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

Captain Burnham and the USS Discovery are sent to retrieve a mysterious 800-year-old Romulan vessel; until the artifact hidden inside is stolen, leading to an epic chase. Meanwhile, Saru is offered the position of a lifetime, and Tilly's efforts to help pull her into a tangled web of secrecy.



On board a ship going at warp, Captain Michael Burnham is hanging on to the outside of the hull, excited by the turn of events. Saru contacts her on his status as she reassures her before telling him to focus on his team while she goes inside the ship to get back something that was taken from a vault. As she uses her phaser to cut her way in, the ship's warp bubble starts to fail, prompting Saru to try and rescue her. Burnham grumbles that this wasn't what she expected when the night started.

Four hours earlier...
Millennium Celebration

The Millennium Celebration at Fed HQ

Burnham is gathered with Adira Tal, Paul Stamets, Hugh Culber, and Sylvia Tilly as Adira is finishing a joke. A waitress approaches them with Tonic 2161 and explains that this is to celebrate a millennium of the Federation being active, give or take a few decades due to The Burn. Stamets, however, is in a sour mood: Culber reveals that they're shuttering the spore drive program thanks to Ruon Tarka's theft of the prototype device during the Dark Matter Anomaly crisis and its destruction along with Booker's ship. Adira tries to reassure their parents that it just means Discovery is now one-of-a-kind, but Stamets would rather be someone other than "Scientific Luminary". Burnham is rattled by the mention of Booker, but she shakes it off and reassures Stamets that he'll do something just as great. Thankfully, her awkwardness is stopped when she is asked to meet with some of the dignitaries around.

As she leaves, Stamets regrets mentioning Cleveland Booker as Tilly laments that Burnham hadn't talked to Booker in months. Culber thinks she's hiding something the way she's acting. Tilly goes to add something, but she spots someone in the distance and awkwardly apologizes as she leaves. With that, the Stamets-Culber family decide to go mingle. Elsewhere, Saru is dancing with T'Rina, who realizes that he has something on his mind. Saru reveals that President Laira Rillak has asked him to be Federation ambassador for a coalition of smaller planets, not wanting to make the mistakes of the past as the Federation continues to heal and expand. T'Rina agrees as the planets are close to the Tholian Republic and the Breen Imperium. However, this means that Saru needs to resign his commission from Starfleet, but deep down, he's worried about his relationship with T'Rina. Elsewhere, Burnham is confronted by Admiral Vance, who gives her an infinity-shaped device. "You're done shaking hands."

Kovich, Vance, and Burnham in the Infinity Room

The Infinity Room

Burnham and Vance are taken to a blank white room, the Infinity Room, where Kovich is waiting for them. Vance explains that an 800-year old science vessel has been discovered at the edge of the Beta Quadrant and they need Discovery to drop there and secure it. Burnham realizes that she's being deliberately told very little, forcing Kovich to reveal that this is a Red Directive, stopping Burnham's questioning and agree to assemble her crew.

On the Discovery, the crew is gathered and the ship is prepared for departure. Burnham arrives with Kovich and gives everyone the details of what's going on before jumping to the location of a Romulan science ship.

At the ship, two figures teleport inside and race towards their destination, blowing open the door to a science lab. After stealing a few items, they open their helmets, though Moll hates the smell. She sees that the USS Antares is on their way with L'ak pointing out that another ship (the Discovery) is coming. He suggests they have about eight minutes before they arrive and Moll discovers the source of the backup power's path. To L'ak's shock, the new ship arrived super quickly. He suggests bailing, but Moll convinces him to keep going.

At Discovery, as they bring up the Romulan ship, Joann Owosekun notes there were two lifesigns that suddenly disappeared. Linus hopes that they just left, but Keyla Detmer thinks they actually cloaked. Burnham orders Gen Rhys and Owosekun with her, phasers on stun, but Kovich surprises them by saying that might not be enough. Burnham thinks that's excessive, but Kovich makes it quite clear that he wants the mission successful by any means necessary.

Act One[]

On the Romulan ship, Burnham, Rhys and Owosekun take the science lab with Rhys noting that their targets were there recently. Following their path, they reach another room, where they discover the corpse of a dead Romulan. Rhys finds a vault that had its cloaking device taken out. They open the vault to find it empty. Burnham realizes that Romulan tech takes a long time to decrypt, Rhys realizing they're still here. They quickly turn and open fire, forcing Moll and L'ak to drop their cloaks. They imprison Rhys and Owosekun in a strange bubble, forcing Burnham to chase them herself.

A firefight ensues, forcing Burnham to change her phaser pistol to a phaser rifle to force them to stop and try to talk. However, they approach Burnham with a strange device. L'ak tosses it at her, causing a small black hole to eat up the hull and launch Burnham out into space, saved by her suit changed to a spacesuit. She contacts Saru to tell him to rescue Rhys and Owosekun, but when she spots the thieves' ship, she flies off to it. As she activates the suit's magnetic clamps, the ship comes into view and warps out.

In the present, Burnham attempts to use her phaser to disable their engines when the ship is hit with a tractor beam. It's the Antares, captained by Rayner, who notes Burnham started without him. However, the ship's warp bubble is dropping rapidly; Rayner refuses to let the ship go and the Antares can't just stop it as it doesn't have pathway drive tech. Saru has Detmer bring Discovery in to save Burnham, but the ship is getting rattled and Kovich isn't happy. However, Burnham and Rayner are arguing as Burnham wants him to drop the tractor or they're all dead and Rayner refuses. Ultimately, he relents and drops the lock. As they drop out of warp, the other ship tosses out a number of probes before warping away as Burnham floats back towards Discovery, teleported back on the bridge and she drops into the captain's chair exhausted. Rayner contacts Burnham, letting her know that stunt now has 20 different warp signatures to try and figure out which one's the real one. Kovich sarcastically asks if she has a bright idea and she does.

As the Discovery spore jumps to another planet, Burnham arrives in the cargo bay, where she meets a familiar face – Booker.

Act Two[]

As Burnham and Book walk down the hallway, they discuss why they were there, though Burnham congratulates Book on the work he's done for the refugees of the DMA and he wants to make sure he does his best to make up for what happened.

At the security briefing, Rayner reveals Moll and L'ak's identities to them. The item they stole was a Romulan puzzle box that no one knows what's inside and Kovich refuses to reveal. When Kovich asks Book for his help, he easily picks out the right warp trail, leading to Q'mau or "Fred". Vance orders Burnham and Rayner to make their way to Q'mau, though it's quite easy to see that the idea of working with Burnham is not a thrilling one for Rayner. As they leave, Burnham tells Saru that the secrecy of this mission is so strange that even Vance is out of the loop. Saru decides the best thing to do is to ask someone outside of Discovery's chain of command, which Burnham understands. She also tells him that she'll miss him if he takes the ambassadorial position. He understands, but there's still so much to consider. For now, Fred.

Elsewhere, a very obviously drunk-on-Andorian champagne Tilly is rambling to her male companion about various subjects as she arrives in her room, confusing the poor man. Whatever plans he had are stopped when she decides to send him out with a promise of more talking. As she plans to just sit back and nurse her hangover, Burnham calls asking for her help, but she suggests she says no. Tilly's in.

Q'mau settlement

The Q'mau settlement

Down on the planet, Burnham and Book teleport down, causing Book to reminisce about their times as couriers. Rayner drops in soon after and teasingly needles them as he notices that they're having trouble. Elsewhere in the trading outpost, Moll and L'ak make their way to a home which uses a scanner to confirm their identities before they go in. Stripped of their weapons, they meet with Fred, a Soong-type android. They offer their various items, ending with the puzzle box, which surprises Fred. With ease, he solves the puzzle box and reveals its contents: a journal. He flips through it quickly, but stops and focuses on a set of pages with a mysterious design on it. He offers three bars of latinum, but Moll and L'ak refuse, realizing that he reacted to the pages. They want higher. He refuses, and also refuses to return the items, demanding they leave.

Instead, a fight breaks out. In the process, Fred is able to get a phaser pistol working and shoots Moll, prompting an enraged L'ak into blasting Fred. Moll is alright and finishes off the android. Meanwhile, Burnham, Booker and Rayner reach Fred's home to find the place in a shambles. After finding Fred's body, Burnham suggests they stick together as Book knows where things are but Rayner quickly runs out, suggesting splitting up. After requesting Saru beams up Fred's body, Booker and Burnham realize their next move: the sand runners.

In medbay, Stamets and Culber take notice of Fred and marvel at his engineering. Even his memory drive is made in honor of Altan Soong. However, the components are so old, it'll take time to get everything just to try and get it out, more or less trying to download his memory. However, Stamets is a packrat and rushes off to get what he needs.

On the planet, Rayner catches sight of Moll and L'ak and lets Burnham and Booker know. They arrive quickly, prompting Rayner to ask how they got there so fast. However, as they board their own Sand runner, Rayner races off ahead, infuriating Burnham before she and Booker give chase.

Act Three[]

In Tilly's room, Tilly is busy hacking into the Starfleet database when two security officers race in, demanding she stop. However, Vance enters, relieving the two and taking over. Vance realizes Burnham asked her to do this and Tilly responds that she didn't, but they do need to know what's so incredible about an eight hundred year old Romulan ship. Vance agrees and the two prepare to finish the job. They reveal a hologram of the dead Romulan, Vellek, revealing he found something very dangerous, the damaged message mentioning cryptic clues and that everything he wrote was in a journal and that whatever it was must not be placed in the wrong hands.

Back on the planet, Rayner, Booker and Burnham try to chase Moll and L'ak before they reach their ship. Realizing they were getting close, Rayner races ahead, but they are too late as their ship takes off and begins firing on them. Booker realizes they're planning on heading into the tunnels, which annoys Burnham as this was the first time he mentioned such a thing. They figure Discovery and the Antares can meet up and block them off. She asks Owosekun for scans, but she's already certain they know which one they're going to take as it has a charge set up. Saru says that Zora estimates the chances of an avalanche at 30%, which Rhys warns would destroy the outpost. Burnham wants to be teleported over to it so she can disarm it, but Rayner tells her it'll disintegrate her before she can even pull up her holograms. He orders the Antares to lock on and fire, but Burnham doesn't want this to happen as they are on a non-Federation planet on a secret mission.

The Antares fires and destroys the tunnel entrance, forcing the ship to pull up. Rayner cheers before Burnham tells him that they're arming photon torpedoes, confusing Rayner in surprise. The ship triggers an avalanche, forcing the three to turn back and race away. Zora contacts Burnham and lets her know how fast and how large the avalanche is; there's no way to save the outpost's people by transporting them in time. Trying to figure out plans, Adria suggests throwing Discovery down to block it. Stamets says it’s not enough, but the Antares is suggested to help out. They would have to arrive at the same time, but it could work. However, Antares refuses as Rayner's ordering them to stay the course. Burnham forces Rayner to consider the people rather than the couriers, forcing him to give Burnham control.

Act Four[]

As Burnham, Booker and Rayner race back to the city, Discovery and Antares arrive in the atmosphere. As they do, they discover two civilians in the way. They can't get a transporter lock with all the dust, so Burnham uses their exact coordinates to pick them up before she passes them. Raising shields, the two ships dive into the ground, blocking the avalanche with their hull and shields. The outpost is saved and the citizens cheer their victory. However, Moll and L'ak escape, infuriating Rayner as he teleports back to his ship. Alone, Burnham and Booker talk and they realize their time apart has changed them, suggesting they may not be an item anymore. However, Tilly contacts her and reveals that what she has learned is crazy.

Discovery returns to spacedock, mooring itself once arriving. Watching outside a window, T'Rina is joined by Saru, the former having learned what happened. Saru admits to T'Rina that the incident made him realize his mortality and his relationships. As much as Discovery is his home and family, T'Rina is that and so much more; he wants to accept the offer and to be with her. T'Rina wants to codify their relationship, which Saru realizes that she's asking him to marry her, which he accepts.

Arriving at medbay, an exhausted Burnham meets up with Stamets and Culber and wants to know what they found. It turns out they have had a good look at the journal. Burnham realizes one of the pages shows twin moons in the Vileen system. She knows something's up and decides to confront Kovich.

Jean-Luc Picard, 3191

Kovich explains the origins of Discovery's Red Directive

On a ravaged world, Burnham confronts Kovich, demanding to be brought into the know. He refuses, stating that the information is classified and has been for hundreds of years, that it's bigger than her. He reveals that he's planning to relieve her for his own specialized team. However, Burnham convinces him that doing so means that team is going to be hopping twin moon planets for hundreds of years. Chuckling, he agrees and reveals he knew Tilly was hacking into the database and was glad Vance failed to stop her. The planet is revealed to be a hologram and he begins to reveal the backstory of what's going on: Vellek was a Romulan scientist that was part of a group that included Captain Jean-Luc Picard that discovered a message from a race of ancient aliens known as the Progenitors, who seeded life in the galaxy. Vellek had discovered the machine that allowed this to happen and Moll and L'ak are on their way to get it.

Tossing her the infinity-shaped device, he tells Burnham that the greatest treasure in the universe is out there and what is she waiting for? She replies "Let's fly."

Memorable quotes[]

"Never a dull moment!"
"Captain, are you all right?"
"Surprisingly, I'm not dead yet! Focus on our team, I'll try to take out their engines."

- Burnham, making contact with Saru atop of L'ak and Moll's vessel while it is at warp

"It's a new world, Paul, and you will find new purpose. We all will."

- Burnham, to Stamets

"An 800-year-old science vessel was just found at the edge of the Beta Quadrant. Dr. Kovich needs Discovery to jump there immediately and secure it."
"What's on board?"
"Something vital to the security of the Federation."
"That doesn't answer my question."
"I'm aware."
"Sir, I cannot…"
"Captain, this is a Red Directive."

- Vance, briefing Burnham with Kovich

"That cherry that they just dropped on our shit sundae left us with twenty warp signatures all charting different courses!"

- Rayner, after L'ak and Moll escape

"Shut up, champagne! Why did they wait till all the after-parties to give that to us? They should have been passing it out to the delegates before they left, you know? Just a little diplomacy. Is it warm in here?"

- Tilly

"In my youth, I struggled often with… love. How to embrace those who were destined to be taken from me in the cullings. Until I met you, I did not understand the degree to which that fear had constrained me."

- Saru, to T'Rina

"If I may, I do believe it would be only logical, given this development, for us to codify our mutual commitment in a more official capacity."
"T'Rina, are you asking me to marry you?"
"I believe that is the language some cultures use for it."

- T'Rina, proposing to Saru

Background information[]


Story and script[]


  • This episode is the first to introduce a new Star Trek intro animation featuring the Discovery jumping onto the screen. [7]
  • The science lab aboard the Romulan scout ship is a redress of the Discovery mess hall set.


  • Although referenced being at the Millennium Celebration, President Laira Rillak does not appear in the episode.


Links and references[]



Guest starring[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]

  • Louis Paquette as stunt double for Elias Toufexis
  • Unknown stunt performers as
    • stunt double for David Ajala
    • stunt double for J. Adam Brown
    • stunt double for Eve Harlow
    • stunt double for Sonequa Martin-Green
    • stunt double for Callum Keith Rennie


24th century; 26th century; ambassador; Antares, USS; avalanche; Beta Quadrant; Booker's ship; Breen Imperium; cocktail; dignitary; driving; Federation database; Federation Headquarters; gravitational well; graveyard; holodeck; Infinity Room; jumja stick; Lurian; Lyrek; Milky Way Galaxy; Millennium Celebration; mind meld; pathway drive; peace; probe; Progenitors; Q'mau; Red Directive; resignation; Rigel V; Romulan; sand runner; Scaptar; sector; Security Protocol Six Alpha; Simulation Week; Soong, Altan; spice market; spore drive; Starfleet; tan zhekran; Tellarite; term of endearment; Tholian Republic; Tonic 2161; tribble; United Federation of Planets; vault; Vileen system; Vintar IV; warp bubble

Star chart references[]

15 Sagittae; 31 Aquilae; 39 Serpentis; 53 Aquarii; 58 Ophiuchi; 99 Herculis; Aaamazzara (Therbia, Epsilon Serpentis); Alshain; Antos (Kappa Delphini); Arbazan; Argus; Ascella (Zeta Sagittarii); Baham (Theta Pegasi); Balancar; Balosnee; Berengaria; Cebelrai (Beta Ophiuchi); Deep Space 3; Deep Space 5; Delta; Delta Aquilae; Delta Sculptoris; Deneb El Okab (Zeta Aquilae); Dopteria (Kappa Coronae Borealis); Eta Coronae Borealis; Eta Serpentis; Ferenginar; Fesarius; Gamma Coronae Australis; Gamma Coronae Borealis; Gamma Ophiuchi; Gamma Serpentis; Gemma (Alpha Coronae Borealis); Hornish; Hupyria (Tau Coronae Borealis); Izar (Epsilon Boötis); Kappa Ophiuchi; Kaus Borealis (Lambda Sagittarii); Kholfa; Kohlan; Lambda Coronae Borealis; Lappa; Lytasia; Ludugia (Rho Coronae Borealis); Neural (Zeta Boötis); Nusakan (Beta Coronae Borealis); Omega Sagitta (Madena, Altec, Straleb); Omega Sagittarii; Prexnak; Rasalhague (Alpha Ophiuchi); Rhaandar (Alpha Indi); Rho Capricorni; Rotanev (Beta Delphini); Rymus; Sabik (Eta Ophiuchi); Sarin (Delta Herculis); Sauria (Psi Serpentis); Sepia; Sigma Coronae Borealis; Sigma Serpentis; Tarahong; Tau Piscis Australis; Thalos; Uncharted System 1702; Unukalhai (Alpha Serpentis); Upsilon Aquarii; Zaran (Mu Capricorni); Xi Ophiuchi; Zeta Microscopii; Zeta Serpentis

External links[]

Previous episode:
"Coming Home"
Star Trek: Discovery
Season 5
Next episode:
"Under the Twin Moons"