Star Trek: Discovery has already been renewed for Season 2 on CBS AllAccess, according to Variety, but the maiden voyage of the new series is taking a short break after the Nov. 12 episode. Luckily, fans won't be without the Disco crew for long. Deadline announced that Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 will return Jan. 7, 2018 for "Chapter 2," which indicates a major change coming soon.
"In Chapter 2," according to Deadline, "while in unfamiliar territory, the USS Discovery crew is forced to get creative in their next efforts to survive opposing and unprecedented forces and return home." What does that mean?If Chapter 1 was about Michael accepting a position on the Discovery and the crew coming together, maybe the six episodes that make up Chapter 2 is that crew's first extended test. Episode 10, which begins this new mission, is titled “Despite Yourself.”
Will the entire crew be behind enemy lines in the second half of the season? That seems to be a likely interpretation. Since the pilot, the Klingon threat has been more looming than present, but after capturing Admiral Cornwell, they're becoming more difficult to ignore.
They could also be in an uncharted area of space thanks to the spore technology, or off the ship entirely for six episodes. That would be a bold move. However, while the Discovery may be on a strictly scientific mission, it's rare to show the Star Trek universe during war time in general, and it would make sense that this series includes more war stories. Whatever happens in "Chapter 2" probably has to do with the Klingons.
This also indicates that the midseason finale is going to be game-changing, and probably include some kind of cliffhanger. The official synopsis for "Into the Forest I Go" teases that "bypassing Starfleet's orders, Lorca uses the U.S.S. Discovery crew's ultimate asset, the ship itself, in an effort to end the war with the Klingons once and for all." That sounds like it will likely end terribly, don't you think? The trailer shows Michael going up against the Klingons, Stamets in peril again, and a whole lot of action ahead.
In an interview with Radio Times, the cast and writers teased a major twist coming in the fall finale that will surely shape Chapter 2. “Things really kick into high gear," Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael) said. "They also get very, very, very emotional as well. I love there’s going to be a bit of a break for everyone to think about things before the punch of the last half of the season.” Writer and producer Aaron Harberts said that "the back half of the season is all about dealing with what happens" in the episode, so get pumped. Whatever it is, it's gonna be big.
Hopefully there will still be fun stand-alone episodes, like the Groundhog Day (but way more romantic) time loop episode "Magic To Make The Sanest Man Go Mad." Star Trek is always at its best when it leans towards an episodic structure rather than a serialized one.
Still, it's fun to view Discovery as a saga, and calling this next batch of episodes "Chapter 2" gives the show a really epic feel. Literary language also seems to be a trend lately on television. The Good Place labels each episode as a chapter, and new seasons of Outlander are called "books." Even calling the latest goings-on in Hawkins Stranger Things 2 instead of Stranger Things Season 2 is twisting the norm a little bit. Television is changing in a lot of ways.
Star Trek: Discovery Chapter 2 may be part of a television tradition that's been going on for over 50 years, but it's still pushing the envelope and mixing things up in 2017. The show's return in 2018 should be no different.