We have hit episode 9 and things are starting to come together plot wise and whilst this was a great episode the producers missed the mark on a few points.
The episode focuses on Airiam and her subversion by the computer program. Lets just take a moment to assess this. Airiam is an enhanced human which we learn is the result of a shuttle crash and her augmented cybernetics has its drawbacks including her need to download memories due to a limited hard drive. We know Airiam was infected by the future probe during the time rift exposure over Kaminar. We now know she was trying to send all the information from the encountered probe earlier in the season to the Section 31 AI called Control. So far so good… but why? something must link Control and the future ‘Bad’ that is presumably the same future ‘Bad’ the Red Angel showed Spock, that of the ships wiping out all sentient life.
This therefore closes the loop. Control is the the future ‘Bad’. It wants to destroy all sentient life. When a part of it is downloaded into Airiam during the rift it realises it can send the information in the super probe to the current Control and accelerate its plans. Control takes ‘control’ of Section 31 and does all it can to get the information. The Red Angel therefore must be someone using time travel to stop what Control is doing by guiding Discovery to key points. Well thats my take anyways and its looking more and more likely that Burnham is the Red Angel.
So what about the episode as a whole. I liked the use of supporting cast and it was good to see Nahn get something to do this week and proved herself a competent Security Officer, even if she should have voiced her suspicions earlier. Airiam was turning into an interesting character but we needed an impactful death to carry the weight of the narrative and she best served, although it would have been to drip feed more of her in previous episodes rather than having to be subjected to a rushed background on her in the episode.
The interplay with Spock and Burnham were excellent, boy does he hold a grudge and its great to see Burnham challenged in this way. She is always so assured she is right and here Spock acknowledges the logic of it but not the spirit of it. He doesn’t give her a pass.
I like the use of the Control AI something which is from the Star Trek books and this looks like the point where Section 31 becomes disavowed and clandestine, killing the Admirals in charge doesn’t look good.
All in all a solid episode with a tense fight scene and touching ending however the ending has left too much unresolved, Burnham and Nahn are still on a Control operated base and we just know S31 ships are racing back to challenge Discovery. It will be interesting to see how the penultimate episode shapes up.