'Star Trek: Discovery' Reveals Why Spock Never Mentioned His Sister

The second season of Star Trek: Discovery came to its close in tonight’s season finale episode, the second part of “Such Sweet Sorrow.” Since Star Trek: Discovery revealed that Cmdr. Michael Burnham is the foster sister of Spock, fans have wondered why Spock never mentioned her in all of his other Star Trek appearances. The producers and cast of the series have promised that answers to that question, as well as several others about Discovery’s place in continuity, were on the way. Tonight’s season finale provides those answers.

This article contains SPOILERS for the second season finale of Star Trek: Discovery. You may want to watch the episode before reading further.

As “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2” begins, the Discovery and the Enterprise are facing off against the entire Section 31 fleet, now under the control of the rogue artificial intelligence called Control. Burnham and a team on Discovery are building a new Red Angel suit so that Burnham can lead Discovery, which still has the data Control needs to evolve, into the future and beyond Control’s reach.

Though it takes a lot of effort and sacrifice, the plan succeeds. Burnham sends out the signals that began the story of this season and then leads Discovery through a wormhole and nearly a millennium into the future.

Ash Tyler, Spock, Capt. Pike, the Enterprise, and the rest of its crew are left behind. Following the battle with Section 31 and Discovery’s disappearance, Tyler, Spock, Pike, and Number One are debriefed by Starfleet. Before the debriefing takes place, they all agree that they must hide the truth so that no one else, including Starfleet, commits the same mistakes that Section 31 committed leading to this point. They all tell the same story, which is that Discovery was destroyed in the battle with Control and that her crew, including Michael Burnham, were lost.

During the debriefing, Spock takes the notion one step further. He suggests to his Starfleet interrogator that in order to protect the safety of Starfleet's past and future that all files on Discovery’s mission, crew, and spore drive should be sealed, and that any Starfleet Officer with knowledge of these events should be sworn to secrecy under threat of treason charges. Though Spock’s parents are diplomatically immune to such Starfleet decrees, they understand the necessity of this one and choose to abide by it. In his monologue, Spock laments that he and his parents will never be able to again mention Michael Burnham’s name in the company of others.

This helps explain why Spock never mentions Michael throughout his Starfleet career as fans know it. He was legally bound not to so much as utter her existence, which was his own idea. It also explains why no one at Starfleet ever mentions Discovery or spore drive technology in the future.

What do you think of this explanation for why Spock never mentioned Michael Burnham? Let us know in the comments! Star Trek: Discovery is set to return to CBS All Access for a third season.



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