‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Finally Solved a Mystery Two Years in the Making

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Over two years ago, on the far-off date of November 8, 2018, CBS All Access started streaming “Calypso,” a Star Trek: Short Treks episode starring Aldis Hodge and Annabelle Wallis. In the episode, Hodge played Craft, a man who ends up on the long-ago abandoned USS Discovery with only the voice of the computer, named Zora (Wallis), to accompany him. And while we may not know exactly what happened in the intervening time, thanks to this week’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery we finally know how Zora came to be.

Spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 12 “There Is A Tide…” past this point.

There’s a lot going on in the hour, as villain Osyraa (Janet Kidder) uses the stolen ship Discovery to sneak her way into Federation headquarters. There, she unsuccessfully lobbies Admiral Charles Vance (Oded Fehr) to allow The Emerald Chain to join the Federation, mostly because she won’t give up capitalism or herself to the authorities.

Meanwhile, back on Discovery itself, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) goes full Die Hard. We’ve seen Michael do this before back in Season 1, back when she was escaping Lorca’s thugs in the Mirror Universe. But here, it’s even more blatant, as she sneaks through the Jeffries Tubes, battles Emerald Chain baddies one by one, and even loses her shoes. All Burnham needed was to stick someone in the lift with a note that said, “Ho, ho, ho, now I have a phaser” and we would be set.

And yes: Star Trek: Discovery is a Christmas movie.

As Burnham is fighting her own way through the ship, Tilly (Mary Wiseman) is stepping up to the plate and leading the rest of the bridge crew on their own rebellion. It’s actually really refreshing to see everyone working together, as the non-leads who usually nod at each other or look approvingly at Saru (Doug Jones) get to pull a fast one on The Emerald Chain. Just in time, too, as Burnham has fought their way to the group, and they’re ready to take back the ship, when they get help from an unexpected source.

Enter a group of DOT-7 repair droids, who offer to assist Tilly and company in retaking the vessel, but that’s not the interesting part. The twist is that they speak with actress Annabelle Wallis’ voice, aka Zora, a.k.a. the voice of Discovery from “Calypso.”

Okay, this is about to get a little complicated if you’re a casual Discovery watcher, but bear with me. Last season the crew discovered a massive sphere that had records stretching nearly back to the beginning of the galaxy. That information was incorporated into Discovery‘s computers, and became impossible to delete or remove, to the point that an evil AI called Control tried to take, er, control of Discovery. To keep the sphere data out of Control’s digital hands, Discovery jumped 930 years into the future, which is where Season 3 has taken place.

Over the course of Season 3, Discovery — and the sphere date — has taken on a life of its own, actively working to guide and help the crew, as well as protect them. On “Forget Me Not” earlier this season we even saw the sphere date, through Discovery‘s computer, begin to speak. On that episode, it wasn’t entirely clear, because it was two voices: Julianne Grossman, who has previously voiced Discovery‘s computer; and Annabelle Wallis.

But this episode is the first time we’ve heard Wallis in full, as Zora. The sphere data has fully integrated with Discovery, and become sentient — something I’m sure we’ll find out more about in next week’s season finale.

There are still plenty of questions about “Calypso,” not least of which is when it takes place, and why Discovery has been abandoned. But thanks to “There Is A Tide…” we now know how the Funny Face loving AI came to be. Merry Christmas, one and all.

Star Trek: Discovery‘s third season concludes next Thursday on CBS All Access.

Where to watch Star Trek: Discovery

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