Star Trek: Discovery – Season 5, Episode 1 “Red Directive”


Capt. Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) sits on the bridge

It is extremely bittersweet to review the final season of such an impactful series in the Star Trek universe. From a new propulsion technology to a new point in time, Star Trek: Discovery has been the pioneer of modern Star Trek since 2017. However, as we embark on new episodes and a new review format, we are reminded that all good things…


In true fashion, this season premiere of Star Trek: Discovery starts off with a bang. We immediately see Capt. Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) on the hull of a ship while it’s at warp, indicating that this season should come with seatbelts. 

Capt. Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) on the hull of a ship while at warp

This episode includes high stakes, like a highly classified objective under a newly conceived “Red Directive”, and a race to protect a desert trading town from certain annihilation. It also boasts of all the familiar cars on DISCO’s trademark emotional rollercoaster, including Capt. Saru (Doug Jones) considering an offer to become a Federation ambassador in the wake of his public relationship with President T’Rina (Tara Rosling), Cmdr. Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and his quest to remain relevant as technology advances without him, as well as the return of Burhnam’s ex-partner, Kweijan survivor Cleavland Booker (David Ajala).

Do not be dismayed, for Discovery’s final season also comes with some fresh components. There are some new characters alongside the veterans on the bridge this season. We’ll even meet a Kellerun for the first time since early Deep Space Nine – the ornery and tenacious Capt. Rayner (played by Canadian sci-fi vet Callum Keith Rennie) who, despite good intentions, is viscerally resistant to a shift in perspective. If a certain specific demographic of long-time Trekkers has been yearning to be both physically and morally represented in the streaming era, they should be pleased to find a reflection in Capt. Rayner (for better and for worse).

New baddies dropped!
Ltr: L’ak (Elias Toufexis) and Moll (Eve Harlow)

This season will highlight a pivotal episode of The Next Generation that centers around the origin of life as we know it. There’s a distinct flavor of Indiana Jones as the crew of Discovery races against time and a pair of new foes. This crew has seen battle across multiple timelines, jumped through a vortex through space and time, and facilitated first contact with a brand new species. But will their personal relationships survive their newest adventure?

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