Either way, a year has passed for Michael Burnham, while only a day has passed for the crew of the USS Discovery. This will obviously have a huge dramatic impact on how Michael interacts with the rest of the crew in future episodes, but it also changes the narrative stakes for the entire season. The final scene in the Discovery Season 3 premiere — “That Hope Is You Part 1” — ended with Book and Burnham meeting with Aditya Sahil, vowing to keep looking for the USS Discovery. Now, a year later, Burnham has found them. But, for the audience, the question is much bigger than something like “What is the Burn?” Now, the big question and the new mystery the season is clearly teasing out is: What did Michael and Book do during the missing year?
You might think that this isn’t something the show is actually going to touch on all that much. The missing year might just be a sci-fi plot device designed to give Michael Burnham some instant new character traits, and also, conveniently give the crew of the Discovery someone they can trust who can quickly fill them in on how everything works in the 32nd Century. From the point-of-view of slick story mechanics, that’s all true. I’d also agree that Discovery Season 3 doesn’t need to go back and tell the story of Burnham’s missing year to make the rest of the story work. And yet. There’s already a huge clue that we will get the rest of this story.
Although episode titles in Discovery don’t appear on the screen, they are prominently there when you select the episodes. Historically, episode titles in Star Trek haven’t always contained Easter eggs or hidden references, but sometimes, like the Discovery Season 2 title “If Memory Serves,” the reference spider-webs into the past and future of Trek itself. “That Hope Is You Part 1” isn’t that kind of title. It clearly references the line spoken by Aditya Sahi to Michael Burnham. But, the tricky thing is that the episode has a “Part 1” attached to its title. The first episode of the season is a “part 1” but the second episode, the one in which Michael Burnham’s gap year is established, isn’t called “That Hope Is You Part 2.” It’s called “Far From Home.”
In fact, we don’t have all the episode titles for Discovery Season 3 yet. If you go to Wikipedia, you’ll see “That Hope Is You Part 2” listed in the same section as “Far From Home,” but we know that’s obviously not the case. So, right now, we don’t know when (or if) an episode called “That Hope Is You Part 2” actually airs. But there would be absolutely no reason to title an episode “That Hope Is You Part 1” if you’re not going to give us “That Hope Is You Part 2.”
Supposedly, Radio Times has a full list of Discovery episode titles for the entire season, but “That Hope Is You Part 2” is not actually on that list, so again, it’s not clear if this accurate. Now, So far, CBS has only officially released the titles of the next two episodes, “People of Earth,” and “Forget Me Not.” This means it’s tough to say what’ coming next. Are we getting “That Hope Is You Part 2” in Season 3?. Could “That Hope Is You Part 2” happen in Season 4? How long could questions about Michael Burnham’s gap year go answered?