Star Trek: Discovery – Season 5 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Red Directive

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 1 begins with a teaser of Captain Michael Burnham on board an unknown ship, before there’s a flashback to earlier in the night when she’s at a reception aboard the Disco celebrating Federation Day.

Turns out, Saru has some rather big news: he has been offered a job as a Federation ambassador, but he is in two minds about leaving the Discovery behind. Elsewhere, we catch up with Vance, who takes Burnham away to Kovich’s super double secret “Infinity Room” for a briefing meeting about a 24th-century Romulan science vessel that was found at the edge of the Beta Quadrant. Burnham then declares the mission a “Red Directive”.

Vance orders the Antares and the Discovery to head to Q’Mau. Before departing, Burnham gets Sylvia Tilly to do some database investigation at Fed HQ to get around Kovich. The thieves head to the desert planet and find Fred: an eccentric android who is interested in the puzzle box, which he opens, and quickly reads the old journal of Romulan scribbles and diagrams.

He offers three bars of latinum in a risky deal that involves the others potentially getting shot. Moll and L’ak choose to face the risk of being shot, but it’s Fred’s team that ends up dead, and the synth is left with a big hole in his chest. The Federation arrives on the scene too late, but they beam what remains of Fred up to the ship as they embark on finding the rest of the bad guys.

At the Academy, Tilly gets caught doing some rather nefarious hacking, but Vance covers for her, as he’s also growing frustrated at Kovich’s behavior. She finds an old recording of a Romulan scientist talking about the secrets he has written in the journal, which point to clues about “twin moons” and an “ancient technology” that “cannot fall into the wrong hands.”

Michael, Book and Rayner head into the desert for a bike chase, while Moll and L’ak get to their ship and plan an escape with the use of some tunnels. The team debates over how to counter this move, with Burnham warning Rayner that if they order the Antares to close the tunnel, it could trigger an avalanche that could destroy the town.

Rayner decides to take the risk, and luckily there is no avalanche, but the thieves decide to trigger one anyway. They try to figure out a way to save the town and decide that the best way would be to use both ships as giant sand wedges to build a shield wall.

Rayner isn’t totally convinced about the plan but agrees to go through with it when he is reminded that the Starfleet focus at all times is to save lives. The town is saved, and the locals cheer in relief. However, Rayner doesn’t join in with the celebrations as Moll and L’ak have once again escaped. 

The episode ends with Hugh and Paul sorting through Fred’s positronic brain, when Burnham spots a clue that identifies the “twin moons” location, which gives her justification to confront Kovich, who is looking at the wrong planet.

Turns out, the long-dead Romulan scientist was named Dr. Vellek, and he was present when Captain Jean-Luc Picard found a message left by ancient beings who created “every humanoid species in the galaxy.” Vellek found their technology and now “the greatest treasure in the known galaxy” is up for grabs and Moll and L’ak are on the case. 

The Episode Review

Star Trek: Discovery returns for the fifth and final season, with an action-packed episode and a focus on a more serialised story, instead of the usual episodic format.

It’s great to have it back on our screens, and it’ll be missed when it ends. The cast of characters is great, and it’s a well-oiled machine by now after 7 years going strong. There are some nice little easter eggs in the first episode, and some interesting setups for what’s to come as well. 


Next Episode

You can look forward to a full season review when this show ends!

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