Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Ending Explained

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Star Trek: Discovery's season 2 finale, "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2", concluded our Starfleet heroes' battle to save the galaxy from Control, the evil A.I. that took over the spy organization Section 31. By the end of the action-packed episode, the CBS All-Access prequel completely reinvented itself by shockingly redacting the U.S.S. Discovery from Star Trek history and taking Michael Burnham and her crew 930 years into the future!

The main story of Star Trek: Discovery season 2 was the titular starship's crew, under the command of the Enterprise's Captain Christopher Pike, trying to stop Control from wiping out all sentient life in the galaxy. This involved solving two concurrent mysteries: the identity of the time-traveling Red Angel (who turned out to be Michael's mother Dr. Gabrielle Burnham) and the reason for seven red signals in space that the Discovery was following. Throughout the season, Control took the form of Section 31's Captain Leland and sought to acquire 100,000 years of data the Discovery obtained from a dying sphere; Control needed this data to fully evolve itself and become sentient before it could annihilate all living beings in the galaxy. In "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1", Michael embarked on a desperate plan to take the U.S.S. Discovery into the future to safeguard the sphere data from Control. Meanwhile, the Discovery's crew committed to joining Michael in the 32nd century.

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Related: Star Trek Theory: Discovery Is Setting Up A Pike/Spock Spinoff

It all culminated in a final battle against Control and the entire Section 31 fleet waged by the Discovery and the U.S.S. Enterprise together. The devastating interstellar conflict saw Admiral Katrina Cornwell sacrifice her life to save the Enterprise. Despite being outnumbered by Control's drones, the Starfleet heroes received timely help when Ash Tyler brought the Klingon fleet, led by High Chancellor L'Rell, into the battle. Also, First Officer Saru's race, the Kelpiens, who were piloting Ba'ul ships and were led by Saru's sister Siranna, came to the rescue to help the Enterprise and the Discovery demolish the enemy fleet. And while all of that was happening in outer space, Emperor Georgiou fought and defeated Leland aboard the Discovery, destroying the A.I.'s nanobots within a boobytrapped spore drive containment cube.

But everything hinged on Michael taking the Discovery a thousand years into the future. Here's how Burnham's plan worked and how "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2" altered both Star Trek: Discovery's future and the Star Trek franchise itself:

Michael Burnham Is The Second Red Angel Who Sent The 7 Signals

Michael's plan to save the galaxy involved constructing a new time suit from the original plans her mother, Gabrielle, used, which the Discovery obtained from Section 31. In effect, Michael became the second Red Angel. But it wasn't until she was unable to use the time crystal to open a wormhole to the future that Spock realized Michael's purpose as the Red Angel was to send the seven red signals in space. Based on Spock's earlier guess that the red signals were sent by intelligent design, the Vulcan explained that each signal Michael sent led the Discovery to a key element that would enable Michael's plan to work.

Michael indeed vaulted backwards in time and sent the first five signals: the first was in the asteroid field where they met Jett Reno, who was instrumental in getting the time crystal fully charged; the second signal was at Terralysium, which would be a safe harbor in the future; the third was at Saru's homeworld of Kaminar, where the liberation of the Kelpiens from the Ba'ul would ultimately help the Discovery and the Enterprise beat the Section 31 fleet; the fourth signal was at Boreth so Captain Pike could acquire a time crystal; and the fifth signal was at Xahea to bring Ensign Sylvia Tilly's friend Queen Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po aboard, as she was the one woman in the galaxy who knew how to charge the time crystal. Later, Po also figured out how to disable the Section 31 drones during the space battle. Further, Michael's first three signals mean she was the Red Angel the crew sighted each time - not her mother, Dr. Burnham - and thus, Michael saw her future self at the first signal.

Related: The Meaning Of Star Trek: Discovery's First Five Red Signals

Because Spock's shuttle was disabled and he couldn't follow Michael though the wormhole, the siblings bid a heartbreaking farewell before Spock was beamed back aboard the Enterprise. The sixth signal was Michael as the Red Angel serving as a beacon ("a North Star") for the U.S.S. Discovery to follow as they both entered the wormhole to the future. The seventh and final signal was Michael fulfilling her promise to Spock that she would let him know they made it safe and sound. Due to "time being relative", it took 124 days until Spock saw Michael's final signal emerging from the Beta Quadrant. By then, the Vulcan had returned, clean-shaven and in uniform, to serving as the Science Officer aboard Captain Pike's Starship Enterprise.

Page 2 of 3: The Discovery Goes To The Future And What Happens Next

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