Star Trek: Discovery Recap: New Eden, Old Religion


Returning 2020

How has a colony of humans found themselves on a planet an impossible distance from Earth with no ship, no technology, and no electricity? That’s the question the crew of the Discovery faces as they race across the universe following those mysterious red flashes—the one that appeared near the asteroid in last week’s episode and the ones Spock saw in a vision that occurred months before the first flash had even been noticed by Starfleet. This latest one leads them so far into space that Captain Pike orders his crew to fire up the decommissioned spore drive… using Stamets, once again, as its navigator.

The jump works, but Stamets appears to suffer. Did he see Hugh in the network again? He does not want to talk about it. Arriving at the site of the flash, the crew picks up a human distress signal. The ship’s scanners show images of a church and a large human population. But the looping signal dates back two centuries, coinciding precisely with World War III (yikes) and predating the advent of warp technology. So, once again, how did these people get here?


Burnham, Pike, and Lt. Joann Owosekun, who grew up in a Luddite community on Earth (lol!), go undercover to find answers. According to the people of New Eden, an angel saved their ancestors and transported them to this new home during the war. Burnham, who’s seen such a creature with her own eyes, can’t accept that story. For her, everything must have a scientific explanation. But like Pike says, sufficiently advanced technology is easily mistaken for magic or divine intervention to those who don’t understand it.

Unbeknownst to both the landing party and the people of New Eden, their planet is facing imminent nuclear winter. It’s up to the remaining crew aboard the Discovery to save them, which they do thanks to the spore drive, the dark matter asteroid’s gravitational pull, and Tilly’s genius (hey, who’s her new friend?). Back in New Eden, Pike’s cover is almost blown when he throws himself in the path of a phaser blast to protect a child. A local, Jacob, already suspects them of being from Earth, but Pike insists on maintaining the party’s cover. And it almost kills him.


In the end Burnham convinces Pike to return to New Eden, and he offers Jacob a long-life power cell in exchange for the helmet cam footage of what happened on Earth during WWIII. Sure enough, once Pike gets it back to the Discovery, the video shows a being just like the one Burnham saw on the asteroid… a red angel.

5 questions we have about the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery

1. Why is Tilly hallucinating her dead high school friend (Bahia Watson from The Handmaid’s Tale!)? And why is she seeing her as an adult in a Starfleet uniform when she only knew her as a teen?

2. Why did Spock have himself committed to a psychiatric hospital? What is it about his nightmares that has disturbed him so deeply? And how are they connected to the red flashes that the Discovery crew is investigating?

3. What kind of creature is the “angel” that Burnham saw?

4. Is the dark matter asteroid affecting people on the ship? Did it prompt Tilly’s visions? Will she be able to harness it to run the spore drive?

5. What happened to Stamets when he was navigating the spore drive? Did he see Hugh? Why was he so upset when came out of it?