Could Star Trek: Discovery's Red Angel actually be Gabriel Lorca? The identity of the mysterious and powerful being is the central mystery of season 2, and one theory is that the Red Angel is Lorca - or even his Mirror Universe counterpart.
What we know so far about the Red Angel is that it first appeared to Spock when he was a boy on Vulcan and helped him save his adopted sister Michael Burnham, who had run away from home. Years later, the Red Angel again appeared to Lieutenant Spock when he was Science Officer on Captain Pike's U.S.S. Enterprise; the encounter left Spock psychologically damaged. Soon after, seven red signals in space tied to the Red Angel appeared; thus far, it has led the U.S.S. Discovery on three rescue missions on an asteroid, to save humans on the planet Terralysium, and finally, to First Officer Saru's homeworld of Kaminar.
During the Kaminar mission, Saru and Section 31's Ash Tyler learned the biggest revelations thus far: the Red Angel isn't a space god but a humanoid wearing an exo-suit made of technology far beyond what Starfleet possesses in the 23rd century. And this is because the Red Angel can time-travel, which means it's from the future. And, given how the winged apparition seems focused on the Star Trek: Discovery, let's examine the clues of how the Red Angel could possibly be Gabriel Lorca.
Could The Red Angel Be Prime Universe Lorca?
Fans have yet to actually meet the Prime Universe's Gabriel Lorca, who switched universes with his Mirror counterpart before Star Trek: Discovery season 1 began. What little we know about Prime Lorca comes from his ex-lover Admiral Katrina Cornwell, who said "The Lorca I came up with was measured, he was reasoned." So, if Prime Lorca is somehow the Red Angel, this is at least a small clue about its possible methods.
However, there's no evidence in Star Trek: Discovery so far that Prime Lorca is alive. The tie-in novel Drastic Measures suggests that Prime Lorca is imprisoned in the Mirror Universe; however, the novels are only considered canon until the writers for the CBS All-Access series decide to do something different for TV, which then becomes official canon. At the moment, while Prime Lorca could have escaped the Mirror Universe, there are no clues as to how he could have accessed such futuristic technology - unless the novel's facts are overridden and somehow Prime Lorca ended up in the future when Mirror Lorca replaced him. Prime Lorca has also never met Spock or Michael Burnham while the Red Angel is tied to both.
The Red Angel Could Be The Mirror Universe Lorca
There's a stronger argument for the Mirror Lorca being the Red Angel. The last fans saw of him, Emperor Georgiou ran Lorca through with her sword and he plummeted to his death. However, Lorca fell into the I.S.S. Charon's super-mycelial reactor; rather than killing him, it's possible Lorca was transported to the future through the mycelial network. A clue as to how Lorca could have survived Georgiou's sword wound is the fact that when he was posing as Captain of the Discovery, Lorca had a Tribble in his ready room (which has since disappeared after Captain Pike took over). Star Trek Into Darkness established Tribble's blood can heal humans; Dr. McCoy brought Captain Kirk brought back to life using Tribble's blood. Mirror Lorca could have used the same trick.
If Mirror Lorca indeed survived, he has the knowledge to harness future tech and create the Red Angel persona. This would feed into his delusions of godhood that led him to try to overthrow Emperor Georgiou. Another key is Lorca's obsession with Michael Burnham. If Lorca were the Red Angel, he could have time traveled and watched over Michael since her youth; this would explain appearing to young Spock to show him how to save her. Lorca also has a keen interest in the Discovery and her crew; it's not a hard leap to make that as the Red Angel, Lorca could be manipulating his former starship to chase the red signals for his own reasons.
Meanwhile, harming Spock could be Lorca's indirect revenge on Michael for siding with Georgiou against him in the Mirror Universe. While he likely wouldn't hurt Michael, Lorca would certainly disrupt the Discovery - including creating chaos on Saru's homeworld. Most of all, the Red Angel appears to be a savior, and in his twisted way, this is exactly what the Mirror Gabriel Lorca would see himself as if he's revealed as the winged meddler in Star Trek: Discovery season 2.
Star Trek: Discovery streams Thursdays at 8:30pm on CBS All-Access and internationally the next day on Netflix.