DIS: S3 – E10: Terra Firma, Part II

Terra Firma, Part II
Terra Firma, Part II

You know, it’s funny. They say that a broken clock is right twice a day. In my last review, I compared the Terra Firma storyline to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. And some on social media told me that I was wrong. I said, “just read my follow-up article!” But they didn’t. It turns out that I was correct. The episode “Terra Firma, Part II” ended just like I thought it would. 

Georgiou could not live in the time which she was in. She needed to go back, and then possibly “over” to her Terran Universe to live. This aligns just right with a new Section 31 show that Trek boss Alex Kurtzman is cooking up for Georgiou.


We continue the Terra Firma story as Michael gets dragged into a cell. She appeared to have been tortured and beaten. Georgiou stood and watched as Michael crawled toward her.

“I should be dead!” Michael growled. “I should be dead. Give me the honor I deserve!”

"Kill me!" Michael pleads. Courtesy of CBS
“Kill me!” Michael pleads. Courtesy of CBS

“You deserve many things,” said Georgiou. Michael told Georgiou that she was weak, and all Terrans could see it. Michael also charged that Georgiou was “retiring” to the I.S.S. Charon, instead of conquering new worlds. 

As Georgiou spoke, Michael spat in her face. Georgiou left the cell, telling Michael that she had a lot to learn. Guards dragged Michael out of the cell and threw her into an agonizer chamber. As she moved, Michael said a new force composed of Andorians, Klingons, Tellarites, and Romulans are forming to oppose the Terran Empire. Michael said it was called the Coalition. 

NOTE: This is very much like what happened in the famous Mirror Universe episode on Deep Space Nine, “Crossover.” In that story, Major Kira and Dr. Bashir visited the other side, thanks to a warp-related wormhole situation. They learned that the “Alliance,” made up of Klingons and Cardassians, defeated the Terrans, leaving the Bajorans a small but important power in the quadrant.

Michael said that this alliance would cause others, such as the Denobulians, and Rigelians to follow suit. Georgiou did pause and listen to this news. She then threw Michael into the agonizer. 

NOTE: Nice! A little shout-out to Star Trek: Enterprise, as Dr. Phlox was a Denobulian.

While she was trapped in the glass booth, Michael swore that she would kill all of those who stood and watched. 

“Why do they only learn from pain?” Georgiou asked herself as Michael wailed. 

Georgiou flattered Killy by telling her that she was the most feared interrogator in the quadrant. Courtesy of CBS
Georgiou flattered Killy by telling her that she was the most feared interrogator in the quadrant. Courtesy of CBS

Back in her stateroom, Captain Tilly (aka Killy) visited Georgiou. Killy said that Michael should be dead for her crimes. Georgiou asked Killy to take over the investigation and find Michael’s conspirators. Georgiou also told Killy that Michael must be broken but not killed. 

NOTE: It is at this point where the audience gets to see the opening credits. And, like the mirror episodes for Star Trek: Enterprise, we get a little something different. While the Enterprise intros were completely redone, the Discovery mirrored opening is precisely that — mirrored and reversed. The colors are the opposite of the standard yellow and beige. Some objects are upside-down. It was fun!

A simple thing — reversing the colors. But it was really fun and set the tone. Courtesy of CBS
A simple thing — reversing the colors. But it was really fun and set the tone. Courtesy of CBS

We rejoin Michael in her cell on the I.S.S. Discovery. For days she is tortured and refused to eat.  

Killy used the agonizer without mercy to get Michael to reveal who else was in the plot. They even made her sleep in the booth!

Finally, she was too weak to stand. Detmer came to the cell to try to talk Michael into giving up. Michael asked about Lorca, but Detmer said no one had heard from him. Michael looked like she was about to give up upon hearing this news.

Georgiou visited Michael in the cell. She told Michael that she knew Michael could change. As Michael slept, Georgiou told a story of when Michael was a child and walked in her sleep. Michael found herself in a field of fireflies. Georgiou placed a globe full of blinking fireflies next to Michael and left the cell. 

Michael woke, looked at the globe, and ate some bread. She came to see Georgiou and swore her allegiance to the Emperor. 

“We have an empire to rule,” said Georgiou. “All I ever wanted was to rule it with you.”

Michael said she would expose the co-conspirators and execute them herself. Georgiou said that Detmer would help Michael kill them. 

“You can trust me again,” Michael told Georgiou through her tears. 

Michael remembered her childhood through this story. Courtesy of CBS
Michael remembered her childhood through this story. Courtesy of CBS

“Don’t come back until you’ve proven yourself,” said Georgiou. Michael bowed and got to work. 

We then see a series of deaths of the Discovery crew. Michael eventually collected their Terran badges to prove to Georgiou that they are all dead. Georgiou approved, only after Michael killed Detmer too. 

Later, Michael and Georgiou enjoy dinner together. Michael notes that the kitchen no longer served Kelpian (she says this as Saru served them). Georgiou said that Kelpian flesh is high in cholesterol. They discussed how Michael finally agreed with Georgiou’s changes, including how Georgiou sabotaged the “Coalition” before it could attack. 

Georgiou asked where Lorca was. Michael said she didn’t know, but when they found him, she would kill him too. Michael noted that Lorca used the alias “Vicar,” which they could use to find him.

“Go find him, daughter,” said Georgiou. “So long as he lives, we will always be at war.”

Afterward, Saru brushed Georgiou’s hair and asked what was “amiss.” She said there was nothing wrong, and all was unfolding as she hoped. Georgiou said that Saru would remain in her service instead of going back to Michael.

The Kelpian shuttered, saying that it was almost time for his “Vahar’ai.” The Vahar’ai, of course, is the lie that all Kelpians believe, where at a specific time in their life, they must be “culled” after a madness hits. This death was for their own good, they said. 

Georgiou said that this was not true and told a Kelpian named Saru, the captain of his own starship. She told him to tell other Kelpians the truth. Saru looked at her strangely,

“You are not Terran!” he said.

“Of course, I am,” said Georgiou. Saru urged Georgiou to go back to where she came from because as soon as the others find out, they will kill her.

Georgiou said that this place was hers, and she would make it what it needed to be. She told Saru to leave so she could bathe. She then checked on the bracelet (which Culber had her wear before she left the Discovery). It was still blinking green, which meant that she still had time.

Next, the Discovery intercepted a message to one of Lorca’s top lieutenants — a guy named Duggan. Georgiou ordered the Discovery to intercept Duggan’s ship, which was at Risa. They did this at “maximum warp,” and not the spore drive, since Stamets was dead.

Hannah Cheesman returns as Mirror Airiam, without the augments. Courtesy of CBS
Hannah Cheesman returns as Mirror Airiam, without the augments. Courtesy of CBS

They found Duggan’s shuttle and disabled it. Duggan (Daniel Kash) told Georgiou that Lorca was rallying the Klingons and Romulans against her. Georgiou scoffed. They beamed Duggan aboard the Discovery so they could interrogate. 

Georgiou and Michael approached Duggan in the brig. He told Georgiou “not to trust this one,” as he referred to Michael. Rather than ask any questions, Michael shot Duggan in the head and turned her phaser on Georgiou. It was a trap! Georgiou was soon surrounded by Nilsson, Rhys, Culber, and others. 

“All of it was a lie?” asked Georgiou. Michael said that it was and that she expected to be killed at the christening of the Charon.  

“They are gonna sing songs about me,” said Michael. “How I saved the empire.” 

Georgiou looked at her and said, quietly: “You can still make a different choice, Michael.”

Michael grew angrier. Georgiou said she had seen another way to live. Michael told Georgiou that she should have never trusted. Georgiou said that she never did. Captain Killy and others burst into the brig, phasers firing. Saru and his Kelpian slaves joined in. 

NOTE: This was a fight scene worthy of The Original Series. Saru even showed off his Kelpian strength, tossing someone onto the bulkhead. Michael and Georgiou’s battle was quite good also.

Georgiou eventually stabbed Michael with her sword. Georgiou apologized as she did. Michael gurgled and died.

Saru cradled Georgiou and told her that he’d “passed through Vahar’ai.”

Carl actually explaining some things for a change. Courtesy of CBS
Carl actually explaining some things for a change. Courtesy of CBS

At that moment, Georgiou woke in the snow. Michael was cradling her on Dannus V. Carl said she needed to be careful when walking through doors. Georgiou stood and was startled. Carl showed her the newspaper, which now read “EMPEROR GEORGIOU’S FATE UNCERTAIN.” 

Georgiou asked Carl who he was. He said he was an old friend. She grabbed him by the shoulders and said that she had been in Terra for months. 

“Was any of it real?” asked Georgiou.

“The answer to that is on your wrist, Emperor,” said Carl. She pulled up the bracelet, and it said that three-months worth of bio-data points stored. 

“That’s impossible!” said Michael. “You were unconscious for less than a minute!”

NOTE: This is very much like, in the film Contact when Jodie Foster’s character met alien beings after traveling through a wormhole. Her electronic devices did not record audio or visuals from the journey — they recorded just static. But they did record the passage of time. Apparently, Bo Yeon Kim, Erika Lippoldt, and Alan McElroy (the team who wrote this episode) made a point to name this mysterious character Carl, after Carl Sagan, the futurist, astronomer, and writer of the story for which Contact was based on. 

Georgiou fell again. The time-shift attack brought her to her knees. Michael asked Carl one last time who he was. 

“I AM THE GUARDIAN OF FOREVER!” said Carl, and the classic arch from The Original Series episode “The City on the Edge of Forever” exploded into view.

NOTE: WOW! What an entrance! You just have to watch this episode!

The Guardian of Forever. Wow! Courtesy of CBS
The Guardian of Forever. Wow! Courtesy of CBS

Finally, we rejoin the Discovery, as Adira and Stamets talk through what happened to the Kelpians and their ship. Adira guessed that the reason they could not hack into the Kelpians’ ship was because there was nothing left to hack into. Stamets said that they’d try to boost the power to their signal, which might help. 

Just then, a grouchy Jett Reno (Tig Notaro) popped into the research area, telling Stamets to stop stealing her power. She was also eating black licorice. As the three bickered, Cleveland Booker strolled up (with what looked like an Apple HomePod Mini) and said he’d solved the problem.

He said that he’d read the manual and the tech manual and figured out a way to use technology in place by the Emerald Chain to amplify the subspace signal. Adira reported that Book’s clever hack worked. 

Stamets started stammering, saying that if he’d only had this Emerald Chain tech, he too could have figured out a solution.

“You could just say thank you,” said Book.

“Biologically impossible,” said Reno. “If he tried, his DNA would unravel like a hormonal teenager.” HILARIOUS!!

Back on Dannus V, Michael asked what a Guardian of Forever was. Carl explained that he was a ‘spacetime portal,’ and he’d been in hiding since the Temporal Wars made him hide so he would not be a part. 

Michael said only the Sphere, with its access to 100,000 years of data, plus the years of Federation knowledge, could have figured out his location. Carl agreed. Georgiou suffered another temporal attack. She asked why she was still suffering.

“You weren’t sent back to be saved,” said Carl. “You were sent back to be weighed — tested to see if she’d make different choices. To see if this time, here, had changed her at all.”

“Biologically impossible. If he tried, his DNA would unravel like a hormonal teenager.”

Being sarcastic, Georgiou said she ought to be found “lacking” since she killed her daughter. Carl agreed but pointed out that Georgiou tried for peace. He twisted his wrist and told her that the portal was ready.

“No,” said Georgiou. “I won’t return to Terra.”

Carl said that he wasn’t sending her back to Terra. 

“I’m going to send you back to a time when the Mirror Universes and the Prime Universes were still aligned. That’s so you won’t fall apart — atomically speaking.”

Georgiou asked if she could take Michael with her. Carl said that “this” Michael Burnham is right where she needs to be. 

Michael tried to speak, but Georgiou wouldn’t let her. Georgiou said that Michael gave her new life. Michael explained that this Phillipa was now her Phillipa. 

“What a felt for you, belongs to you,” said Michael. “No one else.”

Georgiou said that she had a chance long ago with San (this is who we saw Georgiou screaming for in the “Scavengers” episode). They cried and hugged. 

Before she passed through, Georgiou told Michael that Saru wasn’t the only one suited for the captain’s chair. 

“You have always been far greater than you imagine, Michael,” said Georgiou.

“So have you, Phillipa.”

Michael gave the Vulcan salute as Georgiou made the fist-clench of the Terran Empire. Georgiou passed through the Guardian, and it disappeared.

Not so fast, Vance. I'm Book, and I can do almost anything! Courtesy of CBS
Not so fast, Vance. I’m Book, and I can do almost anything! Courtesy of CBS

On Discovery, Saru reported to Vance (via hologram) about the Kelpian ship. Vance wasn’t happy about using Emerald Chain tech on a Starfleet vessel. Book assured him that it did not pose a threat. Vance told Book that he needed to follow Starfleet protocol. Book argued back, saying that Osyraa does not follow the rules. 

Book left the meeting when they were notified that Michael beamed aboard alone. 

Vance asked more probing questions about Book’s motivations after he left the room. Saru defended Booker. Vance said that Saru let his heart guide the mission (since they were trying to figure out what happened to his Kelpian brothers and sisters). Vance approved the project but told Saru that he wanted a report as soon as they discovered what is happening inside the Khi’eth. Vance also gave his condolences to Saru on Georgiou’s “death.”

Book found Michael, and they embraced. 

Michael tried to explain to Saru what happened to Georgiou.

“Gone?” said Saru. “As in… deceased? She will not return?”

“Never,” said Michael. 

“Then she is deceased,” said Saru.

In the mess hall, the crew gathered for remembrance of Georgiou. They toasted … and roasted her. Michael said that Georgiou meant more than she could put into words. 

“She was the most unexpected of gifts,” said Michael. “And I will miss the hell out of her.”


I am not sure why I always enjoy the Mirror Universe episodes so much, but I do. I guess I’m just a sucker for those terrible situations where the good guy (or gal) must fight their way out. That all being said, I very much enjoyed the conclusion of this Terra Firma miniseries. Though I figured out what would happen to Georgiou, it was still really cool to see. And happily, I was wrong about the Guardian of Forever. If they can use it in The Animated Series, then why not on Discovery?

This ending is just the beginning for Georgiou, who will star on her own Star Trek show, perhaps in 2022. This is similar to how the Pike show — Strange New Worlds — was introduced. In the industry, it’s known as a “back-door pilot.” I will share my thoughts on what I think this new Section 31 show will be like sometime soon.

RATING: 5 out of 5


Co-Producers… Kirsten Beyer, Dana N. Wilson,
Producer… Thom J. Pretak,
Consulting Producer… Kalinda Vazquez, John Ottman
Supervising Producers… Bo Yeon Kim, Erika Lippoldt, Alan McElroy, April Nocifora, Jason Zimmerman
Co-Executive Producers… Kenneth Lin, Anne Cofell Saunders, Aaron Baiers
Executive Producers: Olatunde Osunsanmi, Frank Siracusa, John Weber, Eugene Roddenberry, Trevor Roth, Jenny Lumet, Heather Kadin, Michelle Paradise, Alex Kurtzman

Based upon “Star Trek,” created by Gene Roddenberry

Created by … Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman

Teleplay by … Kalinda Vazquez

Written by … Bo Yeon Kim, Erika Lippoldt, Alan McElroy

Directed by … Chloe Domont


Sonequa Martin-Green
Doug Jones
Anthony Rapp
Mary Wiseman
Wilson Cruz


David Ajala

Special Guest Star
Michelle Yeoh

Casting by … Margery Simkin, CSA; Orly Sitowitz, CSA
Music and theme by … Jeff Russo
Costume Designer … Gersha Phillips
Edited by … Jon Dudkowski, ACE and Scott Gazmon, ACE
Production Designer … Phillip Barker
Director of Photography … Crescenzo Notarile, ASC, AIC

Associate Producers … Emma Sampson, Robyn Johnson
Production Managers … David Till, B.E. Sharp
First Assistant Director … Woody Sidarous
Second Assistant Director … Ben Marrello

Guest Starring

Oded Fehr
Blu del Barrio
Hannah Cheesman
David Cronenberg
Paul Guilfoyle
Daniel Kash
Tig Notaro
Rekha Sharma


Lt. Keyla Detmer … Emily Couts
Lt. Gen Rhys … Patrick Kwok-Choon
Lt. Joann Owosekun … Oyin Oladejo
Lt. R.A. Bryce … Ronnie Rowe, Jr.
Lt. Nilsson … Sara Mitich

Executive Story Editor … Sean Cochran
Staff Writers … Anthony Maranville, Chris Silvestri, Brandon Schultz

Canadian Casting … Lisa Parasyn, CSA

Original Star Trek theme by Alexander Courage

Executive Consultant … Bryan Fuller

Set Decorator … Peter P. Nicolakakos
Property Master … Mario Moreira
Supervising Art Director … Jody Clement
Art Directors … Matt Middleton, Tania McGowan, Matt Morgan
First Assistant Art Director-Graphics … Bruce Wrighte
First Assistant Art Directors-Motion Graphics … Timothy Peel, Stephanie Chris, Matthew Harris, Alex Melvin, Alex Brock

First Assistant Art Director-Concept Art … Sanford Kong,
First Assistant Art Directors-Set Design … Ahn Mur, Esther Kao, John Kim, Mike Stanek, Monica Navarrete, Nick Augustyn, Mel St. Clair, Tijana Petrovic, Anne Malee Van Koeverden

Third Assistant Directors … Ross Vivian, Kieffer Moxness, James Dalton
Fourth Assistant Director … Jaclyn McBride
Set Production Assistants … Julie M. Li, Souha Usman
Script Supervisor … Lisa Burling
A Camera Operator … Francois Daignault
B Camera Operator … Michael Carr
C Camera Operator … JP Locherer
Sound Mixer … Ao Loo
Boom Operator … Sean Armstrong

Casting Associates … Jasmine Gutierrez, Emily Johnston
Canadian Casting Assistant … Tannaz Keshavarz, Jaedie Sansom
Location Manager … Melissa Warry-Smith
Assistant Location Manager … Robert Jones
Studio Manager … Josh Campbell
Location Production Assistants … Bryan Hoover, Pasquale di Salvo

Costume Supervisors … Karen Lee, Kim Harkness
Assistant Costume Designers … Carly Nicodemo, Daina Valiulus, Gillian Steinhart
Lead Character Designer … Neville Page
Department Head Make-Up … Shauna Llewellyn
Department Head Hair … Ryan Reed
Make-Up Effects Department Heads … Glenn Hetrick, Mike Smithson

Prosthetic Makeup Special Effects and Specialty Armor designed and created by:
Glenn Hetrick and Neville Page’s Alchemy Studios

Production Accountant … Joanne Barrington
First Assistant Accountants – General … Rose Lister, Tim Hay, Vanna Roopchand
First Assistant Accountant – Payroll … Emily Halfon, Allyson Cameron
First Assistant Accountant – Construction … Susan Al’Thor
Second Assistant Accountants … Rebecca Pearson, Sonia Terzyan

Second Unit Director of Photography … Franco Tata
Gaffer … Heinz Gloss
First Company Grip … Robert Daprato
1st Assistant A Camera … Andrew Stretch
1st Assistant B Camera … Andrew Lounsbury
1st Assistant C Camera … Scott Cowan
2nd Assistant A Camera … Stephen Gould
Digital Imaging Technician … Ron Schlueter
Video Coordinator … Victor Jolic

Lead VFX Supervisor… Jason Zimmerman
VFX Supervisor … Ante Dekovic
VFX Producer … Aleksandra Kochoska
VFX Associate Supervisor … Shawn Ewashko
VFX Project Manager … Alex Wood
VFX Lead Artist … Charles Collyer
Compositors … Greg Wadsworth, William Marker
Senior VFX Coordinator … Marina Abramyan
VFX Coordinators … Peter Davis, Andrew Jacobs, Valeria Rocha

Production Coordinator … Alison Waxman
Script Coordinator … Dan Hindmarch
First Assistant Production Coordinators … Allison Lahav, Taylor Danton,
Second Assistant Production Coordinator … Laura Miles
Office Production Assistants … Chris Stiebel, Bonnie Robb, Mickey Macdonald

Storyboard Artist … Rob McCallum
Digital Asset Manager … James Jarvis
Art Department Coordinator … Taylor Flook
Art Department Coordinator-Motion Graphics … Robyn Richardson
Clearance Coordinator … Cassidy Watkins

Stunt Coordinator … Christopher McGuire
Fight Coordinator … Dennis LaFond
Special Effects Coordinator … Darcy Callaghan
Vincent Rother … Silks Choreographer
Lead Dressers … Yurii Shevts, David Lyloff, Greg Carson
Contact Lens Supervisor … Mandy Ketcheson

Key Scenic… Jason Kirk
Head Painters … Tim Campbell, Claire Rosa
On Set Painter … Gregory Aquila
Construction Coordinator … Kevin McCullagh
Head Carpenter … Paul Jefferson
On Set Carpenters … Caren Aurtinan, Chris Edgson
Transportation Coordinator … Rob Davis
Transportation Captain … Andrew Langevin
Transportation Co-Captain … Craig Dwyer

Post Production Supervisor … Gala Goliani
Assistant Editor … Matthew Kovach, Brian Stantistevan
VFX Editors … Elaine C. Adrianos, Erika Edgerley Robbins
Post Production Coordinators … Joshua Calloway, Nicholas Estrin-Barks
Post Production Assistant … Tony Lugo

Assistants To A. Kurtzman … Monica Shapiro, Aviel Mann Ballo
Assistant To M. Paradise … Ari Friedman
Assistant To H. Kadin … Claire Mathiot
Assistant To A. Baiers … Maggie McFarren
Executive Assistant Toronto … Cornelia Audrey
Producers Assistant … Katherin D’Adamo
Writers’ Assistants … Celena Cipriaso, Carlos Cisco
Writers’ PA … Eric J. Robbins

Technical Consultants … Dr. Erin MacDonald, Dr. Mohamed Noor
Craft Services … Star Grazing Inc.
Servers … Darlene Ibbitson, Monica Madden, Anthony Natoli
On Set Caterers … Gourmet Catering

Sound Services By … Warner Bros. Post Production Creative Services
Sound Supervisor Sound Designers … Matthew E. Taylor, Tim Farrell, Harry Cohen
Re-Recording Mixers … Todd M. Grace, CASS, Ed C. Carr III, CAS
Mix Tech … Mike Jimenez
Dialogue Editor … Sean Heissinger
Foley Editor … Clay Weber
Sound Editor … Michael Schapiro
Foley Artists … Alyson Moore, Chris Moriana
Foley Mixer … Darrin Mann
Sound Assistant Editors … Deron Street, Damon Cohoon
Music Editors … Stan Jones, Moira Marquis
Score Engineer and Mixer … Michael Perfitt
Scoring Assistant … Tracie Turnbull
Orchestrator … Amie Doherty
Orchestra Editor … Sam Lucas
Score Wrangler & Editor … Matea Prljevic
Studio Assistance … Natalia Goldstein
Assistant To Mr. Russo … Valerie Hillsmith

Camera, Lenses And Post Production Services By … Sim
Sim Supervising Producer … Byron Smith
Sim Online Editor … Chad Cole
Final Colorist … Todd Bochner
Editing Systems … Pacific Post

Grip And Lighting Equipment by … Sim Lighting And Grip
Original Main Title Design by … Prologue
Main Title Design by … Picturemill
Visual Effects by … Crafty Apes, Dneg TV, Ghost VFX, Pixomondo, FX3X


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