Star Trek: Discovery ended its first season with one of the more crowded episodes we've seen from the fledgling series. "Will You Take My Hand" wrapped up numerous loose ends before setting a very bold new course for Season 2 in the last few moments. Emperor Georgiou's gained her freedom, the Klingon War is over, Michael Burnham found redemption and, oh, right - the Enterprise showed up.
The season finale ended with a thrilling shot of the iconic Constitution class ship facing off with the Discovery, the latter of which had just dropped out of warp to answer a distress call from Captain Christopher Pike. Even for a show that hasn't shied away from fan service, this felt like an embarrassment of riches -- and then The Original Series theme ran over the closing credits and we all lost our damn minds. It was an ambitious end to an ambitious season, and while it wasn't an edge-of-our-seats cliffhanger, the appearance of the Enterprise on Discovery opens up a host of exciting narrative possibilities for Season 2.
Discovery's first season takes place over the course of roughly 18 months starting in the year 2256 and ending in 2257. At this point, Christopher Pike's in command of the Enterprise and will remain her captain until his promotion to Commodore in 2265. Pike was actually introduced in Star Trek's un-aired first pilot, "The Cage." NBC nixed the episode for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the presence of a female first officer (Number One played by Majel Barrett) and a lukewarm reaction to Jeffrey Hunter, the actor who played Pike.
Subsequent rewrites pushed the timeline from 2254 to 2265 and cast William Shatner as the far more adventurous and far less cerebral Captain James Kirk. However, the events of "The Cage" are considered canon, hence Pike's appearance in later episodes of TOS "The Menagerie I & II," the Abrams films Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness (played by Bruce Greenwood) and his mention as one of Starfleet's most highly-decorated captains in Discovery's fifth episode, "Choose Your Pain."
Now it looks like he'll grace Discovery in the flesh, and the timing is such that the writers have a wide breadth of narrative possibility to play with when it comes to Pike. Speaking to Inverse, Aaron Harbarts could barely contain his excitement at tackling the character.
...any writer, and any fan, would be curious about Christopher Pike... Depending on how you view ‘The Cage,’ you’ve got ‘The Menagerie: Parts 1 and 2,’ and that’s pretty much it for him. So there’s an interesting opportunity that we might have to delve into and flesh out a character who I think is a pretty darn heroic and selfless captain.
It seems obvious that Pike is coming to Discovery -- but how, and why?