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


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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 HairstylesHupyrian 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.

Welcome to Space Toronto!

More to come

Every Friday, the 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 PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher 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

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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 .


It was indeed a daring choice to include so many analog books. I was reading, the other day, about how AI is going to revolutionize the work of archivists — it’s so difficult to read handwritten manuscripts in old-style cursive, or in typefaces like Fraktur for German, but an AI can transcribe these to normal, readable text effortlessly.

My head canon is that whoever founded The Eternal Library did so as a counterpart to the highly digitized Memory Alpha.

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

That’s not true. I’m usually the last guy to be defending Thompson, but here I’m with him 100%. The concept of warp does not derive from technobabble, it derives from real science and from genuine science fiction extrapolation, rather than being pulled out willy nilly out of thin vacuum. The heisenberg reference at least genuflects in the right direction, but you’d really need to explore it in a show for it to go beyond namedropping.

There are ways to kind of do modest techtalk without getting into the weeds; when Kirk asks Scotty, ‘Can you bridge to your setup?’ I get what he is saying even though I don’t know how he would achieve that connection. That’s much different from TNG era, where the writers routinely wrote ‘blah blah blah [blankspace for tech word] blash, blah blah [blankspace for tech word] blah.’

Why are you even here 😤

This one was truly a superb episode, one of DISCO’s best.

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

I think Clooney was fine, but the material was abyssmal.

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.

and yet Odo and Vadic still were gendered.

My point is that books are just a petty complaint in comparison to other things this franchise defaults every single non human race to.

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.

It’s not just certain actors, their voices and the way-too-conemporarry dialog. LADYHAWKE is effectively sabotaged with the WAY-way-too-contemporary score, which makes you think Rutger Hauer is going to bust a move while atop his steed.

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?”

…the dream thing is stuff we seen a million times before

But the point is that here, it was exceptionally well executed. We didn’t get eerie corridors, or highly distorted use of fisheye lenses, etc.; we got a *library*, a highly prosaic setting, even when amped up. Somehow, I think it worked.

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.

Wow, that went off the rails quickly. Not sure how you can even extrapolate the idea that I have an issue with female empowerment or characters who are more than two-dimensional from my comment. Clearly I hit a nerve here by not elevating Michael/Sonequa to “best ever Trek actor” status.

The only thing that slightly backs up your comment is my statement that they started to course-correct with Pike. And by that, I mean that it finally felt like there was more than one character that could actually impact the outcome of the story (Pike, Spock, Ariam, etc.) and that Pike actually seemed to value the importance of the secondary characters – which means the writers expanded beyond the Burnham-centric approach for a few episodes. Pike was male, but I wasn’t dissing on a female lead. Prime example – Voyager explored EVERY bridge character and Janeway was still the main focus of the show. But at least I felt like there was more than one person on the ship who could save the day. It just seems like the Discovery approach to “Mary Sue” Burnham has run its course. But, hey, maybe that’s also part of the reason it’s coming to an end….

Then somebody should have retooled the show away from that notion. I mean, they retooled and rethought nearly everything else about the series, right? (and they should have ditched the roulette wheel saucer section while they were at it, and shown some damned respect — think John Malkovitch in IN THE LINE OF FIRE for the right vocal tone on that last part — to TOS during s1 and s2.)

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.

Agreed. Somehow she pulled off the role and infused it with a pinch of librarian stereotypes, and it worked. (Contrast this with the deleted librarian scenes from INSURRECTION, which were beyond cringeworthy.)

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.

But why paper? Why a binding? Why a cover? Maybe those seem logical, but that’s biased from personal experience living on Earth after the creation of the printing press. Even on earth, we’ve had different forms of ways to preserve text. That’s due to technology, but isn’t that part of the point to be made here? If a species continues to evolve and technology with them, doesn’t it make sense to eventually find different ways to save the written word? And does the shape of books really make “logical” sense? I guess if you go with the strictly humanoid approach of two hands with five digits, sure. What about species with no opposable thumbs?

Why not? Besides, we have not seen ALL the books there. We do not know what they all look like. Perhaps the binding you do see are protective cases put on the different “books” or perhaps they don’t have covers. How do we know that they are made of paper? Could be tree bark for all we know.

But why paper? Why a binding? Why a cover?

Convergent evolution. Binding prevents papers from flying all over the page. A cover protects the book’s contents.

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.

lol I like the photo captions

Very enjoyable episode, with good mix of action on Discovery, Moll’s story with the Breen, and Michael in the Archive. I honestly felt this was one of Sonequa Martin-Green’s best performances in making Michael feel truly relatable.

And Hy’rell was a joy. In some respects, i thought her librarian was a nice call-back (even if only coincidentally) to Mr: Atoz in “All Our Yesterdays.”

If there’s a regret as we near the end of Discovery, it’s that we’ve seen so little of Saru, Detmer and Owoaekun this year, though it’s allowed us to spend more time with Rayner and meet some other interesting bridge crew. That, and the fact we’ve really only gotten small tastes of Reno.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this season. As no series goes on forever, I’m at least glad Discovery can go out on a high note.

Obscure notion: Does anyone else wonder if Rayner was named for Col Raynor Sarnac from the old ABC series “Call to Glory”?

Only Rayner/Raynor I can remember is also from around the CALL TO GLORY era, a R. Fleming in REMO WILLIAMS: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS — played by … Kate Mulgrew.

I hate the joke captions to the photos.

Personally, I think it would have been great if Ethan Peck had played Spock in the Labyrinth test.