When Stamets finishing jumping the spore drive of the ship in the eighth episode of Star Trek: Discovery, he refers to Cadet Tilly by a very surprising title. But what could it mean?

Spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Discovery episode 8, ““Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.”

Right at the start of the episode, the USS Discovery narrowly escapes destruction from the Klingons thanks to the insta-warping of the spore drive. And the key to spore drive — Lt. Stamets — is pooped out. When Cadet Tilly asks him if he’s okay he responds, “What are you doing down here Captain?” Tilly is taken aback, and Stamets is bewildered by his own utterance. Tilly isn’t even close to being a Captain in her Starfleet career. But she does want to be a Captain, someday. In fact, Tilly and her BFF Burnham talk about it all the time. So, what’s the deal, has Stamets seen the future?

When Tilly confronts him about this weird slip-up later in the episode Stamets admits that “One minute I know where I am, who you are, what I’m doing. But then, what I know changes.” In the previous episode, Stamets made it pretty clear that his perceptive abilities exist outside the normal flow of spacetime, which seems to imply that him calling Tilly “Captain” could gesture at yet-to-be-realized future where Tilly is a Captain in Starfleet, maybe even the Captain of the Discovery. Unless Statmets isn’t seeing the future. Maybe he’s seeing an alternate dimension.

Since before Discovery debuted, there have been suggestions that the show will feature an episode that deals with the Mirror Universe. Some think that evil universe was teased in the fifth episode when another version of Stamets was looking back from inside his own mirror. So, if Tilly isn’t a Captain in the future, maybe she’s a Captain in another Universe.

Could evil Tilly be the Captain of a bizzaro Discovery in the Mirror Universe? Could her joyful ambition in our world have manifested itself more insidiously in another reality? It seems unlikely that Star Trek: Discovery will tackle an alternate universe plot in the mid-season finale next week. But, as Spock once said, there are always possibilities…


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Photos via CBS