Over the course of the second season of CBS All Access's Star Trek: Discovery, the crew of the ship has been slowly accumulating emotional baggage. With each new episode it, at least one main character picks up another load of emotional pain, regret, or guilt. At this point, the Discovery is as loaded down with emotional baggage as a 747 airliner the week before Christmas. While the last two episodes have revealed a lot of information about the history of the characters and the nature of the Red Angel, each new revelation adds to the ever growing pile of heavy figurative suitcases. And, by the look of it, in this week's episode "Project Daedalus," the weight is going to drag everyone down. Warning: cargo load of spoilers and speculation below.
The preview for "Project Daedalus" and the images released by CBS All Access (found in this article) paint a dramatic and dangerous picture. The Discovery will face the consequences of multiple dangling plots in one tangled knot of an episode. Section 31 is still hunting Spock (Ethan Peck) and the Discovery, and not happy with Pike (Anson Mount). Someone is sabotaging the Discovery and Airiam (Hannah Cheesman) is possibly compromised. Additionally, Spock and Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) must face the repercussions of their recent adventure to Talos IV.
Scenes from the trailer show the Discovery and her crew approaching Section 31 headquarters. Given that last week the Discovery was running from the spy organization, it is unclear why Pike is now seeking them out. Apparently, the trip to Section 31's starbase is as fraught with danger as dealing with their operatives, as the ship must dodge mines on its approach to the headquarters. Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook) is apparently along for the ride as well. I'm sure there is a story there.
Both the video preview and the studio-released images show the Discovery crew in the full away team space suits. There are also several creepy scenes in a dark location, possibly a ship or starbase, with dead bodies. Given the context, it could be assumed that the away team is at the Section 31 headquarters. Since we know that Section 31 is getting its own spin-off show, so I doubt their organization has been completely destroyed. More likely is the possibility that finding the disabled ship and dead crew lead the Discovery to head to the heart of the spy organization's territory.
It also becomes clear in the preview that the situation with Lieutenant Commander Airiam – teased over the last two episodes – is about to come to a head. The trailer shows Airiam attacking Burnham while the crew is on their away mission. The Discovery must watch helplessly as the suit cameras show Burnham struggling with Airiam, seemingly fighting for her life. Who is controlling Airiam? What is Airiam? I wonder if we will get any of these answers this week?
Finally, where is the Red Angel in all of this? It is possible that the damaged ship/starbase in the trailer is the source of another red signal, and would help explain the Discovery's presence there. A signal at Section 31 headquarters would also be a good reason for the Discovery to head into the belly of the beast. After Burnham's detour to Vulcan and Talos IV and the Discovery's attempts to save the siblings, it seems about time for attention to turn back to the Red Angel.
Then there's the emotional baggage we don't see referenced in this week's preview:
● What is happening with Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Culber (Wilson Cruz)?
● How is Tyler (Shazad Latif) doing with Burnham's return? I can't wait to see Spock and Tyler meet for the first time.
● Most importantly, what else is in Spock's head?
Looks like we'll have to wait and see…
"Project Daedalus" premiers Thursday, March 14, at 8:30 p.m. on CBS All Access.