Speaking at SDCC 2018, Star Trek Discovery's Anthony Rapp has teased that the resurrection of Culber in season 2 is somehow tied to "the nature of the mycelia." The resurrection is one of the most unexpected twists in Discovery, and it seems it will be strongly tied to the show's pseudoscience.
The relationship between Anthony Rapp's Lt Paul Stamets and Wilson Cruz's Dr Hugh Culber was a highlight of Star Trek: Discovery season 1, not least because it was the first actual gay relationship to be featured in Star Trek. The romance took a tragic turn mid-season, though, when Culber was murdered by a Klingon sleeper agent. Fans reacted with fury to the twist, which was seen as another example of the "bury your gays" trope. The showrunners defended the plot, though, insisting this wasn't the end of the story.
They were telling the truth; Dr. Culber is being resurrected in Star Trek: Discovery season 2. Questioned about this mysterious resurrection at the Star Trek: Discovery SDCC panel, Rapp refused to give a direct answer. All he would say is that the resurrection is somehow tied to "the nature of the mycelia."
The mycelia are essentially the ultimate MacGuffin of Star Trek: Discovery. The mycelia spores of the fungus prototaxites stellaviatori fan out across the multiverse, and in season 1 the spores could be used to travel through space - and even to cross the barriers between dimensions. There were even hints that the spores could be used to travel through time as well; when the Discovery attempted to jump back to its own dimension, the ship "overshot" and emerged several months into the future. There's technically no reason the mycelium network couldn't also allow characters to access the past. Unfortunately, by the end of the season the network is in a very vulnerable position as a result of experiments in the Mirror Reality.
Lt. Stamets is closely bound to the mycelium network. He used himself as a sort of organic navigation computer in order to allow Discovery to traverse the network. Repeated exposure to the spores caused significant neurological damage in Stamets, with his mind gradually becoming disconnected from the normal flow of time. Fortunately, Cadet Tilly was able to devise a way to restore his mind, and he was able to help the Discovery return to its own reality.
It would make sense for any resurrection to somehow be tied to Lt. Stamets's experience with the mycelium network. If it really does allow for the manipulation of time, he could conceivably avert his lover's tragic fate. Of course, such an action would potentially have a dramatic impact on the time-space continuum. Still, it would be a smart way to resurrect Culber, and would turn the romance between the characters into a major arc.
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