**** (4 stars out of 5)
The Defiant data our heroes were seeking for a way home turns out to be more redacted than Trump's love letters to Putin. So Michael and Lorca board the Star Destroyer... uh, ISS Charon dressed as the bounty hunter Boussh and the Wookiee Chewbacca.
If you, like me, were faked out by Georgiou being called the Emperor (see: EMPRESS Sato) then her boatload of other titles including Mother of the Fatherland will be fun, too. Did I hear "Annihilator of Alderaan" in there?
If you, like me, would NOT have done as Burnham did and chosen her life-saver Mirror Saru when the Emperor points at three Kelpians without preamble and says "Choose One". Then congratulations! You would, like me, get to eat a stranger instead of an ally. Yes, eat. We're going full Grand Guignol. "Pass me the speech centre of the brain!"
The Emperor quickly deduces her evil daughter-figure Michael is a parallel universe denizen and abruptly drops her entourage in a trice with what I'd call a Dirty Pair Bloody Card and others might see as a mini Krull Glaive.
The Emperor luckily finds occasion to tell Michael of a singular biological difference between Mirror folks and Regular folks. Light sensitivity. (We're ignoring hearts on the opposite sides of chests, since, now that I think about it, that was from a book.) So, it's a 1 sentence answer for 2 questions since episode 3: why are the ship lights always so damn dim? And why is our Captain Lorca always such an utter bastard?
Now that Ash needs help there seems to be abundant Discovery medical staff- it is coincidence that they are female and he is handsome? Also, how is "Klingon" medicine so far advanced of the Federation? Did they use very small daggers to cut open every single strand of his DNA to give him a human genome? Naw, that's what TEETH are for!
POW L'Rell says they captured the real Lt. Tyler and grafted Voq's psyche onto his. (If so, did they then put this combo brain back into Voq's modified body? Culber already said his spine was shortened, & bones crushed, so it's definitely not Tyler's original body except in shape. Well, let's call it a pick-and-mix.
Of course, L'Rell has her jiggery-pokery brain gloves with her (what? also: huh?) and our heroes trust her to dick about with Ash's noggin some more until he's calm enough to stop trying to tear out his own tiny human-sized heart.
Astromycologist Stamets roams his mushroom dreams and gets an info dump from his Mirror pal, Fascist Paul. He also gets a bon voyage and a travelling clue from a vision of Hugh.
Troublingly, despite its unique and crucial importance to ever getting back home, it looks like only Stamets and Tilly were checking in on the spore garden and now they're all dead.
I give a whole star for the Evil Lorca Reveal. I never saw it coming. Effects are good, music is good, performances as ever are stellar. Episodes like these are your reward for being very, very patient. Yum it up.