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Given how linked into the Mirror Universe mythology Discovery has been all along, what should we expect here?

Log Entry

Discovery is scanning the area of space from which Moll and L’ak left, to try to learn where the fugitives have gone. Tilly and Stamets explain that they’ve found an unstable wormhole in the vicinity. Realising that this was how Moll and L’ak got away from them, Burnham decides to take a shuttle through the wormhole along with Book.

Rayner tries to point out that the captain shouldn’t leave the ship during an emergency and that he should go instead. Burnham refuses. Leaving Grudge behind, Book and Burnham fly into the wormhole and find a ship within it: the 23rd century ISS Enterprise.

Burnham and Book’s shuttle finds the ISS Enterprise inside the wormhole

Meanwhile, on Discovery, Tilly, Adira and Stamets try to increase communications power to talk to the shuttle crew. Tilly wants to be certain that Culber is okay after his possession on Trill.

Docking with the Enterprise, Burnham and Book explore, accessing the bridge. Book hacks the ship and Burnham traces three additional lifesigns on board: Moll, L’ak and the Progenitor clue.

A locket discovered by Burnham

In the transporter room, Burnham finds a locket. A plaque mentions a rebellion against the Terran Empire, led by Mirror Saru.

Burnham and Book find the pair of fugitives in sickbay. A fight begins but reaches a standoff. Book reveals to Moll that he knew her father. Burnham cons the pair into thinking the locket is the real clue. She realises that L’ak is a Breen and that his people are chasing the couple.

In a flashback, we learn that L’ak was a minor Breen Imperium royal receiving Orion goods carried by Courier Moll when they first met. They fell in love and turned to crime.

Moll, and L’ak wearing his helmet

Now, their fight against Burnham and Book resumes. L’ak is trapped with Burnham when a security field activates. This also traps Moll and Book together, who go to access the bridge systems to free them.

In another flashback, L’ak removes his helmet while in Moll’s presence.

Book tries to convince Moll that her father was a good man but she, hating her father, is not convinced. Moll cares only about L’ak. Disabling the security field, she undocks the shuttle, trapping Burnham and Book, and destabilises the ship, getting the Enterprise moving on a collision course towards the wormhole exit.

Burnham flings L’ak through the air

Fighting in sickbay, Burnham snatches the clue from L’ak and he is wounded by her. With the security field disabled, the couples are reunited. Using a tractor beam, they contact Discovery and have it pull the Enterprise through mostly intact. However, the fugitives again escape, fleeing in a warp-capable escape pod.

Back aboard Discovery, Burnham tells Book how a doctor aboard the ISS Enterprise had crossed to the Prime Universe, after the aforementioned rebellion succeeded, and joined the team working on the Progenitor technology. Book now has doubts about his and Burnham’s relationship, but at least they have the clue.

Status Report

What we have here is a curate’s egg – good in parts but the other parts being bafflingly WTF irrelevance rather than bad.

Since the series is steeped in Mirror Universe lore, it’s to be expected that the show, revisiting its earlier years, would look at this. The fact that the episode’s title is “Mirrors” suggests this is a Mirror Universe episode. Oddly, there’s a near-total lack of Mirror Universe content, apart from the locket. And there’s the ISS Enterprise, from the TOS episode “Mirror, Mirror” on screen. Well, not technically, of course; it’s the Strange New Worlds ship render and sets, which saves a chunk of the season’s budget.

L’ak actor Elias Toufexis on the set of the ISS Enterprise bridge

It’s definitely a good thing that we finally learn who Moll and L’ak actually are, and what they mean to each other. Their relationship is both touching and interesting. The flashback scenes establishing it are one of the highlights of the episode. The other highlight is related to that: the Breen are back, with new costumes (no more cosplaying Princess Leia’s bounty hunter disguise with the serial numbers filed off). Their new appearance is slick and is seen to be the source of Moll and L’ak’s combat outfits in the season premiere. What’s a little strange is that the Breen, especially L’ak himself, are now perfectly capable of removing their helmets.

Revealing that L’ak is Breen is a great move, as his background makes sense of this season’s recurring mentions of them and the suggestion, including here, that one way or the other they will defeat the Federation. A lot of established Breen lore is overturned here, with L’ak comfortable outside of a refrigeration suit and having blood, which Deep Space Nine established that the Breen don’t.

Burnham gets a good moment in conning the fugitives. Points off for Book’s “I’m in” hacking cliché, which should be long gone by the 32nd century. There’s some good action sequences and it’s interesting that L’ak seems to be the smart one of the pair. Also, it’s strange that the clue has its own lifesign.

Delta4

Overall, yes it’s a curate’s egg. There’s great stuff with L’ak and Moll, especially with their relationship mirroring the one between Burnham and Book. The only reason for the Mirror Universe ship, when we know old ships are still drifting around, is to tease fans over the episode’s title. That’s a shame, because this could be a classic, but just has too many bizarre decisions in the storytelling process.

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