TV Reviews

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 11: The Wolf Inside Review

If you would like to read my review of last week’s episode, click here.

Synopsis: As the crew continues their guise, Burnham undergoes a mission in hopes of helping the U.S.S. Discovery return home. Tilly works on restoring Stamets’ neurofunction. (TVGuide)

Writers: Lisa Randolph

Director: T.J. Scott

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 43 mins

“The Wolf Inside” starts off with crew members making repairs to the Discovery while Stamets holds Culber while murmuring about trees. Either he’s having a vision or is completely lost, only time will tell. Burnham is aboard the ISS Shenzhou being pampered by Mirror Universe Saru who has been reduced to a slave, she sanctions the death of three prisoners and talks to a tortured Lorca. Things are looking rough for Burnham who can’t distinguish which parts of the charade are real or part of her disguise. She opens up to Tyler, saying he is her tether to her reality and their universe.

Burnham is hailed by the Emperor’s liaison who gives the order to destroy a rebel camp where Firewolf, the Klingon leader of the resistance, is hiding. She decides instead of destroying the entire camp that she and Tyler will beam down to the planet and personally dispose of Firewolf while retrieving information about the resistance, but her real plan is to warn the rebels and hope the talks with these Klingons might provide vital information in finding common ground with the Klingons of their universe.

On the planet’s surface, Burnham and Tyler are welcomed by a barrage of gunfire and are taken as prisoners to see the Firewolf. Turns out the leader of the rebellion is none other than the Mirror Universe Voq whose number one is a goatee-sporting Sarek. The two seemingly hostile species formed an alliance for the simple notion that the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

While the Firewolf explains how their culture was at threat from their human adversary, Tyler’s tortured memories come back in full force and he remembers everything. Tyler bursts out by saying “Remain Klingon or Die!” in their native tongue and attacks the Firewolf. He is subdued and they are able to make it back to the ISS Shenzhou safely after warning the rebels to flee. At this point she turns to Tyler and wants some answers.

As Burnham pressures him, Tyler sees more and more of his torture which becomes a medical transformation. They reduced his Klingon body to human form and as much as he has tried to stay human for Burnham, he is Voq. While he struggles with the pain of it, the moment he saw Firewolf’s face, he remembered it all. His facial expression changes and he explains his purpose: how he infiltrated their ship to learn their secrets, how Culber was a necessary casualty when he learned the truth.

As Tyler/Voq attempts to kill Burnham in T’Kuvma’s name, Mirror Universe Saru whips him to the wall and Shenzhou crew members subdue the mutineer. He is sentenced to death via transporter, but Burnham saves him by beaming him immediately back to the Discovery along with her stolen information from the Terran Empire. Thankfully she also contacted the Discovery crew and Tyler is taken to the brig.

The b-plot of this episode revolves around the issues onboard Discovery. Tilly and Saru hide Culber’s death from Burnham as to not distract her from the mission. They debate whether or not Stamets could have killed Culber and realize that Stamets is slowly dying. Tilly says it’s a spore issue and therefore she is best qualified to treat him and Saru agrees. She decides to try and put the spore network into Stamets in order to regain full function of his brain. The procedure appears to be working until his body cannot sustain the pressures put on it and against her will, Saru issues a direct order for medical care. When all hope seems lost, Tilly notices some vitals appear on Stamets scans and with a quick flip of his head we are whisked into the spore network where Stamets meets his Mirror Universe counterpart.

The episode ends with Burnham having Lorca brought to her quarters where they discuss their next course of action. He seems skeptical that they will be leaving any time soon and is a bit fearful of staying in this universe. (More on that later). They are interrupted when a signal comes in about another ship targeting the rebel base. As they watch the planet’s surface get bombarded, a transmission from the Emperor comes through. It’s Philippa Georgiou.

Questions

  • Will Burnham use the idea of the enemy of my enemy is my friend in order to find common ground with the Klingons and fight against a common foe?
  • What is with Lorca’s smirk at the end? With his minimal involvement in this episode it isn’t as evident, but could he seriously be from the Mirror Universe? He could’ve escaped onboard the USS Defiant somehow and resurfaced in our universe claiming he didn’t die on the Buran when he did? It would parallel Burnham assuming her mirror counterpart’s role after she went missing.
  • How will Burnham’s feelings about her version of Georgiou affect how she interacts with the Emperor?
  • Where does Tyler/Voq go from here? Will he become a tortured Klingon stuck in his human body? Will the human side take over? There are so many routes for this character.
  • Is Culber really dead? Still unsure on that. The use of Fungi to bring Stamets back in some way may cause him to do the same for his partner or he could get help from his Mirror Universe counterpart.
  • Will Tilly receive some form of accommodation for saving Stamets?

Overall, this was a good episode. Some pieces of the episode felt cliched like Georgiou, Sarek and Voq’s involvement in the Mirror Universe story line, in order to make things harder for Burnham, as well as some forced resolutions, but other aspects helped in developing the world of this Star Trek series. Characters have struggled with their morality and their own personal demons which has been masterfully acted by the phenomenal cast, in particular the big scene between Martin-Green and Latif this week. The twists and turns felt mostly organic in helping push forward a few major season arcs while still leaving some mystery for the final few episodes.

Score: 8.5/10

What did you think of “The Wolf Inside”? Was Tyler’s reveal a complete shock to you or did you suspect it? Let me know in the comments below!

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