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Recap / Star Trek Discovery S 5 E 07 Erigah

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  • Absolute Xenophobe : Rayner characterizes the Breen as this. Rayner : To the Breen, genocide is a necessity. Their version of a Prime Directive.
  • Bilingual Backfire : When the Primarch was making demands an aide was providing a translation, but it turns out it was a Tactful Translation and T'Rina corrects him, revealing that they have their own means to understand their language.
  • Call-Back : A Breen refrigeration suit from the Dominion War is used to help heal L'ak. It turns out that while they can function in temperate climates, they heal better in sub-zero temperatures.
  • Ruhn needs L'ak alive to have a claim to the throne, which means that, despite his threats, he can't simply attack outright without risking the very thing he came to retrieve. Leaving empty-handed is also not an option, however, so Starfleet has to figure out how to convince him that leaving L'ak in their custody is in everyone's best interests.
  • And after L'ak accidentally dies, Ruhn is a savvy enough player of Xanatos Speed Chess to use him as a martyr to unite the Breen under his own rule by declaring a Guilt-Free Extermination War against the Federation.
  • Moll then quickly averts war by revealing she's married to L'ak and thus in the line of succession, though Ruhn doubts his people will accept that, and sweetens the pot by revealing the existence of the Progenitor tech to the Breen, which could be used to revive L'ak.
  • Reno references a drink called the Seven of Limes .
  • Rayner suggests using thoron fields and duranium shadows to make Federation HQ look more heavily-armed than it is.
  • At the meeting, they talk about the destruction the Breen inflicted when Starfleet was caught unprepared the last time they entered Federation space.
  • Rayner quotes a Romulan saying: "Never turn your back on a Breen."
  • The Eternal Archive is tracked to the Badlands, a turbulent region of space filled with plasma storms most often used as a hiding place by the Maquis in DS9 .
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit : L'ak hits himself with a massive dose of stimulant so Culber will be forced to lower the forcefield, allowing Moll to flee. Unfortunately, he uses too much and ends up killing himself.
  • Didn't Think This Through : L'ak overdoses on a stimulant to provide a distraction for Moll to escape Sickbay, his calculation being that she can steal a shuttle and then beam him aboard. While not the most well-thought out plan to begin with, as Moll doesn't get very far once the ship is placed on lockdown, he fails to take into account his injuries, which have not yet fully healed. By the time Burnham can get a Breen doctor to treat him, it's too late and he dies on the table.
  • Enemy Civil War : It's revealed the Breen Imperium is fractured after the death of their Emperor, with a number of Primarchs vying for leadership. It turns out L'ak's previously established royal bloodline would make him a lynchpin for a proper successor, which gives Starfleet some negotiating power.
  • Evil Is Bigger : The Dreaded Dreadnought that the Breen send to retrieve Moll and L'ak is so massive that it makes Federation HQ look tiny by comparison. Burnham identifies it as the ship responsible for destroying Federation HQ in the Bad Future she and Rayner witnessed.
  • It's Personal : Burnham deduces that Rayner's gung-ho attitude toward the Breen comes from personal experience. He's reluctant to admit it at first, but eventually reveals that his homeworld was chosen as a forward operating base by the Breen Primarch Tahal, who laid waste to the ecosystem and the people. Rayner is the only member of his family to survive the conflict.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage : Moll reveals she's married to L'ak, signified by a ritual forearm brand they share. Ruhn, xenophobe that he is, won't accept it and doesn't think the rest of the Breen will, either. It still serves as a foot in the door to get him to hear her out.
  • Mirroring Factions : L'ak warns that Breen don't think at all like humans do. However, what we actually see is an ongoing succession war, bent and abused traditions, blustering, scheming, and lust for power — all perfectly understandable from a human, Vulcan or Kellerun perspective. The Federation team are able to hatch a plan to bluff Primarch Ruhn and send him on his way without firing a single shot, based only on necessary background information on Ruhn and his rival, which would likely have worked perfectly if L'ak hadn't taken matters into his own hands.
  • Opportunistic Bastard : Primarch Ruhn is this to the core. He makes a big deal out of demanding L'ak's return and allows Starfleet and the Federation to think it's all about Breen honor and superiority , being completely unwilling to negotiate or give the Federation a single inch. Burnham manages to figure out with a little help from Rayner that this is all a smokescreen: Ruhn really only cares about becoming the next Breen emperor and he will do anything to make it happen, with L'ak being the Scion of the Breen imperial bloodline giving Ruhn the legitimacy to do that. When L'ak accidentally dies, Ruhn immediately invokes an Attack on One Is an Attack on All and threatens a Guilt-Free Extermination War . Burnham immediately realises that Ruhn is so slimy that he will use L'ak in death as a martyr to unite the Breen under his own rule in a war of vengeance.
  • Planet Spaceship : The Breen Dreadnought being en route registers a Mass "Oh, Crap!" from Starfleet, and when it arrives we understand why. In raw mass it easily dwarfs the already massive Starfleet HQ and the fleet around it.
  • Psychometry : The latest clue came from a Betazoid scientist, so Stamets believes there might be a psychic imprint on it. He hands it to Booker, who is also telepathic, and he is able to get some vague readings from it. The images he sees helps narrow down the location of the Eternal Archive to the Badlands.
  • Public Secret Message : Moll sends out a transmission on a courier channel with a "special offer" for courier services for a limited period. Burnham recognizes the first words as code for a distress signal, since the pair are still trapped in the pod and L'ak is in bad shape. It's just their bad luck that Starfleet has two former couriers on payroll, so the signal only serves to get them caught.
  • Sadistic Choice : After L'ak accidentally kills himself and Primarch Ruhn threatens war for it, Moll uses her knowledge of the Progenitor tech to bargain with the Breen, as she believes it can be used to resurrect him. This leaves Starfleet in a tough position: they can either give Moll and L'ak up and hope to secure the tech first, since they have all the clues, or hold onto her and risk war with the Breen. T'Rina observes that giving Moll up is the logical choice, as they have much more to lose by trying to keep her.
  • Spanner in the Works : Burnham hatches a plan to bluff Primarch Ruhn into leaving empty-handed by claiming to have cut a deal with another Primarch, Tahal. Rayner, who has personal experience with Tahal, helps to sell the lie by quoting her, after Ruhn rightly claims that she would never deal with the Federation. It almost works, until L'ak hatches his own half-baked escape plan with Moll, ends up killing himself, and Moll tells the Breen about the Progenitor technology for her own ends.
  • Succession Crisis : The various Breen factions are trying to secure the throne, and L'ak is the key because he's a direct descendant of the slain Emperor.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That : Reno turns out to have been an antiquities dealer (or smuggler, to be precise) before joining Starfleet, and helps put Tilly and Adira on the path to the next clue.
  • Switch to English : When T'Rina surprises Ruhn and his entourage by correctly translating Breen insults, he switches to English to make sure they understand his demands.
  • Tactful Translation : Ruhn's interpreter leaves out a few of the more insulting things that he says to the Federation delegation. T'Rina surprises both of them by correctly translating said insults .
  • That Came Out Wrong : When Tilly and Adira learn that Reno had all sorts of odd jobs, Adira remarks that she " really got around " before realizing what how that sounds and trying to correct it. Reno then tells Adira that they were right the first time, a conversation Tilly decides to put off for another time.
  • Star Trek Discovery S 5 E 06 Whistlespeak
  • Recap/Star Trek: Discovery
  • Star Trek Discovery S 5 E 08 Labyrinths

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tv tropes star trek recap

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Pages with comment tags

Star Trek: The Next Generation/Recap

  • View history
  • 1 Season 1 (September 28, 1987 to May 16, 1988
  • 2 Season 2 (November 21, 1988 to July 17, 1989)
  • 3 Season 3 (September 25, 1989 to June 18, 1990)
  • 4 Season 4 (September 24, 1990 to June 17, 1991)
  • 5 Season 5 (September 23, 1991 to June 15, 1992)
  • 6 Season 6 (September 21, 1992 to June 21, 1993)
  • 7 Season 7 (September 20, 1993 to May 23, 1994)

Season 1 (September 28, 1987 to May 16, 1988 [ ]

  • Encounter at Farpoint
  • The Naked Now
  • Code of Honor
  • The Last Outpost
  • Where No One Has Gone Before
  • Lonely Among Us
  • The Big Goodbye
  • Too Short a Season
  • When the Bough Breaks
  • Coming of Age
  • Heart of Glory
  • The Arsenal of Freedom
  • Skin of Evil
  • We'll Always Have Paris
  • The Neutral Zone

Season 2 (November 21, 1988 to July 17, 1989) [ ]

  • Where Silence Has Lease
  • Elementary, Dear Data
  • The Outrageous Okona
  • Loud As A Whisper
  • The Schizoid Man
  • Unnatural Selection
  • A Matter Of Honor
  • The Measure Of A Man
  • The Dauphin
  • Time Squared
  • The Icarus Factor
  • Samaritan Snare
  • Up The Long Ladder
  • The Emissary
  • Peak Performance
  • Shades Of Gray

Season 3 (September 25, 1989 to June 18, 1990) [ ]

  • The Ensigns of Command
  • The Survivors
  • Who Watches the Watchers
  • The Bonding
  • The Vengeance Factor
  • The Defector
  • The High Ground
  • A Matter of Perspective
  • Yesterday's Enterprise
  • The Offspring
  • Sins of the Father
  • Captain's Holiday
  • Hollow Pursuits
  • The Most Toys
  • Ménage à Troi
  • Transfigurations
  • The Best of Both Worlds (Part 1)

Season 4 (September 24, 1990 to June 17, 1991) [ ]

  • The Best of Both Worlds (Part 2)
  • Suddenly Human
  • Remember Me
  • Future Imperfect
  • Final Mission
  • The Wounded
  • Devil's Due
  • First Contact ( no relation )
  • Galaxy Child
  • Night Terrors
  • Identity Crisis
  • The Nth Degree
  • The Drumhead
  • Half a Life
  • The Mind's Eye
  • Redemption (Part 1)

Season 5 (September 23, 1991 to June 15, 1992) [ ]

  • Redemption (Part 2)
  • Silicon Avatar
  • Unification, Part 1
  • Unification, Part 2
  • A Matter of Time
  • Hero Worship
  • The Masterpiece Society
  • The Outcast
  • Cause and Effect
  • The First Duty
  • Cost of Living
  • The Perfect Mate
  • Imaginary Friend
  • The Next Phase
  • The Inner Light
  • Time's Arrow (Part 1)

Season 6 (September 21, 1992 to June 21, 1993) [ ]

  • Time's Arrow (Part 2)
  • Realm of Fear
  • Man of the People
  • A Fistful of Datas
  • The Quality of Life
  • Chain of Command
  • Ship in a Bottle
  • Face of the Enemy
  • Starship Mine
  • Frame of Mind
  • Rightful Heir
  • Second Chances
  • Descent (Part 1)

Season 7 (September 20, 1993 to May 23, 1994) [ ]

  • Descent (Part 2)
  • Force of Nature
  • Inheritance
  • The Pegasus
  • Lower Decks
  • Thine Own Self
  • Eye of the Beholder
  • Journey's End
  • Preemptive Strike
  • All Good Things...
  • Generations
  • First Contact
  • Insurrection
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Star Trek/Recap

  • View history

The list below details the Star Trek: The Original Series episodes in production order, including the original series pilot , " The Cage ". While the "complete season" DVD releases follow the original broadcast order, the original episodic DVD releases are numbered by production order.

  • 1 Low Tide in Twilight/Characters
  • 2 Double Standard Rape (Female on Male)
  • 3 Kuroinu Kedakaki Seijo wa Hakudaku ni Somaru/Characters

Star Trek: The Next Generation /Recap

  • E01 Encounter at Farpoint
  • E02 The Naked Now
  • E03 Code of Honor
  • E04 The Last Outpost
  • E05 Where No One Has Gone Before
  • E06 Lonely Among Us
  • E07 Justice
  • E08 The Battle
  • E09 Hide and Q
  • E11 The Big Goodbye
  • E12 Datalore
  • E13 Angel One
  • E14 11001001
  • E15 Too Short a Season
  • E16 When the Bough Breaks
  • E17 Home Soil
  • E18 Coming of Age
  • E19 Heart of Glory
  • E20 The Arsenal of Freedom
  • E21 Symbiosis
  • E22 Skin of Evil
  • E23 We'll Always Have Paris
  • E24 Conspiracy
  • E25 The Neutral Zone
  • E09 The Measure of a Man
  • E10 The Dauphin
  • E11 Contagion
  • E17 Samaritan Snare
  • E02 The Ensigns of Command
  • E07 The Enemy
  • E15 Yesterday's Enterprise
  • E16 The Offspring
  • E17 Sins of the Father
  • E25 Transfigurations
  • E26 S4 E1 The Best of Both Worlds
  • E06 The Game
  • E12 Violations
  • E13 The Masterpiece Society
  • E18 Cause and Effect
  • E20 Cost of Living
  • E23 I, Borg
  • E26 S6 E1 Time's Arrow
  • E11 Ship in a Bottle
  • E14 Tapestry
  • E08 Force of Nature
  • E10 Parallels
  • Fanfic Recs
  • Headscratchers
  • Heartwarming
  • Tear Jerker

Season 1 (September 28, 1987 to May 16, 1988

  • Encounter at Farpoint
  • The Naked Now
  • Code of Honor
  • The Last Outpost
  • Where No One Has Gone Before
  • Lonely Among Us
  • The Big Goodbye
  • Too Short a Season
  • When the Bough Breaks
  • Coming of Age
  • Heart of Glory
  • The Arsenal of Freedom
  • Skin of Evil
  • We'll Always Have Paris
  • The Neutral Zone

Season 2 (November 21, 1988 to July 17, 1989)

  • Where Silence Has Lease
  • Elementary, Dear Data
  • The Outrageous Okona
  • Loud as a Whisper
  • The Schizoid Man
  • Unnatural Selection
  • A Matter of Honor
  • The Measure of a Man
  • The Dauphin
  • Time Squared
  • The Icarus Factor
  • Samaritan Snare
  • Up the Long Ladder
  • The Emissary
  • Peak Performance
  • Shades of Gray

Season 3 (September 25, 1989 to June 18, 1990)

  • The Ensigns of Command
  • The Survivors
  • Who Watches the Watchers
  • The Bonding
  • The Vengeance Factor
  • The Defector
  • The High Ground
  • A Matter of Perspective
  • Yesterday's Enterprise
  • The Offspring
  • Sins of the Father
  • Captain's Holiday
  • Hollow Pursuits
  • The Most Toys
  • Ménage à Troi
  • Transfigurations
  • The Best of Both Worlds (Part 1)

Season 4 (September 24, 1990 to June 17, 1991)

  • The Best of Both Worlds (Part 2)
  • Suddenly Human
  • Remember Me
  • Future Imperfect
  • Final Mission
  • The Wounded
  • Devil's Due
  • First Contact ( no relation )
  • Galaxy Child
  • Night Terrors
  • Identity Crisis
  • The Nth Degree
  • The Drumhead
  • Half a Life
  • The Mind's Eye
  • Redemption (Part 1)

Season 5 (September 23, 1991 to June 15, 1992)

  • Redemption (Part 2)
  • Silicon Avatar
  • Unification, Part 1
  • Unification, Part 2
  • A Matter of Time
  • Hero Worship
  • The Masterpiece Society
  • The Outcast
  • Cause and Effect
  • The First Duty
  • Cost of Living
  • The Perfect Mate
  • Imaginary Friend
  • The Next Phase
  • The Inner Light
  • Time's Arrow (Part 1)

Season 6 (September 21, 1992 to June 21, 1993)

  • Time's Arrow (Part 2)
  • Realm of Fear
  • Man of the People
  • A Fistful of Datas
  • The Quality of Life
  • Chain of Command
  • Ship in a Bottle
  • Face of the Enemy
  • Starship Mine
  • Frame of Mind
  • Rightful Heir
  • Second Chances
  • Descent (Part 1)

Season 7 (September 20, 1993 to May 23, 1994)

  • Descent (Part 2)
  • Force of Nature
  • Inheritance
  • The Pegasus
  • Lower Decks
  • Thine Own Self
  • Eye of the Beholder
  • Journey's End
  • Preemptive Strike
  • All Good Things...
  • Generations
  • First Contact
  • Insurrection

tv tropes star trek recap

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tv tropes star trek recap

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Star Trek: Discovery Took the Best Episode of Its Season and Gave Us a Much Less Interesting Version of It

"labyrinths" sets the stage for discovery 's final end, but the road it takes there retreads familiar ground..

Image for article titled Star Trek: Discovery Took the Best Episode of Its Season and Gave Us a Much Less Interesting Version of It

Since it aired a few weeks ago, I keep touching on what still remains the standout episode of Discovery ’s final season so far: “ Face the Strange ,” an incredible hour of television that used a format the series excels at to reflect on how far its central character and the series itself has come. This week, the show kind of does that idea again... it’s just nowhere near as actually good at it.

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Image for article titled Star Trek: Discovery Took the Best Episode of Its Season and Gave Us a Much Less Interesting Version of It

That’s not to say there isn’t some enjoyable stuff in “Labyrinths,” which chases up last week’s simmering tension with the Breen in the hunt for the final Progenitor clue into a full on shoot out aboard and around the secret interstellar library housing the ancient knowledge of millions of species. There’s actually quite a bit!

The library setting itself is a fun one, especially anchored in a delightful guest performance by Elena Juatco as Hy’Rell, a remarkably chipper librarian who slides effortlessly into a time-honored Star Trek guest role slot of “little alien sicko” as she leads Michael Burnham toward the clue. When the time eventually comes for the episode to turn into a full on fight with the Breen, the action is thick and fast and effectively pays off on a lot of the tension and threat established last week —mostly in that, boy howdy do our heroes not want to mess with the Breen—while also delivering a brief, but compelling twist in the villain’s subplot as Moll and the rest of the Breen crew begin to realize how completely unhinged Primarch Rhun has become in his quest for power over the Imperium. The problem is that, Hy’Rell aside, these exciting developments come entirely in the last 15 minutes of “Labyrinths.” Most of the 40 before that involve a clue “puzzle” that requires a lot of re-treading ground for Burnham that’s just done in a far less interesting way than this season already has.

Image for article titled Star Trek: Discovery Took the Best Episode of Its Season and Gave Us a Much Less Interesting Version of It

Upon locating the rare Betazoid text she was hunting in the library’s archives, Michael opens it up to discover a metallic card that, upon her activation, basically sends her into a coma in the real world, while whisking her subconscious away into a psionic replica of the library and its myriad hallways. There, guided by a distinctly unhelpful representation of Book, she has to figure out what test she’s facing that will deem her worthy of locating the final clue. And here’s the problem that this season of Discovery has had more than a few times so far: a season about solving clues on a treasure hunt is only interesting if the puzzles themselves don’t involve our characters needing to act like they’re dumb . Writing a good puzzle then, is incredibly hard, and the show... does not really do that here.

Michael, almost as annoyed as the audience inevitability comes to be, is left to spend the bulk of “Labyrinths” wandering between bookshelves as she wonders out loud what’s going on, if she’s figured out what the test is, and then the psionic Book-alike coquettishly going “ maaaaaybe ” before revealing that she has, in fact, not figured it out yet. Sonequa Martin-Green and David Ajala do their best here—Martin-Green certainly conveys a great deal of frustration at not figuring out the puzzle, given the tension and stakes around her, that resonates with the audience, and Ajala has a good deal of fun breaking out of Book’s usual characterization to deliver this mind-facsimile of him with a funny, effectively annoying grace. But because the scenario largely leaves Michael trapped on her own trying to figure out what she’s even meant to be doing, there’s no one for her to really bounce off of: the Not-Book is there to be a frustrating obstacle rather than a sounding board as part of the test, so conveying Michael working through the logic of it all becomes rather moot.

Image for article titled Star Trek: Discovery Took the Best Episode of Its Season and Gave Us a Much Less Interesting Version of It

Eventually, just in time, she snaps—and realizes the test is less of a puzzle, and more about her own character. As relentlessly self-critical as she is, she begins to rail at the Not-Book about her fears and doubts, her need to seek validation for a role as a leader that she somehow still views as precarious, despite earning it many times over, or ability to push people away to save the disappointment and fear that she might have failed them (Actual Book in particular). As things look increasingly dire for her inside her mind and out as the Breen launch their assault on the library, it’s revealed that this indeed was the test, not a labyrinth to escape or a puzzle to decode, but a judgment of her character, to seek assurance that she can be trusted to do the right thing with the great power that she seeks.

All this would be good if that wasn’t also almost exactly what “Face the Strange” was about a few weeks ago, and done much more effectively. The time-loop structure of the episode was better paced and a stronger format for a puzzle for our heroes to solve, and in giving her Commander Rayner as a support character to bounce off—and eventually literally having to face her former self from Discovery ’s earliest days—Michael had actual characters to work things through and learn things about herself, and them, along the way. All Michael learns here is that she has her heart in the right place, but needs to face her fear of disappointing those around her by realizing that those people are around her because they care about and respect her and the journey she’s gone on over the last five seasons. This is the lesson she’d already learned in “Face the Strange”— it’s just that this time, she was rewarded with the knowledge of how to get the last clue. And even then, it’s still much less satisfying because, beyond being a journey we’ve already seen her take on this season, the route to get there was just nowhere near as engaging. There’s a difference between reinforcing a character beat and rehashing it, and “Labyrinths” definitely leans towards the latter, unfortunately.

Image for article titled Star Trek: Discovery Took the Best Episode of Its Season and Gave Us a Much Less Interesting Version of It

Thankfully though, as we said, the puzzle arc of the episode wraps up right as we get into the action with the Breen—and there’s an interesting mirror at least between Michael and Primarch Rhun, who we see eventually pay the ultimate price for not realizing how the promise of the Progenitor tech’s power has made him blind to his own connections and failings. As he becomes increasingly more bullish and violent, first assaulting the peaceful library and then attempting to renege on a Breen honor-oath to Michael to prevent further harm in exchange for the clue materials, we get to see Moll slowly convince Rhun’s men that things are going sideways. When the time comes that Rhun takes a step too far, she’s able to lead a brief but effective uprising to depose Rhun and take his place, operating on the belief that she can use the Progenitor tech to restore L’ak to life and take her place as the legitimate wife of the heir to the Breen throne.

It sets the stage for Discovery ’s final showdown by giving us a much more personal antagonist than Rhun—who served his purpose over the last few episodes well enough anyway—and by bringing it back to two figures driven by a need to connect and find strength in love in Moll and Michael. It’s a shame the setup to get there was a bit of a dud, but at least that’s out of the way now. As we head into Discovery ’s last two episodes, we can put the puzzles aside and get to the heart of what the show wants to end its journey saying.

Star Trek: Discovery is available to stream now on Paramount+ .

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel , Star Wars , and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV , and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who .


  • May 17, 2024 | Inside How ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Transformed A Toronto University Library Into The Eternal Archive
  • May 17, 2024 | ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Climbs Streaming Top 10 Chart
  • May 17, 2024 | Podcast: All Access Won’t Be Silenced In The ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Library For “Labyrinths”
  • May 16, 2024 | Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Navigates Its Way Through In “Labyrinths”
  • May 14, 2024 | IDW Celebrating 500th Star Trek Comic With Big Era-Spanning Anthology

Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Navigates Its Way Through In “Labyrinths”

tv tropes star trek recap

| May 16, 2024 | By: Anthony Pascale 77 comments so far


Star Trek: Discovery Season 5, Episode 8 – Debuted Thursday, May 16, 2024 Written by Lauren Wilkinson & Eric J. Robbins Directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour

A taut episode full of action and emotional tension starts the run up to the finale.

tv tropes star trek recap

Ruhn’s refrigeration chic fell flat at the Met Gala

WARNING: Spoilers below!

“Let’s go get that final clue.”

The Breen mourn the loss of L’ak, and Primarch Ruhn sees an opportunity to rally the other Flights behind avenging the Scion with the assistance of Progenitor tech. Moll spots potential in driving a wedge between the would-be emperor and his crew. One step ahead, The Disco arrives at the Badlands and doorstep to the final clue. They are greeted by a jovial archivist Hy’Rell, who provides a fun running commentary as the crew tries to focus on not getting roasted navigating their way through the plasma storms. When they arrive at the oasis around the beautiful Eternal Gallery and Archive, Hy’Rell extends an invitation to the Discovery’s resident Kwejian to see an artifact of that doomed species, so the captain invites Book to come along, making it clear she has no regrets about handing over Moll last week as she was just doing her job. Inside the huge space library, Hy’Rell brushes off concerns about the Breen as she presents the captain with the original Betazed manuscript for Dr. Derex’s Labyrinths of the Mind (title alert!). Burnham leafs through the ancient tome and finds an ornate metal plate that glows when she touches it. Book soon returns after being gifted with that artifact (a cutting of the Kwejian World Root) only to find Michael down, laid out on the carpet. That’s got to be against library rules.

tv tropes star trek recap

Patrons are advised to not get trapped in mindscapes while in the library.

“Everything is here for a reason.”

Michael wakes and is quickly shushed by Book, now wearing Archivist Robes. She is in a mindscape and he is a program designed by the former Archivist, but the specifics come from her subconscious. This isn’t her first map piece rodeo, so Michael confidently sets off to pass the newest test. Meanwhile, Rayner and Culber arrive in the real world and the doctor works out what’s happening and reports that it’s not safe to interfere: They will need to just see where this goes. Attempting to narrow down her search, Michael figures the clue must be in the history section, thinking like a group of Dominion War-era scientists concerned about the future not repeating mistakes, but she is running out of time, as the Mindbrary is slowly shutting down—and if she doesn’t figure it out, she will get shut down with it… permanently. Adding to the tension, the Breen are closing in and Ruhn doesn’t care for Hy’Rell’s “request denied” to enter the library. In the mindscape, Michael is getting nowhere and growing frustrated with Avatar Book. Wait. Book? She’s inside a book, specifically “Labyrinths of the Mind”… It’s a maze! Duh! The avatar hands her a bucket of sand so she can math her way out. Things in the real world ratchet up as Rayner orders the Disco to hide in the storm before the Breen show up. Michael finally makes her way to the heart of the maze, only to find that smug avatar and no clue prize. The walls are literally closing in and this guy makes it clear she has yet to pass the real test: Can she be trusted with the awesome power of the Progenitor tech? “I’m running out of time, aren’t I?” Yep. Gulp.

tv tropes star trek recap

I’m in a book, reading books guided by a Book… going to need to talk to Culber to sort all this out.

“You don’t mess around, do you?”

Exasperated, Michael decries the “psychobabble” of the situation, telling that judgy avatar just where he can stick his virtual opinions. Meanwhile, the Breen arrive, firing a shield tunneling thingie to transport soldiers into the library. The Disco Geek Squad assembles and quickly comes up up with a way to disrupt the big Breen beam, but that will only buy a little time as Rayner and Book take out a few helmet heads and taunt the rest. On the Dreadnaught, Moll uses Ruhn’s lack of concern for his soldiers as she sidles up to his top lieutenant, sowing more seeds of doubt over the Primarch’s devotion to the Scion. Or maybe she just has a thing for Jell-O. After blowing off steam, Michael returns to the last room of the shrinking virtual reality and gets real with Avatar Book. She isn’t afraid of death but admits to her fear of failing the mission, opening the floodgates of her fear of failure, of not being a good enough captain, friend, or partner. She buries the shame of her fear, but in this vulnerable moment, she regrets avoiding telling real Book about how she felt. Wow, being a moment away from being snuffed out of reality can be cathartic. So, by the way, what was Dr. Derex’s test? Surprise! By being honest with herself she proved herself worthy and passed the test, and Avatar Book reveals the location of the last piece of the map in the real library. He also clues her in on one more thing she is going to need to know when she gets to the final destination. Who would have guessed the key to a Betazed test would be about feelings?

tv tropes star trek recap

I make this look good.

“You are in no position to bargain.”

The captain awakes into chaos, time running out before the Breen overrun the place. She quickly finds the last piece of the map and they beam out before getting zapped by gelatinous goons. On the Disco, she orders the ship to reveal itself to give the Breen a new target. Ruhn demands the map or he will keep killing innocent space librarians. She agrees… but only if he will swear to a Tergun—a sacred Breen oath—to not harm the Archive. Tilly quickly puts the map together so they can get the coordinates of the Progenitor tech before sending the map over to the Breen to do the same. Against Moll’s objections, the Primarch starts firing and Captain Burnham uses some sleight of hand with a spore jump and the simultaneous release of debris and plasma, fooling the Breen into thinking Discovery was destroyed. But the Starfleet ship emerges hours from the Progenitor target, severely damaged. Before pursuing, Ruhn decides to destroy the Archive, which happens to include some priceless Breen artifacts. Moll now makes her big political move, rallying the Breen crew behind her cause to resurrect the Scion with Progenitor tech, denouncing Ruhn for going against a Tergun and trying to destroy Breen cultural relics. Lt. Arisar wavers, then faces off with Ruhn. Moll uses the moment to kill the Primarch, announcing “I am the wife of L’ak, Scion and true ruler of the Imperium. We will get him back. Long will he reign.” Arisar backs her play as the throng of bucket-heads joins her rallying cry and we fade to black. Well played. Lady Macbeth can learn a few things from this former courier.

tv tropes star trek recap

It’s my map now.

It’s all in your mind.

“Labyrinths of the Mind” was another tightly wound episode that perfectly balanced sci-fi action with huge emotional drama. The escalation within and without the mindscape was paced well as the drama came to various tipping points. The serenely beautiful library location proved the perfect backdrop for a deep exploration of the series’ focal character with a heart-wrenching and vulnerable performance from Sonequa Martin-Green. Once again, this final season ties into the show’s beginnings by reflecting on Burnham’s past. The mindscape is classic Trek, with a big nod to “The Inner Light” and other episodes about the captain being tested, particularly reminiscent of  Voyager ‘s “Sacred Ground” and Captain Janeway’s (incorrect) assumptions about the test she had to undergo to save Kes’ life. The Breen confrontation also evoked classics, with elements of “Balance of Terror” and other moments. It was also very Trek to give David Ajala double duty playing Dr. Derex’s avatar, although he made some curious acting choices to differentiate the character as he guided Michael to her epiphany. The episode certainly leans into Discovery ’s DNA of an exploration of character feelings, but in this case it all worked as a way to tie into the season plot arc which has also turned into Burnham’s epic journey of self-discovery, all to prove her worthiness.

This was an episode that stands on its own well, with a visit to a unique new location, memorable guest star, and a clear beginning and end, but it also moved the season plot arc along in a big way. Michael’s ultimate test brought with it the culmination of the map, the season’s MacGuffin. However, it again is a bit disappointing that we didn’t meet the final three 24th-century scientists, unless we are to see Book’s mindscape avatar as a version of Dr. Derex. It was a bit of a surprise that immediately after completing the map, Burnham handed it over to the bad guys as a bargaining chip to save the Archive, but that fits with her compassion—and don’t forget, she has key info the Breen don’t. Culber’s season arc of spiritual awakening also got a little nod when the man of science took that leap of faith that this was all part of a plan and Burnham was in good hands, even though she was under the mind control of an old alien tome. Book’s arc may also be set up with the gift of the Kwejian world root , which feels like something that could pay off later, especially with the power of creation promised by the Progenitor tech. And with all this big drama, the episode still found time to lighten the mood, continuing the season’s welcome pivot in tone and style. Elena Juatco was a delight as Hy’Rell, believably delivering a quirky but strict librarian, and it’s just fun to have her as an Efrosian , a memorable but rarely seen Star Trek species. The brief scenes with the Stamets, Reno, and Adira team technobabbling their way through the crisis was very fun Star Trek… and of course Reno used to party with Hysperians .

tv tropes star trek recap

You know for librarians, you wear surprisingly loud outfits.

It’s not easy being Breen.

This was another episode that revealed more about the inner workings of Breen society and technology, as well as the cool open-plan interior design of their massive ship. The killing of the Primarch was a bit of a surprise, although he won’t necessarily be missed as Ruhn was a fairly one-note villain. Moll’s Lady Macbeth manipulation of the Primarch’s second-in-command shows a new level of cunning and sets her up as the real big bad of the season. The motivation of Breen is still a bit mysterious, so we will have to take it on faith that Moll was able to use what she learned from L’ak to be able to manipulate Arisar into backing her coup. There were subtle hints this was coming throughout the episode, and Arisar was introduced in the previous to set up this confrontation, but the fact that all the helmeted Breen look the same makes this thread hard to follow. Arisar’s uniform did have some tiny differences, but they should have been more pronounced to differentiate the character who became so pivotal to Moll’s plot.

The episode also continued the season’s welcome trend of finely weaving in elements of Trek lore without going over the top. Putting the Archive inside the Badlands was a nice touch, giving us a 21st century VFX update to the classic dangerous location featured previously in DS9 and Voyager . Referencing a nucleonic beam was the only overt nod to the Kataan probe of “The Inner Light.” You don’t need to namedrop Captain Picard to evoke the vibe of that classic TNG episode. And the nods didn’t stop there with plenty of classic technobabble and even that Lower Decks reference from Reno, whose backstory continues to get filled in with delightful new details.

tv tropes star trek recap

What? You can’t tell us all apart? That’s kind of racist.

Final thoughts

Season 5 of Discovery continues to be a welcome change as it ramps up nicely towards what has been described as a big 2-episode finale. Can’t wait for next week’s first part, directed by Jonathan Frakes.

tv tropes star trek recap

Arisar tries to impress Moll with his air piano routine.

  • This is the Star Trek debut for director Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour , who recently directed for Shogun .
  • This is the fifth episode in a row without Doug Jones, but he has confirmed Saru will return.
  • The episode included a new bridge crew officer: Cmdr. Lorna Jemison (Zahra Bentham), likely named in honor of NASA astronaut Mae Jemison who once played a member of the Enterprise crew in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation .
  • The Discovery couldn’t cloak due to Cherenkov radiation , which is a real thing (the radiation, not cloaking).
  • The world root cuttings came in a box made of Tuli wood , the same wood Book used to decorate his old ship.
  • Dr. Derex’s reading list included A Comprehensive Guide to Talaxian Hairstyles ,  Hupyrian Folk Tales , and Euclidean Geometry…  two Trek things and one real thing.
  • The Laybryths of the Mind manuscript may be our first view of Betazed written language.
  • Disrupting the Breen shield tunneling weapon is the latest use Star Trek has found for positron beams .
  • Ejecting debris as they did in “ Balance of Terror ” was often used in World War II movies like Run Silent, Run Deep , and it is based on real Naval doctrine of the time.
  • Breen coding is “dodeca” or base-12 .
  • The Eternal Archive was filmed at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto.

tv tropes star trek recap

Welcome to Space Toronto!

More to come

Every Friday, the TrekMovie.com All Access Star Trek Podcast  covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe and discusses the latest episode. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts ,  Spotify ,  Pocket Casts ,  Stitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.

The fifth and final season of  Discovery debuted with two episodes on Thursday, April 4 exclusively on Paramount+  in the U.S., the UK, Switzerland, South Korea, Latin America, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, and Austria.  Discovery  will also premiere on April 4 on Paramount+ in Canada and will be broadcast on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada. The rest of the 10-episode final season will be available to stream weekly on Thursdays. Season 5 debuts on SkyShowtime in select European countries on April 5.

Keep up with news about the  Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com .

tv tropes star trek recap

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Still wish we could see the Klingons before the show ends.

“Again with the Klingons….

Mr. Scott, give me full power!”

“I can’t reach the controls!”

I have to agree. I really do want to know what happened to the Empire, aside from a screen graphic showing Klingon Empire.

Hopefully they’ll show up in Academy.

It is with great irony the show that started with the biggest Klingon storyline ever has basically treated them like they don’t even exist anymore.

It is really really odd

Believe me, you don’t want Michelle Paradise writing you 32nd century Klingons into canon.

Reviewers need to skim our site here to find their titles and splash lines, they’d probably clean up!

The episode was great. I enjoyed the story and the character development for Burnham was great.

I knew as soon as Primarch Ruhn issued the order to destroy the library even after finding out that it had Breen artifacts that he his death was near. Though i expected his 2nd in command that Moll was talking too would be the one to kill him and not Moll.

Book seeing the Kwejian World Root from his Homeworld was sweet and it was nice that he got to take it with him. Though in his place i would of kept it at the Library instead.

I loved the spore jump sequence with them exploding the warp plasma at the same time that was really cool looking.from now on I’m calling it the Burnham Maneuver. Also the badlands looked awesome too.

I can’t wait to see what is in store for the next 2 episodes.

Books? Seems very speciesist to think all the aliens in the universe write down on paper in books .

What a great episode this one was! Discovery felt like the Star Trek I remember. The cast, writers, and director really did an excellent job with it. The story was engaging with a clear beginning and end. It also had the right amount of problem solving with the crew and a nice amount of sci-fi technobabble. I love when the crew works together like that in all of the Star Trek shows.

I was drawn in from the start and was feeling the tension the characters were under. The episode had a satisfying conclusion while advancing the season’s main story. DS9’s format of mixing standalone episodes with a serialized arc really works well for Star Trek.

Well done with this one Discovery!

No amount of technobabble is a “nice” amount; it just reflects lazy writing.

To each their own. Growing up as a nerd kid watching TNG and beyond, the technobabble gave me fodder for my imaginary storylines in the Trek universe. At times, it has been lazy writing (no doubt) for a quick and easily resolution. But to me, it made it feel real and made me want to be like those on the Enterprise, DS9, Discovery, etc. who used their brains to come up with creative solutions – even if they had little to no basis in reality.

Sooooo… you are saying that there should be no technobabble at all? In Star Trek? Hmmm… using your reasoning, all Star Trek (especially TNG, DS9) has lazy writing? I would think that technobabble is the norm in all Science Fiction and does not equate to lazy writing.

Without technobabble there would never have been the concept of WARP and thus the many many scientists working to make it reality. Also I would called terminology like “Heisenberg Compensators” intelligent when you consider Heisenberg was a real life scientist and his theories directly relate to one of the biggest issues with Transporters. That is the exact opposite of lazy writing IMHO

Why are you even here 😤

Good episode. Wonder what will happen on the last two. Curious will past characters from other shows make an appearance.

This was a fairly good episode, albeit just a tad formulaic.

I loved the library itself and that was a gorgeous location from the moment they first arrived there until the moment they left. I’m happy that it survived the encounter because it would be cool to see it show up again at some point. I enjoyed seeing it in other ways as Michael explored the labyrinth, but the final test was predictable.

Who didn’t see the Breen Premarch turn back on the deal after getting what he wanted? I didn’t expect that Mol would take over the Breen though at the end of the episode. I know they alluded to her influence, but really expected that the Breen she was speaking with would be the one to take over.

I think that was the best episode of the season so far. What a comeback after the past several duds.

So Michael Burnham solved the riddle of the week by whining about her own shortcomings… That’s just not very satisfying.

But it’s classic Burnham….

That’s classic DSC

Lord this is a dumb show “Holey Shit ” really ?

Well this show is ,so finally the truth .

Every book in the universe and all colloquial books …..because all intelligent life writes humanoid design books .

Are you saying Trek reached BATMAN FOREVER lows? (“holey metal gratings, Batman!’)

This Show makes Batman Forever the Shakespear of Batman films

I dunno why Clooney gets all the Flak when Kilmer was just as bad lol

You know what else is a human concept that all non humans in the franchise still somehow adhere to? The gender binary! And yet nobody whines about that. Only when people stray outside of it.

There are a couple exceptions to the binary gender. The J’naii (one gender) and the Visions (3 genders) are two. Granted not that many but…

Technically I think the Changelings have no gender considering they are the epitome of the franchises non-humanoid races.

I enjoyed the episode, but the mystery was a dud. Cool set, cool idea.. the episode was overall fun, and it works great right up to the reveal… which is my big fear about how all of this gets solved. Like with anything JJ does.. the lead up is much more enticing than the payoff. But in the context of the show overall, it’s a top tier episode. Faint praise perhaps, but at least I’m enjoying it. Hy-rell was a pretty cool character and performance.

Also.. didn’t mean to imply that this was something JJ Abrams is behind.. just saying they treat the mystery just like he does.

Honestly before the season aired the mystery had me very intrigued. But once we found out what it was it has been SUCH a slow burn to get to the truth…

This one was a big fat yawn for me. I see what they were going for and there was stuff I liked but the dream thing is stuff we seen a million times before. I just don’t really buy how easy it’s been to get these clues. Yes it’s a TV show so things have to keep moving but they figure everything out in an hour. And Burnham admitting she’s scared of failing is all it takes? But I do laugh thinking anyone from the Breen could ever get these clues on their own based on the tests lol.

And while I did like Hy’Rell as a character the way they have these characters talk on these shows sometimes takes me out of the story because everyone sounds like they are in 2024. She literally sounds like my neighbors 20 year old daughter.

I just think about all the old arguments how you can’t go ‘forward’ in Star Trek because everyone would be too unrelatable. And yet here we are in the 32nd century and everyone talks like they are in a TikTok video lol. But this isn’t Discovery issue alone, just modern Trek in general.

Sadly I think this season has lost me overall although it’s probably my second favorite season lol.

But it’s great so many people are really liking it. Two episodes to go. Hopefully it will go out with a bang.

I had the same reaction to Hy’rell’s voice… but that was only one of many quibbles (careful… they, too, breed) I had with this episode.

Yeah at this point it is what it is I guess. No one in Star Trek, alien or not, rarely sounds like anything but human most of the time but do they all have to sound like they were raised in the valley?

It’s just so common these days on these shows.

But if this is the LEAST of Discovery problems it can’t be that bad I guess.

That’s another thing they probably needed more than the between season hiatus to think through properly – style of dialogue. Maybe they had a discussion and it was judged that it would be too weird to change things, but it strikes me as something worthy of a linguist or two being hired to do a deep dive proposal for.

All the Berman era shows have had stylized dialogue which was very precise but inflexible and not always relatable as how people would talk. But it’s the future so we let it slide a lot. It only really became a problem for me when it was carried over to Enterprise, where theoretically humans should talk a lot more like we do. That’s one reason I like Trip so much – the character is allowed to have a less formal way of speaking at times and Connor Trinneer has a gift for naturalizing that dialogue.

But now we have Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds which veer hard into quite casual dialogue and Discovery which goes between being very contemporary and giving characters lines that broach into melodrama and feel artificial in a different way than did 90s Trek.

Yet I prefer this, the dialogue on Kurtzman era is too current and definitely not colloquialisms we would be using in a couple hundred years or a thousand years. We won’t be like today.

I doubt people from the 17th century or the 12th century sounded like we do today.

They should not be sounding like millennials or like characters from Buffy or Marvel.

Making them relatable rather than aspirational is an issue I have. People want to see themselves, on Trek I want characters who are aspirational. I am nothing like Kirk or Picard but their values and dedication to their crews have been inspiring to me, and made me a better human.

It’s interesting to look at historical films and think through what makes for a reasonable voice for people who would have talked nothing like we do now. Or even something that’s only supposed to be just 100 years ago. Like watching James Franco in Oz the great and Powerful or Brendan Fraser in The Mummy. They give fairly modern performances on top of dialogue that doesn’t encourage them to do otherwise.

That’s why the Darmok episode of TNG was so brilliant. The Universal Translator did in fact work. Everyone was speaking English. The problem was it seemed like even though the words were human everything was coming out as essentially jibberish!

It’s a big universe out there, somone who reads a lot of books must also love TikTok!

Lol this made my day! Thank you.

In 60s Trek they talked liked they were in the 60’s also so modern Trek is following that trend. We just need to remember this isn’t hard Sci Fi here and Trek does feel more space fantasy than an actual realistic future at times. You really need to switch off some times to enjoy the nonsense. And this goes for all Trek Series and films.

No one ever said “groovy” on TOS

Well, there was the space hippie episode. But I imagine our modern Trek’s trendy, quipy language will sound equally silly someday… eh, scratch that, it’s silly now.

Like a friend of mine said, “Why does Star Trek now sound like it’s written by Chandler Bing?”

Not a terrible episode but I wish we could go one week without some weeping. This has to be the weepiest show in history.

There’s always room for Jell-o.

The battle within the mind setup is pretty basic and far less interesting than the writers think it is. Far less courageous of a dramatic choice, too. They commit to getting Burnham & Book on the archive at the same time and then duck out of that interpersonal conflict/resolution by having Burnham talk to her own psyche represented as Book. Most writers are introverts, sure, and so they probably don’t like to have tough conversations in their real lives, but this was the dopiest way to get Burnham to an obvious point. Burnham never showing weakness is not the same thing as talking to someone you care about and having a realization in the moment. The siloing of these emotional beats is immature when it’s not simply melodramatic. Once again, they did sort of the least compelling version of their own idea.

I don’t disagree. And to top it off, proving her worth is by admitting to her fear to fail? In other words, the best way to protect the progenitor tech is to give it to someone who has to overcome the fear of failure. Does that mean that she needs to accept that she may not be the one to protect the tech and ultimately let it fall into the wrong hands? I know this is over-thinking it a bit, but wouldn’t proving her worth fall more into showing that she is pure of heart and strong enough to take on the tech and NOT fail?

They hit a home run with this episode. I loved it.

The internal logic of this episode (and this entire quest) makes no sense. For example, why have these elaborate tests to judge the character of the people involved if 5 minutes later the puzzle piece and the knowledge can be given away to villains? My only guess is this will end with some “Raiders of the Lost Ark” type thing where trying to use the tech outside of a specific set of circumstances results in a similar consequence as the Nazis getting their faces melted.

If not, then this meant the decision in the last episode to give Moll over to the Breen was beyond dumb. Since the Breen had no problem committing an act of war and destroying Discovery that whole avoiding a war thing from the last episode goes out the window, by giving Moll to them and her helping lead them to the next clue they put the archive in jeopardy themselves, and why not alter the puzzle pieces or damage the damn thing before beaming it over? The Breen have no idea what the condition of the artifacts are.

Also, Discovery is damaged, but doesn’t it have these things called shuttles?!? Get in a warp capable shuttle and head for the destination with an away team while they repair the ship.

This episode also exemplified something that drives me nuts about “Discovery,” in that every single crisis has to devolve into connecting to a test of Burnham’s personal life and character. Why can’t it just be this character confronting alien weirdness and how she deals with that weirdness shows us something about her character? But instead the writers always have to make this stuff explicit (and weepy) where they underline her expressing how it connects to her past, her relationship with Book, or her own thoughts.

Shuttlecraft aren’t delivered until Tuesday.

I am not sure why people don’t remember this… THE SHOW IS SUPPOSED TO BE BASED AROUND MICHAEL. That was the whole premise of the show. It is not an ensemble show. It goes not have other leads except that of Michael. So yeah, every single crisis does devolve into connecting to a test of Burnham’s personal life and character

Doesn’t mean we have to like it even if we accept and know it. Burnham is a Mary Sue, as far as I’m concerned, and has often ruined what would have otherwise been great episodes because we are constantly reminded that SHE is the only one who can save the universe. It’s the reason why the writers can dump Saru, Owo, and Detmer and write like they were never even there. It was a bad choice back in season 1, even if Sonequa is a pretty good actress. They got close to course-correcting with Pike and his interaction with the crew, but after that, it just went right back to square one.

The writers have not “dumped” Saru, Owo and Detmer. The actors were not available. Plain and simple. But having a show that focuses on one main character does have its advantages. It’s nice to be able to see that “other” crew members on the ship exist.

I am guessing you don’t like having a woman as a focus or having a person that shows feeling. But I get it.

If you pause this episode exactly when Michael figures out she’s in a maze… it’s the middle point of the episode.

I love it when the Breen hack into the Archive’s camera and Rayner is calling them assholes.

I really enjoy Michael’s soliloquy/revelation. It has something this show has sorely needed – a sense of Michael’s inner life. Somehow up to this moment, over all the previous seasons, we never had a real moment where we learn what she thinks of herself. This doesn’t erase the past, or make it more watchable, but it put her inner purpose on context… for the next few episodes.

I am very excited to find out whatever she now knows about how to handle the Progenitors tech.

Moll protected the archive and the people inside it. If I’m making a prediction, she’s not going to be a villan when this is all over. In fact, I wonder if something is going to happen that goes way beyond reviving La’ak – perhaps all the Breen will be freed from whatever “binds” them to their rigid hierarchy. Perhaps 🤔

Discovery dead in the water – gorgeous.

My main disappointment was there was not a sufficient love of having too many books and not knowing what to do with them.

Maybe I’m mis-remembering, but I feel like Michael has one of those moments at least once (if not multiple times) a season. She’s had intimate discussions with Tilly from season 1, some pretty emotional moments with both boyfriends, personal discussions with Amanda, some deep moments with Spock, and multiple scenes of self reflection with Saru. Maybe they weren’t as obvious as this episode, but I do feel like Michael has self-analyzed throughout the show.

Maybe you’re right, but if so, is this the first time such a scene resonated for itself and not just as a plot point? It was quiet.

I liked this episode, much like I did 5×4. It was nicely paced, not too flashy and was a good character piece for Burnham. Though does go a tad too weepy and the test was rather convoluted. Also good to see continuing bridge crew interactions this season, with Gen Rhys taking the bridge again. The writers are learning that smaller scale events are far more effective story and stake wise. For example, the Breen attack on the library was far more impactful then say thousands of ships going pew! pew! (see earlier seasons/eps like 2×14 etc).

Shame they are finally finding their feet as the show is wrapping. Again, Rayner was great in this episode and the chemistry with Burnham is spot on. If only Rayner was in it since they fist travelled to the 32nd century. Oh and the Efrosian Hy’Rell was lovely. Perfect for Starfleet cadets to maybe pay a visit one day.

Of all the marvels of the 32nd century. The Federation still cant take out the Breen….

If the Federation can advance after recovering from the Burn, so can the Breen

Well to be fair it’s not like the Breen didn’t have the same amount of time to grow in capability. The real epic fail of the 32nd century is that the 23rd century derelict ship is somehow their only hope. And they still haven’t figured out how to get past the need for WARP or Dilithium.

Rewatched last night with the Mrs. I think I have a crush on Hy-rell…. she has a bit of that upper midwestern nice as can be demeanor, crossed with sexy intellectual / librarian vibe. She was great.

What a fantastic episode. It was very enjoyable to watch. This season has really been fantastic… definitely the best season since they jumped to the future. I really loved the scene with Book and the artifact. Was a great add to the story. I can’t believe there are only 2 episodes left. I may have to restart the series again. Going to be a while before we get SNW and the Section 31 movie.

For those questioning why alien cultures would have books…why not? Especially in the world of Star Trek where there are many similar aliens to humans. There is a fantastic movie that explores this, Arrival. I recently read an article on the topic of aliens and communication with them and if they could have a written language. Here’s a quote from the article:

“Written language develops into a powerful linguistic force in Chiang’s story (ARRIVAL), in unexpected ways. The aliens’ speech, a “spoken” language labelled Heptapod A, sounds “vaguely like that of a wet dog shaking the water out of its fur.” Not the easiest speech to mimic. So Dr. Louise Banks, assuming the well-travelled, high-tech aliens, despite their many legs, must have a writing system, resorts to trying to figure out their written symbols in order to learn this language in a more regular, pen-to-paper form. She discovers, to her surprise, that the aliens have a kind of semasiographic writing system, known as Heptapod B, that is so different from its speech form that it constitutes another, completely separate language, unrelated to the aliens’ spoken language. It has no real words, instead, it uses a well-thought-out calligraphic assemblage of ideogram symbols along a preconceived line.”


The critique I seem to be picking up on is the design of the books in this season, not necessarily the fact that each species would have a written language. I think some people (me included) just feel like all the books in this episode along with the journal from episode 1 are just the same as what we’re used to here on Earth. Pretty much every significant alien species on Star Trek has had some sort of written language displayed at some point – even if it’s just a control console on a space ship. But even those consoles have had different and sometimes very unique layouts. Wouldn’t books or other written works also have some alien nuances to them?

I would assume that every alien culture had a written language before verbal language. And I am sure it started somewhat like ours… cave drawings to tree-type bark to scrolls to binding a bunch of paper together. Unless, maybe, you need to have something triangular or round… but I would think that mathematics comes into play with why books are the shape they are in. Seems logical to me.

Ya know I never personally had the idea that no paper books should exist in the future. ESP considering we as a society are known for keeping and cherishing old thing if for no other reason than sentimental.

There is one caveat I have tho. The Enterprise EP where Daniels takes Archer into the future… They find what remains of StarFleet headquarters and… BOOKS! Daniels specifically says these shouldn’t be here. Tho I suppose he cou;d have been reconnect to mean they should be in the archives instead?

In our new home, my wife has set up a room as her personal library. She’s an avid reader. We have a 12 foot ceiling in that room. The book cases go right to the top. 3 or the 4 walls have book cases. She has thousands of books. It puts my own book collection to shame. I think there will always be books in the future. And I do think that alien cultures have books as well. We can only speculate that they look like ours. Much like Discovery did. Looking at all other Trek series, it showed alien cultures having books.

I do think books will always exist for reasons like sentiment. But what I meant are classics like first run editions or Action Comics #1. Like who cares about Action Comics #835 or whatever. I know comics and true classics are not the same. But in both cases companies like Amazon have shown us that we will need many many less copies and produce less if all you care about is to read a story on an ebook reader and don’t care about collectibles.

No clue how other societies would do it but if the Progenitors IRL aren’t a thing (lol) then we don’t even know if they have eyes or hands to read or turn pages lol.

Another “main character undergoes another truth revealing whatever” ?

All that remains of the humor that once existed in other seasons is the Breen talking to each other…

This has to be one of my favorite episodes of Discovery, it’s pitch-perfect Star Trek in the way I remember and love from the TNG era. This episode felt entrenched in the Star Trek universe, I really felt at home here! With the notable exception of oddly placed cursing, all of the characters acted like professionals with intelligent problem solving. Furthermore there was the right balance of humor and camaraderie, everybody played off each other perfectly. This is the first time this crew has really felt just right this season, and it’s tragic is coming near the end! The acting was top notch, David and SMJ really delivered, as did the guest star and Eve Harlow. The location was beautiful and creative and purely Star Trek! I absolutely love this addition to the Star Trek canon! The Breen also finally sound like the Breen, they didn’t quite get it right earlier, although I have to go back and listen again. Just a great looking, sounding, and artfully crafted episode with everybody delivering at every level. Bravo and thanks to everybody!

I legit teared up at Book’s reaction to the World Root, perfect setup for what’s to come I’m sure!

Episode was fine as a character study for Burnham, even if it just amounted to yet another character having some form of therapy. It gets old when every other scene seems to be about self-help, self-realization, or stopping another character in the middle of something because they suspect they need to talk about their feelings. Still, these were helpful things for Burnham to work out and to help us understand her better, and it will help underline her relationship with Book.

I still feel absolutely nothing for Moll, I do not know what people see in her. Her love for L’ak never convinced me, I don’t think the performance is particularly strong, and it’s not helped that she mostly just glowers at people or lashes out. Discovery’s track record with antagonists continues.

Technobabble scene felt very shoehorned. I remember Voyager being the worst at over-relying on it, but it never feels organic when they do these big important scenes of spouting nonsense with sweeping camera moves around them.

Lovely VFX for the Badlands and Archive, and I really liked Hy’Rell all in all. She has the benefit of being different and offering a little comic relief. The scene of Book seeing the artifact was very sweet. Rhys didn’t do much, but it was nice to see him competent and in command all the same.

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Published May 10, 2024

RECAP | Star Trek: Discovery 507 - 'Erigah'

Never turn your back on a Breen.

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains story details and plot points for Star Trek: Discovery.

Graphic illustration of Moll folding over L'ak's body as he lays in a biobed in 'Erigah'


Previously, L'ak reveals that his uncle is the Breen Primarch of the sixth flight . While he chooses to save Moll, he cannot kill his uncle, injuring him with a non-lethal phaser blast, in consideration for the man who raised him.

Book assures Moll that while she can hate him, he will not allow anything to happen to her or Michael Burnham; the fugitive courier is the only family he has left. Whereas Captain Burnham questions L'ak if he even knows what he's after; "power beyond all comprehension" in the Breen's hand will prove catastrophic. L'ak assures her that he and Moll will be long gone by then. There's an erigah on them, and the Federation could not wipe something of that magnitude away. In an ensuing skirmish with Burnham, L'ak is severely wounded. The two fugitive escape off the I.S.S. Enterprise via a Terran war pod with sickbay equipment — a life support system.

While on Halem'no , Tilly learns the symbols within the temple represent numbers in ancient Halem'nese. The clue vial Burnham took from L'ak bears the same marking as the one that represents the fifth tower. There, they find their next clue — a metal card with Betazoid text inscription.

In Episode 7 of Star Trek: Discovery , " Erigah ," with Moll and L’ak finally in custody, the Federation is pulled into a diplomatic and ethical firestorm when the Breen arrive and demand they be handed over. Meanwhile, a frustrated Book looks for ways to help as Tilly, Adira, and Reno work to decipher the latest clue.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Personnel

  • Michael Burnham
  • Cleveland "Book" Booker
  • Dr. Hugh Culber
  • Moll (Malinne Ravel)
  • William Christopher
  • Charles Vance
  • T'Rina
  • Paul Stamets
  • Sylvia Tilly
  • Primarch Ruhn

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Locations

  • U.S.S. Discovery -A
  • Federation Headquarters

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Event Log

In deep space, a recording of Moll's voice announcing, " Special offer. Courier services. Limited time only ," is being broadcast from the warp pod she used to escape from the I.S.S. Enterprise . The U.S.S. Locherer has secured the craft in a tractor beam, and the U.S.S. Discovery -A jumps to the scene. In Discovery 's corridors, Commander Nhan briefs Captain Michael Burnham about the message, which was transmitted on subspace frequency Epsilon 19 — a courier channel. "Special offer" is code for SOS, so the captain deduces that Moll hoped a courier would rescue her and save L'ak. Under Admiral Charles Vance's orders, Nhan and her security are to assist Discovery as they transfer Moll and L'ak to Federation Headquarters. The Barzan officer hands Burnham the Romulan diary she confiscated from Moll. Written by Dr. Vellek, it chronicles the Romulan scientist's research into the Progenitors ' tech.

Burnham and Nhan approach the entrance to Sickbay, where two Starfleet guards are preventing Cleveland "Book" Booker from accessing the room and meeting with Moll when she beams over. Palpable tension exists between Nhan and Book, but the Kwejian argues that he might be able to get Moll to start talking. Nhan recalls the last time she saw Book — another "personal situation" in which he fired photon torpedoes at Discovery and set off an isolytic weapon. Book's desire to make things right doesn't ease Nhan's stern expression, but the captain speaks up to vouch for him. The Barzan reluctantly states she will find him if they need help during their debrief, prompting Book to depart in an equally hesitant fashion. Burnham expresses her trust in Book, and the two exchange smiles as Nhan jokingly confides that is why she "went easy" on him.

Close-up of Nhan glaring in 'Erigah'


Sickbay's doors slide open, revealing Dr. Hugh Culber standing next to a biobed as he awaits Moll and L'ak's arrival. L'ak is in bad shape and will be beamed directly into the biobed, while Moll — dehydrated and half-starved — will also be held within the same containment field. Captain Burnham contacts the Locherer to greenlight the transfer, and Nhan draws her phaser in a precautionary stance. The two couriers are beamed into the room alongside two security officers. L'ak writhes in pain, and Moll becomes combative toward the captain while blaming her for her partner's injury.

Culber scans his patient before taking Burnham aside to deliver his assessment. L'ak is fading — a vital organ must have been hit, but Breen physiology is still largely a mystery. The captain describes the situation as politically charged, believing the death of a Breen fugitive in Federation custody could inflame an already tenuous diplomatic situation. Relying on Dominion War era medical research which indicates the Breen are capable of somatic cell regeneration in extreme cold, Culber proposes placing L'ak in a captured Breen refrigeration unit being stored at Fed HQ. The technology could allow them to turn the biobed into a low-temperature ICU unit. The idea remains a longshot, but Burnham agrees and beams out to brief Headquarters.

With hands clasped in front of them, Captain Burnham stands side-by-side with Dr. Hugh Culber in 'Erigah'

The Discovery approaches Federation HQ, where two other Starfleet vessels are also currently stationed. On the Bridge, Lieutenant Christopher shares that Admiral Vance would like to speak to the captain before they dock. The matter is classified, so Burnham retreats to her Ready Room and hands the conn over to Commander Rayner. As the captain enters her office, Vance transports in bearing an unsettled look on his face. Moll and L'ak must remain in Discovery 's custody, and the ship must jump away immediately. The admiral calls up a transmission in which the Breen warn the Federation that they must turn over the two fugitives who have incurred an Erigah . Scans show a Breen dreadnought on a course for Fed HQ at maximum warp, and President Laira Rillak is off at a diplomatic summit on Tellar Prime.

Vance does not consider handing Moll and L'ak over to the Breen to be an option. Although the Breen can not become aware of the Progenitors' technology, Burnham takes issue with the admiral's strategy of simply denying the Federation has the couriers. Vance has a slight issue with the captain's decision to speak so freely, but he concedes that having the prisoners elsewhere will force the Breen to consider how far they're willing to push the Federation in order to fulfill the Erigah . Burnham counters, noting the Breen will eventually figure out the ruse, begin tracking Discovery 's jump signature, and leave carnage in their wake as they track the ship. Permitting Discovery to stay will speed up the inevitable and coerce the Breen into dealing with the Federation. The admiral accepts Burnham's solution and directs a troubled gaze at the holographic that depicts the Breen dreadnought.

Ni'Var’s President T'Rina walks into Federation HQ's Briefing Room, where Vance, Burnham, and Rayner have gathered to analyze the situation. President Rillak has delegated T'Rina to lead negotiations in her stead. T'Rina has reviewed all records of diplomatic relations with the Breen, but there has been no official contact since before the Burn. Although recent intelligence is limited, the Federation knows the Breen Imperium has experienced unrest since the death of its Emperor. Six primarchs are waging a war for the throne, though they do not know which faction is on its way to Fed HQ. Rayner defiantly proclaims that all Breen are the same — the word 'diplomacy' is not in their vocabulary, and he sees teaching it to them to be more of a pipe dream than a tactic. T'Rina insists this faction seeks power, reasoning that there must be something the Federation can offer which will negate the Erigah . Arms crossed, Rayner points to what happened the last time the Breen entered Federation space. Vance remarks that this situation is different, as more Starfleet ships are on their way. His goal is to keep things calm until backup arrives.

Captain Burnham chimes in, observing that the Breen don't need to come into Federation territory to make this demand. The excursion is a risk for them, so there must be another reason the Breen want Moll and L'ak. Since the most powerful weapon in diplomacy is information, T'Rina contemplates a recent report from Captain Saru, who is away on a diplomatic mission near Breen space. The Breen's factional wars stem from a succession dispute involving competing claims from disparate branches of the royal bloodline. Frustrated by the discussion, Rayner interrupts and states that none of this will matter if the Breen believe they can win. The first officer suggests they install thoron emitters on the hull and use duranium shadows to give the impression that they're armed to the gills.  

Burnham attempts to diffuse his anger, but Rayner makes reference to the Romulan saying, "Never turn your back on a Breen." T'Rina is taken aback by the xenophobic statement, yet Rayner insists that the Breen view genocide as a necessity — their version of a Prime Directive. Burnham halts the exchange by asking her first officer to wait for her outside. Upon Rayner's exit, the captain offers to place her limited rapport with Moll and L'ak to the test to see if they'll share what they know. Vance agrees, but requests that she keep her Number One in line. They can't afford any missteps once the Breen reach Fed HQ.

Leaning against a wall in the corridor, Rayner awaits his captain. As soon as he sees Burnham approach, he launches into a spirited declaration that the admiral's defensive position is an invitation to be decimated. Burnham cuts him off, leading her first officer down the hallway and voicing her concern for his ability to handle this situation. She senses this is personal for him, and he apologizes for his tone. Burnham reflects on this for a moment, opting to dismiss Rayner rather than pursue her suspicion any further. The captain contacts Lieutenant Gallo and orders her to place Discovery on Yellow Alert.

Carrying a go-bag, Tilly approaches Stamets in a Discovery corridor in 'Erigah'

In one of Discovery 's own corridors, Commander Paul Stamets hurries to catch up with Lieutenant Sylvia Tilly as she carries her luggage to the Shuttlebay. The Academy instructor is intent on heading to Fed HQ to help defend her cadets from the Breen, but Stamets presents her with a metallic card that was attached to the clue from the fifth tower on Halem'no. Inscribed with a Betazed logo, the item's text translates to " The Labyrinths of the Mind. " If Tilly and Ensign Adira Tal focus on the meaning of that phrase, the astromycologist can figure out the properties of the metal. Considering the Breen destroyed an entire city the last time they paid a visit to the Federation, Tilly is surprised that Paul is focusing on the clue.

Stamets emphasizes the magnitude of their mission. The U.S.S. Mitchell is standing by in case it receives an encrypted message from Discovery . Or, as Tilly puts it, in case Discovery can't complete the mission because they're all dead. Holding up the clue, Stamets declares it to be the most important thing in the Federation at the moment — they must prevent the Breen or another power from obtaining the Progenitors' tech. Paul reminds Tilly that Fed HQ is probably the safest place her cadets can be, finally convincing the lieutenant to stay.

Captain Burnham visits Dr. Culber in Sickbay, where the containment field continues to surround Moll and L'ak. With subzero gasses promoting a strong immune response, the Breen courier's condition has improved. Keeping warm in a cozy Starfleet jacket, the doctor allows the captain to chat with the prisoners. Having intercepted Moll's SOS, the Breen are on the way to Fed HQ. Burnham is curious as to what the couriers' plan had been, but Moll insists that she and L'ak have always been partial to winging it. The captain also wonders what else the Breen might accept as payment to lift the Erigah , though L'ak is adamant there is not another way.

Burnham eyes Moll. The captain doesn’t buy the excuse, citing the presence of a Breen dreadnought — the most powerful warship class in the entire Breen Imperium — as evidence that this Primarch really wants Moll and L'ak. The couriers would prefer to be released so they can take their chances on their own, and L'ak comments that some things are worse than death. Burnham evaluates the remark, realizing that the Primarch doesn't actually plan on killing the prisoners. Recognizing there must be a familial connection, she asks if L'ak is the Primarch's child, sibling, or cousin.

A gravely wounded L'ak looks over while laying in a biobed in Discovery's sickbay in 'Erigah'

The captain's query is met with silence, so she hypothesizes that — since the Primarch wants the throne — they can somehow get it for him. For people who fought for their freedom, being under the Primarch's thumb would be worse than death. Moll glances at L'ak, unintentionally helping Burnham reach a stunning conclusion. L'ak is the bloodline, not the Primarch. L'ak responds, disdainfully admitting that he is the direct descendant of the Emperor and the Scion of the Breen Imperium. L'ak ends the discourse by imploring that Burnham spit in his uncle's face for him once he gets to Fed HQ.

In the Science Lab, Zora reports to Tilly and Adira, informing them that she has found a match for the metal card's inscription. Labyrinths of the Mind is the title of a Betazoid manuscript written by Dr. Marina Derex in 2371. Derex was one of the scientists who helped hide the Progenitors’ tech, but only a few thousand copies of the work were published in the 24th Century. While no copies are known to have survived, the punctuation of the Betazed symbols point to this being the root text for the original, handwritten manuscript. Zora has no record of where it could be, but Adira asks Zora to scan Starfleet personnel files for anyone with expertise in ancient manuscripts. 

As the artificial intelligence combs through data, Adira notices a look from Tilly. Despite the ensign's fear about being on the Bridge, the lieutenant notes that they did a great job during the Halem'no mission and are continuing to excel in their current assignment. Adira is finding their way, and Tilly recommends they not be afraid to take on more. As Adira appreciates the advice, Zora confirms that she has found someone whose curriculum vitae lists experience as a rare and antiquarian bookseller. The two officers are shocked to learn that the person is Discovery 's very own Commander Jett Reno.

In the tech hub in a Discovery corridor, Adira and Tilly stand back and observe Jett Reno tinkering with some machinery in 'Erigah'

Tilly and Adira locate Reno in a corridor, where she kneels to make repairs to a targeting matrix in preparation for possible hostilities with the Breen. Adira is dismayed by the depressing outlook, and Reno insists her perspective is rooted in the Breen's whole "faceless helmet vibe." Truncheons, jackboots — where’s the nuance? Tilly cuts to the heart of the matter, but the engineer confesses that she may have padded her resume. She used to move hard to find folios for a shady antiquarian archivist — a smuggler, in Adira's words. Reno elaborates, mentioning that she had many odd jobs before committing to Starfleet, such as VIP shuttle pilot, deep mercury welder, bartender at a cozy little dive on Ashalon IV. in fact, she’s supposed to pick up a guest shift tonight at Red's Lounge. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried her "Seven of Limes."

Adira laughs, stating that Reno has "really got around" before they anxiously adds "not like that." Reno turns back from an open panel and affirms, "Oh, yeah. Like that." Tilly sees this as a story for another time, awkwardly shifting back to Labyrinths of the Mind . Reno thinks it over, stating that it could have ended up in a private collection, museum, or landfill. Tilly's need to find the last clue has left her nervous, but the engineer is confident they can figure it out. Reno guides them down the hallway so that she can overhaul the shield emitters, but they listen as a shipwide announcement takes them to Code One Alpha. The corridor is cast into a deep shadow, and Reno curses, "Shit! They’re here." An immense Breen dreadnought takes a position near Federation HQ and dwarfs its adversaries.

Adira, Reno, and Tilly stop in their tracks in the corridor of the Discovery as a Breen dreadnaught appears above in 'Erigah'

Captain Burnham joins Vance and T'Rina in Fed HQ's Command Center, where the station is placed on a Yellow Alert. The dreadnought is the same ship that destroyed Headquarters in the time bug cycle. Scans can't penetrate its shields, but Burnham shares her recent discovery with the admiral and president — without L'ak, this Primarch has no claim to the throne. They just need time to figure out how to use that information to resolve this peacefully.

Primarch Ruhn responds to a hail, and Lieutenant Teemo translates the mechanical Breen vocalizations into Federation Standard. Ruhn demands the fugitives be transferred to his ship, stressing that there will be no negotiation. T'Rina counters that they will need four hours to draft and approve extradition orders, but Ruhn gives them one hour — failure to comply will be considered an act of war. Burnham takes note of the president's "extradition orders" excuse, and T'Rina jokes that it seemed more believable than a tribble infestation. With the one hour deadline in mind, the captain has an idea as to how to proceed.

Meanwhile, Zora presents Stamets with an expansive holographic map of planetary systems in Engineering. The astromycologist asks her to eliminate systems that aren't rich in ionized beryllium or gadolinium-154, then alters his request by imploring her to remove entries that contain alloys, minerals, or compounds that are not detected in the Betazoid card. A handful of systems vanish from the projection. The lack of progress deflates Stamets' hopes, though he is pleasantly surprised when Book enters the room and offers to help. The Kwejian professes that he is "shite at sitting around," so Stamets presents him with the dilemma of narrowing down where the Betazoid card was made — a needle in a hundred million haystacks.

Captain Burnham finds Commander Rayner at Federation HQ, where he stares out a viewport at the green glow of the Breen starship. They're running out of time, so Burnham is direct — What does he know about Breen leadership? Given Rayner's strong reaction to the Breen, the captain did some digging and found that Kellerun had been used as a Breen outpost for a number of years. The first officer wrings his hands, his voice quaking as he reveals it's not a time he likes to talk about. He is not familiar with a Primarch Ruhn, as Primarch Tahal had controlled his homeworld. Without any warning, Breen ships showed up and filled Kellerun’s sky like a swarm of Golor beetles. Intent on using the planet as a munitions resupply hub, Tahal clear-cut Kellerun's forests, poisoned its seas, blackened its skies, and killed many of its inhabitants — including Rayner's entire family. In the commander's estimation, the Breen can not be negotiated with when they want something, yet Burnham believes he just provided her with a way to satisfy Primarch Ruhn's demands without giving him Moll and L'ak.

Aboard Discovery , Commander Reno reminisces about her 800-year-old contacts in the book trade — all of whom are pushing up daisies now — and hones in on the notion that the Betazoid manuscript is one-of-a-kind. Since Dr. Derex would have wanted to protect it, Reno posits that Tilly and Adira should check the Eternal Gallery and Archive, a bank-like neutral facility that welcomes all worlds and safekeeps countless rarities. Unfortunately, the Archive stays secure by remaining on the move. The clue and its inscription might even be the manuscript's library card. Armed with this intel, Tilly and Adira thank Reno — who replies with an informal salute — and speed off to continue their investigation.

In Discovery's sickbay, Dr. Culber monitors the gravely injured L'ak's condition in 'Erigah'

In Sickbay, Dr. Culber is pleased to let L'ak know that he is now in stable condition. The Breen courier opines that Captain Burnham is making a mistake by believing his species thinks like humans do. Regardless of the differences between cultures, Culber has faith in common ground. L'ak denies this, arguing that Moll loves him because of their differences — not despite them. Moll fails to conceal a smile as she looks down at her partner in the biobed, then asks the doctor to give L'ak time to rest. Culber steps away so that a Starfleet security officer can raise the containment field. Moll takes a seat, seizing the opportunity to speak quietly with L'ak. They can't let his uncle take custody of them before they have the Progenitors' tech as a bargaining chip. L'ak counters that the Federation will never give them up, and being stuck in a brig is just another kind of stuck.

L'ak urges Moll to make a run for it, but she refuses to leave his side. The wounded courier suggests she steal a shuttle and beam him onboard, but he's certain she won’t like his plan to deal with the containment field. The guards notice the prisoners are discreetly conferring, so they take a few cautious steps toward the biobed. L'ak and Moll undescore their love for one another and prepare to enact their plan.

President T'Rina, Captain Burnham, and Commander Rayner stand by in Fed HQ's Command Center, listening as Admiral Vance orders Lieutenant Teemo to inform the Breen that they are ready to transfer custody of the fugitives. Green flashes spark around the room as Primarch Ruhn, Lieutenant Arisar, and a contingent of Breen guards beam in with their truncheons by their sides. Ruhn dispenses with pleasantries and relies on Arisar to translate his demands into Federation Standard. T'Rina delays, proposing they use their remaining time as a chance for conversation. Arisar relays that Ruhn has no need for conversation, but the President startles the Breen contingent by offering a more accurate translation — Ruhn has no need to speak with "spineless, insignificant achworms."

Vance pounces on the Breen's momentary unbalance, presenting them with an offer of 45 metric tons of raw dilithium in trade for lifting the Erigah on Moll and L'ak. Ruhn speaks in their own tongue to avoid any confusion — the only payment for a blood bounty is blood. Preferring to avoid conflict, T'Rina gives Ruhn a final chance to consider their request. She brushes aside the Primarch's declaration that he is insulted, stating that the Federation has been refused, rebuffed, and now ridiculed. Instead of handing the prisoners over to Ruhn, T'Rina announces that she will accept an offer they’ve received from Primarch Tahal. Captain Burnham says that Tahal is very interested in having L'ak by her side to bolster her claim to the throne — the same as Ruhn. The Breen's demands are not about an Erigah , they are about power.

Primarch Ruhn extends his arm in defiance, his truncheon materializing in his hand. The Breen guards stand ready, and Starfleet security officers raise their weapons in turn. Ruhn accuses T’Rina of lying, claiming Tahal would rather gnaw her own flesh than strike a deal with the Federation. The Primarch deems Burnham's insistence that his rival was "fierce and fair" to be a bluff which wouldn't fool a hatchling, but Commander Rayner takes pleasure in mixing his own intel into the ruse. Rayner knows Tahal well, aware that she named her flagship Tau Ceti after a lethal viper with a slow-acting venom. That's her favorite way to kill her enemies — including Rayner's kinfolk who stood against her at the Twin Gates on Kellerun — when she wants to watch them die by degrees. She only spared Rayner because she liked the way he fought — ferocious and relentless, almost like a Breen. Ruhn threatens to blast the station into atoms if they do not bring L'ak to him, but T’Rina is aware the Primarch can not afford to risk harming his nephew.

Close-up of Moll's face as she looks out in the distance in 'Erigah'

In Sickbay, Moll approaches the containment field and tells a guard that she needs to talk to Captain Burnham. L'ak covertly accesses vials on the side of his biobed, injecting himself with an entire day's dose and bursting out in a fit of pain. Culber has the field lowered and rushes over to help, but Moll harnesses the distraction by kicking a tube and venting cold vapors into the room. She freezes her cuffs in the sub zero gasses and breaks them against a guard's face. She incapacitates the two security officers in hand-to-hand combat, wrestling a phaser from one of them and using it to stun Culber. Nhan arrives and blocks the door, engaging Moll in a desperate fight through the chilled haze that had settled upon the room.

Over at Federation Headquarters, Primarch Ruhn falls victim to T'Rina’s gambit and submits that he will exceed whatever terms the Federation had agreed to with Tahal. The President has no desire to engage in a bidding war between factions, but she walks toward him and puts forth a third option — they reject the other Primarch's offer, and keep L'ak imprisoned at Fed HQ. If Ruhn does not accept, Discovery can activate its spore drive and take L'ak to Tahal in seconds. By taking the Scion off the table, the status quo between the factions will be maintained and the Primarchs can settle their dispute in battle. Ruhn seems open to this suggestion, though he notes that any harm done to L'ak in Federation custody will result in war. T'Rina promises that the Scion will be safe, but a call from Nhan interrupts the negotiation.

Captain Burnham beams into Sickbay, finding Nhan and her security officers recovering from the attack. As the Barzan treats a wound to her leg, she states that Moll escaped. Zora can't detect Moll's biometric data, so she may have some form of biometric cloaking technology implanted in her body. Frustrated, Burnham orders a lockdown protocol and sends Nhan in pursuit. Culber tends to L'ak, but he's losing him and needs to know more about Breen physiology. Burnham chooses to seek help from the Primarch and beams out.

A distressed Moll raises her phaser towards Book in front of Discovery's system at a tech hub in the corridor in 'Erigah'

Zora's voice emanates from the comm system in Engineering, announcing that all decks have been sealed under lockdown protocol. She informs Book that Moll is on the run, but Stamets is resolute that the Kwejian stay to assist him in narrowing down potential origin points for the Betazoid clue. Book inquires as to whether any terminals have been used to access the ship's schematics, and Zora confirms that someone logged in 30 seconds ago at Terminal C7 on Deck Five. Book gathers his jacket and moves to spring into action, only halting once the astromycologist underlines that the mission has to be the priority. Book relents, switching back into investigative mode.

Although the scientist was Betazoid, there are no trace elements from Betazed in the clue. Stamets latches on to Book's offhand comment that he feels they should be further along. Betazoids are telepaths, so what if Dr. Derex created a transitive link between the card and where it came from. Traces of her thoughts and emotions could have been left behind, and Book's empathic abilities could allow him to read them. Stamets hands Book the clue, and the Kwejian empath closes his eyes to focus on the card. In his mind, Book sees empty space followed by an orange-hued dust storm — a plasma storm rocked by explosive plasma blasts. Book also gets a feeling of "eternity" or "eternal," but that’s all. This narrows the field down a bit, so Book hurries off to locate Moll.

A Breen medic, Primarch Ruhn, and several guards enter Discovery's sickbay in 'Erigah'

Captain Burnham beams back into Sickbay, where L'ak endures unbearable agony. She convinced Primarch Ruhn to provide a Breen medic, but he would only agree if he could also join them. Ruhn and his helmeted associates transport in, and their medic heads over to examine L'ak. Ruhn wonders where Moll is, so the captain covers by saying the other prisoner is elsewhere on the ship. The medic gets to work, and a diagnostic hologram opens to display L'ak's vitals. Meanwhile, Nhan coordinates with Book in Discovery 's corridors to find a more precise location for Moll. The Barzan is grateful for Book's tip about the terminal and mentions she might have misjudged him. Book says making things right is a process. The pair round a corner and spot Moll holding a phaser at a crew member. The courier takes aim at them, but Nhan calls out to tell her that the escape attempt backfired — L'ak made an error with the dose and may not survive. Moll doesn't believe her — she states that Nhan can sell her a goat farm on Bopak III while she's at it — but Nhan nods to Book to confirm the prognosis.

Book decides to give negotiation a try, stepping out into the open with his hands empty. He knows L'ak is Moll’s world, and he also knows what it's like to lose one. She maintains her defensive stance, but he implores her not to miss her chance to be there with her partner. Moll relents and surrenders her weapon. She is escorted to Sickbay, where she is surrounded by Burnham, Culber, and Ruhn as she makes a tearful approach to L'ak in his biobed. The Breen fights to keep his eyes from closing as he consoles Moll, who doesn't see this as how their story ends. L'ak succumbs to his injuries and lets out his last breath, causing Moll to lower her head and more tears to flow. Primarch Ruhn becomes furious and claims the Federation has killed the Scion. Burnham denies the accusation, and Culber explains that L'ak hacked the biobed and administered a massive dose of tricordrazine. Runh does not care for the intention, only the outcome.

Following L'ak's passing on a Discovery biobed as Moll emotionally folds over his lifeless body as she craddles in 'Erigah'

Primarch Runh warns Burnham that she must prepare for battle and sends a message to the Breen soldiers who stayed in Fed HQ's Command Center — L'ak is dead, the troops must return to their ship, and all torpedo systems are to be armed. The Breen vanish, leaving Admiral Vance with no choice but to take Headquarters to Red Alert. Commander Rayner insists that Starfleet make the first move, but T'Rina cautions that what they do will make waves across many worlds. Lieutenant Teemo detects new warp signatures, and the senior officers watch as four Starfleet vessels arrive to reinforce the station.

Back in Sickbay, Captain Burnham continues to try and reason with Ruhn, while Culber points out that L'ak overdosed on a stimulant during an escape attempt. Their words mean nothing to the Primarch, but Moll wipes away tears and confirms their account. Ruhn does not believe the human, and she assesses that Ruhn thinks a war against the Federation will unite the Breen behind him. The Primarch concedes that if he cannot use the Sion in life, he will use him in death. Rolling up her sleeve to reveal a mark which L'ak also bears on his forearm, Moll notifies him that she goes wherever L'ak goes — that is the privilege of their joining. Ruhn calls the marriage an abomination, insisting that she will never be welcome among the Breen. Moll presents another factor in her favor, mentioning the Federation's search for the Progenitors' tech — a power so great that Ruhn wouldn't need L'ak to claim the throne. The Primarch mulls her offer, shifting his gaze to the various Starfleet officers around the room. Finally, he concludes that the Federation must release Moll to him as his price for averting a war, giving them five minutes to choose.

Close-up of Breen Primarch Ruhn in Discovery's Sickbay in 'Erigah'

Book and T'Rina gather with the Starfleet team — Burnham, Rayner, Vance, and Nhan — in another meeting room at Fed HQ. Moll is confined to another containment field nearby, and Captain Burnham believes the courier has a plan. The field prevents Moll from discerning what her captors are saying to one another, so she doesn't hear Vance ask if Moll knows anything about the Progenitors' tech that she hasn't already told the Breen. Nhan points to a newly discovered passage from Dr. Vellek's diary which highlights the Romulan's view that the Progenitors' life-creating technology could potentially be used to revive the dead. Burnham deduces Moll wants to utilize it to bring L'ak back. By helping the Breen, she gets L'ak and freedom from the Erigah at the same time.

Rayner adds a strategic consideration, Moll doesn't have the clue from Halem'no. Although the Breen can track Discovery 's jump signature, speed will be on the Federation's side. Upset that this course is even being contemplated, Book desperately suggests that Moll should be tried for what happened on Q'Mau. T'Rina observes that Moll also committed crimes in Breen space, and would be held accountable according to the Imperium's laws. The President concludes that there is little to be lost by letting the Breen take Moll, but much to be lost by keeping her. Vance signals the security officers standing by the containment field, and they lower the barrier. Moll is transported over to the Breen dreadnought. Astounded by the outcome, Book turns to Burnham and avows that this is wrong. The Breen warship begins moving away from Federation Headquarters and engages its warp drive. 

Stamets, Tilly, and Adira meet with Burnham and Rayner in the Ready Room not long after the Breen vessel's departure. They've figured out that the next clue is in a place called the Eternal Gallery and Archive. The facility changes location every 50 years or so, but thanks to Book, they know the Archive is currently in a region with a lot of ionic discharge in close proximity. Stamets brings up a holographic map of possible locations, and Adira has Zora overlay 18 sets of coordinates depicting the Archive's position over the last 900 years. Tracing the path, Tilly determines that the Archive should now be in the Badlands.* Rayner's been there, and he says that it's as fun as it sounds.

The captain thanks her colleagues, but asks her first officer to stay behind as the science team makes their exit. Burnham acknowledges that today must have been difficult for Rayner. After all, she mutinied rather than give an inch back to the Klingons. She is impressed with the way Rayner handled himself, agreeing with Rayner's assessment that what the Breen did to Kellerun must never happen again. They tap their badges and beam to the Bridge, where they request status reports from the senior staff. Lieutenants Christopher, Linus, Gallo, and Naya certify that their stations are ready, and Lieutenant Commander Asha is enthusiastic about the challenge of navigating the Badlands' notorious turbulence. Seated in the captain's chair, Burnham takes Discovery to Black Alert.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Canon Connections

* " The Maquis " — The Badlands was first introduced in this Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode as a Demilitarized Zone in the Alpha Quadrant bordering both the United Federation of Planets and the Cardassian Union.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Log Credits

  • Written by M. Raven Metzner
  • Directed by Jon Dudkowski

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Jay Stobie (he/him) is a freelance writer, author, and consultant who has contributed articles to StarTrek.com, Star Trek Explorer, and Star Trek Magazine, as well as to Star Wars Insider and StarWars.com. Learn more about Jay by visiting JayStobie.com or finding him on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms at @StobiesGalaxy.

Star Trek: Discovery Seasons 1-4 are streaming exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., the UK, Canada, Switzerland, South Korea, Latin America, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and Austria. Seasons 2 and 3 also are available on the Pluto TV “Star Trek” channel in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The series streams on Super Drama in Japan, TVNZ in New Zealand, and SkyShowtime in Spain, Portugal, Poland, The Nordics, The Netherlands, and Central and Eastern Europe and also airs on Cosmote TV in Greece. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

At the Eternal Gallery and Archive, Book takes on the personification of the Archivist in 'Labyrinths'

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REVIEW: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 5 Episode 8 Continues To Disappoint

A s Star Trek: Discovery approaches its series finale, the mounting frustrations with its fifth season continue unabated. Despite high expectations, the show repeatedly falls short, offering a mix of recycled plot points and superficial character development. Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 8 , in particular, encapsulates the ongoing issues that have plagued the season: a reliance on familiar tropes, underutilized characters, and a narrative that struggles to justify its own stakes. The promised tension and excitement remain elusive, leaving me yearning for the innovative storytelling that once defined the series.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 8 opens with Moll ( Eve Harlow ) attending the funeral of L’ak. While captured yet again, Moll is still determined to find the Progenitor technology. She plans to manipulate the Breen into helping her locate it, hoping to use it to bring L’ak, the love of her life, back to life. While Moll and L’ak’s relationship still feels like a teenage love story unfit for the final season of a series, the implications of the Breen joining the search for the Progenitor technology may spell doom for the Federation.

The Breen want L’ak revived because they see him as the next successor to their empire, which is currently embroiled in an internal power struggle. Although L’ak never wanted the title, his return is seen as crucial for uniting the Breen. Their dedication to tradition means they would risk a war with the Federation if it meant their own political conflict ended.  With the Breen now a major player in the race for Progenitor technology, the Federation faces increased urgency to reach it first.

Meanwhile, Discovery is on the search for the final piece of the Progenitor puzzle. Their quest leads them to the Archive, located in the Badlands. Known for having one of the largest plasma storms in the galaxy, the Badlands are notoriously difficult to navigate, even for a Federation starship. This challenge is understandable given that the Eternal Gallery and Archive house the largest collection of history and artifacts in both the Alpha and Beta quadrants. Unfortunately for the crew, getting through the storm isn’t the actual challenge for the last clue to find the Progenitor technology.

After a season with minimal involvement, Booker finally gets some screen time in Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 8 . As one of the last remaining Kwejian, he is invited to the Archive to see one of the Kwejian items in its collection. This brings Booker and Captain Burnham ( Sonequa Martin-Green ) to investigate the clue hidden in the Archive. While Booker’s rediscovery of his culture is emotionally charged, it ultimately falls flat. This is largely due to his limited presence this season, which has mostly consisted of flashbacks and disagreements with Burnham. The new revelation feels like a forced attempt to reintegrate Booker into the story.

In her latest challenge, Burnham is thrust into her own mind, navigating a vast library in search of the clue. She is accompanied by a program taking the form of Booker. Like in “ Jinaal ,” Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 8 has long-standing cast members portraying different characters. Talented actors like David Ajala and Wilson Cruz are relegated to brief appearances rather than exploring their characters in a meaningful way in the final season.

During her search, Burnham must confront the tension in her relationship with Booker. It feels off to watch her have this conversation with a program that looks like Booker but lacks his essence. The discussion is disappointingly superficial, considering the depth of their relationship throughout the series. The final test, which should have been a significant moment of growth, ends up being a conversation that Burnham and Booker should have had just much earlier in the season.

Throughout this season, the series has tried to reaffirm why Burnham deserving of this responsibility. But who is asking for that? Burnham’s place among Star Trek captains was solidified seasons ago. The narrative seems to insist that she is uniquely suited to find the Progenitor technology, but it hasn’t shown her doing anything to distinguish herself from previous captains like Picard , Janeway, or Sisko. Instead of showcasing new growth, Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 8 recycles lessons Burnham has already learned, making her character feel less prepared as the series nears its conclusion.

To make matters worse, the inclusion of the Breen as another warring species fails to bring anything fresh or exciting. The 32nd-century setting could have provided a unique storyline, especially with L’ak and Moll’s interspecies relationship. Instead, the Breen remains the same enigmatic species hinted at in The Next Generation and during the Dominion War in Deep Space Nine . Their culture is merely a tool for Moll’s goals, calling into question their credibility as a threat if they are so easily manipulated.

In a series that has aimed to set itself apart from other Treks, Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 8 continues the final season’s trend of spoon-feeding moral lessons to its viewers. With the final piece of the Progenitor puzzle found, one would expect the tension and excitement to peak. But it doesn’t. Between Burnham revisiting old lessons and main characters like Booker being reduced to plot devices, the series seems to be sleepwalking its way to its conclusion.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 8 is streaming exclusively on Paramount+ with new episodes every Thursday.

The post REVIEW: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 5 Episode 8 Continues To Disappoint appeared first on But Why Tho? .

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 8


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    Live-Action TV of the 1990s. Star Trek: The Next Generation is a science fiction show created by Gene Roddenberry as part of the Star Trek franchise. Set in the 24th century, about eighty years after the original series, the program features a new crew, new perspectives on established cultures (a Klingon Empire as a semi-friendly ally against a ...

  14. Star Trek/Recap

    The list below details the Star Trek: The Original Series episodes in production order, including the original series pilot, " The Cage ". While the "complete season" DVD releases follow the original broadcast order, the original episodic DVD releases are numbered by production order. Pilots. 01. " The Cage ". 02a. "Where No Man Has Gone Before".

  15. Star Trek: The Next Generation/Recap

    Star Trek: The Next Generation/Recap - All The Tropes. 1 Season 1 (September 28, 1987 to May 16, 1988. 2 Season 2 (November 21, 1988 to July 17, 1989) Season 3 (September 25, 1989 to June 18, 1990) Season 4 (September 24, 1990 to June 17, 1991) Season 5 (September 23, 1991 to June 15, 1992) Season 6 (September 21, 1992 to June 21, 1993)

  16. Star Trek: Discovery

    Episode 11 Su'Kal. Star Trek: Discovery Recap: Anticipated Input Technically, this counts as a holodeck episode. Episode 10 Terra Firma Part 2. Star Trek: Discovery Recap: The Spoils of Peace ...

  17. Recap/Review: 'Star Trek: Lower Decks' Races For The Heart In Season 3

    "The Stars at Night" Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3, Episode 10 - Debuted Thursday, October 27, 2022 Written by Mike McMahan Directed by Jason Zurek. Season 3 wraps up in an exciting, funny ...

  18. STAR TREK Recap: The Whole Story EXPLAINED

    Star Trek has a long, rich history spanning movies and television shows. After all, it's the original cinematic universe. But it can be very overwhelming, tr...

  19. Star Trek: Lower Decks

    Star Trek: Lower Decks. SEASON: 1. Episode 10 No Small Parts. Star Trek: Lower Decks Season Finale Recap: To Boldly Go A funny, heartfelt, and satisfying conclusion holds a lot of interesting ...

  20. Recap/Review: 'Star Trek: Lower Decks' Levels Up In "The Inner Fight"

    The episode title "The Inner Fight," is a play on the title of the classic Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Inner Light.". This is the second Lower Decks episode to end with the ...

  21. Star Trek: Discovery Took the Best Episode of Its Season and ...

    Star Trek: Discovery Took the Best Episode of Its Season and Gave Us a Much Less Interesting Version of It "Labyrinths" sets the stage for Discovery's final end, but the road it takes there ...

  22. Star Trek: 10 Most Overused Plot Tropes

    Star Trek has been around for so long that it's forgivable for it to slightly reuse plots from time to time, such as the Voyager episode Author, Author that plays out very similar to the Next ...

  23. Recap/Review: 'Star Trek: Discovery' Navigates Its Way Through In

    WARNING: Spoilers below! RECAP "Let's go get that final clue." The Breen mourn the loss of L'ak, and Primarch Ruhn sees an opportunity to rally the other Flights behind avenging the Scion ...

  24. RECAP

    In deep space, a recording of Moll's voice announcing, "Special offer.Courier services. Limited time only," is being broadcast from the warp pod she used to escape from the I.S.S. Enterprise.The U.S.S. Locherer has secured the craft in a tractor beam, and the U.S.S. Discovery-A jumps to the scene.In Discovery's corridors, Commander Nhan briefs Captain Michael Burnham about the message, which ...

  25. REVIEW: 'Star Trek: Discovery' Season 5 Episode 8 Continues ...

    Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 8, in particular, encapsulates the ongoing issues that have plagued the season: a reliance on familiar tropes, underutilized characters, and a narrative that ...