Season 4, Episode 2, 'Anomaly'

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 4, Episode 2, "Anomaly," streaming now on Paramount+.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 opened with the Discovery at the helm of rebuilding the United Federation of Planets and the Starfleet centuries after the galaxy was rocked by a cataclysmic event known as the Burn. And as Discovery boldly ventured into the 32nd century of the Star Trek Universe, Captain Michael Burnham and her crew were shocked when the empath home world of Kwejian was destroyed while the crew were on a relatively routine mission of aiding a space station that had mysteriously veered out of control.

Cleveland "Book" Booker obsessively replays footage of the gravitational anomaly devastating his home planet, with Book currently listed as the sole survivor of his empathic race. In the aftermath of this tragedy, Saru reunites with Burnham and the latter divulges that Book has been completely shut off from the world and his own apparent emotions for the two days since the destruction of Kwejian. Saru reveals he has reenlisted in Starfleet and, though Admiral Vance offered him command of his own starship, Saru instead requests to become the Discovery's first officer again, with Burnham happily welcoming her old friend by her side as they continue to investigate the nature of the anomaly.

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Paul Stamets and Sylvia Tilly theorize that the source of the anomaly is two roving black holes moving around each other and consuming all matter in their path; this explains why the Starfleet space station they visited in the Season 4 premiere was careening out of control by an unseen force. With the rebuilding Federation still fragile and the trauma of the Burn still fresh, President Rillak orders the Discovery to investigate the matter further but keep the true nature of their mission under wraps. Reboarding the Discovery, Saru and Tilly reconnect, with Tilly admitting her harrowing experience on the space station reminded her just how fleeting life can be.

Using the Spore Drive, the Discovery arrives close to the anomaly but Stamets is surprised by the readings that the singularities give off. Book volunteers to use his private ship to approach the anomaly and gather more data, with his ship's unique shape-shifting abilities theoretically making it able to compensate to the gravitational waves accordingly. Burnham objects, feeling Book is emotionally compromised by the loss of his home planet and race but Book curtly reminds her that he is technically not a member of Starfleet or under her command. Following advice from Saru, Burnham consents to this request, with the condition that Stamets accompany Book as a hologram projection to analyze the data on the fly and serve as a tether of sorts in case Book and his vessel run into trouble.

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Doctor Culber prepares a synthetic body for Gray Tal, based on Doctor Soong's advanced robotics to develop a similar synthetic body for Jean-Luc Picard after the death of his organic body in the Star Trek: Picard Season 1 finale. Like Picard's synthetic body, Gray's new body will naturally age like any organic body, and Gray happily agrees to this arrangement to transfer his consciousness into a tangible form visible to all. As Book and Stamets commence their analysis, sudden fluctuations cause Discovery's systems to go haywire, forcing the larger starship to withdraw and sever its tether to Book's starship as he proceeds to gather more data while venturing closer to the anomaly.

Book becomes distracted by empathic visions he receives as he moves deeper into the wreckage of his home world making up the debris around the singularity. Saru urges Burnham to reach out to Book on a personal level rather than a commanding officer, helping talk him through his feelings and his deep-buried sense of guilt and remorse he harbors for not sensing the coming anomaly that consumed his planet in time. Encouraged by Burnham, Book makes it back to the Discovery safely; however, Tilly is puzzled by the data, realizing the singularity's path is completely unpredictable, putting the entire galaxy at risk.

Developed for television by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman, Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 releases new episodes Thursdays on Paramount+.

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