Confession: though I love Discovery, I’ve not been enamoured with Michael as a character. This is no fault whatsoever of Sonequa Martin-Green, whose performance is masterful, but rather the concept of the show coupled with the writing – by centring everything on Michael, she has been a little of a Mary Sue.
She’s been coming more into herself throughout season two and in “Perpetual Infinity” finally feels like a full-rounded character. I thin a large amount of this is due to understanding why she takes so much responsibility for her actions, though having others just as responsible certainly helps.
Though the arrival of Doctor Burnham was meant to be the shocker, I was left wondering what the hell happened to Leland? Thankfully, this is answered straight away and with none of the prevarication Discovery has been guilty of in the past. Leland has been attacked and captured by Control, and subsequently infected by the AI. The aim is to gain access to the Sphere data that’ll make it fully autonomous (how has still not been explained.)
But the focus of this episode isn’t Control or even the End Of Everything As We Know It. The focus is Michael and her reunion with the mother she’s thought dead for twenty years.
At first, Doctor Burnham was very standoffish, stating that she’d seen her daughter die a hundred times and no longer felt anything for her. It’s Phillipa Georgio of all people who seems to crack the shell she’s created. We are out of the Mirror ‘Verse, aren’t we?
Of course, what Burnham Snr says and actually feels are very different things, and eventually she confesses to witnessing a lot of Michael’s growing up via travelling back as the Red Angel. This has been her protecting Michael as well as trying to take down Control, though the AI has managed to evade all her attempts thus far.
A plan is concocted that should a) stop Control getting the data and b) keep Michael’s mother in the present. It might have worked, had it not been for AI!Leland. Yet something he says echoes a statement from Burnham, which sparks Georgio’s suspicions. Though she does redirect the data stream as ordered, she also gets Ash to investigate Leland. His duplicity is exposed, but not before Control gets some of the data, Ash gets stabbed, and Michael’s mother is yanked back to the future sans super suit.
Pike (who’s seen lamentably little) fires on the planet, but a beam out is detected before the Section 31 ship jumps to warp. What now for the crew? One has to assume they too will be assimilated by Control. And there are other, burning questions such as why Dr Burnham was trapped in the future, and why Control is so determined to wipe out all life in the universe.
On to next week!