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'Star Trek: Discovery' Loses a Crewmember in "Project Daedalus"

Star Trek: Discovery just lost a crewmember.

SPOILERS for Star Trek: Discovery Season Two, Episode 9, “Project Daedalus” follow.

Since Star Trek: Discovery debuted, fans have been asking to learn more about the bridge officers of the USS Discovery. One of those has been Lt. Cmdr. Airiam, who stands out due to her mostly cybernetic body.

“Project Daedalus" finally reveals Airiam’s backstory. Once, she was a newlywed. She and her husband were about to leave Earth for a vacation, but their ship malfunctioned on take off. She was so badly damaged that to save her life the doctors needed to replace much of her body with cybernetics. As this episode reveals, she even has to manually manage her memories, choosing which memories to keep and which to delete.

Earlier this season, Airiam became infected by some kind of hostile program that can take control of her body. “Project Daedalus” reveals the program comes from Control, a threat assessment program developed by Section 31 that is gaining sentience.

Discovery arrives at Section 31 headquarters in this episode. Airiam, Cmdr. Burnham, and Cmdr. Nhan form an away team and investigate the apparently abandoned station. Once the team is aboard, Control takes over Airiam, attacks the others, and has Airiam upload information about artificial intelligence that she took from the Enterprise.

Ensign Tilly is able to get to Airiam by showing her some of her favorite memories. She’s able to communicate, but can’t regain control of her body. She warns them that they need to open the airlock and send her out into space before she kills them., Burnham refuses to give up on saving Airiam, but Nhan steps in and opens the airlock. Airiam dies in the vacuum of space, and her last words are to warn Burnham that she needs tofind something called “Project Daedalus.”

And so Airiam is lost. Discovery now knows who its enemy is -- a sentient artificial intelligence from the future -- but it cost the crew one of their own, and they do not know how to stop it.

What did you think of Airiam’s death in Star Trek: Discovery? How do you think Starfleet can defeat Control? Why do you think Spock was chosen by the Red Angel to learn about this threat from the future? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

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

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