Captain Pike gets more information about the whereabouts of Spock and en route to intercept his shuttlecraft, Discovery gets taken out of warp and immobilized by a planetoid-sized sphere. It seems like every chance taken to get a hold of Spock or his knowledge always leads to a new discovery. While trying to break free of the sphere’s grip, Discovery gets infected by some sort of virus causing the ship’s translators to start malfunctioning. This puts Saru, someone who has learned many languages, to fix the problem. Saru who has been feeling under the weather and he later reveals that it seems the sphere has triggered the Vaharai in him. This condition is fatal and affects Kelpians. Saru plans on being helpful until it is his time and everyone including, Pike, who has only known Saru for a short time seems shocked and saddened by the news.
The idea that Saru, one of the only friends Burnham’s had, dying is one of the saddest realizations. At this point, last season, the idea that anyone could drop dead was almost certain and so it was maybe naïve of us viewers to think that this time, this season, may be different. Saru realizes that his condition is tied to the sphere’s and that it too is also dying and just wishes to transmit it’s knowledge before it dies. Saru, however unexpectedly recovers and find himself physically and emotionally superior to his normal self after all of this ordeal. The scene with him and Burnham in his quarters is awfully emotional because we are filled with this dread and sadness that he could die at any time and Burnham expresses this deep amount of emotion for the first time this season and his recovery is great but it leaves us with questions about the new Saru and what this could mean for him and his species.
Meanwhile, the intelligent fungal parasite that was inhabiting Tilly gets out of captivity when the ship starts malfunctioning due to the sphere. The parasite attaches itself to Tilly’s arm and honestly, any scene with that parasite is a freaky one and sends chills down my spine. To find out why the parasite has attached itself to Tilly and why it won’t let her go, Stamet’s drills a hole into Tilly’s skull to put in a sort of translator. That scene with Stamets and Tilly singing always brings me back to how this show is able to capture such emotion in such a crazy and unrealistic setting, this is brought home by the amazing performances by the actors. The parasite taught Staments about how his jumps through the mycelial network have caused harm to the organisms living there and I can’t help but be confused because I thought when Stamets was brought out of the network last season he was able to heal the network. The parasite forms a sort of large living fungi on the floor which releases spores that distracts Stamets and Reno while it kidnaps Tilly. Just when we got over having one of our favorites in mortal danger, we are left completely freaked out about the state of Tilly.