I’m a long-time Trek fan, across the many iterations. As much as I’m enjoying Discovery in general, and the mirror- universe in particular, I can’t help thinking that we are witnessing a very meta Trek 3.0 reboot. Revisiting many of the Trek cannon’s plot points/arcs (in an almost JJ Abramsian manner) is surely both fun and exciting for the fandom, but it seems that viewership is being asked to re-think HOW we watch Trek in a very 21st century way.
It seems that the new requisite for successful show-running means layering deep plots beneath the already deeper plots.
In that spirit, here’s my tin-foil-hat theory: The Lorca character that we’ve come to know (and distrust), has indeed always been a mirror-universe Lorca!
His motivations have never resonated with the Federation ethos or any character sensibilties of the greater Trek universe that we’ve all come to know over decades.
Who else but a mercenary, savage, mirror-Lorca could be better suited to a shady Area 31 posting. This thery might go a long way to explaining how/why Lorca survived the tragedy that ended his last command and doomed his entire former crew. He didn’t flinch at manipluating Stametz, or in sacrificing Admiral Cornwell, his former lover. What Starfleet officer does that kinda stuff?
This might explain the very suspiscious motivation that has driven him to lead the USS Discovery and her crew into the mirror-universe to begin with - namely, he’s on a single-minded quest to return to his own true universe. He even flat-out said that he had hoped to have found a better (read ’prime-universe’) Lorca there, the subtext being that it was in hopes that his mirror universe command and former crew had survived. The more I think about it the more the pieces fall into place.
On After Trek, the showrunners stated that they had originally conceived of bringing in the mirror-universe in the first half of season one... Is it such a stretch to imagine that they planned for a mirror-Lorca from the start?
So if any of this is true, why not add my crazy prediction? Here goes:
Dr Culber somehow miraculously returns, only to be tapped to treat Lorca for the trauma he suffered in the Agonizer. Culber naturally discovers that Lorca’s very cellular structure does NOT match the quantum signature of the prime-universe. Lorca thus unmasked, it falls to Burnam to wrestle with the cliff-hanging decision of whether to mutiny against yet another parental figure/Captain.
I’d be glued to the edge of my seat for that season finale!