Has “Star Trek: Discovery” Used Its Emergency Power Move Too Soon?

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: CBS)

Well then, “Star Trek: Discovery” has jumped the shark.

That didn’t take long, did it? Somehow, against all odds, the show simply couldn’t avoid reaching for the low-hanging fruit; the dumb storyline that burns through all available hardcore fan goodwill while simultaneously completely destroying the stakes present in any normal episode.

Spoiler alert: the Discovery and its crew have ended up trapped in the Mirror Universe.

The Mirror Universe is not itself inherently flawed – in fact, it’s often a lot of fun. First debuting in The Original Series’ second season, this is an alternate world where all of our favorite heroes are villains.

The Original Series Mirror Universe
Source: CBS

Whenever it shows up, the Mirror Universe feels campy and silly and fun, which is probably why “Discovery” is reaching for it at such an early point in the show’s run.

The problem is, normally the Mirror Universe is a plot device that “Star Trek” writers only reach for when the show is a lot more established. With “Star Trek: Enterprise”, the Mirror Universe didn’t show up until the series was already very clearly about to be cancelled, as a last little bit of fun before the show’s inevitable demise.

In throwing us into the Mirror Universe now, before we’ve had the chance to fully bond with the main cast of “Discovery”, it’s going to be harder to really care when we see evil versions of the show’s characters.

Half the time, Captain Lorca seems to be acting like a villain anyway, so it’s hard to imagine that his dastardly counterpart will be any different.

Mirror Universe
Source: CBS

Unless, of course, things swing the other way – we could see a friendly, affectionate, caring Lorca in the Mirror Universe, to highlight how suspicious and battle-hardened the Lorca of the main universe has become.

Alternatively, if we’re delving into the dark and gritty alternate “Star Trek” dimension now, why not go for broke with a big plot twist?

What if this isn’t the first time that a member of the crew of the “Discovery” has crossed between these dimensions? What if, all this time, we’ve been watching a Mirror version of a character, who found their way to the main universe and took the place of their more pleasant doppelganger?

Perhaps this would be a hard idea for many audiences to get their heads around, but it certainly would explain why “Discovery” is so filled with unlikeable characters!