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Warning! This episode contains spoilers for the midseason premiere of Star Trek: Discovery. Read at your own risk!
On Star Trek: Discovery's midseason premiere, Ash Tyler shockingly discovered who he really is, and it was all thanks to the efforts of U.S.S. Discovery's resident physician Hugh Culber. Unfortunately, Dr. Culber got his neck snapped, as opposed to a thank you, with Voq needing to eliminate the only other Starfleet member who knew of his secret identity. Sad Dr. Culber fans needn't weep too hard, however, as actor Wilson Cruz indicated Star Trek: Discovery will be bringing him back after his shocking death. Cruz was sparse on details about how, but he shared this:
What I can say is that I've been assured that this is a long, epic story, and I know where it's going and I'm excited about telling that story. But in order for us to tell that story, this had to happen. We're inviting people to go on this journey, and part of this journey is going to be magnificent and some of it is going to be disappointing. There is going to be glory and triumph and heartbreak, but we will come out of it at the other end better for it, I promise you. So go on the ride with us.
That news maybe isn't totally surprising, considering the Star Trek universe as a whole has some pretty cutting-edge medical devices (and isn't averse to deceased characters returning in different ways), but saving a doctor with a snapped neck seems like a pretty tall order. Perhaps the answer lies in what Wilson Cruz didn't say when he spoke to EW, since his response stemmed from a question outright asking if Culber will come back to life. Judging from the carefully phrased response, it would appear that things are a bit more complicated than Culber simply getting up and walking it off.
While almost equally as cautious as Wilson Cruz was in detail-sharing, showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg did offer Star Trek: Discovery fans a clue on Dr. Culber's future. Appearing on the After Trek aftershow, Gretchen J. Berg confirmed that Culber will be seen again, and Aaron Harberts then informed fans that a novel by real-life mycologist Paul Stamets may hold some clues about what may save Dr. Culber:
Everything that we do on Star Trek comes out of character, and also as much as we can grounded in science, so, shameless plug: get Paul Stamets' book Mycelium Running. Give it a read, because Paul Stamets' view on the mycelial network, and the building blocks of life, and how life and death are interwoven, will give you very very good hints as to what's going to happen.
Yes, the character Paul Stamets is based on a real-life person with the same name. The real Stamets' study and love of fungi inspired a chunk of Star Trek: Discovery's plot, and it apparently also holds the key to figuring out what happens to Culber. While we don't know exactly what role fungi will play in Dr. Culber's future, we do know that the spore drive is lousy with it. Real-Life Stamets is a big advocate of the idea that mushrooms can save the world, so perhaps Culber's recovery comes from being placed in the U.S.S Discovery spore drive chamber? Given what it just recently did to Stamets on Star Trek: Discovery, it doesn't sound like the best idea, but desperate times often call for desperate measures.
Star Trek: Discovery is back with new episodes on CBS All Access on Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET. Those wishing to see which other shows are due to make a return in 2018 can find out by visiting our handy midseason premiere guide.