The latest episode of Discovery focused largely on Emperor Phillipa Georgiou and her condition. It seems existing outside of one’s time and space is fatal, so of course we want to find a cure for our favorite bad attitude Empress. This episode and the next will focus on who Georgiou wants to truly be. She claims to be from the mirror universe, but while she returned there does she not attempt to make her Burnham more like our real Burnham? We will find out in a few day, but what really caught my attention for this episode were the ghosts and gods in the background.
Ghosts and Gods – The Ghost
Let’s start with the ‘ghost in the room’. Since Adira’s awakening with their trill, Adira thinks their lost partner, Gray, exists once more. Even though Gray died years ago, somehow his ghost haunts Adira, or at least for a time. Gray informs Adira that they need to exist with others and create relationships with the crew, not the dead. Ever since, Gray has failed to reappear. This of course leaves Adira flustered and frustrated. Adira easily stands as one of the smartest people on the ship, even at 16, but they make the rookie mistake of not restarting her algorithm after running a diagnostic. Stamets then figures out Gray’s absence is wreaking havoc with Adira’s mental state.
If this were the normal world, Adira seems to be experiencing a text book dissociative disorder. Adira has never fit in. Even without the trill, their youth and advanced intelligence isolated them from others their age. They found happiness with Gray and then had to experience a horrific ending. To make up a make believe friend would seem normal after such experiences. Adira begins to feel at home with the crew, and so their imaginary friend vanishes. Adira must now reconcile the two.
But all things are not equal. This is after all Star Trek, and Adira also plays host to a trill. Is Gray a ghost or truly there thanks to Adira’s trill joining? The trill complicates matters, so we will not know until the showrunners decide to flush out the story. Either way, Adira better find the right answer and get their head screwed on straight before a larger mistake is made.
Ghosts and Gods – Is that a god or someone we already know?
Then we have the god of the episode. While I doubt he truly is a god, what else do we call him? Burnham and Georgiou find direction from the advanced/sentient Discovery computer to head to Dannus V. Dannus resides near the gamma quadrant in the middle of nowhere with no inhabitants, yet when they arrive a man with a door awaits them.
He calls himself Carl. A simple enough looking man, but he knows the future and reads from a paper with tomorrow’s date on it. According to the newspaper, Georgiou will die by tomorrow. His very presence seems impossible. The fact a newspaper exists in this day and age also seems an impossibility, but he runs Burnham and Georgiou in circles verbally. No small feet as only Kovich has matched wits with Phillipa so far. Carl seems to be a god for all he knows, and when Phillipa decides to follow his advice, he ushers her through a door way that transports her through time, dimension and space to moments before Georgiou is betrayed.
So let’s add this up. An impossible being with extreme intelligence, knowledge of the future and an uncanny knack for walking unknowing mortals in circles for their own benefit. Have you ever heard of a being that could send others back in time to relive their past and give them a chance to change it? Perhaps a dying captain who regretted his actions as a cadet that led to him being run through by a nausicaan? What are the odds Carl could be a….Q?
Ghosts and Gods – What Is Real?
Of course this isn’t the Q we grew to love played by John De Lancie, but there were many Q in the continuum. Discovery likes to pull from the past, and so far used them all well. Carl defies all possibilities. He makes no sense and becomes a very easy MacGuffin. He serves no rhyme, reason or purpose other than to impossibly move the story forward and get Georgiou to where she needs to be; However, should Carl be a Q, things begin to make sense and fall into place nicely. It would be nice to bring the Q back into Trek lore after so many years.
Until showrunners decide it’s time to fill us in, we can only wait. Are we dealing with an immortal continuum and a trill phantasm? Or are we dealing with an impossible man with an impossible door and a figment of imagination? Maybe we find out next episode, but either way we will finally know the fate of Phillipa Georgiou.