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This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Discovery, and thus may contain spoilers.

Captain Burnham and Book journey into extradimensional space in search of the next clue to the location of the Progenitors' power. Meanwhile, Rayner navigates his first mission in command of the USS Discovery, and Culber opens up to Tilly.



Cleveland Booker stands in his quarters looking at looking at the Federation Watch List data on Moll and her extensive list of crimes. Closing out of the data, Booker pets Grudge, grabs his jacket, and leaves.

"Personal log, Cleveland Booker. Stardate 866282.9. My mentor – the man who gave me my name, my new life – he used to say, "no matter how bad things get, the one thing you always have is a choice." I'd be lying if I said I hadn't made some questionable ones. But I've made some good ones, too. Which is how I know it's not too late for his daughter. If I can turn things around, so can she. Cleveland showed me how things could be, who I could be. And I suppose just in doing that, he saved me. I owe it to him to do the same for her. Today... I may get my chance. We're at their last known coordinates. Seems like we're about to find them."

Booker makes his way to the bridge as Stamets and Tilly give their report. When the USS Discovery first arrived at the coordinates that Jinaal Bix gave them, it seemed like there was only a disperse nebula, and a warp trail from Moll and L'ak that disappeared into empty space. However, they now have a good idea of where they went. Tilly has Zora adjust the viewscreen for the Lorentzian coefficient and high-energy spectra, revealing an aperture in front of the ship that keeps opening and closing. Stamets explains that it's a wormhole of sorts and Discovery just couldn't see it until they recalibrated their scans. Stamets and Tilly believe that it leads to a pocket of interdimensional space with the opening collapsing and expanding due to matter-antimatter chain reactions, likely caused by the Burn. They must pass through the wormhole in order to get to the next clue and based on the trajectory of Moll and L'ak's warp trail, they should be inside of there as well. Gallo reports that the aperture is scrambling their readings, meaning that they won't know what they're dealing with until they're on the other side. Rayner points out that Discovery itself is too big, meaning that a shuttle will have to go through, but Christopher can't guarantee comms contact without knowing what's on the other side. Burnham orders Linus to have a shuttle prepped and to tell engineering to boost comms and to fortify shields while Rhys is to have a security team on standby. Burnham decides to go herself and to take Booker along with her while Rayner will have the conn.

Rayner pulls Burnham aside privately, arguing that it's too risky of a mission for the ship's captain. Rayner tries to convince Burnham to let him go instead or to at least take a security team, but Burnham needs Rayner on the ship, and she knows that their advantage is Booker's personal connection to Moll and the implied threat of a security team nullifies that advantage. Rayner feels the responsibility as Burnham does, having seen a future where the Breen had destroyed everything, but that's only one possible future and Burnham can't let that cloud her tactical judgement. Stating that her decision is tactical, Burnham wonders what this is really about, giving Rayner permission to be blunt and quoting the Ballad of Krul, a classic work on Kellerun. Burnham has done her research on her first officer's culture, just like he did on hers. Rayner insists that he's just doing his job, part of which is to protect her. Burnham asks when the last time Rayner took the conn from another captain was, and he admits that it's been awhile. Burnham and Rayner haven't worked together for very long and they have different styles, but Rayner wouldn't want to disadvantage any mission, especially one this important. However, Burnham has faith in Rayner's ability to lead Discovery's crew in her absence and she refuses to be disuaded.

Burnham and Booker head for the wormhole in a shuttle, and Burnham wonders what he'll say to Moll if they find her and L'ak. Booker suggests that he'll talk about how himself and Burnham aren't so different from Moll and L'ak, both being former couriers, and he'll also talk about her father, Booker's namesake. Booker thinks that he can reach Moll, but Burnham warns Booker that they must bring in Moll and L'ak for their crimes either way. Booker guesses that the time bug was a real pain in the ass, and suggests that Burnham must've had some fun with it since she knew exactly what was going to happen, but all she'll say is that there were still some surprises.

As they approach the aperture, Burnham and Booker fall back into their old pattern from when they worked together as couriers as they discuss their plans for getting through the opening in one piece. Timing it perfectly and with a boost to the engines, the two make it into the wormhole safely despite a bumpy ride, but they quickly lose communication with Discovery due to interference. Rayner takes the ship to yellow alert as Christopher begins cycling through the frequencies while Rayner orders Stamets to take whoever he needs to the science lab and work on boosting comms.

Inside of the wormhole, exotic matter of some kind wreaks havoc on the shuttle's sensors and Burnham and Booker's holoPADDs, leaving them flying deaf and blind. Dodging debris – which is not a good sign – the two find the wreckage of half of Moll and L'ak's ship and Burnham surmises that the aperture must've caught the stern when they were passing through and cut the ship in half. Spotting something ahead, Burnham suggests that Moll and L'ak could've survived if they made it aboard the object that she's spotted: the damaged and derelict ISS Enterprise, a ship from the mirror universe. Burnham guesses that however it got into interdimensional space, it has to be one hell of a story.

Act One[]

Examining the Enterprise, Booker notes that it has a fair amount of damage, and he guesses that it got trapped here during a battle while Burnham notes that it must've been ages ago as crossing between universes has been impossible for centuries. Burnham wonders why the clue would be hidden on the Enterprise, but Booker points out that a shipwreck in a hidden wormhole is a pretty secure hiding spot. Although Burnham has never encountered the Terran ship before, the internal layout and systems should be roughly the same as the USS Enterprise which she knows. Booker spots the remaining half of Moll and L'ak's ship nearby, meaning that they are going to be desperate if Moll and L'ak are still alive. Booker finds them a place to land on the Enterprise.

On Discovery, Tilly enters sickbay to work on comms from an EPS panel as she, Stamets, and Adira are trying to boost the signal by pulling power from the EPS grid. As Tilly begins rambling about her work, a visibly uncomfortable Doctor Culber excuses himself to do some work in his office, brushing off Tilly's concerns about him. Tilly notes that Culber is always there for everyone else and offers to listen if he ever needs to talk about anything. Their conversation is interrupted by Stamets looking for a status update, and Culber takes his leave, unconvincingly insisting that he's fine. Stamets tells Tilly that Rayner is asking for updates, so she needs to tell him and Adira as soon as Tilly has any good news. Stamets asks about Adira's graviton-pulse idea, but they are rechecking their calculations for the third time just to be sure. Stamets promises Adira that the time bug wasn't their fault, but Adira blames themself for the incident as they brought it aboard the Discovery.

Rayner enters, but Stamets admits that the aperture's rapid shuttering is interfering with the comms signal. Stamets informs Rayner that they need to find a way to hold the aperture open, suggesting that they could use the shield generator to disrupt the antimatter reactions, but the power drain could result in basic systems like comms being shorted out which would defeat the whole purpose. Adira adds that a graviton pulse would also do it, but there would be a 43.7 percent chance of implosion, meaning that the aperture would shut forever with the captain and Booker still inside. A visibly frustrated Rayner orders them to find a way to get comms back and fast. If Burnham and Booker haven't run into Moll and L'ak already, they will soon enough and who knows what kind of a mess that will be.

Burnham and Booker make their way onto the Enterprise's damaged bridge, discovering that holoPADDS are useless on the ship too. However, they can use the ship's sensors to track quantum signatures from the prime universe which will help them find the clue and Moll and L'ak if they're aboard. Burnham tries the access codes of Terran counterpart, but they don't work, meaning that mirror Burnham must've been dead before the ship crossed universes. Staring nostalgically at the science station, Burnham recalls that it was her brother Spock's station on the USS Enterprise. While Burnham never met the Terran version of Spock, she's sure he was just as ruthless as the rest. Booker's hack gets them into the ship's systems, leading a moment of levity between the two. Much to their surprise, Burnham and Booker discover that the intermix chamber has been ejected from the warp drive, all of the shuttles and escape pods are gone, and the captain's logs have been erased: the crew abandoned ship. Burnham is confused as evacuation is a last resort in Terran culture. While the Enterprise took some damage, it wasn't terminal. The ship's sensors pick up two signatures on the bridge – Burnham and Booker – and three in sickbay: Moll, L'ak, and the clue which Moll and L'ak have found.

Making their way through the ship, Burnham guesses that the clue was hidden in the transporter room where she found a trace signature. Checking out the transporter room, the two find it full of bedding, blankets, kids' clothes and toys, not what one would expect to see on a warship. Burnham wonders why someone would want them to see this, and Booker finds a plaque with the stardate 32336.6 revealing the crew's story. The Terran High Chancellor was killed for trying to make reforms, and the Enterprise crew escaped after staging a mutiny. The crew brought refugees with them who were trying to flee from the mirror universe to the prime universe. The Enterprise crew were helped by a Kelpien slave turned rebel leader who Burnham and Booker realize was Saru, commenting with amazement that Saru is "Action Saru" is any universe. Burnham deduces that the crew and the refugees fled the Enterprise once it got stuck in the wormhole, explaining why all of the shuttles and escape pods are gone and the two hope that they made it. While Booker tells the story, Burnham covertly places a piece of her tricom badge in a locket that she finds among the possessions in the transporter room.

Reaching sickbay, the two find Moll and L'ak waiting for them with several holographic copies of themselves. Booker deduces that the couple must've hacked the room's holoemitter. Racing into the room, Burnham and Booker exchange fire with Moll, L'ak, and their holographic doubles until Burnham is able to destroy the holoemitter. Burnham and Booker attempt to get the two to talk, pointing out that they only shot at the holoemitter and Moll and L'ak's ship is destroyed. Burnham urges the two to surrender now so that she and Booker can get them out of her safely. Walking out into the open, Booker tries to appeal to Moll, revealing that he knew her father, but Moll scoffs at the idea of that making her trust him, calling Cleveland Booker garbage. Moll refuses to let them rot in a Federation brig, although Burnham promises to ensure that Moll and L'ak will get a fair trial, stating that they don't have another play here.

L'ak reveals that while Burnham and Booker have a shuttle, he already has the next clue. Moll suggests that they can blast at each other and all probably end up dead, or Burnham and Booker can give them a ride out of here, let Moll and L'ak go and the two will let the Discovery replicate the clue. However, Burnham claims that it's not the real clue, reminding the pair of Lyrek with its decoy stanzas and the real clue hidden somewhere else. Pulling out the locket that she had found, Burnham states that the clues all look different, and she instructs Moll to use a nearby tricorder to scan for quantum signatures from the prime universe and confirm that it's the real deal. Booker promises that they can get everyone out and help Moll and L'ak with whatever trouble that they're in, guessing that they must be in real trouble to be risking each other's lives on this treasure hunt. Against L'ak's objections, Moll angrily states that if they can't erase an erigah, then the Federation can't help them. A stunned Burnham instantly grasps the implications: an erigah is a Breen blood bounty, meaning that L'ak is a Breen. Burnham deduces that the Breen are after Moll and L'ak because of the bounty and the two hope that whatever they find at the end of the clue trail is enough to get the Breen to release the erigah. Booker asks Moll what she did.

In a flashback, on a Breen space station, an impatient Moll asks two Breen how long they're going to make her wait as Moll has other deliveries to do. The two threaten her in the Breen language before a third Breen dismisses the two guards. The Breen, L'ak, speaks to Moll in Federation Standard, revealing that they've had reports that her dilithium shipments have been cut with impurities and he must inspect them. Moll refuses, leading to a fight between the two. Moll gets L'ak into a hold and tells him that she's learned a thing or two about Breen insignia and the one on L'ak means royalty. According to rumor, the Primarch's nephew doesn't fit the mold around here and has been demoted to shuttle bay duty who Moll recognizes to be L'ak. As L'ak shoves her up against a cargo crate, Moll offers to help L'ak get payback, which just confirms for him that she is cutting the dilithium and L'ak places shackles on her. Moll states that she's great at what she does and having a partner on the inside would make it all go a lot smoother. Although L'ak threatens to kill her for the suggestion, Moll recognizes that the fact that L'ak didn't means that he's intrigued. Moll knows what it's like to be on the outside alone and it makes you hungry and smart which Moll demonstrates by holding up her removed shackles. As two guards pass by, L'ak pretends to be pinning her to the crate so that Moll won't be discovered. L'ak is surprised that Moll wants to make a deal since she doesn't know anything about him, but Moll simply states that she doesn't know much about him yet.

In the present, Moll states that whatever they did is none of Burnham and Booker's business. Burnham tells the two that while love is a powerful thing, they can't let it take them down the wrong road and they always have choices. A firefight breaks out, triggering a sickbay lockdown and a containment field that cuts Burnham and L'ak off from Booker and Moll when one of Moll's shots hits a control panel, trapping Burnham and L'ak in sickbay. With the control panel destroyed, Booker and Moll can't get back in, but Burnham tells Booker that there should be security controls on the bridge. Booker asks Moll for help, pointing out that they both want the same thing: to get Burnham and L'ak out. Moll finally agrees to help, warning Booker that she will kill him if he pulls one wrong move. Burnham and L'ak remain in an armed standoff with each other as Booker and Moll rush to the bridge.

Act Two[]

In a flashback, L'ak declares that Moll's dilithium is clean and she's free to go. Moll flirtatiously suggests that L'ak check her ship again to make sure that she didn't smuggle any tribbles on board, and L'ak admits that he wishes that he could, but L'ak's uncle is coming down for inspection and he needs to shine his boots. L'ak admits that it's not a euphemism, his uncle just likes their boots to be really shiny. Moll calls the Primarch an asshole which L'ak agrees with with a laugh. Before L'ak can leave, Moll reminds him of a promise that L'ak had made to her, one that he keeps putting off keeping, to show Moll what he really looks like. Although Moll has seen L'ak's face, she wants to see his "other face." L'ak is hesitant as he feels that it's not him, but Moll points out that both faces are a part of him and L'ak has seen parts of Moll that she hates. L'ak finally retracts his mask, revealing L'ak's body in a fluid state rather than the solid state that he's been in when Discovery has encountered the pair. Pleased, Moll greets L'ak.

On the Enterprise, Moll warns Booker that their truce is over as soon as she figures out a way to bring down the containment field. Booker insists that he really does want to help Moll, but she scoffs, pointing out that he took her father's name. Booker knows that Moll's father left her and her mother and that staying away was the hardest choice that he ever had to make. Cleveland Booker had done it to protect his family from a dangerous life because he didn't want it blowing back on his wife and daughter. Moll is incredulous that Booker bought that and guesses that he has daddy issues. Moll reveals that her father had promised to get Moll and her mother off of Callor V and take them to some safe haven colony in the Gamma Quadrant, describing it in perfect detail as an absolute paradise. Moll would go to sleep thinking about it every night, but one day, her father just stopped coming home, forcing Moll's mother to get a job in the rubindium mines which was a horrible life. Moll's mother died when she was 14, leaving Moll completely alone. Stunned, Booker tells a tearful Moll he doesn't think her father knew any of that, but Moll doesn't care either way as her father is dead now and L'ak is the only thing that matters to her.

In sickbay, Burnham and L'ak remain in a standoff, now sitting down. Burnham asks if L'ak even knows what he's after, what all of the clues lead to, and L'ak quotes Doctor Vellek's diary that it's power beyond all comprehension, but he doesn't care as long as whatever they find can end an erigah. Burnham points out that it would be catastrophic if the Breen got their hands on that kind of power, L'ak believes that they'll be long gone before then. Burnham points out that alternatively the Breen could just kill Moll and L'ak and take the technology anyways, and asks if he really trusts the Breen more than the Federation which is all about second chances which Burnham and Booker are both living proof of. Considering her words, L'ak asks if he and Moll could serve their time together if they were to surrender which Burnham promises that she could advocate for. L'ak tells Burnham that he would rather die than be separated from Moll, something that she sympathizes with and understands.

On the bridge, Moll and Booker are having trouble shutting down the containment field as the security system is firewalled. Booker reveals to Moll that he had loved Burnham and that they used to be couriers like Moll and L'ak. Booker understands depending on someone like that, knowing that they're all that you have. Aside from Grudge, Burnham was Booker's first real friend after Moll's father died. Cleveland had talked about his daughter a lot and from the look in his eyes when he did, Cleveland loved Moll, but Booker's sorry for what Moll went through because of her father. Booker hated his father too for a long time, just like Moll. The frustrated L'ak sees that their efforts aren't working, and she needs to get back to L'ak.

In a flashback, Moll and L'ak kiss on the Breen space station and L'ak warns her to go before the morning shift arrives. With some hesitation, Moll reveals that she has new contracts in Emerald Chain territory and as a result, she will be leaving for an unknown period of time. While Osyraa is a butcher, Breen Imperium space isn't much better with all of the species' faction wars, plus the contracts are better. L'ak offers to change their deal if it's about latinum, but Moll still won't be making enough. L'ak asks what's so important that Moll needs so much latinum for, and she explains that there's a colony in the Gamma Quadrant where Moll can finally live a peaceful and free life where she no longer has to make courier runs or watch her back. L'ak can't imagine what that's life and Moll asks why he remains with the Breen when L'ak hates it so much. L'ak reveals that he simply has nowhere else to go, and Moll invites him to join her. As L'ak goes to kiss her, the couple notices three more Breen approaching, led by a more officious looking Breen. L'ak identifies the Breen as Ruhn, the Primarch of the Sixth Flight and his uncle. Ruhn deactivates the cloaking field that was hiding Moll and L'ak from sight.

In the present, Moll decides that she's had enough waiting and is going to create a power surge which will burn through the security system and short out the containment field. Booker attempts to warn Moll that it could do a lot more to such an old ship, but she causes the power surge nevertheless, causing the ship to violently shake and several bridge consoles to explode. In sickbay, the containment field drops and Burnham and L'ak engage in a fight as the ship continues to shake after she refuses to let L'ak pass. Booker discovers that the Enterprise's impulse engines are overloaded and the nav systems are fried. Outside of the front viewscreen, the shuttle falls off into the distance, taking with it the group's only way off of the ship. Worse, the Enterprise is headed straight for the aperture on a collision course with the computer warning that the ship will impact with it in eight minutes.

Act Three[]

With eight minutes until impact, Booker wants to get Burnham and L'ak, but Moll pulls a phaser on him and demands that Booker stay put while she gets L'ak and they figure something out themselves. However, Booker refuses, telling Moll that she can hate him, but he won't let anything happen to Burnham or Moll. Moll demands to know why he care so much about her, and Booker explains that he's Kwejian and everything that he cares about out there is gone and his namesake may have a shit dad to Moll, but he was a great mentor to Booker. Like it or not, that makes Moll just about the only family that Booker has left. Booker hands her his weapon and tells Moll that killing him is a choice, and he hopes that she'll make a different one. After a moment, Moll lowers both weapons and agrees to continue working together.

In sickbay, Burnham and L'ak continue their fight with Burnham refusing to let him go. Burnham eyes the clue as L'ak grabs a sharp tool to use as a weapon, urging him to stand down, but L'ak threatens to cut through her if Burnham won't get out of the way. As L'ak charges at her over a table, Burnham grabs him and flips L'ak to the floor before grabbing the clue off of the ground and retrieving L'ak's dropped rifle. An impressed L'ak realizes that Burnham had created a decoy with the locket and calls it a solid bluff that he didn't think the Starfleet officer had in her. As L'ak rises off of the floor, the two notice with alarm that the Breen had accidentally stabbed himself in the upper left chest when he was flipped, leaving L'ak seriously wounded. As Booker and Moll arrive, Burnham retrieves medical supplies from the nearby shelves, promising Moll that she hadn't intended to harm L'ak like that. Burnham warns Moll that they have to get L'ak to Discovery for treatment, but Moll orders Burnham and Booker to get away from them. The computer warns that there's only five minutes until impact and Booker tells Burnham that they're on a collision course for the aperture and their shuttle's gone. With the Enterprise itself being their only way out left, Burnham heads for the bridge with Booker to find a solution as Moll desperately tends to L'ak.

In a flashback, L'ak is restrained as a Breen guard beats up Moll against his objections as Moll defiantly fights back. L'ak orders Primarch Ruhn to speak Moll's language as she deserves to understand what he's saying. Ruhn is furious that his nephew, who carries the genetic code of the Yod-Thot, "they who rule," consorts with lesser beings while the rest of the Yod-Thot campaigns for the throne of the Breen Imperium and L'ak does so while in his solid state, something that Ruhn considers to be an insult to L'ak's heritage. Removing his mask to reveal his fluid form, Ruhn states that this form is the true Breen "face" rather than their solid state which Ruhn believes they've evolved past. L'ak argues that both faces are a part of them and to deny half of their nature is to deny it all, but Ruhn only believes that using that form just makes L'ak unfocused, inflexible and weak.


The "true face" of Primarch Ruhn

Declaring that there's only one path to redemption, Ruhn gives his nephew a rifle to kill Moll with who simply tells L'ak that it was fun while it lasted. After a moment's hesitation, L'ak shoots the two Breen guards instead and turns his gun on Ruhn who declares an eirgah on his nephew, something that L'ak had anticipated. Unable to kill the man who had raised him, L'ak non-fatally shoot Ruhn and orders Moll to go as alarms go off. L'ak tells Moll to go to the Emerald Chain territory and to find that colony, not caring about his own safety as long as he knows that she's safe. L'ak is unwilling to go with her as an eirgah is impossible to lift and the Breen will thus never stop hunting for him. Moll is undeterred, stating that the Breen will be hunting them both, nothing is impossible, and they can do it together, asking L'ak to let them be happy together. L'ak finally agrees, telling Moll that he loves her more than anything.

In the present, L'ak reiterates to Moll that he loves her more than anything. Moll refuses to give up, promising that she'll figure this out and they've made it through worse before. L'ak believes that it's hopeless as they're trapped, but Moll insists that nothing's impossible for them and she'll figure this out.

On the bridge with four minutes left to impact, Burnham takes the captain's seat and instructs Booker to activate the tractor beam. On Discovery, Naya notices the tractor beam coming from the aperture which Gallo notes is too large to have come from the shuttle. The beam is oscillating a repeating pattern of three-four-one-four. Quickly realizing the meaning, Rayner calls in Stamets, Adira and Tilly who have almost got a way to hold the aperture open for communications, but Rayner informs Stamets that there's been a change of plans: Rayner needs to hold it open and make it big enough for a starship to pass through. Rayner explains to his confused crew that Discovery is not going it, but their captain is coming out.

Act Four[]

Rayner had recognized Burnham's signal with the tractor beam from the Ballad of Krul, but Tilly warns him that it would take a massive amount of power, more power than the entire ship could safely produce. Rayner calls to the bridge crew for ideas, promising whoever figures it out a cask of Kellerun citrus mash. The bridge crew begin bouncing around ideas, but they're all shot down as being unfeasible under the circumstances or too risky to attempt. Finally, Rhys suggests switching out the photon torpedo payloads and replacing them with antimatter which Stamets realizes would add fuel to the antimatter reactions that are already happening in the aperture which could generate the energy that Discovery needs. Adira calculates that if the aperture is hit precisely with a sequential, hexagonal pattern, the aperture should stay open for approximately sixty seconds. However, once it collapses again, the aperture will be gone for good. After staring at the captain's chair for a moment, Rayner promises everyone the citrus mash, ordering Rhys to coordinate with engineering and munitions to change out the payloads and be prepared to fire on his mark, Asha to get them into position and Gallo to lower the ship's shields so that Discovery can catch the tractor beam. They will only get one shot at this so the crew needs to make it count.

On the Enterprise, with only sixty seconds left to impact, just in case they don't make it, Burnham admits that Booker was one of the surprises in the time cycles and it was nice and they were happy. Outside, Discovery fires on the aperture, opening it completely, and the tractor beam latches onto the ship. Rayner orders the crew to pull them out and Burnham orders Booker to route whatever power isn't keeping them breathing or held down to the tractor beam. Booker asks if she wants to hit it, but stating that it feels weird, Burnham decides to go with "let's just fly." Discovery pulls the ship from the wormhole, leaving the crew stunned to see that it's the ISS Enterprise. Despite a rough ride, the Enterprise is pulled free just in time with the aperture collapsing and then exploding behind the ship. As everyone celebrates, the Enterprise suddenly prepares to launch a Terran warp pod with two life signs and sickbay equipment. Burnham and Booker realize that it's Moll and L'ak with a life support system, but they aren't able to stop the launch. Before the Discovery can lock onto the pod with a tractor beam, it escapes to warp carrying Moll and L'ak. Rayner promises to track the pod's warp signature and puts out an alert for it while Burnham reassures Booker that they'll find the pair.

Walking with Burnham, Rayner muses on how her signal matched part of the Ballad of Krul where Krul calls his war brother for rescue with a repeating drumbeat. Rayner is impressed, but Burnham acknowledges that it was a long shot. Although it could've failed and Burnham could be riding her own coffin into the sun right now, she isn't and Rayner agrees to take the win. Burnham asks how it felt being back in the captain's chair, but Rayner simply tells her that the captain's chair is for the captain alone. Burnham is ordering Owosekun and Detmer to fly the Enterprise back to Federation Headquarters storage, a great assignment that they both deserve.

Culber joins Tilly in the mess hall where she's recovering from the stressful day. Culber tells Tilly with all of the experiences that he's had – dying, coming back to life, and his recent hosting of Jinaal where Culber both was and wasn't present – he loves the quest that they're on to find what created all humanoid life, but his husband hates the unknown and Culber is unsure of how to talk to him about it when they've always been able to find the answers together. Tilly suggests that the intellectual and the spiritual aren't so far apart as they both reach for understanding and bring us to new places, and Culber should talk to Stamets about it.

In her quarters, Burnham studies an image of the Progenitor before Booker arrives. Burnham tells him that Starfleet has ever ship in this sector on high alert, but there's been no sigh of Moll and L'ak yet. However, they have the next clue and a small vial that came with it which holds the key to finding out where the next clue is located. Stamets is planning to do a full chemical analysis on the vial's contents to figure out their next stop. The two realize that this quest always seems to come with a lesson, the itronoks and necropolis planet testing to see if they valued lifeforms different than their own and the importance of cultural context respectively. Booker guesses that the scientist who left the crew on the Enterprise must've known the history of that ship, and Burnham reveals that the scientist was Terran, the Enterprise's junior science officer Dr. Carmen Cho. Burnham had Zora look up the names on the ship's crew manifest and most of them were in Federation databases, meaning that at least most of the Enterprise crew did survive and find new lives in the prime universe. Cho even joined Starfleet and became a branch Admiral, but her records vanished after that, echoing what Jinaal had said about the group erasing themselves from every database that they could. Burnham concludes that the crew of the Enterprise had hope and they had found freedom despite impossible odds, and she guesses that Cho had returned to the ship to hide the clue to teach whoever found it not to give up hope and that they can shape their own futures too. The two watch as the Enterprise leaves and briefly reminisce about how happy they used to be together before returning to work. Burnham doesn't know what's going to happen once they finally put the map together, but she can't wait to find out.

Memorable quotes[]

"I don't need to know how the cake is boiled, commander."
"Kellerun boil their cakes?"
"Don't knock it till you try it."

- Rayner, to Stamets, and Adira

"Oh, that was my brother's station on the USS Enterprise."
"Ever meet the Terran version?"
"No. But I'm sure that he was just as ruthless as the rest, though."

- Burnham and Booker, after Burnham sees the Enterprise science station

""Light of hope shines through even the darkest of nights." It's the crew's story. Terran High Chancellor was killed for trying to make reforms and this crew escaped. They mutinied. Brought refugees with them who were trying to flee their universe for ours. It says... a Kelpien slave, turned rebel leader, helped them."
"Action Saru in any universe."
"Well, it's gotta be why the escape pods and shuttles are gone. They fled the Enterprise once it got stuck here."
"I hope they made it."
"Yeah. Me, too."

- Booker and Burnham

"Yeah, two out of the ten blasts will be real. I've had worse odds."

- Booker

"Could've just said hello."
"You could've just left us the hell alone."
"Lower your phasers. Let's talk."
"You were the ones who came in firing."
"Just at the holo emitter."
"Yeah, or your aim's shit."

- Burnham, Moll, L'ak, and Booker

"Hey, the Federation can help you!"
"Can they erase an erigah?"
"No? So, stop pretending like you can do a damn thing!"

- Burnham, Mol, and L'ak

"Erigah? You're Breen? An erigah is a Breen blood bounty. They're after you, aren't they? That's why you're here. You hope you can use whatever's at the end of that clue trail to get them to release it."
"Moll. What did you do?"

- Burnham and Booker, discovering the truth

"You must be the one who wanted to talk to me. Hi. I'm Moll. I like latinum and long walks on the beach. What do you need?"
"Be silent, courier. We've had reports your dilithium's been cut with impurities. I need to inspect."
"Not my deliveries, green eye."
"Inspection was not a request."

- Moll and L'ak, meeting for the very first time

"I've met Bolians with meaner left hooks."

- Moll, while fighting L'ak

"You know, I've learned a thing or two about Breen insignia. This one means royalty. Rumor has it the Primarch's nephew doesn't fit the mold around here, has been demoted to shuttle bay duty. That's you, isn't it? L'ak. Must be so humiliating. What if I said... I could help you get payback?"
"You are cutting the dilithium."
"Look, I'm good at what I do. Great, actually. Having a partner on the inside would make it all go a lot smoother."
"I should kill you for the suggestion."
"But you didn't, which means you're intrigued. I know what it's like to be on the outside, alone. Makes you hungry. Also... (holds up her removed shackles) makes you smart. Like I said... smart."
"You sure you wanna make a deal? You don't know anything about me."
"Not much. Not yet, anyway."

Moll, enticing L'ak into a deal

"Sure you don't want to check my ship again? Make sure that I didn't smuggle any tribbles on board?"
"I wish I could. My uncle is coming down for inspection, and I need to shine my boots."
"Is that a euphemism?"
"No. He just really likes our boots to be shiny."
"Oh, sounds like an asshole."
(L'ak laughs)
"You have no idea."

- Moll and L'ak

"Exhausting, huh? Staring each other down."
"What can I say? I don't trust you."
"Do you even know what you're after? What all these clues lead to?"
""Power beyond all comprehension" is what the diary said. I don't care, as long as it can end a erigah."
"If the Breen got ahold of that power, it would be catastrophic. You have to know that."
"We'll be long gone by then."
"Well, not unless they take it from you and kill you anyway."

- Burnham, trying to get L'ak to see reason

"Do you really trust them more than you trust us? L'ak, the Federation is all about second chances. Book and I are both living proof of that."
"If we did come in, if we served our time – if – would we serve it together?"
"I can advocate for that."
"Because I would rather die than be separated from her."
"I get that. I do."

- Burnham, getting L'ak to consider his options

"Antique piece of shit!"

- Moll

"You never even told me what's so damn important. What do you need so much latinum for anyway?"
"There's a colony in the Gamma Quadrant. A place where I could just wake up every day and... be. No more courier runs, no more watching my back. Peace, freedom. You know?"
"No. I don't."
"Why do you stay here? You hate it."
"Where would I go?"
"Come with me. Just you and me."

- L'ak and Moll, discussing their plans for the future

"You carry the genetic code of the Yod-Thot. They who rule. Yet while we campaign for the throne of the Imperium, you consort with lesser beings. And you do so with that face. An insult to your heritage. This... is Breen."
"Then why can we change? Both faces are part of us. If we deny half our nature, we deny it all."
"We have evolved past the need for that form. Holding it makes you unfocused, inflexible and weak. There is only one path to redemption."
"Was fun while it lasted, green eye."

- A furious Primarch Ruhn catching L'ak and Moll

"I know."

- Ruhn, putting the bounty on L'ak

"Citrus mash all around then."

- Rayner, rewarding the entire bridge crew for their quick thinking

"Book, in case we don't make it, I need to say something."
"Come on, don't go there."
"No. You were one of the surprises in the time cycles. That's all. It was nice. And we were happy."

- Burnham, making a confession to Booker

"We're locked on. Route whatever power isn't keeping us breathing or held down to that tractor beam."
"Hit it?"
"Ah... feels weird. Let's just fly."

- Burnham and Booker, flying the ISS Enterprise

"Is that the ISS Enterprise?"

- Paul Stamets

"The Ballad of Krul. Section Four, verse seven. Krul calls his war brother for rescue with a repeating drumbeat. Three taps. Then four, one, four. I was impressed."
"It was a long shot. No question. Great work today."

- Rayner and Burnham, discussing her makeshift distress call

"These experiences I've had. I mean, I died. I came back to life. And then with Jinaal, I was there. But I wasn't. It was weird. That's as close to a scientific term as I can get for it. And now we're on this quest... to find the thing that... created us. I mean, it's all so big. And impossible to grasp and... part of me kind of loves that. I think. As terrifying as it is. But Paul..."
"Oh, hates the unknown."
"And we've always been able to find answers together. I don't know how to talk to him about this."
"Change is hard. But it can also be freeing."
"I know, it's just... I'm not sure what all of this will look like."
"Well, it sounds like he's not the only one who hates the unknown. You should talk to somebody about that. They're not really that far apart. The intellectual and the spiritual. Both reach for understanding. Both bring us to new places."
"But I didn't say spiritual."
"Yeah, Hugh, you kinda did."

- Culber, seeking Tilly's advice

"You ever wonder why there's always a lesson with these clues? Like with the itronok. Do you value lifeforms different than your own?"
"And with the necropolis planet. Importance of cultural context."
"See, the scientist who left that on Enterprise must've known the history of that ship."
"Ha. She did. She was Terran. The ship's junior science officer, Dr. Cho. So, I had Zora look up the crew names on the manifest. Guess what? Most of them ended up in Federation databases."
"So they did make it."
"Started new lives in our universe."
"Yeah. Dr. Cho even ended up joining Starfleet. She became a branch admiral. After that, her records just... vanish."
"Ah, well, Jinaal did say he erased all evidence of their group."
"Mm-hm, well nearly all. They had hope. And they found freedom. Despite impossible odds. Maybe that's why Dr. Cho went back and left the clue on that ship. Maybe that's our lesson here. That like them... maybe we can shape our own futures too."

- Burnham and Booker, discussing the hunt and the Enterprise crew's fate

"So... what do you think happens when we finally put this thing together?"
"I don't know. But I can't wait to find out."

- Booker and Burnham

Background information[]


  • By 1 January 2024, this episode's title had been revealed by the Writers Guild of America West. [1](X) [2]
  • The title was officially confirmed on 20 March 2024. [3]
  • ErrorFlow
    In Argentina, the cable operator Flow, which offers the Paramount+ subscription, published the episode on 11 April 2024, mistakenly placing it as the third episode of the season instead of "Jinaal".

Cast and characters[]

  • Doug Jones (Saru) does not appear in this episode and is not credited in the opening credits.

Story and script[]

  • The plaque seen on the Enterprise wall reads "The new High Chancellor presented hope and justice as if they were natural to our world. His words, "the light of hope shines through even the darkest of nights" became our rallying cry. He spoke of reform and changed many of us. But some saw this as weakness. They killed him, and we sought help from an unlikely ally: a Kelpien slave turned rebel leader. He spoke of visitors from another world... A near perfect mirror that casts our darkness into light. With his aid we secured the Enterprise, but he stayed behind to continue his work. We bear scars from our escape. But our hope remains... May it carry us into a shining, peaceful and just future." [4]
  • The ending contains a title card reading "In Loving Memory of Our Friend, Allan "Red" Marceta."
  • According to co-writer Carlos Cisco, several options were considered for how to utilize the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Enterprise set: "We were given access the sets so we could pitch ideas that could take place on those sets, whether it is the Enterprise or not. There were a few pitches, like one with an old science vessel from the 23rd century stuck inside a planet of liquid mercury. And one pitch was it was a Mirror Universe ship sort of trapped like a ship in a bottle, which became the pocket of dimensional space. We even considered fluidic space, trying to bring in one more little reference [laughs]. So once it was settled to do the Mirror ship, the opportunity to define what happened to the ISS Enterprise after the events of "Mirror, Mirror" was really cool." [5]


  • Before flying the Enterprise, Booker suggests saying "hit it", something that Burnham finds to be too weird. This is the catchphrase of Christopher Pike which he uses in both Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
  • This episode establishes that the Terran Empire survived into the early 24th century before Cardassian-Klingon Alliance defeated them, sometime prior to the events of DS9: "Crossover".
  • The ISS Enterprise is shown not to have a redesign or refit like its prime universe counterpart the USS Enterprise and is the only known ship of the Imperial Starfleet to attempt to crossover into the prime universe.


  • The Enterprise sets from Strange New Worlds were used to film the scenes on board the ISS Enterprise.


Links and references[]



Guest starring[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]


This article or section is incompleteThis page is marked as lacking essential detail, and needs attention. Information regarding expansion requirements may be found on the article's talk page. Feel free to edit this page to assist with this expansion.

Ballad of Krul; Beta Quadrant; Booker, Cleveland; Breen Imperium; Callor V; Cho, Carmen; Chalnoth; DSC-44; Enterprise, ISS; Enterprise, USS; erigah; Gamma Quadrant; Jinaal Bix; Kellerun; Lorentzian coefficient; path; Starship-class; road; Tartarus Base; wormhole

Federation Watch List - Moll[]

alias; Andorian; Andorian language; armed robbery; assault; counterfeiting; dossier; extortion; false imprisonment; Ferengi; grand larceny; Hornish; hostage taking; intellectual property; loitering; manslaughter; Ni'Var; Orion; Orion language; petty theft; piracy; ransoming; Risian; sabotage; transport of contraband lifeforms; transport of contraband materials; transporter trace; trespassing; Trill; United Earth

ISS Enterprise dedication plaque[]

External link[]

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Star Trek: Discovery
Season 5
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