Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Discovery episode “The Red Angel.” Read at your own risk!
Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 has had the Red Angel all up in everyone’s business, but that ended when Section 31 and Discovery came together to capture her. Based on information they had that that led them to assume the angel was future Michael Burnham, the group decided the only way to capture her was to endanger the present Michael. When the angel was captured Michael was shocked to see she wasn’t the angel after all. It was her mother.
No, we’re not talking about her adopted mother Amanda, but Michael’s biological mother who was supposed to be dead. At the moment, it appears the mother that was slain by Klingons while Michael hid in a closet is very much alive, and she’s been doing some traveling as the Red Angel this entire time. It’s a confusing revelation that, frankly, opens up a whole new world for questions.
Thanks to Section 31 commander Leland’s confession to Michael earlier in the episode, we at least know this possible. Leland revealed that her parents were actually Section 31 agents, and they were stationed on the planet they were murdered on because of him. We’d heard hints Leland was in some way responsible for Burnham’s parents death prior to this, but it wasn’t clear how until now.
So that answers one question, but how on Earth did Michael’s mother get hold of Section 31’s time suit aka the Red Angel outfit, find the time crystal the Klingon raiders arrived to steal, and get away with no one realizing it? That feels like a lot of work that, keep in mind, would taken place while young Michael was sent into foster care on Vulcan and left to believe she was an orphan.
It’s a little, fishy, to say the least, especially when thinking about it further. Michael’s mother didn’t only not find her daughter after faking her death, she hung on long enough to be in the future and learn of all the key events that result in the destruction of all sentient life. So, why did she do all that, yet allowed her husband to be murdered (we’re assuming) and let Michael live most her life believing her mother was dead?
As Spock would say, this is highly illogical. Unless, of course, Michael’s mother is traveling from the past, to the future, and back a little bit to save the near future from the past. She then goes on to die, because she knows doing so will influence Michael in some way that makes her more capable of saving humanity from the future robot attackers.
Here’s another theory. The Red Angel is not Michael’s mother, but someone using advanced technology to appear to be. We’re not exactly sure why, but there’s just so many difficult questions surrounding this reveal that it feels equally possible this is another red herring. The question then is, if this isn’t really Michael’s mother, who is it and why do they need Michael?
We’ll see what answers come in the coming weeks as Star Trek: Discovery airs new episodes on CBS All Access Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET. For more on the show, read up on which two characters the show will have to go without as it heads into Season 3.