Star Trek: Discovery's Red Angel may be hiding in plain sight - in the guise of Spock himself. The mysterious entity - which has seemingly left a trail of seven anomalies across the galaxy - has apparently been haunting Spock for the majority of his young life, and may have even driven him to madness. The signals left in the entity's wake seem to be purposeful, such as when one lead the crew of the Discovery to a planet in need of protection from a catastrophe in "New Eden." Concrete details on the Red Angel are still scarce, but its unique connection to Spock is undeniable. With the revelation in "Saints of Imperfection" that entity may have the ability to time travel, the possibilities are almost endless for either a returning character or a new species altogether.
Yet for all its course corrections in its much improved second season, Star Trek: Discovery is still a show fundamentally about Michael Burnham, and this season in particular is about her relationship with her estranged brother. Indeed, Burnham has seen the Red Angel herself, when she was injured and seemingly left for dead in the season 2 premiere "Brother" before being saved by Captain Pike.
But how could Spock be the very entity that is seemingly tormenting him? And what would be the point? To understand that, let's take a closer look at what we know from Star Trek: Discovery season 2 about the Red Angel.
- This Page: The "Spock Is The Red Angel" Theory
- Page 2: Why This Makes Sense For Star Trek: Discovery
Time Travel Hints In Star Trek Discovery Season 2
So far, Star Trek: Discovery has largely avoided time travel, with the notable exception of the Harry Mudd-centric season 1 standout "Magic To Make The Sanest Man Go Mad." It's actually one of the few classic Star Trek tropes the show has yet to tackle, but that's almost certainly about to change. At the end of "Saints of Imperfection," Admiral Cornwell informs Pike and Captain Leland - Section 31's shadowy leader - that they've found tachyon traces at the site of one of the anomalies; tachyons generally signal a handful of phenomena in Star Trek, but the biggest one - the one that Leland mentions by name - is time travel.
Unlike some other science fiction franchises, Star Trek tends to play rather fast and loose with time travel. There's no version of the series that didn't dip its toes in the timey-wimey waters, often resulting in Starfleet officers directly altering history (in both minor and major ways). For an organization so committed to non-interference, the irony of Starfleet's rather lax time travel standards is rather palpable. But this time it's likely not a maverick captain willfully attempting to set right a historical wrong, but perhaps a side effect of what is arguably the most significant event in Star Trek history...
Is Future Spock The Red Angel?
Approximately 130 years after the events of Star Trek: Discovery (revealed in J.J. Abrams 2009 Star Trek reboot), the galaxy was threatened by a supernova that threatened to consume countless planets and civilizations. Spock - at this point the Federation ambassador to Romulus - piloted an experimental ship, the Jellyfish, toward the supernova with the intent of sucking it into a black hole with an ill-defined new substance known as Red Matter. Spock was successful, but not before Romulus was destroyed. Spock would be confronted by a Romulan mining ship, the Narada - commanded by the grief-stricken Nero - and both the Jellyfish and Narada would end up pulled into the black hole, with each being deposited at different points in an alternate reality created by their presence in their relative past. This is the Kelvin timeline, the setting of the Abrams-produced Star Trek films chronicling the adventures of a younger Kirk and Spock aboard the Enterprise.
The combination of three volatile elements - a supernova, a black hole, and the Red Matter - seemingly shuttled the two vessels to the Kelvin timeline about 25 years apart, with Nero arriving first. But what if, instead of simply delivering Spock to this new universe, he took a detour through his own timeline via the extraordinary powers of the Red Matter? Could Spock's sacrifice have been repaid by a trip through time where he was subconsciously allowed to mend failed missions and broken relationships, like with his estranged foster sister? The volatile nature of Spock's trip through the black hole could account for the seemingly unintended harm to his younger self, or could even be by design, a way to reunite him with Burnham.
This would solve several problems. Not only would it explain why this dark chapter of Spock's life was never mentioned before, it could also explain some of the technological anachronisms in Discovery that have driven longtime Star Trek purists mad. And while it would be the first time the series directly acknowledged one of the Abrams productions - long believed to be a legal grey area due to the split between the franchise's film and TV rights - we know the upcoming CBS All Access Jean-Luc Picard series will hinge on the destruction of Romulus, so it's apparently no longer an issue. The fact that this theory would loosely tie Star Trek: Discovery to the Picard series is just the glaze on the Klingon blood pie.