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Recap / Star Trek: Discovery S2E11 "Perpetual Infinity"

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Michael and the crew of Discovery learn her mother Gabrielle's history and mission to save the galaxy from Control; Control takes over Leland's body.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Adult Fear: Gabrielle tells Burnham she's seen her dying hundreds of times.
  • Bad Vibrations: One of the signs of the impending Klingon attack.
  • Canon Immigrant: Georgiou derisively mentions her "sentimental Prime-universe counterpart." The term "Prime Universe" was, until now, an unofficial label for the franchise's original continuity, founded by Gene Roddenberry, as opposed to the "Kelvinverse" Alternate Timeline from J. J. Abrams's films. It originates from the credits of Star Trek (2009), where Zachary Quinto is credited as "Spock" while Leonard Nimoy plays "Spock Prime," but had never been used in-universe until now. It's also never been used to differentiate aforementioned continuity from the Mirror Universe whence (this) Georgiou originates, though it obviously serves the purpose.
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  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Leland-Control easily mows down the Discovery security team when he beams down to the planet.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Tyler walks in on Leland, the camera is positioned behind Leland while the nanotech is reconstructing his face, and only shows Leland from the front once it's mostly finished.
  • Grand Theft Me: Control injects some very Borg-esque nanotechnology into Leland which allows it to modify Leland's body and occupy it.
  • Gravity Sucks: The longer Discovery keeps Gabrielle and the suit in the containment field, the more power they have to use to fight the gravitational effect of time trying to "yank" her back. Pike and Saru compare it to playing tug-of-war with the universe itself.
  • It Only Works Once: The plan to beam Gabrielle out of her time suit requires so much power that they only have one go at it.
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  • Meaningful Echo: Gabrielle tells Georgiou that Control will try to kill her because it sees her as "an unacceptable risk to the larger mission", a phrase Leland had used earlier to describe Gabrielle.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Perhaps a Call-Forward. Prior to assimilating him, Control tells Leland "Struggle is pointless", which sounds a lot like "Resistance is futile".
    • Gabrielle tells Pike that "I can tell you more about your future but you wouldn't like it."
  • Neck Snap: How Leland-Control finishes off the last member of the Discovery security team.
  • No-Sell: The nanotech-modified Leland-Control shrugs off phaser blasts and even the ridiculously skilled Georgiou can only delay him slightly in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Not Me This Time: Gabrielle denies any responsibility for the red signals.
  • Not So Different: Control tells Leland before taking him over that his goals and methods to reach those goals aren't that different from Control's.
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  • Orbital Bombardment: Burnham has Discovery fire torpedoes at the containment facility in an attempt to kill Leland-Control, but he beams back up to his ship before the torpedoes hit.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Both Georgiou and Tyler realize something is up with Leland but it's only when Georgiou spots the thread that she realizes what's wrong.
  • The Reveal:
    • Gabrielle Burnham used the Red Angel suit to try and save her husband and Michael the day the Klingons attacked, but jumped 950 years into the future, long after Control had destroyed all intelligent life in the galaxy.
    • Gabrielle created Terralysium as an experiment to see if she could change the past, as the colony did not exist when she first started time-jumping.
    • Gabrielle was responsible for putting the Sphere in the position where Discovery would encounter it, hoping that would prevent Control from getting the data.
    • Gabrielle has no idea what the crew is talking about when they mention the signals Discovery was investigating, because she didn't make them.
  • Sadistic Choice: The only way to stop Leland-Control is to destroy the containment field generators, but with the suit damaged and Gabrielle outside of it she will be lost in the timestream with no technology to assist her.
  • Spotting the Thread: Georgiou realizes Control is influencing Leland when Gabrielle makes a comment about how Control views her which echoes a phrase Leland used earlier.
  • Trapped in the Past: Inverted with Gabrielle, who inadvertently jumped 950 years into the future and couldn't return because the suit anchored her there. She could only make short jumps back to change the timeline. At the end of the episode, Leland-Control destroys the time crystal in the suit, meaning she's permanently stranded in the future.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Gabrielle asks Georgiou to promise to look after Michael, stating she's seen her risk and even give up her life to save Michael, even that she loves her. When Georgiou dismisses her by saying Gabrielle obviously believes she's Georgiou-Prime and that as a Terran she's too self-centered and out for herself to ever be so noble, Gabrielle states that to the contrary she knows exactly who Georgiou really is.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Gabrielle explains that she keeps trying to change history to prevent Control from committing genocide, but no matter what she does it seems Control gains the Sphere's data and goes on its rampage. At the end of the episode, Spock insists they still have an opportunity to prove her wrong.

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