of greater unity.
  • Holographic Disguise: Mirror-Georgiou not only had a hood hiding her face, she had a disguise making her look reptilian as well.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • When Pike asks Amanda if Burnham was as bossy as a kid, Amanda states that on Vulcan they call it "persistent". And she was.
    • Tyler keeps calling Mirror-Georgiou "Emperor" even when she tells him not to.
  • Internal Reveal: Tilly tells Burnham about May.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: That's not a bad-looking dress that L'Rell wears while she and Tyler slaughter Kol-Sha's mooks.
  • Layman's Terms: One of Spock's doctors states in a recording that he's suffering from "extreme empathy deficits". Amanda says that there's a much simpler term to describe it: psychopathy.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Mirror-Georgiou bluntly states this to L'Rell, noting her rule will always be challenged so long as Tyler is at her side and she has a child to care for. This convinces L'Rell to give both up, letting Mirror-Georgiou help fake their deaths.
  • Married at Sea: Jokingly discussed when Tilly is shadowing Pike as part of her command training.
    Pike: How about we marry some folks, even if they're not that into each other?
  • My Eyes Are Leaking: A second-person variant — when Tilly starts to cry, May asks her why her eyes are dripping. Tilly tells this to Burnham, who quickly realizes that May isn't simply the memory of a human girl if she doesn't know what crying is.
  • My Greatest Failure: Amanda sees not allowing Spock to express his emotions, or allowing herself to express hers toward him to allow for a Vulcan upbringing, as the cause for the current troubles.
  • Mythology Gag: Spock is described as being "emotionally compromised", which was what Kirk weaponized to take command of Enterprise in the Kelvin timeline.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Kol-Sha demonstrates quite well that energy weapons are a lot more efficient than sharp bits of metal. Then Mirror-Georgiou shows up packing an attack drone and demonstrates it again.
  • No Gravity for You: Mirror-Georgiou traps Kol-Sha in an anti-gravity bubble, leaving him helpless as L'Rell goes for the kill.
  • Not So Above It All: Mirror-Georgiou starts making goo-goo faces at Tyler's son, but snaps back to a serious expression when he catches her.
  • Oh, Crap!: Burnham does a magnificent "oh shit" face when Amanda reveals she stole Spock's medical file.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The scene where Tilly was infected by a spore is shown, only this time with the explanation of what was going on.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Tilly notes that the May she knew in school was meek and "kinda goofy", while the one she's seeing aboard Discovery is increasingly demanding and belligerent.
  • The Paralyzer: Kol-Sha uses a paralyzing weapon on Tyler and L'Rell that not only physically paralyzes them, but will eventually paralyze their internal organs. Mirror-Georgiou deactivates it before the latter happens.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Kol-Sha calls L'Rell something in Klingon that fails to impress her.
    L'Rell: If that is the gravest insult you can hurl, you are even less than I imagined.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: The whole Klingon subplot, with its focus on Tyler, Mirror-Georgiou, and the workings of Section 31, is clearly meant as laying the groundwork for the currently in-development series about Section 31.
  • Previously On…: L'Rell once again does the honors in Klingonese.
    "Hov leng: DISqa'vI'rIy lut 'ay' vorgh"
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Mirror-Georgiou describes Section 31 this way when recruiting Tyler.
    Tyler: I'm surprised you call yourself a misfit, Emperor.
    Georgiou: The freaks are more fun.
  • The Reveal:
    • L'Rell conceived a child with Voq. Like Voq, he's an albino.
    • The Red Angel visited Spock as a child and told him where to find Michael when she'd ran away from home.
    • Spock isn't actually on Starbase 5, he's wanted for killing three doctors and is on the run.
    • Michael reveals she hurt Spock as a child to keep him away from her for his own protection after she was targeted by extremists. Amanda does not take it well.
    • May is actually a fungal lifeform that attached itself to Tilly when the crew was escaping the Mirror Universe. The burst of energy from the dark matter asteroid allowed it to communicate with Tilly.
    • Section 31 is making sure L'Rell maintains control of the Klingon Empire.
  • Reality Ensues: Most times, having a hallucinatory buddy who talks with you is, at worst, a source of irritation or confusion. This episode shows what a psychological toll such a problem is likely to cause.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: When Tilly gets worried about how they will explain her outburst on the bridge to Captain Pike, Saru remarks that Pike has a sense of humor and will probably understand.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Pike discovers that Spock is wanted for murder for killing three doctors on Starbase 5, which the commander of the Starbase was reluctant to share with him. The fact that neither Pike (his commanding officer) or Spock's family were told or questioned about the supposed crime, and that no one else in Starfleet was warned to be on the lookout for him, tells Burnham and Amanda there's a lot more to his disappearance than they originally suspected.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Kol-Sha accuses L'Rell of being a Federation puppet and conspiring with them because Tyler warned Burnham that the L'Rell's peace seemed to be in danger of falling apart, when L'Rell truly is totally loyal to the Empire. Neither he nor she know that Section 31 is secretly working to make sure she stays in power.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
    • Amanda stole Spock's medical records when Starbase 5 stonewalled her attempts to check on his progress.
    • Pike orders Burnham to break into Spock's encrypted medical file when he learns Spock has been accused of murder and isn't likely to get a fair shake unless they find him first.
  • Screw Your Ultimatum!: L'Rell refuses to give up control of the Empire in exchange for her son, knowing Kol-Sha is just going to kill her, Tyler, and the child as soon as he has what he wants.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: In the prior episode, May's interactions with Tilly were played for laughs. In this episode, Tilly is having a nervous breakdown because of the presence of someone talking to her that only she can see.
  • Split-Screen Phone Call: During Tyler's call to Burnham, after they show her speaking to a hologram of him on Discovery and him speaking to a hologram of her on Qo'noS, they use a split screen for parts of the conversation.
  • Spotting the Thread: Burnham immediately realizes that May can't be a ghost or a hallucination because May doesn't recognize tears: if she really was May's ghost a teenage human girl would certainly know what crying is, and if she was just a figment of Tilly's mind, Tilly also knows what crying is.
  • Switch to English: After L'Rell and Tyler have finished speechifying in Klingonese while announcing the new D-7 battlecruiser, Kol-Sha starts disrespecting Tyler in English, asking if everyone else should speak like humans instead of Klingons.
  • That Man Is Dead: Tyler tells L'Rell that, even though he can remember fragments of his past life as Voq, the man he was isn't coming back.
  • That's an Order!: When Pike finds out Spock is being hunted, he doesn't agree with Burnham and Amanda's request to hack into Spock's medical file; he explicitly orders Burnham to do so. The implication is that he does so to provide Burnham with a Just Following Orders defense if her actions are ever found out.
  • Tranquil Fury: Amanda barely shows any emotion when Burnham reveals she hurt Spock as a child, but it's clear she's absolutely livid.
  • Translation Convention:
    • Averted. L'Rell talks to Tyler in English in private, but Tyler explicitly states she's speaking to him in English instead of Klingon.
    • Played straight later when L'Rell is talking to the Council: she begins in Klingon with English subtitles, then the subtitles morph into Klingon and the scene carries on in English.
  • Treachery Cover-Up: L'Rell claims Kol-Sha died heroically protecting her from Tyler after Tyler killed their son, an example of the leader of one House protecting another, in order to further promote Klingon unity.
  • Uterine Replicator: L'Rell tells Tyler their child was gestated ex utero because she couldn't be pregnant while their mission to infiltrate Discovery was ongoing. However, the process left the child small, so it still looks like a newborn rather than months old.
  • Villainous Rescue: Mirror-Georgiou suddenly appears to save L'Rell and Tyler from Kol-Sha.
  • Wham Line: When Tyler asks Georgiou what kind of people can pull off the deception that they do, she shows him a black badge. He then sums up the significance of that badge and introduces a major new plot element with two words:
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Section 31 is shown to have access to a lot of technology regular Starfleet personnel don't, as Tyler notes. This includes a cloaking device, which at this time (2257) no other Federation ship has been shown to use.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Kol-Sha kidnaps the child of Voq and L'Rell, threatening to kill the child if she doesn't hand over the chancellorship.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: L'Rell figures that if she complies with Kol-Sha's demand for control of the Empire, she and Tyler will no longer be needed. Instead, they fight Kol-Sha's men.
  • You Won't Feel a Thing: Stamets says "This might hurt a bit" right before using a technobabble doodad to suck "May Ahern" out of Tilly's body. Judging by Tilly's reaction, it probably did hurt more than a bit.

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