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'Star Trek: Discovery': Everything you need to know before watching Season 4's mid-season premiere

The DISCO crew is back after a six-week hiatus, and sh** is getting real.

By Vanessa Armstrong

We last got our Star Trek: Discovery fix just before the end of 2021. It’s a new year now, and after a long six weeks, Season 4 is finally coming back to Paramount+ with new episodes!

A lot happened in the first half of the season, however, and a month-and-a-half is a long time to remember anything these days — here’s a refresher of what went down in the first seven episodes of Season 4 to get you prepared for the season’s eighth episode, “All In,” which premieres Feb. 10, 2022.

The planet-destroying DMA is the season’s Big Threat

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Every season of Discovery seems to come with a galaxy-shattering challenge or MacGuffin. Season 4’s major threat to sentient life as the Federation knows it is the Dark Matter Anomaly, aka the DMA.

We still don’t know exactly what the DMA is yet, though we do know that it obliterated the planet of Kwejian, Book’s (David Ajala) homeworld. We also found out that the DMA isn’t a naturally occurring phenomenon — it’s something artificially created by an unknown species that is more advanced than anyone in the Federation can imagine. 

Book and Ruon Tarka have gone rogue to destroy the DMA


In “...But to Connect,” the last episode before the mid-season break, the Federation and its allies debated what to do about the DMA. One side, led by Book and the abrasive genius Ruon Tarka (Shawn Doyle), argued that they should try to destroy it while the other side, led by Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) advocated for trying to make First Contact with the species that created it and hope that the DMA killing billions on Kwejian was just a misunderstanding. 

Michael’s side won the vote, but Book and Ruon Tarka decided to steal a mobile prototype of Discovery’s spore drive and go off and blow it up themselves.

Book and Michael are on the rocks

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Book’s disagreement with Michael over how to deal with the DMA has caused a personal rift between the two, and that was before Book went off with Tarka. How will their relationship fare now that Book is actively working against the Federation and Starfleet’s wishes? And how will Michael deal with her personal feelings for Book when supporting him goes directly against her dedication to Starfleet?

We don't know exactly how things will play out, but their relationship will likely only get more strained in the upcoming episodes. We hope that they'll find their way to each other once again.

Tilly is no longer on U.S.S. Discovery, but we’ll see her again

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The fourth episode of this season saw Tilly (Mary Wiseman) leaving Discovery to teach at Starfleet Academy. The move was a surprising one for fans, as Tilly is one of the show’s most beloved characters. The good news, however, is that Wiseman has said that we’ll see Tilly again, though we don’t know when or what those circumstances will be. 

U.S.S. Discovery’s computer is the newest member of Starfleet


The last episode before the mid-season break focused in part on U.S.S. Discovery’s computer, Zora (Annabelle Wallis). Zora has been withholding information about the DMA because they want to protect the Discovery crew from going after it, and potentially getting hurt or killed. It’s through this and similar actions that the crew realizes that Zora has become sentient, something that Kovich (David Cronenberg) confirms.

As a result, Zora is now an official member of Starfleet and has the capability to make decisions on their own, which may potentially have ramifications for her crew in later episodes this season.

Saru is back at Starfleet, with some complications 


Saru (Doug Jones) is back on the U.S.S. Discovery after visiting his home planet, Kaminar, where he helped the young Su’Kal adjust to life among his own kind. While Saru has rejoined Starfleet, he also maintains a position on Kaminar’s ruling council.

Over the course of Season 4’s first episodes, he also appears to have a blossoming relationship withVulcan President T’Rina (Tara Rosling). We don’t know whether Saru’s role on Kaminar’s council — or his feelings for T’Rina — will factor into the back-half of this season, but given how these two things have been set up, they’re likely to come into play as the season unfolds. 

New episodes Star Trek: Discovery air Thursdays on Paramount+.