Star Trek: Discovery – Season 5, Episode 8 “Labyrinths”

“Labrynths” opens on the Breen Dreadnaught, where the crew is still mourning the death of the Scion, L’ak. Primarch Ruhn (Tony Nappo) promises to avenge L’ak’s death, and sensing the vibe of the soldiers, Moll (Eve Harlow) declares that she intends to use the Progentitors’ tech to revive him.

Eve Harlow as Moll

Meanwhile, Discovery arrives at the Badlands to begin searching for the Eternal Gallery and Archive. They are greeted by Hy’Rell (Elena Juatco), one of the curators of the Archive. After a brief disclaimer, DISCO navigates through the rough plasma storm to the Archive, taking considerable damage along the way.


When they arrive, the crew reports that they are unable to cloak due to radiation interference, and Capt. Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) takes solace in knowing that the Breen won’t be able to either. Before they beam over, Hy’Rell mentions that the Archive possesses an item from Kejian, hoping that Booker (David Ajala) would provide context. Burnham pulls Book aside to invite him to the Archive and the two of them discuss the sensitive decision to send Moll with the Breen.

LtR: Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham, Elena Juatco as Hy’Rell, and David Ajala as Booker

On the Archive, Hy’Rell shows Capt. Burnham to a viewing room where she can examine the manuscript in private. She tries to warn Hy’Rell about the incoming Breen, but the Archivists insists that they are prepared to handle species in active conflict. Hy’Rell leaves Burnham to show Booker to his own viewing room. Burnham examines the book, and presses a metal panel towards the rear of it. Meanwhile, Hy’Rell shows Booker a relic from Kwejian. He gets understandably emotional as he explains its significance, and Hy’Rell gives him permission to take it, as long as he reports back what becomes of it. Together they return to Burnham’s viewing room, only to find her sprawled unconscious on the floor. 


Burnham “wakes up” in the Archive and realizes that she’s not in Kansas anymore. A facsimile of Booker greets her, explaining that not only is she in a virtual program, but that he’s her interpretation of Dr. Derex’s program. In real life, Cmdr. Rayner (Callum Keith Rennie) and Dr. Culber (Wilson Cruz) have beamed down, and Culber examines Burnham’s body. They realize that the transmitter in the manuscript is projecting the program directly into Michael’s brain and that moving her could prove fatal. Rayner determines that they should not wait for the captain to solve the puzzle and look for the clue themselves, and asks Hy’Rell to find any information on Dr. Derex. 

Sonequa Martin-Green as Capt. Burnham

Burnham and Not-Booker embark on a twisted journey through riddles created by Michael’s self-reflection within the mindscape, while Rayner looks for the clue. Hy’Rell returns with the information Rayner requested and news that the Breen have arrived at the beacon at the doorstep of the Badlands. Rayner implores her not to let them in, but Hy’Rell asserts that the Archive cannot be perceived as choosing sides. When Primarch Ruhn demands that the Archive hand over the next clue, Hy’Rell denies his request and suspends Breen access to the Archive indefinitely. Moll observes the crew’s discomfort at the Primarch’s flagrant disregard for Breen history and begins to sew the seeds of dissent among them.

On Discovery, Cmdr. Rhys (Patrick Kwok-Choon) is in command and decides to hide the ship in the storm so Breen sensors won’t detect them. As they hide, the Breen ship arrives and begins tunneling through the Archive’s shields to send troops to collect the next piece of the puzzle. 

In the mindscape, Burnham is running out of time. Not-Booker is still not helping, and Michael tersely laments her predicament, talking herself in circles. Back on Discovery, Cmdrs. Stamets (Anthony Rapp) gathers Cmdr. Reno (Tig Notaro) and Ens. Tal (Blu del Barrio) to figure out how to disrupt the Breen shield-tunnel tech without alerting them to their presence. Reno remembers some helpful facts about how disruptive positon beams can be and together they figure out a way to close the shield-tunnel, but not before a few Breen troops get through. In the halls of the Archive, Rayner and Booker prepare to defend the viewing room holding Culber and the captain’s body. 

Moll (Eve Harlow) and the Breen

On the Breen ship, Moll continues to observe how the crew reacts to Primarch Ruhn’s orders. Rayner asks DISCO for five more minutes before they evacuate. Meanwhile, Burnham reaches her wit’s end in the mindspace. She finally admits to her fear of failure, citing that fear as her motivation to excel in everything she does. As she settles in for defeat, Not-Booker informs her that she’s passed the test. He explains that the Progenitors wanted their tech to be in the hands of someone honest enough with themselves to know their limits, a trait that is critical to wielding such power. 

L-R David Ajala as Book and Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham

Capt. Burnham wakes up in just enough time to rally her away team and locate the next clue in another room. As instructed, she breaks a displayed crystal and retrieves the clue, just in time for DISCO to beam them back onboard. Burnham implores Primarch Ruhn not to destroy the archive, but he demands all of the clues in exchange for the Archive and everyone on it. Despite Rayner’s protest, Burnham makes Rhun swear a tergun – a Breen blood oath – to ensure the lives of everyone on the Archive. She then has Lt. Tilly (Mary Wiseman) collect the clues so that they may make a map to find the tech itself before they hand the clues to the Breen. When the clue is received, Primarch Rhun orders the destruction of Discovery, drawing stares from Moll and the crew. DISCO takes a few hits before venting plasma as they jump to the map’s coordinates, simulating an explosion.

As Discovery assesses the damage 22 light-years off target, Rhun orders the Archive’s destruction. The crew and Moll are visibly disturbed by this violation of the tergun, and she takes the opportunity to galvanize them toward a mutiny. When Primarch Rhun attempts to silence her, Moll snatches his weapon and kills him, effectively taking command of the Breen dreadnought in L’ak’s name


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