Star Trek: Discovery returned from hiatus with a bang and the death of a member of the USS Discovery crew.
SPOILERS for Star Trek: Discovery Season One, Episode 10, "Despite Yourself" follow.
The episode saw Dr. Hugh Culber kept busy. His partner, Lt. Paul Stamets. Stamets had become near catatonic after making a flurry of spore drive jumps. Lorca took that responsibility from Culber, assigning Stamets to another doctor.
Culber had another patient, Lt. Ash Tyler. Tyler asked Culber to examine him to find out if the Klingons did anything to him when he was a prisoner. This followed a bizarre encounter with L'Rell and more flashbacks to strange surgeries.
Culber examined Tyler. Closer inspection revealed scar tissue Culber attributed Tyler's torture was something more. The Klingons had actually changed Tyler's physical appearance. He also found evidence of a second personality in Tyler. The Klingons had altered Tyler's body and mind.
Culber insisted on having Tyler grounded for further examination. This caused Tyler to break. Klingon words ran through his head. He reached out and snapped
Tyler didn't mention any of this when he reported for duty in the Discovery transporter room. He beamed aboard the ISS Shenzhou with Lorca and Burnham.
Director Jonathan Frakes teased that the episode would include a death. He also left some hope that it's not what it seems.
"It was a great death,” he said. “But is it a death?"
Culber and Stamets were the first gay couple to be part of the core cast of a Star Trek series.
"I appreciated the relationship was revealed in subtle ways, it was part of the fabric of the ship," Anthony Rapp, who plays Stamets, said. "The trek community has a vibrant LGBT+ segment to it, and people were really gratified that it was presented in a direct, uncomplicated and human way."
“I wanted to see a character on TV who reflected my life back to me," Cruz said. "Growing up, I wanted to see two men love each other and share a life, and have the same ups and downs that their heterosexual counterparts had."
Fans will have to wait until next week’s episode to find out if there is any hope left for Culber.
New Star Trek: Discovery episodes air Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS All Access.