Warning! This Star Trek: Discovery review contains massive spoilers.
With a huge and emotional reveal central to the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery, there wasn’t a lot of time for winks and nods to existing Star Trek.
Just kidding! Though the 11th episode of Star Trek: Discovery’s second season — “Perpetual Infinity” — mostly focused on building its own mythology, there were still plenty of connections to the larger canon of Star Trek. From visual references to the Borg, the size of Starfleet, specific phasers and quotes from Shakespeare, here’s every Easter egg and reference we caught in “Perpetual Infinity.”
A new/old Klingon ship
In the opening flashback, we see Burnham’s parents suddenly attacked by Klingons on Doctari Alpha. The Klingon ship that hovers over their installation looks like a cross between Klingon ships from the first season of Discovery and an old-school Klingon Bird-of-Prey.
Jump log look like Lorca’s coordinates last season
When Spock hands Burnham the logs of all her mother’s jumps in the time suit, the data looks very similar to Captain Lorca’s jump coordinates in the first season of Discovery. In the episode “Into the Forest I Go,” Lorca used the Spore Drive to jump the USS Discovery to the Mirror Universe.
7,000 active ships in Starfleet
Control tells Leland that that here are 7,000 active ships in Starfleet. Notably, Control doesn’t say “starships,” just ships. In the original series, Starfleet seems slightly smaller, which either means Control is wrong, or something happens to all the ships between 2257 and 2265. Unless of course, Control is counting shuttle crafts, in which case, that number starts to make sense. In anycase, 7,000 seems like a lot. In the classic episode “Tomorrow Is Yesterday,” Kirk says there are only 12 ships like the Enterprise in the fleet. He probably just meant Constitution-class ships, but still.
Control sounds — and looks — a lot like the Borg
When Control takes possession of Leland’s body it says “struggle is pointless,” which, could be read as a paraphrase of the Borg’s famous catchphrase “Resistance is Futile.” Plus, the way in which Control takes over Leland’s brain is very similar to the nano-probes that the Borg use to assimilate people in First Contact and Voyager. Is Control a distant cousin of the Borg? Seems like it!
Dr. Burnham mentions Deneva
In one of her mission logs, Dr. Gabriel Burnham, Michael’s mom, says that the following planets have been stripped of life: Vulcan, Andoria, Tella Prime, Deneva, Earth.
This is the second time Deneva has been mentioned in this season of Discovery. The first time was in the the episode “Saints of Imperfection,” when Georgiou says she knows that Leland did something to the “wrong ambassador” on Deneva a few years back. But in Discovery’s future, Deneva is a planet that will be home to James T. Kirk’s brother, Sam Kirk. In the classic episode “Operation: Annihilate!” Spock and Kirk repel a parasite invasion on Deneva.
Dr. Burnham tells Captain Pike: “I could say more about your future, but you won’t like it.” This references the events of the episode “The Menagerie” in which we learn Captain Pike is crippled by “delta rays” and has his mind cut off from his body, leaving him in a pseudo-vegetative state.
Dr. Burnham doesn’t know about the signals
In addition to the Red Angel, Discovery has also been pursuing certain Red Signals, which Dr. Burnham says she doesn’t know anything about. It’s unclear what this means at this point, but it clearly means something.
Hamlet, Hell Yeah
As Burnham is set to beam down to the planet, Spock says: “Time is out of joint. O cursèd spite,That ever I was born to set it right!” Burnham responds with “Hamlet, hell yeah.” Spock is quoting Hamlet from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, specifically, Act 1, Scene 5.
Star Trek loves Hamlet. The classic episode “The Conscience of the King” is not only taken from a line from Hamlet, but is about a troupe of actors performing Hamlet on the USS Enterprise. Picard quotes Hamlet a lot in The Next Generation, and everybody quotes Hamlet in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Sentimental Prime Universe Counterpart
Georgiou tells Dr. Burnham that she has mistaken her for her “sentimental prime universe counterpart,” which references the version of Captain Georgiou from “our” universe who was killed in the “The Battle of the Binary Stars.”
To date, this appears to be the first time someone has referred to the Prime Universe as “the Prime Universe” in dialogue. In “Despite Yourself” Burnham said “Mirror Discovery,” despite no one calling it the “Mirror Universe.” In most episodes, that dimension is referred to as “the Terran Universe.”
Leland is wielding two phasers that seem to be an upgrade of what the crew of the Discovery normally uses. These phasers are similar to what Georgiou is holding in the promotional shot for the new Section 31 series, currently in development. Superficially, they look more like the phasers from the classic Trek movies than from the original series. Leland also has a phaser rifle that is reminiscent of the phaser rifles from the Star Trek reboot films. Notably, everybody had a phaser rifle in the reboot film, Star Trek Into Darkness, which, also featured Section 31.
Spock and Burnham playing chess
The final scene finds Spock and Burnham playing chess, which, of course, references their earlier game this season in the episode “Project Daedalus.” But, this also represents the idea that Spock will often play chess — or think about chess — in crucial moments in The Original Series.
In the episode “Whom Gods Destroy” Spock and Scotty have a verbal chess code involving chess moves in order to prevent imposters from taking over the Enterprise. (This comes in handy when Garth of Izar impersonates Captain Kirk.) The point is, Spock takes chess very seriously in his very near future on the Enterprise.
Most famously, in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Spock notices that Khan’s strategy relies on “two dimensional thinking.” Luckily the version of chess Spock and Burnham play is in three dimensions.