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Recap / Star Trek: Discovery S3E13 "That Hope Is You, Part Two"

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"In a very real sense, we are all aliens on a strange planet. We spend most of our lives reaching out and trying to communicate. If during our whole lifetime, we could reach out and really communicate with just two people, we are indeed very fortunate."

As the Emerald Chain tightens its grip and the mystery of the Burn is finally solved, Burnham and the crew have one last chance to save themselves — and the Federation.

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Tropes in this episode:

  • Almost Out of Oxygen: Osyraa disables life support on Deck Seven to suffocate the bridge crew, sealing the exits so they can't flee to another deck. It takes a while, since she doesn't vent the air so they'll die slowly, giving Burnham time to reboot the computer core and restore life support just before it becomes lethal.
  • Berserk Button: Zareh taunts Book by asking who would splatter more: him or "his fat cat". This is enough to get Book to kick Zareh out of the turbolift and to his death, Book growling "She... is a queen!"
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Aditya Sahil returns from all the way in the first episode of the season, newly commissioned as a Lieutenant in Starfleet.
    • Cmdr. Jet Reno (Tig Notaro) has a two-scene cameo, the first helping Owosekun restore a damaged DOT-23, the second while the entire crew assembles on the bridge for the final scene. She has no lines.
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    • The presidents of Trill and Ni'Var have non-speaking appearances at the end of the episode.
  • Call-Back: Vance reminds Burnham of the time he reamed her for going rogue.
  • The Cavalry: Ni'Var sends a fleet to help engage the Viridian, responding to Burnham's distress call in the previous episode.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Owo mentions being able to hold her breath for up to ten minutes as a result of free diving training, which means she's the only one capable of delivering the improvised bomb when the oxygen runs out.
    • Book's empathic powers allow him to serve as a natural spore drive interface, since he can communicate with the spores without needing tardigrade DNA as a bridge.
  • Decapitated Army: In the closing narration, Burnham explains that the Emerald Chain fell apart without Osyraa to lead it.
  • Disney Villain Death: Book kicks Zareh out of a moving turbolift, sending him plummeting into the turbolift spaces between the decks. For an added bonus, he bounces off another turbolift on the way down.
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  • Exploited Immunity: Culber has found a breach in the holo-wall, but the radiation is stronger beyond it and he can't pass through without getting sick much quicker. Gray volunteers because he's just a projection, so the only issue is him straying beyond the range of the projectors, which is just far enough for him to see past the boundary.
  • Have You Tried Rebooting?: Both Tilly and Burnham believe that shutting down and restarting the ship's data core will purge the Emerald Chain's operating system and give them back control, similar to how Geordi purged an alien program from the computer core in "Contagion" by restoring everything from a protected backup. Burnham manages to reset the computer, but points out that everything has been restored to 23rd century specs.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Owo goes alone to sabotage the nacelle when the rest of the bridge crew can't follow. She is nearly caught in the blast because she can barely move with so little oxygen, but the Sphere data drags her to safety in a DOT-23.
    • At the same time, the DOT-23 simply being near the nacelle nearly destroys it and the Sphere data, but Reno manages to patch it together.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Burnham tells Osyraa to stop torturing Book and she'll get him to reveal where the dilithium planet is. Burnham gets close to Book, then knocks out the guards and activates sickbay's quarantine protocols which prevent Zareh and the Regulators from attacking while they escape.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Tilly sends Owo ahead with the bomb when the oxygen deprivation renders the rest of the bridge crew incapable of moving any further. Owo, meanwhile, has experience holding her breath for long periods and can handle the strain better than they can.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • Osyraa orders the Viridian to deploy its supply of pesticide, which she plans to detonate with a torpedo, sending contaminated debris into all the nearby ships. Burnham convinces Admiral Vance to let them go so Ni'Var's fleet won't be destroyed by the attack.
    • Tilly orders the bridge crew to create an IED as part of their plan to take back the ship.
    • Discovery's matter-antimatter warp core is used to cause Stuff Blowing Up.
  • Internal Reveal: Saru reveals the Burn to Su'Kal, though he glosses over the details so Su'Kal won't think himself responsible for it. Su'Kal figures out that he was responsible after seeing the log entry of his mother dying.
  • Literal Split Personality: The holoprogram is able to detect and manifest Grey's consciousness within Adira as a holographic avatar.
  • Mega-Maw Maneuver: Osyraa has the Viridian pull Discovery into its shuttlebay when the nacelle is disabled. To escape, Burnham ejects and then overloads Discovery's warp core while using the spore drive to jump out.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Su'Kal caused the Burn by witnessing his mother's death as a child, and screaming in horror. He didn't intend for it to happen (and, being a child from an isolated environment, didn't know enough to know that it even could happen), but his nature as a dilithium radiation-enhanced mutant caused him to become an Unwitting Instigator of Doom.
  • Mundane Utility: With a new source of dilithium now available, the Federation employs Discovery as a long-range cargo transport, getting dilithium out to all the worlds that need it.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Su'Kal is horrified that he was the source of the Burn, but is assured by Saru that he can't blame himself for something he had no knowledge of.
  • The Needs of the Many: Stamets is panicked and distraught over not being able to jump back to the Verubin Nebula to save Culber and Adira. Vance sympathizes with him, but says that Burnham was right to deny Osyraa the use of the spore drive. Of course, he also has a battle to oversee, so he has to put Stamets' problems aside anyway.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Osyraa has Deck Seven evacuated and sealed so she can suffocate the bridge crew by shutting off life support. Since she doesn't vent the remaining oxygen, they are able to reach one of the nacelles and disable it, knocking Discovery out of warp.
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown: Su'Kal's outburst in the previous episode has made the ship even more unstable, but it helpfully stays intact just long enough for Su'Kal to confront his past and for Discovery to drop in at the last moment.
  • Public Secret Message: Burnham makes an oblique reference to a birthday and fireworks on a shipwide channel, which Tilly recognizes as an event that happened on her birthday the previous year. Tilly deduces that Burnham is telling her to disrupt one of the nacelles to knock Discovery out of warp.
  • Rank Up: Saru decides to stay on Kaminar with Su'Kal, so he recommends Burnham to take his place.
  • Reality Ensues: The lack of life support does not instantly kill the bridge crew — nor should it, since whatever oxygen was already in the atmosphere is still there. This is not only more realistic than previous Trek depictions of the situation, it is effectively Played for Drama because Osyraa is doing it on purpose to prolong their suffering.
  • The Reveal: The incident that triggered the Burn was Su'Kal witnessing the death of his mother. She designed the holoprogram so it would hide her and her crew's failing health, but Su'Kal disabled it and saw the truth.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Discovery switches to current Federation uniforms at the end of the episode, since the Burn has been solved and Starfleet is once again becoming what it used to be. As opposed to being blue with metallic piping to indicate division, these new uniforms are grey with a wide colored division panel down the side of the jacket. Adira is also wearing one of these uniforms instead of the UEDF uniform, having officially joined Starfleet.
  • Suicide Mission: The plan to disable the nacelles has to be done manually because the superconductors keeping the nacelles attached will disable any remote detonator. Given that or suffocating, the bridge crew decides to go for it. Ultimately, Owo ends up going alone because only she can keep going under the strain of oxygen deprivation. Fortunately, the Sphere data shows up in a DOT-23 to drag her to safety.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Saru tells Su'Kal that he has to complete his final test, but will be there to support him.
  • Truth Serum: This is used on Book in an attempt to force the location of the dilithium planet out of him. It fails because Book has built up a tolerance to it. Osyraa instead threatens to torture him to death while Burnham watches so she'll give up the information.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Zig-zagged. After Stamets is reunified with Culber and Adira, he's happy to see them, but is clearly still angry at Burnham for spacing him. The final scene does have him smiling and clapping along with everyone else on the bridge, as Captain Burnham enters, presumably having gotten over in in however long it took to get to this point.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Zigzagged Trope. During the opening action scene, the DOT-23 repair drones are blown away by the dozen with no one even seeming to notice. Later, when a specific drone is damaged helping Owosekun, she and Reno go out of their way to repair it. No explanation is given as to why this particular drone is special (beyond understandable human gratitude) — nor, for that matter, whether the Sphere AI is inhabiting specific drones (implied by the previous episode) or all of them (implied by this one) or even just conducting Brain Uploading if a current host is destroyed.
  • You Are in Command Now: Burnham is made Captain of Discovery at the end of the episode, after Saru takes a leave of absence on Kaminar.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When Burnham confronts Osyraa at the data core:
    Osyraa: I'd have come here too. Smart.
    Burnham: Your approval means everything to me.

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