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

On Saru's last mission as Captain Burnham's Number One, the team ventures to a seemingly abandoned planet to hunt for what might be the greatest treasure in the galaxy.



As the USS Discovery undergoes repairs in drydock following the avalanche on Q'mau, Captain Michael Burnham reviews a hologram of the Federation's first record of the Progenitors.

"Captain's personal log, stardate 866274.3. For millennia, philosophers and scientists have wrestled with the same big questions. What is our purpose? Why are we here? What does it all mean? I always thought I knew. The mission. That's my purpose. That's why I'm here. That was always enough. But, lately, it's not, and I don't know why. We're on a search for one of the greatest powers ever known. The very thing that created us. I can't help but wonder once we find it, once I understand it, is that where I'll find the answers? Is that how things make sense again?"

Saru enters and notes he'd been reviewing the same Progenitor hologram himself. The radiative properties of the sands of Q’mau have prolonged repairs and the delay has further added to Moll and L'ak's head start in the race for the Progenitor technology. Saru reports repairs are nearly finished, Discovery will be ready to jump within the hour. Burnham is relieved and jokes that further delays would have made her wonder if Saru was stalling his last day on board. She has yet to find anyone succeed Saru, who is pleased that to have one last mission to say goodbye. He then informs Burnham of one more official matter; one from the President's office…

In President Laira Rillak's office, Burnham and Captain Rayner are questioned about their actions on Q’mau. Burnham in particular is asked whether she agreed with Rayner's decision to open fire. Though she deflects that an opinion would not make for relevant testimony, Rillak presses her on the political fallout now being reaped and the messy cleanup that the Starfleet Corps of Engineers is currently engaged in. Burnham defends Rayner as not being responsible for the avalanche, but Rillak believes he inspired those who did; namely, Moll and L'ak. Asked again, Burnham is defiantly silent. Asked for an answer by Fleet Admiral Vance, Rayner then gives her all the go-ahead she needs by reminding her that she had no difficulty voicing her opinion in the field. Burnham answers – No. She did not agree with Rayner and believed his decision posed an unjustifiable risk. A defensive Rayner says he informed her that they had a Red Directive and that his strategy was effective in blocking the enemy's escape.

The president counters that things have changed in peacetime. Rayner launches into a tirade, chiding the council that war is a perpetual possibility, citing Breen infighting and Orion rearmament. Over Burnham's objections at making his own situation worse, Rayner openly complains that he could be out there right now completing the mission rather than dealing with politics. He directly criticizes the Federation council for wasting time while the Progenitor technology could be falling into enemy hands. His rant is finally stopped by Vance, and President Rillak calls for a break. When Rayner asks Burnham if she disagrees with him, she only says that she believes the world is bigger than their own corner of it before she is called away.

In the corridor, Vance thanks Burnham for her candor in council and notes that Rayner loves the Federation and Starfleet. Burnham believes Rayner is a gifted officer, though one with much to learn. Saru informs her over commlink that Discovery is ready to jump. Vance then asks about the addition to Burnham's crew manifest. With professional detachment, Burnham only says that he will be briefed and squared away before departure. Vance finds that this new addition will be helpful – he knows Moll and L'ak's tactics, and Burnham agrees, adding that working with him will not be an issue.

The "new addition" is in fact Cleveland Booker. While he settles into his new quarters, Burnham enters controlling a holographic toy mouse, which Grudge barely acknowledges. Booker thinks the constant change prevents Grudge from getting settled. Burnham believes Booker has impressed Vance, but Booker is happy enough to not be back in prison and claims he simply goes where they tell him. She briefs him on the diary, which they think reveals Doctor Vellek hid the Progenitor technology, or at least a clue to it, on Lyrek, Discovery's next destination. While Stamets will review a schematic from the diary, Burnham wants Booker to review Moll and L'ak's interactions with the dealer Fred. Meanwhile, Dr. Culber will be working on a psych profile of the two.

When Burnham mentions that this will be Saru's last mission, Booker finds it humorous that "action Saru" will now be chained to a desk. Burnham is surprised at the nickname. She then leaves Booker with the toy holo-mouse and contacts Saru on the bridge. Ordering black alert, Discovery jumps away.

Act One[]


The Twin Moons of Lyrek

Discovery arrives at Lyrek. Sylvia Tilly, serving as science specialist on loan from Starfleet Academy, reveals the diary's reference of "under the shadow of twin moons," corresponds to a specific location on the planet where a double solar eclipse occurs over a large structure. Adira Tal reports the uninhabited, class M planet was used as a burial ground by the now-extinct Promellians. Saru wonders why Vellek would hide something in an ancient Promellian necropolis that was last explored over a century before he was even born. Tilly reports no sign of L'ak or Moll, yet she cannot be sure without full knowledge of their cloaking abilities. She promises they will keep their eyes peeled even though she finds that disgusting if she thinks about it. Burnham, happy to have Tilly back, asks her to thank the cadets for letting them "borrow" her.

Saru, realizing their beam down coordinates are far from the targeted area, prompts Tilly to explain that the structure is covered by a large electromagnetic field, preventing a direct transport. Burnham orders security on standby, she wants no one else to beam down unless necessary, as to not further disturb a sacred space. Ready to beam down, Burnham turns to Saru and nostalgically notes "last dance." Saru replies that he will follow her lead, and the two officers materialize on Lyrek.

After taking in the oddly serene and quiet environment, Saru performs a scan for L'ak and Moll but finds no lifeforms in the vicinity. As they leave towards pyramid, a giddy Burnham exclaims, "power of creation, here we come!"

Back aboard Discovery, Dr. Culber welcomes Booker aboard with a hug. Culber reports that Moll and L'ak use hybridized technology from several species and are only violent when required to be, though they don't shy away from violence either. Moll is Human, but he has no idea what species L'ak is, or even if those are their real names or where they are from. Zora then displays footage of Moll and L'ak's escape. Booker realizes that despite having two starships on their tail, Moll and L'ak took the time to perform a stylish aileron roll because they are having fun, free, and are in love. Both realize that Moll and L'ak are thrill-seekers, and Booker plans to bait them by giving them a cliff and seeing if they will jump.

Meanwhile on Lyrek, Saru and Burnham make their way through the jungle. Burnham informs Saru of his "action Saru" nickname, of which he is already aware, informing Burnham that it was originated by Jett Reno after his encounter with Zareh, not Booker as Burnham assumed. He then reminisces about when Burnham first came aboard Discovery as an imprisoned and disgraced mutineer. Admitting that, while at the time, he thought she was the wrong choice for the job, she made the most out of the opportunity, and he was and is deeply impressed by her accomplishments. Burnham recognizes that Saru had always seen something in her and she now sees something in him, the bravest soul she has ever known. Burnham complains how it will be difficult to find a new first officer when Saru is gone. Saru offers some advice: he tells Burnham that she is a "force" and would benefit from someone similar, and suggests Booker because he stands his ground.

The conversation is interrupted when Burnham notices skeletal remains of what the two speculate were grave robbers, though the decomposition is too far along for whoever the beings were to have been killed by Moll and L'ak anytime recently. Saru then discovers a giant stone statue of a hand and the two captains materialize their phasers before proceeding.

Aboard Discovery, Adira stares at Tilly and explains that they is happy to have her back, even if only temporarily. Tilly is happy to be back but admits that she feels her place is at Starfleet Academy, although her cadets have not been rising to challenges in the field. They are able to complete tasks, yet are not grasping the meaning behind their missions. Adira reassures her that while tasks are concrete, meaning is less so. They adds that Tilly's fresh perspective will be good for them. Tilly inquires further and Adira admits their thoughts drift back to Gray. While they still loves Gray, they admits enjoying being on their own for the first time and is unsure how to feel about that. An alarm then notifies them of a spike in the magnetic field on the planet below.

As Saru and Burnham come within five hundred meters of their target, they come across a sculpture of a large stone head with four eyes. Tilly relays the information about the spike and asks if Burnham sees anything weird. Burnham replies "no," just as the statue's eyes open to dispense four aerial drones, causing her to quip, "changed my mind" as she and Saru run for cover.

Act Two[]

Tilly and Adira fail an attempt to recalibrate the transporter around the electromagnetic field so they can beam Saru and Burnham out of danger. Nor can the captains safely make it back to the drop zone where they were initially beamed in, and they are too close to the drones for Discovery to safely destroy them from orbit. Without the luxury of time to wait for a security team, the situation begins to look desperate. Things only get worse as one of the drones self-detonates in order to damage their cover. The one drone destroyed does not mean they now have less to worry about though, as the statue simply sends out a replacement. After some confusion on Tilly's part as to whether or not someone lost a foot, Burnham relays the urgent need to find a way to shut the security system's power source down.

Tilly attempts to identify the power source Lyrek's defenses run on. After eliminating the possibility of several guesses including an ion reactor, deuterium, a battery and cloaked antimatter, an urgent transmission from Federation Headquarters comes through. It's Captain Rayner, who appears via hologram, despite Tilly not answering the transmission. He explains that he has been monitoring secure comms with his experience from thirty years in Starfleet, including seven Red Directives. He instructs them that this is not a science problem, but a people problem, and they have to think like Promellians from two thousand years ago rather than 32nd century scientists. Tilly has Zora consult the Federation database to learn that the Promellians utilized Lang-cycle fusion on their ships, but there is no evidence of it on the planet's surface. Rayner encourages them to question what technology the Promellians had available to bring to the planet, or better yet, what was already there. At Rayner's instruction, Zara searches for other power sources the Promellians used on their ships or cities. She goes down the list of gravity waves, gamma ray bursts and electromagnetic waves. All present quickly realize the electromagnetic waves correspond to the electromagnetic field observed on Lyrek, and that must be the power source.

Solving the question of the power source may prove too little, too late. All four drones detonate on Saru and Burnham's cover. Making use of the short time they have before the drones replenish, they retreat to cover behind a stone hand statue. Tilly relays her findings, but Saru finds them to not be very useful as they cannot shut down the electromagnetic field of an entire planet. They can, however, shut down the defenses' internal control mechanism, which Burnham realizes must be in the statue's head. She plans to demolish it, but Saru stops her, warning that it could cause a chain reaction and destroy the entire defensive system along with whatever they came to find and killing them in the process. Instead, he suggests disconnecting the system from its power source. Burnham argues that there's not enough time to scan and locate the necessary component, especially with the drones now back. Saru comes up with a more expedient plan; using an electromagnetic pulse, which should disrupt the 1000-year-old system. Burnham is unsure and asks Tilly's opinion. She agrees it is the safer option and suggests setting the power packs from their phasers to emergency discharge as close as possible to the control mechanism. Burnham intends to draw the drones' fire, but Saru insists on going instead, since his reflexes and speed are far superior to a Human's. Burnham begs to be the one to do it, and expecting Saru to die, argues that T'Rina will be heartbroken. Saru argues she would want him to perform his duties as expected and Burnham relents, taking Saru's phaser along with hers.

Saru makes his way through the forest at impressive speed. Initially, all four drones pursue, but one breaks off and heads back. Though he is struck by a minor blast in the shoulder, Saru manages to dodge several phaser blasts thereafter before taking cover behind a large rock. Simultaneously, Burnham makes it to the head statue and sets one phaser inside. The lone drone reaches her location and opens fire, but she is able to destroy it with her remaining phaser before placing it inside as well and running for cover. Saru shoots down the remaining three with his quills. Just as replacement drones reach both of the now-defenseless officer's locations, the electromagnetic pulse goes off as planned, and the defenses shut down. Tilly and Adira celebrate and notice Captain Rayner, his work done, has ended his transmission.

A distraught Burnham calls out for Saru and embraces him when she finds her first officer alive and only slightly harmed. Overjoyed that "action Saru" has lived up to his nickname, she exclaims, "damn!" Burnham, incredulous that Saru's idea worked, thanks him for it. It is now clear to Saru why Dr. Vellek chose a Promellian necropolis for a hiding place – it is exceedingly well-defended. The two laugh with relief before rematerializing phasers and continuing their search.

Act Three[]

All the while, Stamets has been working on his search for the schematic in the diary. Zara is not much help, finding 2,453,972 possible pattern matches in Federation databases. Book and Culber enter engineering, with Book holding a special piece of equipment. Book wants to access a special subspace comms channel he calls "dark comms" to reach L'ak and Moll. He guesses they are "sui" – couriers who take the most dangerous jobs because they love the action and the latinum that comes with them. Stamets asks why they would talk to Book, since the two are on the run from Starfleet. Book insists they will need to unload the diary and hopes to talk them down before they reach Lyrek, if they haven't already. Failing that, at least the Discovery crew would learn more about the two. Book insists they have to try and Stamets orders nonessential personnel to clear engineering. Stamet's hides Discovery's location for the call and Book is sure L'ak and Moll will do the same for their ship. Book begins to transmit to "strivers" who are "itching to sell," claiming he has a "boon" for those that are. His message goes through, and, after a moment, L'ak and Moll appear as holograms, offering two minutes of their attention.

Promellian necropolis

The Promellian necropolis

Back on Lyrek, Burnham and Saru have reached the target area, but are puzzled to find nothing of note. Noticing phaser burns on the ruins only raises more questions. Why would L'ak and Moll shoot the ruins if they had found the valuable technology there? Saru finds no readings to indicate there was ever anything of great power at their location. Burnham can only conclude that the inscription in the stone was the next clue to the Progenitor's technology, explaining why L'ak and Moll destroyed it. Informed by Tilly that the defense field will be powering up again in 3-4 minutes, Saru suddenly sees iridescent bacteria glowing in reaction to the radiation from the phaser blast. The bacteria trace the words that were there. Recalibrating her scan for the UV spectrum, Burnham is able to begin translating what she recognizes as a Romulan revlav: "Hello wanderer. Many worlds have you traveled. Opaline waters call to you. Thoughts are shared." The revlav seems to point to Betazed, but as Saru and Burnham both point out, there are only four verses, and a revlav has five. They need to find the fifth verse but are running out of time – Tilly reminds them the field is coming back up fast.

Book identifies himself to L'ak and Moll as a former courier like them, but they refuse to sell the diary now that they know what it leads to. Book wants things for himself and only knows that they are running, not to where or from what. He warns them that the diary is dangerous and only the Federation can keep it safe. They disbelieve he was ever courier, but when he introduces himself as "Cleveland Booker," they recognize the name and terminate communications. Their comm signal had been routed through an unstable wormhole and is untraceable. Book retires to his quarters, somewhat shaken.


A Romulan revlav

Burnham and Saru recall what they know of 24th century Romulans. During the time of the Empire, Romulan thinkers and scientists traveled with armed guards, which the defense statues correlate to. Their homes also frequently had false front doors, from which, they guess that the real entrance may be behind the stone... or rather under it. Saru is able to move the stone and Burnham indeed finds something underneath. Scanning the fifth verse, Burnham realizes that Moll and L'ak don't have this part of the clue and are incorrectly on their way to Betazed. Burnham further finds another device hidden in the stone's base. Though they can not let Moll and L'ak find what they have, destroying a sacred site that they have already disturbed enough is out of the question. The two decide to simply re-cover the stone to leave it as they found it and manage to do so just as the security defenses reengage. Both are beamed out just an instant before a phaser blast hits their location, destroying some of the stone anyways.

Act Four[]

Back in the science lab, Burnham thanks Tilly, who informs her of Rayner's help. There is no sign of Moll an L'ak's ship. Burnham orders that Linus prepare a team of DOTs to repair the stone monument on the planet and sensors be placed in orbit to watch for Moll and L'ak's return. Stamets joins them and observes that Saru should see a doctor, and he replies he will shortly. Noticing the piece she found on Lyrek is similar to the schematic, Burnham asks Zora to create a programmable matter version of it. The piece from Lyrek fits perfectly with the replicated one, explaining why Stamets could not find a pattern match previously, as the item was incomplete. Burnham theorizes that the device is a map broken into five pieces, and four remain.

Saru says the first four verses they found suggested Betazed, but the last verse reads: "A world like no other, where two souls entwine, joined as one." Considering the details from the other verses, Adira realizes the next planet is Trill.

In his quarters, Book reviews security footage of Moll and L'ak. He has Zora age Moll down to seven years and three months. The image of a young Moll stirs recognition in Booker. As Culber enters and notes this, Book asks him if he believes in fate. He knows her as "Malline," recognizing her from her birthmark, though he had only seen her in holo images before. She is the daughter of his mentor, Cleveland Booker IV, which makes her the closest thing to family Booker has left.

Discovery returns to Federation Headquarters, and Burnham visits Saru as he packs his things. He tells Burnham he believes he is ready for his wedding, having passed through vahar'ai from a life of fear to one of hope unafraid because Burnham was with him. He thanks her, but Burnham says the honor of serving with him was all hers. Saru advises her to continue forward and thinks that the process of giving himself over to the journey has great meaning in itself. He then advises Burnham to not touch the swampkelp while it is in bloom. Burnham knows, and thanks Saru for giving her a second chance as the two embrace.

Later, Burnham finds Vance brushing up on his geometry in order to help Charlie. She asks about the inquiry, and Vance reveals he has asked Rayner to take an early retirement. Burnham defends Rayner as someone who always did what he thought was right for the Federation and Vance agrees, but this is a changed world and Rayner won't see it.

USS Discovery seen in Rayner's Quarters

Rayner, Burnham and Discovery

Burnham finds Rayner admiring Discovery on an observation deck while contemplating his career and coerced retirement. She informs him that while they have not found the Progenitors' technology, they know where to head next. Burnham is impressed with his accomplishments and reviews his awards. But Rayner says they are only trinkets, it's what you do in the chair that matters. As he always tells his crew to think like their enemies, he regrets not doing the same himself and failing to foresee the consequences on Q'mau. Burnham believes he should have told this to the inquiry. She wants him to be her new Number One because the mission and the federation matter to him, and she already has Vance's support. Recalling how she herself was given a second chance, this is Rayner's. He warns her that he is not a "yes man," but that is what Burnham is counting on.

With that, Rayner zips up his uniform, ready to head to duty.

Memorable quotes[]

"We are in a different time now, captain. Things have changed. We're not at war."
"The Breen are in-fighting over a new leader. The Orions are regrouping. War is always a possibility and you're living in a candy-colored holo-fantasy if you're thinking otherwise."
"You are not helping yourself."
"Oh, come on. This is politics, pure and simple."

- Rillak, Rayner, and Burnham, during the hearing

"I see Grudge is just as playful as ever."
"It's the constant change. Hard for her to settle, you know?"

- Burnham and Booker

"Power of creation, here we come!"

- Burnham

"Did you know you have a nickname? Action Saru."
"Ah, yes."
"Huh, you've heard it before?"
"Yeah, I find it quite humorous."

- Burnham and Saru

"I hate waiting and sounds like you could use my help."
"Captain Rayner?"
"I've been monitoring secure comms."
"But how…"
"30 years at Starfleet, that's how. This is your first Red Directive? I've been on seven and served point on four."

- Rayner, Tilly, and Adira

"Action Saru, damn!"

- Burnham, after she and Saru survive attacks from multiple drones

"I passed through vahar'ai from a life of fear to a life of hope. Right here in this room. What I remember most about that day was that you were here with me. You held my hand and I was not afraid. Thank you, Michael."
"It was an honor, Saru. Everything with you has been."

- Saru and Burnham

"I got a second chance once. This is yours. We leave for Trill at 0800. The offer stands till then."
"Burnham. I'm not a yes man."
"I'm counting on that."

- Burnham, offering Rayner the first officer position on Discovery

Background information[]


Story and script[]


  • The four-eyed defense statues in this episode bear little resemblance to the Promellians seen in "Booby Trap". It is unclear if this should be taken as abstract religious art, a variant Promellian ethnic group, or if the Promellians acquired the equipment from a different manufacturer.


  • Director Doug Aarniokoski confirmed there was a brief moment where he was inadvertently caught on camera in a shot on Lyrek. [4][5]


Links and references[]



Guest starring[]

Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]


Action Saru; Breen; grave; moon; Orion; Promellians; Romulan; Romulan Star Empire; Starfleet Corps of Engineers

External links[]

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