TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Despite Yourself

TL;DR – We welcome Chapter Two with a jump into the familiar and it was a delight to watch

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Despite Yourself


So Star Trek: Discovery is back for Chapter Two of its first season and as I have really been enjoying Season One so far I am really looking forward to seeing where the back half of the season takes us. If you want to read our reviews Chapter One’s episodes: See Here, and if you want to read our overview of Chapter One: See Here. Now just a warning that because of the nature of the episode we really can’t say much before we hit major spoilers, so after we set the scene this review will go [FULL SPOILER] so be careful if you have not seen the episode yet.

So to set the scene, Despite Yourself opened where the cliff-hanger of Into the Forest I Go (see review) left off. So to give you a quick reminder, at the end of the last episode the USS Discovery had undertaken a huge number of spore jumps around the flagship Sarcophagus to get information on the Klingon cloaking device. This put a huge strain on Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) body after hundreds of jumps, and he made a deal with Lorca (Jason Isaacs), one more jump to get the Discovery to safety and that’s it, he’s done, but everything goes wrong. Instead of jumping to a starbase the spore jump fails, badly injuring Stamets and stranding the Discovery in an unknown part of the galaxy. While this happens Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) is confronting L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) in the brig, demanding to know what she did to him while he was a prisoner of war and we discover she did more than just torture. Well Despite Yourself wastes no time in letting you know where they are and letting you know the back end of the season is going to pack a punch. Now final warning because we are going to discuss [SPOILERS] from this point on.


The pain of watching the man you love in pain and there is nothing you can do about it

The pain of watching the man you love in pain and there is nothing you can do about it Image Credit: CBS Studios


Now if you have watched a lot of Star Trek you will probably have guessed where they are from the first encounter, be hello everyone and welcome to the Mirror Universe. Now to put it in perspective, this is before the USS Enterprise crew ended up there in Mirror, Mirror, but after the USS Defiant ended up in the universe in Enterprise’s In a Mirror, Darkly. In the Mirror Universe there is no Federation, instead, we have the Terrain Empire a human-focused organisation that is incredibly xenophobic, and gained its power through subjecting all the races around them. Now, if you are thinking, well that’s not so bad, the Terrain Empire is literally the personification of Space Nazis if purity is the Human Race in comparison to the rest of the alien races.

So what do you do if you are trapped in the Mirror Universe, well you try to blend in, and skip to one of the best parts of the Mirror Universe concept. For you see all the characters that you know still exist in this world, and they have lived very different lives. So can you guess who the captain of the ISS Discovery is, well if you guessed Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) you would be right. In the Mirror Universe, she had killed her way to the captaincy as is tradition, and is completely different from Cadet Tilly, cue her having to bluff her way through a conversation as the captain. We also get to see one of the better hand on hand combats scenes in Star Trek, no put your hands together and hit with the double fist, because there is not the space in the turbolift. It was really fun to watch the ship fake their way through the Mirror Universe with the uniforms, even changing the registry on the hull, and it is those little details which is why I love Discovery so much.


It is Mirror Universe time everyone

It is Mirror Universe time everyone Image Credit: CBS Studios


While all this is happening, Stamets is in a bad place, with his eyes clouded over and jumping between a catatonic state to spouting gibberish. This is deeply painful for Culber (Wilson Cruz) his partner and doctor to watch, made even worse when Lorca takes him off the care of Stamets over protocol. Now, this is your final [SPOILER] warning because we are about to talk about the big reveal of the episode, ok. Well since Culber can’t help Stamets anymore he lends Tyler a hand, because he is increasingly troubled by his time as a prisoner of war. Well, he was right to fear, because Tyler is not Tyler, he is a Klingon cosmetically altered to look human with the Tyler personality put over the top of the Klingon underneath, the perfect spy, because he does not know he is a spy.

Well this reveal is bad news for a lot of people, well for the crew of the USS Discovery, they have a Klingon mole in the heart of their most secret star ship, for L’Rell the phrase that was meant to bring the Klingon underneath to the surface failed so her plans are in disarray, and well for Culber it was bad news because he threatened to ground Tyler, who responded by snapping his neck and apparently killing him (he was in a sickbay in a future starship so maybe not, but that is likely wish fulfilment on my part). In hindsight maybe you should have talked to the captain about a potential Klingon mole before raising that possibility with the actual Klingon mole. This was such a hard scene to watch because the moment he confirmed what Tyler was I knew something was going to happen, and the fact he died while his partner was lying in a bed just meters away and not able to do anything was heartbreaking. Now the acting by both Shazad Latif and Mary Chieffoin that Klingon reveal was fantastic, as was the touching embrace of Wilson Cruz and Anthony Rapp. Unfortunately, it is at this point in the review where I have to congratulate my brother, because he thought this was the case from Tyler’s first episode, so I can say you beat me there. Also, has anyone checked if Tyler was ever in the same room as Lorca’s Tribble?


Some of the best parts about the Mirror Universe is the role reversal it engenders

Some of the best parts about the Mirror Universe is the role reversal it engenders Image Credit: CBS Studios


In the end, we still have at least another episode in the Mirror Universe next week, where I hope we get to see some more familiar faces, indeed I’m sure The Emperor will be a big surprise. As well as this, the Ash Taylor revelation is coming, if it’s not next week, it has to be soon, and what is going to happen there is anyone’s guess, as well as this, who is it underneath the Ash Taylor personality, is it perchance someone we have already met before? Also Andorian watch update, another reference this week, but still no Andorians in the show. It was fun to be in the Mirror Universe again, it was great to see Jonathan Frakes directing another episode of Star Trek, and it was heart-breaking to see a character I cared about killed to cover up a crime. Goodness, what is next week’s episode going to bring.

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen Star Trek Discovery yet?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.



Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Star Trek Discovery
Directed by
– Jonathan Frakes
Written by – Sean Cochran
Based offStar Trek created by Gene Roddenberry
Created by – Bryan Fuller & Alex Kurtzman
Starring in Season 1 – Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman & Jason Isaacs with Michelle Yeoh, James Frain, Jayne Brook, Chris Obi, Mary Chieffo, Rainn Wilson, Kenneth Mitchell, Rekha Sharma, Damon Runyan, Clare McConnell & Wilson Cruz



3 thoughts on “TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Despite Yourself

  1. Pingback: TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Despite Yourself | TL;DR Movie Reviews and Analysis

  2. Pingback: TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: The Wolf Inside | TL;DR Movie Reviews and Analysis

  3. Pingback: TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: Vaulting Ambition | TL;DR Movie Reviews and Analysis

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