'Star Trek: Discovery' Is Headed to a Classic 'Star Trek' Planet

Star Trek: Discovery is headed back to a classic Star Trek planet.

SPOILERS for Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, Episode 7, “Light and Shadows” follow.

In “Light and Shadows,” Cmdr. Burnham leaves Discovery and visits to Vulcan hoping Amanda Grayson knows something about Spock’s location.

It turns out Amanda has been hiding Spock in a crypt on Vulcan. Spock’s mind is troubled. He paces while repeating precepts of Vulcan logic, passages from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland stories, and a sequence of numbers.

Burnham and Amanda argue about the best way to help Spock. Sarek finds them and insists they turn Spock over to Federation authorities. Amanda argues with her husband, revealing in the course of that argument that Spock struggled with a learning disability as a child.

Vulcans with Spock’s condition present symptoms like those presented by humans with dyslexia. The condition is rare in Vulcans, and Spock’s case was blamed on his human mother. Sarek believed Spock’s rigorous education at the Vulcan Learning Center allowed him to overcome the condition. Amanda explains that she provided Spock with the emotional support that he could not find anywhere else on Vulcan. She read Alice in Wonderland to him because she believed he’d find comfort in a story where up was down and left was right.

Spock’s condition is the clue Burnham needs to decipher the numbers Spock has been repeating. She realizes that he’s speaking the sequence backward. Reversing the sequence reveals the numbers are the coordinates for the planet Talos IV.

Talos IV appears in “The Cage,” the original pilot episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. The events of “The Cage” take place three years before the events of Star Trek: Discovery’s second season. In the episode, the Enterprise investigates a distress call from the planet. It turns out to be a trap and Capt. Pike is taken prisoner by the Talosians, the last survivors of a once-advanced race.

The Talosians destroyed themselves and their planet in a nuclear war. The survivors used their enhanced mental abilities to create illusions indistinguishable from reality. They became addicted to their own illusions, but also grew bored with their own imaginations. They began luring and capturing other species to use as the basis for new illusions to watch.

The Talosians offer to create a paradise-like illusion for Pike to live out his life in. The captain of the Enterprise refuses. The Talosians are eventually convinced to release Pike, and the Enterprise departs on good terms.

Spock may want to return to Talos IV in the hopes that the Talosians can help him discover the nature of his nightmares involving the Red Angel. The planet almost makes for a nice hiding place since the surface is uninhabitable, giving ships little reason to visit it. Discovery’s return to the planet could provide some connective tissue between the events of “The Cage” and the events of “The Menagerie.”

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New Star Trek: Discovery episodes become available to stream Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS All Access.