[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 Episode 6 “Stormy Weather.”]
The crew of the U.S.S. Discovery embarks on a dangerous mission to hopefully get answers of any kind about the DMA (Dark Matter Anomaly) that has destroyed Kwejian and threatens everyone. And while it is, for the most part, a successful mission, an experience has implications for a relationship’s future.
As much as Book (David Ajala) wants to act after what the DMA did to his planet, Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) points out that “right now, we have a crime scene, and we have to get there while the evidence is fresh.” The hope is the DMA left something behind in the subspace rift it created that can lead them to its origins.
But once in the rift, things go horribly wrong. First, they don’t see or hear anything. Then, a DOT they send out for readings is essentially eaten; the DMA must have made the subspace toxic. A subsequent test reveals that whatever it is is moving closer to them and once it becomes clear that it’s become too dangerous, Michael aborts the mission. However, Detmer (Emily Coutts) can’t get them out of there without any reference points. They have to jump, despite Stamets’ (Anthony Rapp) earlier warning about the impact of the subspace on the mycelial network. And it turns out he was right to worry because Book is hit by an electrical surge and they can’t jump.
So how do they get out? That’s where a distraction Gray (Ian Alexander) provides for the AI Zora comes into play. Though her sensors have been wonky, Zora realizes something unusual is happening on an exterior hull. There’s a breach, and they’re able to evacuate almost the entire deck, though they lose one ensign. Zora will be able to follow a signal out of the void, and it just becomes a matter of finding the right one (sonar) and Michael talking the AI through her feelings. While the crew goes into the pattern buffer, Michael dons an EV suit and stays on the bridge (the captain stays with the ship.) It’s a success, and everyone survives, even Michael despite the high risk.
That aforementioned surge, however, proves to be vital. It’s like Book touched a live electrical wire, Stamets explains, and the energy that passed through him left trace amounts in his brain that, once analyzed should give them something about the void. They’re only found in one place: the galactic barrier, outside the galaxy. That’s where the species that made the DMA must be from as well, meaning that this isn’t an enemy they know as they assumed.
Meanwhile, that energy surge also causes Book to have a full-sensory hallucination of his late father, who has some harsh words for him. “Our planet’s gone and you’re sitting on someone else’s ship letting yourself be ordered around, communing with mushrooms. What a waste of your gifts. There’s an enemy out there, son, you should be hunting it,” “his father” says, later warning Book and referring to Michael, “her agenda is not your agenda.”
It’s their last “conversation” that holds the greatest implication for the future. While “his dad” sees him trusting someone he loves as a “weakness,” Book tries to argue it’s a strength. But “even still, she will pick Starfleet over you, over Kwejian every time, and one day, you’ll be the one who has to choose,” his hallucination says. And considering the struggle Book is currently facing when it comes to those responsible for his planet’s destruction, should we be worried about his and Michael’s relationship going forward?
Star Trek: Discovery, Thursdays, Paramount+