'Star Trek: Discovery' Season 3 Episode 5: The Mirror Universe is gone, what does this mean for Georgiou?

The Mirror Universe is, impossibly, gone, and that has rattled Philippa Georgiou in a way that we haven't seen before


                            'Star Trek: Discovery' Season 3 Episode 5: The Mirror Universe is gone, what does this mean for Georgiou?
(CBS)

Spoilers for 'Star Trek: Discovery' Season 3 Episode 5 'Die Trying'

Once the Empress of the Mirror Universe, Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) has now resigned herself to life as a Starfleet officer although she goes about it in her own, unique way. Though she's been largely in the background this season, this episode dedicates a few moments to shining a spotlight on her, while also revealing some devastating news about the world she once called home.

With the Federation's ban on time travel, the crew of the USS Discovery are all technically illegal occupants of the 32nd Century, which means all of them have to be debriefed. Of course, no one tells Georgiou what to do, and in a magnificent display of just what a threat she is, she manages to deactivate her AI interrogators simply by using the frequency of her blinks, combined with a few existential questions, to crash them entirely despite them being a millenia ahead of technology she's used to.

The human interrogator in the room, played by director David Cronenberg, takes on her interrogation himself. It's a playful back and forth that once again shows just how devious Georgiou can be, refusing to be pinned down by her interrogator's need for answers, deftly dodging every strategy he throws her way. She never loses the upper hand, until he delivers a bombshell that throws even her off of her stride -- the Mirror Universe that she comes from has somehow drifted away from the regular universe, making it that much harder to be able to go from one dimension to the other. In fact, no one has been able to do so for over 500 years.

While Georgiou has shown no willingness to return to the universe she once ruled, possibly because they would execute her for the weakness of losing her Terran throne, it's one thing to choose to not go home, another thing entirely to be told she's cut off from it. As far as anyone's aware, she is the only Terran in the entire universe, and the only one who will ever exist going forward. The Mirror Universe is effectively gone, and the news appears to have hit Georgiou hard.

The science of this is vague -- the Mirror Universe is an alternate dimension that's not separated by distance, but by a specific dimensional frequency -- but it's still somehow managed to, in layman's terms, drifted away in a manner that should be impossible. What that means, exactly, is hard to say, and it's worth noting that the science comes from a Starfleet officer who has no record of the Discovery's spore drive and its unique method of interstellar travel. The spore drive can accomplish things that no other Starfleet ship can -- and it should technically still be possible to get to the Mirror Universe through the subspace mycelial network that connects all of existence.

The possibility seems not to have occurred to Georgiou, yet. We've seen her angry, we've seen her distressed, we may have even seen glimpses of her fear, but Georgiou is a woman who keeps most of her feelings locked down tight. The news that she is alone appears to have her shutting down entirely, however, as in one scene we see her standing stock-still in the middle of the hallway, oblivious to the world around her, processing things on a level that makes it clear to Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) that Georgiou is not okay. 

The issue remains unresolved by the end of the episode, which means that it's going to be an important story thread in future episodes. Will this turn Georgiou down a darker path, or is this the news she needed to finally be able to let her Terran idealogy go completely? Whatever the answer, there are major changes in store for her going forward, and she's going to be worth keeping a close eye on. 

The next episode of 'Star Trek: Discovery' airs November 19 on CBS All Access.

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