“Despite Yourself” picks up from last month’s “Into the Forest I Go”, during which the Discovery accidentally jumps to an unknown location during a Spore Drive accident. The ship is now in the Mirror Universe, the same Mirror Universe from the Original Series’ “Mirror, Mirror” and was later picked up for use in a story arc during DS9. However, it’s not immediately obvious to the Discovery crew where they are, and they must do some investigative work before they find out they’re in a different universe with alternate versions of themselves.
This episode is the first Mirror Universe episode that I’ve seen, so unfortunately I can’t make comparisons to previous Trek episodes like Mirror Mirror. Fortunately, “Despite Yourself” is an excellent standalone episode that does a good job of establishing the Mirror Universe and laying the groundwork for the next few episodes. The episode has strong character development, a few comedic moments, and a few shocking moments including two character deaths.