Culber and Stamets were two of my favorite characters in Star Trek: Discovery’s first season, however, by the end of the season, Doctor Culber (Wilson Cruz) had been killed by Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) while under the control of the Voq personality and the war with the Klingons left Lt. Stamets (Anthony Rapp) little if any time to grieve his loss. I got the chance to speak with the couple and discuss their future in Season 2. Moving into season 2, Stamets will be taking some time to process everything he’s been through while deciding where his future with Starfleet lies, if anywhere. Rapp told me “You know, the most I really got to do with a little moment with Tyler in the hallway and then holding the medal, but the . . . you know, not a chance to kind of process and heal, so that question about what is my future in Starfleet is a big question that is getting explored through the through the course of the season.” So while it seems like Stamets won’t be leaving Starfleet, he’ll definitely be exploring his options.
With Wilson Cruz also in attendance, we learned that there will probably be additional complications that make Stamets’ struggle even harder. At the end of Episode 13, What’s Past is Prologue, a spore landed on Tilly’s shoulder and a lot of fans speculated that the spore could somehow be Culber trying to come through from the Mycelial Network. When asked about this theory, Cruz was quick to let me know that that theory might not be correct, “I know that I have enjoyed reading all of the theories through this last year, I have been entertained beyond belief, I have to tell you . . . and no one’s quite hit it.”
While he did say no one has gotten it yet, he also didn’t COMPLETELY debunk it either, he merely said that “no one’s quite hit it”, so there are most likely pieces of these theories that are somewhat accurate, but regardless of the how, we do know that Culber is coming back and his return is bound to have an incredible impact on Stamets. Cruz did reveal about his return that he thinks “the way it happens is very satisfying and we get to learn a lot about who this person is and who these two people are to each other and I think this season is going to be about deepening this relationship and a lot of it is going to be surprising and I think that’s good.” The relationship between Culber and Stamets was one of the standout aspects of the show. It didn’t feel forced, there was no phony drama between them, they were a real couple dealing with the issues that come from living in the world they do. Their relationship was the perfect balance to Burnham and Tyler’s ‘it’s complicated’ status and it will be interesting to see how each relationship evolves in the next season.
For the full text of the interviews see below or check out the full video at the top of the article where Anthony Rapp also discusses what games he’s currently playing.
Josh: At the end of season one your character had just gone through an incredible experience with the Spore Drive and obviously you also lost your partner, how does that affect you and your decisions going forward into Season 2 as far as like your career in Starfleet?
Anthony Rapp: You know I mean that’s one of the wonderful things that I’m getting to. . .that I’m given by the writers is the chance to really deal with all that stuff, to deal with the aftermath, because there wasn’t any time or space to do it in Season 1. You know, the most I really got to do with a little moment with Tyler in the hallway and then holding the medal, but the . . . you know, not a chance to kind of process and heal, so that question about what is my future in Starfleet is a big question that is getting explored through the through the course of the season.
Josh: I know that you’re a big gamer and you’re also a huge nerd, there’s a lot of Star Trek games that are out right now on Star Trek Online, I just got Star Trek Adversaries the card game, what are you playing right now? Are you playing any Star Trek Games?
Anthony Rapp: I haven’t played the . . I started to play Time Lines but my iPad was acting up, so like anyway. . . so I have to go back to that. Most recently I’ve finally played Witcher 3 because I knew how big it was and . . . you know . . . but I’m hoping that I can be a part of maybe like, I’m like campaigning to be inside the games, so hopefully that’ll . . . that’s a little bit of a little bit of a dream of mine.
Josh: At the end of last season you were kind of. . .
Wilson Cruz: Dead.
Josh: Yeah, living impaired maybe?
Wilson Cruz: Living impaired. . . breath impaired.
Josh: Right, right. and at the very end, we saw a little spore that came down and landed on a shoulder.
Wilson Cruz: Tilly.
Josh: Yes. So, the current rumors are that that could be you. . .
Wilson Cruz: Mmmhmm.
Josh: Do you have any insight on that?
Wilson Cruz: I know that I have enjoyed reading all of the theories through this last year, I have been entertained beyond belief, I have to tell you . . . and no one’s quite hit it.
Josh: With that in mind, what from this upcoming season – that you are able to talk about, since obviously, we can’t know about that – are you excited about?
Wilson Cruz: I mean I’m excited about people seeing what we’ve already done. Which is you know the return of Culber and how that happens because it has been a lot of fun for, I’m not just I’m not kidding it really has been a lot of fun to hear people’s theories of how they thought it was going to happen and I really I think the way it happens is very satisfying and we get to learn a lot about who this person is and who these two people are to each other and I think this season is going to be about deepening this relationship and a lot of it is going to be surprising and I think that’s good.