"New Eden", the second episode of Star Trek: Discovery season 2, generates many intriguing new questions about the mysterious entity called the Red Angel as well as other events aboard the titular starship.
The whereabouts of the missing Spock (Ethan Peck) are addressed immediately in "New Eden"; the Vulcan is being held in a Starbase psychiatric unit. As they chase the second of the seven red signals in space, the Discovery jumps to the Beta Quadrant to find 11,000 humans living on the planet Terralysium, who were brought there in 2053 by the Red Angel. The episode centers on the theme of "science vs. faith" as Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) debate the moral quandary of whether the human survivors should be made aware that the Earth wasn't destroyed during World War III. Meanwhile, an accident infuses Ensign Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) with energy from the dark matter she brought aboard the Discovery and Tilly has to race to find a way to save Terralysium from an extinction-level event.
Star Trek: Discovery season 2, episode 2 feels like a classic Star Trek: The Next Generation episode with its thoughtful ethical debate while showcasing the CBS All Access show's trademark propulsive action and the second season's lighter tone. Here are the biggest questions "New Eden" left us asking.
- This Page: Questions About Spock and The Red Angel
- Page 2: Questions About Tilly, Stamets, and Culber
- Page 3: Other Questions About Discovery Season 2
Why Is Spock In A Starfleet Psychiatric Facility?
Captain Pike knew Spock's whereabouts all along, and in Star Trek: Discovery season 2, episode 2, Pike revealed to Burnham that her foster brother is in a Starfleet psychiatric unit on Starbase 5. Spock took leave two months prior and has been confined for the last month. Neither Michael, Sarek, nor Amanda were notified at Spock's request. In his log, Spock confessed that the nightmares which plagued him as a child have returned. If these nightmares were enough to break Spock's Vulcan reserve, they are indeed serious, but if he planned to seek out the source of the nightmares, why would he voluntarily place himself in a psychiatric unit?
It's possible Pike still hasn't told Burnham the whole story; maybe Spock is being involuntarily confined because seeking out the source of the red signals would place the Vulcan in danger. Could Pike have committed his Science Officer himself in order to protect him? While Pike could be keeping vital details from Burnham, she similarly hasn't revealed the reason why she and Spock no longer have a relationship (which could be because Spock developed feelings for his foster sister).
Has The Red Angel Appeared To Anyone Else Besides Spock And Burnham?
Burnham has now seen the Red Angel twice in Star Trek: Discovery season 2: the first time when she was injured during the rescue of the U.S.S. Hiawatha before Pike saved her and the second time in a brief flash after Jacob, one of the survivors on New Eden, knocked her, Pike, and Lt. Owosekun (Oyin Oladejo) out with a flash grenade (although it's not clear if this was a second vision or a memory). Presumably, Spock has also seen the Red Angel, although that won't be confirmed until he actually appears on Star Trek: Discovery. Up until this episode, the Red Angel had only shown itself recently to Sarek's two children - why?
Pike has now also seen the Red Angel; at the end of the episode the captain was able to access the video circa 2053 from a soldier's helmet and saw a few minutes of the people in the church fearing a nuclear bomb detonation. The Red Angel appears in the doorway of the church before it transported the building and everyone in it to the Beta Quadrant. But was Pike meant to see the Red Angel, which apparently has been revealing itself deliberately? Will the Red Angel now choose to reveal itself to Pike in the present and will Pike knowing what it looks like factor into the Discovery's investigation into the red signals?
Is The Red Angel A Retcon Of Star Trek's Space Gods?
Burnham and Pike raised Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law, which has been updated in Star Trek lore to state that "any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial technology is indistinguishable from God". This plants the seed that, despite its heavenly form, the Red Angel isn't divine but an alien with technology Starfleet doesn't yet understand. This could recontextualize the many seemingly-omnipotent space gods in the galaxy, a number of which Captain Kirk's Starship Enterprise will run into.
From the Greek god Apollo, the Metron, the Organians, and the Guardian of Forever, to name a few, the 23rd-century era of Star Trek is rife with extraterrestrial beings that style themselves to be gods, right up to Captain Jean-Luc Picard's nemesis Q (John de Lancie) and the Q Continuum in the 24th century. Could the Red Angel really be nothing more than an incredibly advanced alien? What Star Trek: Discovery reveals about the mysterious being and its abilities could reverberate into the rest of the Star Trek series set after it and shed new light on the slew of "omnipotent" aliens the Enterprise will meet.