Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Discovery episode "Die Trying." Read at your own risk!
Star Trek: Discovery is well into Season 3, and while it seemed for a while that the crew may be out on their own, they've officially made contact with Starfleet and the heart of the Federation. The bad news is that the Federation is not at all the outfit it once was in this future and is fighting to survive and maintain peace with 35 known planets in its alliance. They certainly need all the help they can get, but Admiral Vance immediately questioned the value the Discovery crew can bring provided they are who they say they are.
This led to the crew going on a mission to prove their worth, and afterward, the Admiral is more or less convinced they're capable of serving the Federation under their original purpose of being a science vessel. The Discovery crew was thrilled they'd get to continue working for the Federation and not be separated but isn't that a bit weird? It seems suspicious to me, and I can't decide whether or not this is a hint that things are off or there's a massive plot hole.
Why Discovery's Latest Turn Of Events Is Suspicious
Discovery is meant to serve as a science vessel for this iteration of Starfleet, and as an added bonus for the crew, they get to remain together as a cohesive unit. While this is great for fans from a story perspective, I was left with one glaring question about how effectively everyone could perform their duties. After all, they just arrived nearly 1000 years in the future; how much of their scientific knowledge is still valid?
Think about how much Star Trek changed from the near 100-year gap to Star Trek: The Next Generation, and now think of the massive gap between Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 to Season 3. Michael Burnham had a year to learn some things about the current state of the universe before the rest of the crew arrived, but this is a vast universe. There's going to be a learning curve for everyone to catch up with modern science and developments, even if The Burn inhibited further development.
In fact, we've seen the Discovery crew consistently astonished by new technology, and in disbelief over the things they've witnessed. It's something Star Trek: Discovery has intentionally touched on several times already, as has their ignorance of the state of the galaxy and the current political climate between species and cultures. These are things a Starfleet representative should be up on to effectively do their job, so for Vance to just blindly send them out to the universe without even some new crew on to inform them on things is really weird.
Is This A Sign The Discovery Is Being Deceived?
As I touched on above, Admiral Vance was well within his right to question the value of the Discovery, and while the spore drive is a valuable asset, on paper you'd think they'd do more harm than good to Starfleet efforts. The fact that all it took was one mission and saving of a few life forms to turn that around is weird, though I guess the Federation isn't really in a position to be turning people away.
Still, the fact that things worked out exactly the way the crew wanted is suspicious. Star Trek is very much a show about compromise, so the fact that this ancient crew had to do very little of it to get their way was surprising. Could this whole thing be just to keep tabs on the ship and steal the spore drive tech, or is there someone pulling the strings of Admiral Vance looking to get "Control" of the sphere? I'm just saying, it seems like this is all too easy for the crew at this point, and I can't help but think there's some nefarious reason for that.
Is This A Plot Hole Star Trek: Discovery Is Just Ignoring?
My other thought is that Star Trek: Discovery is just choosing to overlook how ill-prepared the crew would be for the future, and hoping the audience will go along with it. Perhaps that's the reason there's such an emphasis this season on the trauma the crew experienced from the time jump, and more amazement at the breadth of new technology they don't understand.
Star Trek as a franchise has had its fair share of plot holes, so it's not exactly crazy to think Star Trek: Discovery might have some as well. With that being said, this show has definitely had a good deal of instances where it seemed like it was flying in the face of canon and breaking rules left and right, only for them to be explained later. This could very well be an oversight, but in the past, if something seemed off about the way things were happening in the show, there was usually a reason that later explained it.
The Short Treks Episode Calypso
For those who may have forgotten, Star Trek: Short Treks featured an episode set in the deep future and the Discovery was there. The episode reveals this takes place "1000 years" after Discovery's final crew, but given Starfleet official records, it's possible the program was referencing the "death" of the Discovery crew back when it was recorded in the past, and that this incident happened much closer to the events of Season 3 than we realized.
The reason this is important is because the main character in the short, Craft, arrived to an empty ship. It's said the crew left on a mission and never returned, leaving the ship dormant for quite some time. That seems to foreshadow something nefarious could be happening to the Discovery crew in the near future, though we can only speculate. Anything is possible really, which is why I have my eye on everything happening this season that seems out of line with what's logical.