[caption id="attachment_1723006" align="alignnone" width="300"] Michelle Yeoh is Emperor Philippa Georgiou and Sonequa Martin-Green stars as Michael Burnham in "Star Trek: Discovery."[/caption]

For those taking notes, the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery and its title showcased serious tributes to its predecessors.   Not just one, but several.  Starting with the episode’s title “What’s Past is Prologue,” which is a riff on a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine entry entitled “Past Prologue.”

But the writers take their Star Trek allegory seriously and while character development gets thrown on the backburner – mostly – for this episode there exists some distinct developments that slightly alter the show’s trajectory and, yes, get in a dig at the political status quo in the United States.

What we know, what we learn: What’s there to know in this episode?  Not much that we don’t already.  Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) is stuck on the Terran city sized ship in the Mirror Universe, looking, hoping and praying for a way to return to the Prime Universe.  But first, she has to earn the trust of Emperor Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and take care of Capt. Lorca (Jason Isaacs), who was revealed to be Lorca from the Mirror Universe. Yes, it’s all frackin’ confusing, but well worth the journey as we’re given an episode laced with humor, plenty of drama and pure action.

We learn the level of Lorca’s obsession with Burnham when he appeals to a side of herself that she’s discovered in the Mirror Universe.

“You belong here in the real world,” he appeals to her at one point.

Considering that in some ways she’s been forced to give into the dark side, it’s an intriguing aspect of their relationship and makes for intriguing possibilities, but reality doesn’t exist there.

He further makes his case in another way.

“The Federation is a social experiment doomed to fail,” he tells her exclaiming at one point that he wants to “make the empire glorious again.”

When he meets the only logical fate in this particular episode, it’s as if the show’s creative team is slapping back at those fans that balked this past summer at the prospect of a Star Trek with diverse cast, focusing on a non-Caucasian captain.  Imagine that - diversity on a Star Trek show.  His fate proves…shall we say…ironic.

It harkens back to some of the best action sequences we’ve ever seen in any incarnation of Trek both in fight sequences and space battles.

Yeoh quickly reminds the audience that she appeared in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a martial arts masterpiece directed by Ang Lee.  You have to think that at bare minimum the choreography learned in that film along with combat training in the James Bond entry Tomorrow Never Dies helped.

And Martin-Green confidently holds her own in the climactic fight sign.

The tributes continue when the Discovery formulates a plan to return to their own universe – particulars are better off watched than explained – we get a dose of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Mirror, Mirror.”  But this fortysomething minutes may as well be a love letter to Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.

In a pivotal sequence where acting-Capt. Saru (Doug Jones) is weighing options to get the Discovery and its crew home, amidst the doom and gloom, he plainly states:  “We will not accept a no-win scenario.”

That no-win scenario references the Kobayashi Maru, a battle simulation given at Starfleet Academy that features an exercise designed to test a cadet’s mettle.

Observations:  The episode proves to be the perfect set up to what’s to come with the Klingon War awaiting the Discovery when they return.  Here’s a hint: it ain’t good.

We are given something to chew on for the last two episodes or perhaps for Season Two which has already been announced.

Saru’s displayed his ambivalence toward Burnham since the show’s third episode. As she prepares to possibly sacrifice herself for Discovery’s well-being, he tells her without hesitation.  “I will not leave without you.”

At one point, Georgiou chooses the path the Mirror Universe Spock (Leonard Nimoy) selected in “Mirror, Mirror.” It’s fascinating to watch that play out.