I’ve been thinking about Michael’s comment at the beginning of the episode. She tells Captain Pike the red signal that appeared above Boreth must mean that this time crystal is important to their efforts to defeat the Leland A.I. She’s right, but how is it significant? Is this trip to the future all it can do or does it serve another purpose? I think those visions of the future seen by both Michael and Jett Reno provide clues for us that need to be recognized. Here’s the first one:
As the clip reveals, after grabbing the time crystal Michael sees:
- A fuzzy image of a person pushing someone else out of the way of an explosion.
- She sees a photon torpedo embed itself into the saucer section of Enterprise and not explode.
- She sees what appears to be the dead body of Owosekun slide across the bridge floor.
- Michael sees an image of the Leland A.I. on Discovery’s bridge from two different angles.
- The bridge crew is hit by an explosion.
- Michael sees a closeup of herself where someone is grabbing her face by the jaw.
- Michael then sees the same scene from behind her own head and we observe her being held up in the sky by the Leland A.I.
- Finally, we hear a male voice say, “Goodbye.”
This experience is there to give Michael, and the audience, just a few, scattered glimpses of possible future events. I say ‘possible’ because I believe she’s didn’t see fixed future events. Michael saw what could happen rather than what will happen. To come to this conclusion I am making SOME HUGE ASSUMPTIONS.
- HUGE ASSUMPTION #1: The only fate that is sealed is that of Pike because he was the one who took the time crystal off of Boreth, thereby he paid the price for possessing it.
- HUGE ASSUMPTION #2: Anyone else who might experience a vision of the future by touching the time crystal or being near it, is seeing a “possible version of future events” because they didn’t pay the same price for the experience. Therefore, Michael and Jett got a free peek but the things they saw aren’t fixed in time. Time is malleable. That’s basically what Dr. Burnham was explaining to Michael.
We receive more detail and new information and future events when Michael is on the bridge and she begins to time shift between the present and some future time period when Discovery and Enterprise are in a pitch battle with the Leland A.I. and his Section 31 armada.
In this second, more detailed vision, Michael sees:
- Michael is on the bridge of Discovery in the middle of a heated battle with the Section 31 armada.
- Lt. Owosekun reports the current status of Enterprise including that it has been hit by an undetonated photon torpedo.
- Saru calls for the view screen to magnify its image of Enterprise.
- Just then, the crew are rocked by a massive attack to Discovery.
- Owosekun reports that Discovery has lost it’s shields.
- Another explosion throws the bridge crew across the floor.
- Michael falls striking her head against the floor.
- Nahn reports that Discovery has been boarded.
- The Leland A.I. enters the bridge with a phaser rifle.
- In short order – and with extreme precision – the Control hybrid kills Georgiou, Nahn, Bryce, Nilsson, Saru, Tilly, Gen Rhys, Detmer, and Owosekun.
- Michael attempts to get Georgiou’s phaser and shoot the Leland A.I.
- The Leland A.I. disarms Michael, grabs her by her jaw, lifts her up into the air and places a phaser to her face saying, “Goodbye.”
And finally, in a attempt to speed up charging the time crystal, Reno removes it from Po’s charging cage. She then becomes victim to its time displacement effects.
Just as Michael did, Jett sees glimpses of a very grim future. Initially, they seem to be the same. However, what she experiences is a slightly different version than Michael saw. There are some new images, as well.
- We see the Leland A.I. and his phaser rifle again, but this time he’s confronting Georgiou and Lt. Commander Nahn, both armed and pointing their phasers at him, in a different location. It appears to be a ready room, not the bridge.
- An injured Stamets is being assisted by Lt. Nilsson onto a bed in Sickbay. In Michael’s vision Nilsson was killed by Leland on the bridge and Stamets was not seen by Michael.
- The saucer sections of both Discovery and Enterprise are being bombarded by phaser fire from the armada.
- Owosekun appears to have been shot and is lying unconscious on the floor.
- The last image we see is a closeup of the photon torpedo embedded in the saucer section of Enterprise.
In spite of some very obvious differences, all three visions reveal to us that Discovery and Enterprise will be attacked by an armada of Section 31 ships, an unexploded photon torpedo will impale the saucer section of Enterprise, also, we see the Leland A.I. get aboard Discovery with a phaser rifle, and Owosekun will be injured, possibly fatally.
Because we saw it in all three segments I believe Enterprise’s saucer section being impaled by an undetonated photon torpedo is a critical detail. Also, I think Leland is almost guaranteed to board Discovery at some point.
What does all of this mean? I believe the future isn’t written for this crew, as of yet. They each can have a hand in avoiding the actions that Michael saw. Case in point: Michael doesn’t have to die at the hands of the Leland A.I. I believe that – with the exception of Owosekun, possibly – the bridge crew can avoid being killed by Leland, also.
One more thing, the ending could finally provide us with the reason why the red signal appeared near the asteroid where Reno was found. In every other incident the red bursts signified that there was something vital to giving them an edge in defeating Control. We’ve never asked or been told the important role Jett Reno plays in that mission. If she saw something different in her vision from Michael that highlights a way to survive losing to Control, Jett might become the most important element of the plan that was hidden in plain sight all along.
If nothing else, all of this means they have the ability to change the future. Something Michael’s mother proved by saving the human settlers on Terralysium. I’m anticipating the possibility to find out if I’m right.