Spock's presence in Star Trek: Discovery season 2 could shed light on one of his pivotal actions when he was Science Officer aboard the Starship Enterprise under Captain James T. Kirk: the Vulcan committed mutiny, just like his foster sister Michael Burnham. It's possible Burnham's life-altering choice in season 1 of Star Trek: Discovery plants the seed for Spock to do the same in the Star Trek: The Original Series episodes "The Menagerie, Parts 1 and 2"- and he learns the dos and don'ts of mutiny from Michael's mistakes.
Star Trek: Discovery is set roughly a decade before the events of the inaugural Star Trek series. In the two-part series premiere, "The Vulcan Hello" and "The Battle at the Binary Stars," the rise of the Klingon threat prompts Commander Michael Burnham to commit mutiny. Burnham disobeys her orders and fires on the Klingons, instigating the Klingon War that would devastate the Alpha Quadrant and permanently change the course of her life. Though the Federation ultimately achieved an armistice with the Klingons, many thousands died during the year-long Klingon War. Burnham ultimately found redemption, but she continues to deal with the ramifications of her actions.
One of the intriguing aspects of Star Trek: Discovery is that Burnham grew up in the same household as Spock. Ambassador Sarek adopted Michael as his ward and raised her alongside his half-Vulcan/half-human son. Their relationship soured due to undisclosed reasons (possibly because Spock developed feelings for his foster sister) before Burnham left Vulcan to join Starfleet; Spock would follow suit and also join Starfleet. At this point in Star Trek history, Spock is Science Officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise under the command of Captain Christopher Pike. Though the Enterprise was exploring the galaxy on its five-year mission and missed fighting in the Klingon War, Spock was surely aware of the mistakes Michael made. It's logical to surmise that the Vulcan learned from Michael's mutiny and didn't repeat her grave mistakes when he also decided to commit mutiny in The Original Series.
- This Page: Spock and Michael Burnham's Mutinies
- Page 2: What This Means For Spock In Star Trek: Discovery Season 2
Spock Committed Mutiny In The Original Star Trek
Spock committed mutiny in The Original Series' first season two-parter "The Menagerie" (which contains footage from Star Trek's original pilot "The Cage"). When Captain Pike was seriously injured by exposure to delta-rays, which left him permanently in a wheelchair and unable to speak, Spock betrayed Kirk and hijacked the Starship Enterprise. His goal was to deliver Pike to Talos IV, a planet they visited in 2254 (3 years before Star Trek: Discovery season 2's events). Starfleet is forbidden to visit Talos IV under penalty of death because the Talosians are illusion-casting beings who kidnap aliens for their zoo; however, the Talosians were actually engineering events to bring Pike to them so they could offer the gravely injured captain, whom they respect and admire, a chance to live as he once did in a permanent illusion.
When Kirk caught up to his First Officer, he led a court-martial of Spock for mutiny as the Vulcan slowly unraveled his plan with the help of the Talosians. Ultimately, when Kirk learned the truth that Spock hijacked the Enterprise to save his former Captain, the Vulcan was absolved of all wrongdoing: Starfleet brings no charges to Spock, rescinds the death penalty, and allows Pike to live among the Talosians. With the new context offered by Star Trek Discovery, Spock actually became Starfleet's second mutineer in "The Menagerie", but he never suffered punishment for his actions, unlike his foster sister Michael Burnham.
Spock's Foster Sister Michael Burnham Was Starfleet's First Mutineer
Michael Burnham bears the ignoble status as the first mutineer in Starfleet. She not only disobeyed the direct orders of her Captain Philippa Georgiou, Burnham actually attacked her commanding officer, temporarily disabling her with a Vulcan nerve pinch. In the course of the Battle at the Binary Stars, Georgiou was killed by the Klingons and their starship the U.S.S. Shenzhou was lost. Burnham survived and was court-martialed; she was stripped of her rank and sentenced to life in prison but was given a chance to redeem herself when Captain Gabriel Lorca brought her aboard the U.S.S. Discovery.
In the first six months of Klingon War, 8,000 people were already dead as a result of Michael's mutiny and that number would sharply rise before it was all over. Star Trek: Discovery's entire first season depicts Michael Burnham's long road to redemption, a journey Spock never had to undertake when he followed in Michael's footsteps in The Original Series.