Logic And Emotion Have Failed Spock In Star Trek: Discovery Season 2
Star Trek: Discovery returns this week for its second season, bringing with it a brand new portrayal of arguably the franchise’s most iconic character. Yes, Ethan Peck (son of Hollywood legend Gregory Peck) is joining the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery as Spock. Fans might wonder why we need another version of the Vulcan, as we’ve already got Zachary Quinto on the big screen, but the CBS All Access show is in a unique position to explore the character’s early days.
Discovery is set a decade before The Original Series, so when we meet Spock in season 2, he’s not yet the man played by Leonard Nimoy in the 1960s. While speaking to the press, showrunner Alex Kurtzman explained that Spock is in a very different place when we first see him as he’s just faced something that’s threatened his whole outlook on the universe, with his trusted logic and under-developed emotional side failing to help him comprehend it.
“Well, obviously there was a lot of questions from the last season, right? How come Spock doesn’t ever mention his half-sister to Michael Burnham? And we owe the audience an answer to that. And one of the things that I’m most excited about with this season is that this is the untold chapter of Spock. So, this is Spock pre-TOS. He’s not actualized as the character you know from The Original Series yet. He has seen something that his logical brain and logical training cannot make sense of, and he’s emotionally ill-equipped to deal with it. So logic and emotion have failed Spock and he is trying to figure out who he is and what the signals mean and the red angel means. And it is through his relationship, his very complicated and broken relationship with Michael, that he’s able to actualize himself as the Spock we know from TOS, and that’s a big part of what the season’s about.”
The red signals and the accompanying red angel are set to be the driving force of season 2, with it being teased that the curious cosmic phenomena could be connected to something universe-shattering. There’s an intriguing fan theory that claims the red signals might connect Discovery to the Kelvin timeline – the alternate history from the movies. That’s looking more likely now that the Picard series has been confirmed to follow on from 2009’s Star Trek.
It’s also interesting to note that we’ll get a definitive answer this season as to why Michael Burnham’s never been mentioned at all in the franchise before now. After all, you’d think Spock might’ve told his buddies on the Enterprise just once that he had a human adoptive sister. Especially if, as Kurtzman says above, Michael proves so key to helping him mature and become Spock as we know him.
There’s the potential for Star Trek: Discovery to deliver a truly terrific arc here for a character we all thought we knew backwards, so let’s hope it’s able to do so when season 2 premieres this Thursday, January 17th.