Star Trek: Discovery’s second season introduced Section 31 to the series. The covert organization does whatever it takes to protect the security and prosperity of the United Federation of Planets, doing the jobs that the rest of Starfleet would rather not dirty its hands with. Section 31 already recruited two new members close to Michael Burnham. Philippa Georgiou, the former Terran Emperor, now works for Section 31, as does Ash Tyler, the surgically altered Klingon once known as Voq. Tonight’s episode of the series revealed that Burnham’s connection to Section 31 is even deeper and more personal than previously known.
Burnham is the daughter of Starfleet scientists, but her parents were killed in a Klingon attack on Doctari Alpha, where they were stationed. Burnham always blamed herself for their deaths, because they were supposed to have been on a family vacation to Mars when the attack took place. Instead, she begged her parents to stay on Doctari Alpha so she could watch a star go supernova.
Earlier this season, there were hints that there may be more to her parents’ deaths than she knew when Georgiou implied she knew something about Capt. Leland’s involvement. In “The Red Angel,” Georgiou tips Burnham off to the fact that Leland is hiding something. Burnham confronts Leland, and the truth is revealed.
Leland tells Burnham that both of her parents worked for Section 31. They were working together on the Red Angel project, a suit that would allow someone wearing it to travel through time. Burnham’s parents had a theory that all of the periodic technological leaps that have taken place on many planets throughout the galaxy, including Earth, were the result of time travel. Leland was skeptical until he saw their work. All they needed was a time crystal to power the suit. Section 31 found one on the black market and sent it to Doctari Alpha. But Section 31 had stolen time-travel technology from the Klingons, and they tracked the gem to Doctari Alpha. It was Leland’s carelessness that led ot the Klingon attack that killed Burnham’s parents.
Or maybe not killed. The episode also reveals that Burnham’s mother is still alive and is in fact that Red Angel that Discovery has been following all season long. It seems she may have used the Red Angel suit to escape Doctari Alpha, but little is really known for certain at this point.
What do you think of this new wrinkle in Burnham’s relationship with Section 31? Let us know in the comments. New Star Trek: Discovery episodes become available to stream Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS All Access.
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