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Star Trek: Discovery — Red Angel Explained

The Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 finale explained the Red Angel & Red Signals, but we still have some questions...

star trek discovery 7 signals explained

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Spoilers ahead for all of  Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, especially the  Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 finale.

With the  Star Trek: Discovery   Season 2 finale, the series truly is sending Starfleet boldly, where no Trek series has ever gone before. But before this season came to its end, several mysteries featuring the word “red” had to be addressed.

If you’re still confused about both the Red Signals and the Red Angel, you’re probably not alone. Though “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2” did reveal a lot of what has been going on the entire season on Discovery, there are still some lingering questions.

read more: Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Finale Easter Eggs

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Here the six biggest questions about the Red Angel and the Red Signals on Star Trek: Discovery , answered. And, when a specific answer couldn’t be found in the show, some speculation made its way through the wormhole. Hit it!

1. Why did we know there were seven Red Signals?

In the season 2 opening episode, “Brother,” the entire reason why Captain Pike takes command of the USS Discovery is because he, personally, has been tasked by Starfleet Command with figuring out what the Red Signals mean. In that episode, Pike says this about the Red Signals:

“Over the past 24 hours, the Federation sensors picked up seven red bursts, spread out over more than 30 thousand lightyears. They appeared in perfect synchronization, just long enough for us to get a reading, and then, just as suddenly, disappeared…except for one.”

read more: Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Episode 13 Easter Eggs

In the season finale, “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2” we’ve learned that Michael Burnham herself set all seven red signals. The first five guided the USS Discovery to the following places: an interstellar asteroid, Terralysium, Kaminar, Boreth, and Xahea. The sixth signal helped guide Discovery through the wormhole into the future, and the seventh signal Burnham sent back through the wormhole to let Spock and Pike know the ship had made it.

Nearly all of this makes sense, but, it is a little confusing as to why all seven “appeared perfect synchronization” and then vanished. Because Burnham set them at different times, why did the signals appear at the same time?

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In theory, this question is answered because Pike says “in perfect synchronization,” meaning, that the signals appeared in space at the same time, relative to each other. But, because those places are so spread out, somehow the signals could appear “in the sky” relative to each other at the same time.

So, what’s the deal? Did Burnham send “preview signals” before sending the “real ones.” Or, did the relative distances between the signals conveniently make them appear synchronized?

Official answer: We know why Pike said there were seven signals. We don’t really know why the appeared all at the same time.

Speculative answer: Burnham didn’t mean for the signals to be “synchronized.” That was just a product of “the observer effect,” the idea that huge distances in space make certain things look like they are in existence in real-time. This is the same reason why some of the stars we “see” in the night sky are, in fact, already burnt out.

2. What are the Red Signals?

In “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2” we see Burnham’s time suit make several of the Red Signals, but we’re never really told what they are. However, “The Sound of Thunder” demonstrates that the Red Angel suit is capable of a giant electromagnetic pulse.

read more: Picard Star Trek Series — Everything We Know

This EM blast is what knocks out all the Ba’ul’s ability to destroy the Kelpiens. Based on what we’ve seen, in “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2,” we have to assume the other Red Signals were also EM pulses. But, maybe Burnham made the one on Kaminar more hardcore in its intensity.

Official answer: We don’t know.

Speculative answer: Maybe a series of electromagnetic pulses.

3. When was Michael Burnham’s mom the Red Angel?

In the episode titled “The Red Angel,” we were all shocked to find out that the Red Angel was not Michael Burnham, but instead, Michael Burnham’s mom, Gabriel Burnham.

However, this twist was further twisted in both parts of “Such Sweet Sorrow,” when it became clear that, yes, Michael Burnham is/was one of the Red Angels, and, seemingly the one we’ve been seeing the most throughout the season.

In the season finale, we see Michael Burnham become the Red Angel we’ve been glimpsing all season long, which really makes you wonder, when was her mom the Red Angel again?

read more: Star Trek’s 50 Best Episodes

In “Perpetual Infinity,” we learned Gabriel Burnham did 900+ plus jumps in the Red Angel time suit, which begs the question, which of those did we see? In reality, the answer is: not very many, at least not on-screen in real time. We know Gabriel Burnham moved the sphere into the path of Discovery, and we know she communicated with Spock, specifically way back in his childhood, and also, when she allowed him to mindmeld with her on a distant planet. But it appears, in terms of what we saw, that’s it.

Official answer: In the second season of Star Trek: Discovery , nearly all appearances of the Red Angel are actually Michael Burnham, and not Burnham’s mom except  when the Red Angel appears to Spock and to the people in the 21st century, who were rescued from World War III. That’s Burnham’s mom.

Speculative answer: In “Perpetual Infinity,” Gabriel Burnham implies she did a ton of other time jumps which resulted in slightly alternate timelines. So, it’s possible some of her jumps were “undone” by the events of the season finale.

4. When was Michael Burnham the Red Angel?

As “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2” revealed, Michael Burnham is the Red Angel we’ve seen the most. This, weirdly, was an early fan theory, that turned out to be correct. Burnham even visited herself on the asteroid in the very first episode. Presumably, this time jump was to “give her strength,” which is kind of like Harry Potter learning how to make his own Patronus from himself, but that’s fine.

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Official answer: Whenever the Red Signals were set, it was Burnham. The other times, it was her mom.

Speculative answer: This mystery seems buttoned-up!

5. Why did the probe travel back in time?

Remember that squid-probe from the future that attacked Pike and Tyler in “The Sound of Thunder?” Yeah, that hasn’t really been explained. Supposedly, that probe was aligned with Control from the future, and downloaded itself into Airiam’s cyberbrain in order to get the sphere data off of Discovery. But, when it was sent, exactly, remains a mystery.

read more: Star Trek: Discovery Confirms Cast Exits After Season 2

Speculative answer: Because the probe was modified in the far future, it’s a safe bet that we’ll see that happen in season 3, if only because Discovery has been sent 930 years into the future.

6. Why did the Enterprise suffer a system-wide failure?

The entire reason why Pike takes command of the Discovery is seemingly because the USS Enterprise has gone offline. But is that all there is to it?

Throughout the season, it’s casually implied that the holographic communication system on the Enterprise caused the ship to get screwed up, but it’s not made entirely clear. Further, it seems like Pike needed to be on the Discovery to accomplish the Red Signal mission, if only because Discovery has the Spore Drive and the Enterprise doesn’t.

So, did Michael Burnham set one, secret EMP pulse? Did she knock out the Enterprise because she knew Discovery needed Pike? Maybe?

Speculative answer: Maybe Burnham made Enterprise malfunction. But then again, it could have easily have been Control, too.

Star Trek: Discovery will return in Season 3. Read more about that here.

Ryan Britt  is the author of the book  Luke Skywalker Can’t Read and Other Geeky Truths  (Plume/Penguin Random House). You can find more of his work  here .

Ryan Britt

Ryan Britt is a longtime contributor to Den of Geek! He is also the author of three non-fiction books: the Star Trek pop history book PHASERS…

The Entire Star Trek: Discovery Timeline Explained

Captain Michael Burnham Reacting

For a series ostensibly about exploring the galaxy and meeting new lifeforms in the hopes of sharing knowledge and resources, there sure is a lot of time travel in "Star Trek." It's been present from the very beginning, as even Kirk and crew visited the past multiple times . Two of those adventures resulted in the iconic episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" and "Star Trek 4: The Adventure Home."

Modern "Star Trek" adventures have embraced this aspect of the universe, as time travel was also the direct cause of the Kelvin Timeline featured in the 2009 "Star Trek" film and its sequels. When the Romulan Nero traveled back in time and destroyed the USS Kelvin, killing James Kirk's father, he accidentally contributed to the creation of a new universe running parallel to the prime timeline. Ultimately, time travel has become every bit as important to "Star Trek" as exploration.

"Star Trek: Discovery" is no exception to this. Initially a prequel series set ten years before the original series, it soon became a sequel set further into the future than any other "Star Trek" installment. Time travel tends to muddy the narrative progression of a story, so we will be looking at where "Star Trek: Discovery" started to shed some light on where it ended up. Here is the entire "Star Trek: Discovery" timeline explained.

A visit to Talos

"Star Trek: Discovery" is set ten years before what is now referred to as "Star Trek: The Original Series." However, one episode of "The Original Series" actually occurs before "Discovery." In many ways, it is the beginning of the entire "Star Trek" franchise. While most viewers back in the late '60s probably remember it as the story told in the exciting two-parter "The Menagerie," which reuses the footage captured for the original "Star Trek" pilot called "The Cage."

We have to begin here because these events play a crucial role in "Star Trek: Discovery" Season 2. "The Cage" sees the Enterprise crew, led by Captain Christopher Pike, visiting Talos IV, encountering a strange alien race. These are the Talosians, telepaths who experience life by manipulating beings they keep in their menagerie. By forcing Captain Pike to endure multiple illusions of their creations, they hope to understand love, anger, fear, excitement, and other emotions they forfeited by choosing to further develop their mental abilities.

Years later, after Captain Pike temporarily assumes command of the USS Discovery, he is forced to revisit Talos IV to cure Spock of his current mental disorder. Not only is it a chance to save Spock's life, but it also allows Pike to seek out closure regarding his past experiences on the planet.

The Battle at the Binary Stars

"Star Trek: Discovery" officially begins with a huge two-part story called "The Vulcan Hello" and "The Battle at the Binary Stars." This is where we meet the star of the show, Commander Michael Burnham, the first officer of the USS Shenzhou. While most "Star Trek" shows tend to be ensemble pieces, "Discovery" belongs to Burnham and it is her arc that we follow.

This opening episode sees Starfleet encountering Klingons for the first time in about a century. An extremist group of Klingons led by the xenophobic T'Kuvma engaged in a devastating battle with the USS Shenzhou after an altercation with Burnham resulted in the death of one of their own. This opening battle becomes a war between the Federation and the Klingons, the effects of which are still being felt during "The Original Series" and the six original "Star Trek" movies .

Following this battle, Michael Burnham is stripped of her rank and sentenced to life in prison — which leads to the true beginning of the show.

Six months later

Following Michael's sentencing, the show jumps ahead six months. While being transferred to a new prison, there's an emergency and the Discovery arrives to save her. While on the ship she meets its captain, a dark and elusive man named Gabriel Lorca, and its crew. She also reunites with her old friend from the Shenzhou, Commander Saru. Healing their relationship following her mutiny is a major part of the first two seasons of "Star Trek: Discovery." 

Lorca believes that Michael's knowledge and experience could be of some use to them on the Discovery, so he invites her to unofficially join them as a specialist. The reasons behind Lorca's decision to go out of his way to save her, and why he wants her working with him on the Discovery, is another major element to the first season. His character comes off as a little strange right away, as Starfleet captains tend to be fairly approachable and diplomatic. However, Lorca is intimidating, conniving, and a little too adept at war to fit the typical captain archetype.

Taking Control

To correctly understand the timeline of "Star Trek: Discovery," we next need to dive into some events that are revealed during Season 2 but take place in Season 1. 

Section 31 is the secret Black Ops division of the United Federation of Planets . They operate in the shadows, carrying out missions the Federation doesn't want to be made public. They feature heavily in "Star Trek: Discovery" and its second season. Following the events of "The Battle at the Binary Stars," Section 31 starts using a threat assessment artificial intelligence called Control in the hopes of preventing wars.

The idea is the Federation would give Control information regarding potential threats, and Control would then provide suggestions on how to proceed. As often happens in science fiction when artificial intelligence is involved, things go haywire when Control decides it no longer needs human beings to implement its suggestions. Instead, it assumes "control" of human beings to enact its agenda. This leads to the massive time jump the USS Discovery would take into the future during the end of Season 2.

Into the Mirror Universe

The USS Discovery has an experimental new system called a spore drive. It allows the Discovery to travel along a microscopic network spread throughout the universe, effectively making instant travel possible. It's an incredibly complex system, one that Forbes notes was inspired by a real-life mycologist, which can be used to break the barriers between realities.

The idea is proposed to astromycologist Commander Paul Stamets by Captain Gabriel Lorca. Stamets is considering leaving Starfleet, but Lorca convinces him to stay on to try one final experiment to see if it truly is possible to visit alternate realities. The experiment works, and the entire crew of the USS Discovery is transported into the classic evil dimension of the "Star Trek" universe — the Mirror Universe .

In the "Star Trek" Mirror Universe the heroes are villains and the villains are heroes, and it is soon revealed that this is where Lorca is from. He arrived in the prime timeline, took over the original Gabriel Lorca's life, and orchestrated events to unite with Michael Burnham — who was his lover in the mirror universe — and use the spore drive to return to his universe and overthrow Emperor Georgiou.

While the time the crew spends in the mirror universe might seem brief, it turns out that nine months pass during that time. 

Nine months later

When Gabriel Lorca dies in the mirror universe, the crew of the USS Discovery returns to their native universe — but they've brought the emperor with them. 

One of Michael Burnham's defining character traits is parental issues. She lost her human parents at a very young age. She was then adopted by the Vulcan Sarek and his human wife, Amanda. They raised her on Vulcan with their son Spock, effectively making her Spock's human step-sister .

Although she tried to live like a Vulcan, her human emotions were far too powerful. As a result, when she joined Starfleet and was assigned to serve on the USS Shenzhou, she gravitated to its human captain Phillipa Georgiou, seeing her as a maternal figure. Tragically, Georgiou died in the Battle of the Binary Stars, and the guilt of her loss has tortured Burnham ever since. Upon arriving in the mirror universe and finding another Georgiou, she can't help but try and bring her back to the prime timeline, hoping to correct her biggest regret.

Back in the prime timeline, they discover that nine months have passed and the war has not been going well. Discovery is boarded by Sarek and Admiral Cornwell, who informs the recently-returned crew that the Klingons have almost won the war.

The mystery of the Red Angel

By the end of Season One, the Klingon War is over, and there is an uneasy peace between the two sides. However, the crew of the Discovery doesn't have long to reflect on these events, as they soon encounter the Enterprise and are boarded by Captain Christopher Pike. Pike has been directed to temporarily assume command of the Discovery to research red burst anomalies that have been popping up all over the galaxy.

The red bursts are caused by an entity referred to as the Red Angel. The identity of this entity and the reasons for its actions are complex but intimately related to Michael. It turns out that there are two Red Angels — one is Michael Burnham's mother, Gabrielle, and the other is Michael herself. The form of the angel is actually a suit capable of traveling through time developed by Michael's parents as a project for Section 31.

At some point, Gabrielle decides to use the suit to escape an attack from Klingons but winds up in the distant future. She sees that the AI system Control has taken over the galaxy, so she uses her suit to jump around in time in the hopes of preventing Control from evolving and spreading across the galaxy. Michael then uses the suit to send signals that appear as red bursts for the crew of the Discovery to follow, defeat Control, and travel to the future.

The all-knowing Sphere

Season 2 of "Star Trek: Discovery" is full of big, wild ideas that could serve as the basis for a film or an entire series. The first, of course, is the threat of Control. The second is the Red Angel. The third is a sentient, planet-sized lifeform called the Sphere.

This Sphere has spent hundreds of thousands of years exploring the galaxy, collecting information and experiences. It has existed for such a long time that it is now dying. With such a wealth of knowledge and experience, it doesn't want to be forgotten, so it transfers its memory to the Discovery's computers.

As wonderful a find as this is, it is also incredibly dangerous. When Airiam, a cybernetic member of the Discovery crew, is infected by a future version of Control, she is directed to transfer all the sphere data on artificial intelligence to the current form of Control. With that information, Control will be able to gain full sentience and take over the galaxy — just as seen in Spock's vision from the Red Angel.

Defeating Control

For any "Star Trek" fans upset that "Star Trek: Discovery"  takes place 10 years before "The Original Series" but the technology is significantly more advanced — or that Spock never mentioned having a human step-sister — their fears were partially quelled when the ship made the jump ahead almost one thousand years.

By the end of Season 2, Control was defeated, the mystery of the Red Angel was solved, and the need to get the sphere data to a safer time period arose. With the data merging to Discovery's computers, the decision was made not to try and delete the data but take it into the future. Using the Red Angel suit, Michael Burnham drags the USS Discovery into a time in a future not yet explored by the "Star Trek" franchise .

Once Discovery is gone, the Federation decides to clear the ship's existence from all Starfleet records and never speak of it, the crew, or its mission again. Thus, Michael Burnham is never mentioned, nor is the Discovery or its experimental spore drive. 

The future of Starfleet and the Federation

The jump to the future is successful, but Michael arrives there alone. Since she was towing the ship, not riding in it, the trip was different for her. Immediately upon arriving, she rams into a ship piloted by Cleveland Booker before being pulled in by a nearby planet's gravity, regaining control of the Red Angel suit only seconds before splattering on its surface.

At first, she is panicked that Discovery won't answer her call but is soon thrilled by the knowledge that there is life on this planet. She eventually meets Cleveland Booker and discovers that the Federation barely exists anymore. The reason for its diminished size and influence was something called the Burn. In the 31st century, nearly every warp core installed in Federation ships exploded, wiping out swaths of life and nearly destroying the Federation. Exactly what caused this "burn" is the central mystery of Season 3. 

One year later

In this new world, where dilithium is more precious than ever, Michael travels the galaxy, trading it for goods and services. She spends an entire year recording her experiences and searching for any sign of the Discovery. Finally, her search efforts pay off, and she is reunited with her crew. In a completely new headspace, Michael isn't sure about serving on the Discovery any longer. True, she earned back her respect and rank but is she is more interested in solving the mystery of the Burn and restoring the Federation rather than limiting herself to a single ship.

By the end of Season 3, the mystery surrounding the Burn is solved, the Federation is in the early stages of reconnecting with its lost members, and Michael joins the crew of the Discovery again. This time, however, she isn't a specialist or a first officer — she is the captain. 

Season 4 is still set in the 32nd century and Michael is now known as Captain Michael Burnham. Her arc mirrors the real-life arc of the show. She started as a first officer who lost everything and worked her way back to a command position, while "Star Trek: Discovery" began life as a prequel with a dubious connection to canon and became a sequel that takes the franchise to brand new heights.

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‘star trek’: understanding the ‘discovery’ red angel mystery.

In its season two premiere, 'Star Trek: Discovery' set up a mystery that brings new meaning to the universe at large.

By Mike Bloom

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'Star Trek: Discovery': Red Angel Mystery Explained

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Star Trek Discovery's Season 2 Illustrates A Classic Time Travel Paradox


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The second season of Star Trek: Discovery hinges on the mysteries of time travel . The crew pursues seven red burst signals through the stars, eventually finding they were sent by a time traveler they have named the Red Angel. Michael Burnham and the Discovery crew's relationship with time only grows more complex towards the end of the season, when they decide to send the ship nearly a thousand years into the future to prevent a self-aware AI, Control, from getting its hands on precious data from an ancient life form (the "Sphere"), and evolving to subjugate all intelligent life.

Science fiction's job is to pose questions about the universe, humanity, and evolving technology. Discovery does this in plenty of ways, and when it comes to time travel, it seeks to know: Can our future selves interfere with their own timelines? If they did, would we know it was happening? Are some things predetermined, bound to happen; and if they are, why? The overarching plot of Discovery' s second season explores these questions through a classic element of time-travel stories : the causal loop.

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A causal loop, also known as a bootstrap paradox, is a type of paradox in which a sequence of events begets itself, and as a result, its starting point is impossible to determine. In other words, a specific event occurs and sets off a chain of events. The end result of this chain is the event that caused the sequence to begin in the first place. The question, then, is where did the first event originate? What began the causal loop?

Time-travel stories in fiction are rife with this trope. One famous example occurs in the first Back to the Future film: Marty McFly plays "Johnny B. Goode" onstage while Chuck Berry, the song's original artist, listens over the phone, implying that this is the moment when he got the idea for the song. It then logically follows that Berry recorded the song, resulting in Marty hearing and learning it. Another, simpler example can be seen in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , when Harry sees the Patronus charm from across the lake — and then later, after using the time-turner, realizes that it was his own Patronus, and performs the spell to save his past self from the Dementors. As he remarks to Hermione later on, "I knew I could do it, because I'd already done it!"

This line can be applied to Michael's experience in Discovery as well. In "Such Sweet Sorrow (Part 1)," the season's penultimate episode, it is discovered that the bioneural signature of the Red Angel who sent the seven burst signals was Michael herself, not her mother, as was previously thought. This leads to the epiphany that there have been two Red Angels all along. Michael can see that her future self is trying to lead the crew of Discovery to something, she's not sure what — at least not yet. In the next episode, though, she is able to understand.

At this point in the season, the crew has found five of the seven signals: one on a lone asteroid where a derelict ship was stranded, one on the planet Terralysium, one on the Kelpians' homeworld of Kaminar, one on the planet Boreth where time crystals are kept, and most recently, on the planet Xahea. In the midst of battle against the rogue AI Control, Spock comes to the realization that following each signal gave Discovery something they would need for either the battle itself, or to create the Red Angel suit. The signal on Kaminar would lead to the Kelpians aiding them in battle, the signal on Terralysium indicated a place of refuge after sending Discovery into the future, the time crystal was needed to power the suit, etc. When her brother explains this epiphany, Michael realizes that they are in an open loop, and only she can close it by sending the signals now.

Just as Harry Potter knew he could perform the Patronus charm since he had seen it before, Michael only knows when and where to leave the signals because she herself had been following them. At the end of the season, she now knows who and what the crew will need to assemble the Red Angel suit, defend themselves against Control, and send Discovery through the wormhole. She makes her mad dash back through time, sending the five signals seen so far, to provide the crew of Discovery with everything they need to reach the point where they find themselves in the present. Once she returns, she uses the sixth signal as a guiding beacon for Discovery to follow her through the wormhole, and later on, sends the seventh as a signal to her brother that she is safe.

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The question that remains, however, is the one that lingers in all causal loops: what is the point of origin? In a world where the original recording of "Johnny B. Goode" was inspired by a cover performance of the original "Johnny B. Goode," who or what actually wrote the song? In Season 2's finale, Michael sends the signals so that she could see and follow them — and is only able to do so because she had already seen and followed them. So where did her knowledge of those signals truly originate?

As the causal loop paradigm states, the answer is impossible to know — just as it's impossible to determine what would have happened if Michael had not gone back to send the signals. Perhaps the actions of the Red Angel, and therefore the fate of Discovery, were predetermined: to boldly go where no man had gone before , and leap into the unknown future.

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Burnham sees Spock's vision

A map of the seven red bursts

The red bursts were a series of temporal anomalies first detected by Starfleet and the Klingons in 2257 . Unlike anything Starfleet had encountered before, their precise synchronization all but ruled out natural phenomena being the cause. ( DIS : " Brother ", " Saints of Imperfection ") Ultimately, all signals but one turned out to have been set by Michael Burnham , the second Red Angel , directing the USS Discovery to a wormhole that led her 930 years in the future to prevent Control from destroying all life in the universe. ( DIS : " Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2 ")

  • 2.1 Signal 01: Interstellar asteroid
  • 2.2 Signal 02: Terralysium
  • 2.3 Signal 03: Kaminar
  • 2.4 Essof IV
  • 2.5 Signal 04: Boreth
  • 2.6 Signal 05: Xahea
  • 2.7 Signal 06: Wormhole
  • 2.8 Signal 07: Final signal
  • 3 Summary of red bursts

Overview [ ]

The first appearance of the bursts occurred in perfect synchronization over a span of 24 hours in 2257. They were scattered across thirty thousand light years of the Milky Way Galaxy and would have required energy beyond Starfleet's understanding to produce. ( DIS : " Brother ")

The Klingons also detected the bursts, and had no explanation for them. High Chancellor L'Rell confirmed to Ambassador Sarek that they were not responsible. Kol-Sha interpreted them as an ill omen for L'Rell's rule: "seven drops of blood " ready to rain down on the Klingon people. ( DIS : " Brother ", " Point of Light ")

Spock had foreknowledge of the red bursts, which he first saw as a child. This prompted him to take a leave of absence from the USS Enterprise . Before his departure, he left encrypted data about the bursts in his final personal log entry, in case he did not return. ( DIS : " Brother ")

The investigation [ ]

The initial set of seven signals appearing in perfect synchronization were picked up by Federation sensors but disappeared again after just enough time to get a reading, with the exception of one signal.

The remaining signal eventually stabilized long enough to get a fix on its position, at which point the Enterprise , captained by Christopher Pike , set out to reach it. Before anything else could be done, the Enterprise experienced a massive systems failure – later blamed by Pike on the holo-communications system. ( DIS : " Brother ", " An Obol for Charon ")

As a result, Pike transferred his command over to the USS Discovery in order to continue the mission. ( DIS : " Brother ")

Shortly after the bursts were detected, the Vulcan High Command directed Sarek to work with Starfleet in assembling a Federation task force. He went on to serve on this task force. ( DIS : " Brother ", " Light and Shadows ")

Signal 01: Interstellar asteroid [ ]

USS Hiawatha wreckage

The Hiawatha on the asteroid's surface

At the source of the burst, Discovery found an interstellar asteroid which contained the crash landed remains of the USS Hiawatha . While attempting to investigate the signal, a landing party consisting of Pike, Burnham, Evan Connolly , and Nhan discovered survivors aboard the Hiawatha including Jett Reno . Despite an encounter with the red angel , the crew was unable to determine who or what generated the signal. ( DIS : " Brother ")

After Discovery departed the region, Starfleet sent a team to investigate the area further. They found evidence of tachyon radiation, suggesting time travel was involved. ( DIS : " Saints of Imperfection ")

Signal 02: Terralysium [ ]

Discovery orbiting Terralysium

Discovery in orbit of Terralysium

Sometime after the initial series of bursts, a second signal was detected. The transmission was too faint to determine the exact coordinates using regular means but was eventually pinpointed to a distant region of the Beta Quadrant . The signal was 51,450 light years away from the location of the ship. Using its spore drive , Discovery was able to reach the location of this new burst, the planet of Terralysium , immediately. Once there, Discovery found a previously unknown settlement of Humans . They were descendants of people saved from World War III by a mysterious entity .

Shortly after arrival, Discovery prevented radioactive debris from wiping out the planet's inhabitants. The burst was also visible from the planet's surface. ( DIS : " New Eden ")

Signal 03: Kaminar [ ]


Red burst in orbit of Kaminar

Discovery detected a third burst in orbit of Kaminar , the homeworld of the Kelpien species, which included first officer Commander Saru . As had been the case on Terralysium, the burst had been visible from the surface; Siranna , Saru's sister and priest of their village, referred to it as a "fiery sign". ( DIS : " The Sound of Thunder ")

DSC-05 headed towards time anomaly

Anomaly orbiting Kaminar

While in orbit above Kaminar measuring the residual radiation from the burst, Discovery discovered an anomaly . While investigating the anomaly in Shuttle 5 , Ash Tyler and Christopher Pike were attacked by an upgraded version of a probe they'd previously launched. ( DIS : " Light and Shadows ")

Essof IV [ ]

Essof IV

Discovery and NCIA-93 in orbit of Essof IV

Discovery and NCIA-93 journeyed to Essof IV to attempt to capture the Red Angel. A landing party consisting of Hugh Culber , Paul Stamets , Philippa Georgiou , Spock, and Michael Burnham beamed down to the surface. While the team worked on the surface, on board NCIA-93 , Ash Tyler and Leland worked to close the wormhole to prevent the Angel from leaving.

NCIA-93 firing graviton beam

NCIA-93 closing the micro-wormhole

After enacting their plan to attract the Red Angel, which involved exposing Burnham to the toxic atmosphere of the planet, they waited for the Angel to arrive. The plan worked, and a burst soon appeared in orbit of the planet. The Angel arrived on the surface and revived Burnham; after which she was captured and revealed to be Burnham's mother . ( DIS : " The Red Angel ")

Holding Gabrielle Burnham and the Red Angel suit on Essof IV caused gravitational distortions. Shortly after the Red Angel was captured, Leland's body was taken over by Control . While pretending to be Leland, Control ordered Georgiou and Tyler to steal the Sphere 's data archive from Discovery . Eventually, Georgiou realized Leland wasn't who he seemed, and she stopped the upload, leading to an altercation on the surface.

Once Burnham's mother was pulled back to the 33rd century , Burnham was beamed up to the Discovery along with Nhan , Paul Stamets and Philippa Georgiou . A barrage of photon torpedoes destroyed the base but "Leland" survived. ( DIS : " Perpetual Infinity ")

Signal 04: Boreth [ ]

L'Rell's battle cruiser and USS Discovery

Discovery and a D7-class vessel in orbit of Boreth

A burst, the fourth of seven, soon appeared over the Klingon planet of Boreth . Discovery used the spore drive to jump to the planet to investigate. While there, Pike went to the monastery to retrieve a time crystal . In the process, he was given a traumatic vision of his future. ( DIS : " Through the Valley of Shadows ")

Signal 05: Xahea [ ]

Discovery at Xahea

Discovery near Xahea

A fifth burst appeared when Captain Pike was unable to destroy Discovery and thus the Sphere 's data. The signal brought Discovery and Enterprise to Xahea , the homeworld of Her Serene Highness Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po . Ensign Tilly , who had previously and secretly met Queen Po, deduced that her friend's engineering genius, evidenced by her ability to recrystallize dilithium , might be the reason for the signal. Queen Po devised a method of charging the time crystal so it could power a new time travel suit. ( DIS : " Runaway ", " Such Sweet Sorrow ")

Signal 06: Wormhole [ ]

The sixth red signal appeared during the Battle near Xahea , the first to appear after Burnham realized she had set the previous signals, intended to guide the Discovery to 3188. Guided by the signal, Discovery successfully went through the wormhole. ( DIS : " Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2 ")

Signal 07: Final signal [ ]

Spock observes the seventh signal

The seventh signal displayed on the Enterprise 's viewscreen

After discovering that Spock would not be able to join the Discovery in their journey to the future due to damage to his shuttle and his unwillingness to risk further damage to Discovery , Burnham promised to send a final signal to confirm the crew's safe arrival in 3188. This manifested near Terralysium four months after the Battle near Xahea, detected by the Enterprise orbiting Earth. After sending the signal, the Red Angel suit self-destructed as per Burnham's orders. ( DIS : " Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2 ", " That Hope Is You, Part 1 ")

Summary of red bursts [ ]

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Published May 17, 2024

RECAP | Star Trek: Discovery 508 - 'Labyrinths'

Long will he reign!

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains story details and plot points for Star Trek: Discovery.

At the Eternal Gallery and Archive, Book takes on the personification of the Archivist in 'Labyrinths'

Previously, Paul Stamets reminds Sylvia Tilly that they must get to the Progenitors' power first and keep it safe , with their latest clue — a metallic card with a Betazoid text inscription of Labyrinths of the Mind on it — as the most important thing to the Federation at the moment. Focusing on the clue, Tilly and Adira seek out Jett Reno, due to her illustrious past, on how can they locate the very specific handwritten Betazoid manuscript. The engineer suggests they try the Eternal Gallery and Archive, which changes its location every 50 years or so. Its current location may be in the Badlands.

Unfortunately for Discovery , a Breen dreadnaught is heading their way with Primarch Ruhn demanding the fugitives Moll and L'ak handed over to them, lest the Federation risk a war with the Breen Imperium. Burnham deduces Ruhn cannot assume command without L'ak, who reveals he's the Scion — the direct descendant of the late Breen emperor. However, he succumbs to his injuries following a skirmish with Burnham and exacerbated by an overdose of tricordrazine.

In L'ak's final moments, his wife tearfully tells him this was not how their story was supposed to end. Moll strikes a desperate deal with L'ak's uncle telling him the Federation is hiding a power so strong they won't need the Scion to claim the throne. She can help him secure that power if they take her with them. Ruhn tells the Federation the price to avoid war with the Imperium is to hand over Moll. Nhan relays Dr. Vellek's belief that since the Progenitor technology could be used to create life, it might also be used to revive the dead, which is what Moll is truly after. Despite Book's pleas to not hand Moll over to the Breen, T'Rina states that there is much to be lost if the Federation keeps her.

In Episode 8 of Star Trek: Discovery , " Labyrinths ," when Captain Burnham is trapped within a "mindscape" designed to test her worthiness to retrieve the Progenitor's powerful technology, Book, Rayner, and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery must hold off the Breen long enough for her to escape.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Personnel

  • Moll (Malinne Ravel)
  • Primarch Ruhn
  • Michael Burnham
  • Sylvia Tilly
  • William Christopher
  • Hy'Rell
  • Cleveland "Book" Booker
  • Dr. Hugh Culber
  • Paul Stamets
  • Lorna Jemison

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Locations

  • Breen Dreadnaught
  • U.S.S. Discovery -A
  • The Badlands
  • The Eternal Gallery and Archive

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Event Log

Legions of Breen soldiers strike their truncheons against the deck of Primarch Ruhn's flagship, its cavernous shuttlebay buzzing with smaller vessels. On a platform far above, Ruhn presides over L'ak's funeral, his nephew's face masked by a helmet and his body covered by a sheet bearing the Breen Imperium's symbol. Moll steps forward, quietly promising L'ak's lifeless form that she will fix this. Ruhn silences his troops and states that, while the Scion defied them in life, they will nevertheless honor him in death. The Primarch orders Lieutenant Arisar to remove Moll from L'ak's side, but the Breen officer does so with a surprisingly compassionate demeanor.

Ruhn begins speaking in Moll's language as a courtesy to her, announcing that L'ak's murder will galvanize the other factions behind them. With the power promised to them by Moll — L'ak's joined — they will defeat all who stand against them. A soldier initiates a chant of "For the Scion!," but his subordinates' devotion to L'ak infuriates Ruhn. Sensing the discord, Moll cries out that she can bring their Scion back. Helmeted heads turn to her in unison as she details the potential for the Progenitors ' tech, citing Dr. Vellek's belief that it could "renew life." The courier raises her shackled hands, requesting that the Primarch set her free so that she may assist in the noble quest to restore the Scion. Under the scrutinous gaze of his troops, Ruhn acquiesces. However, once the cuffs are removed, the Primarch whispers in Moll's ear and threatens to eviscerate her if she ever speaks to his soldiers again. Her value to him does not extend beyond her ability to help him obtain the Progenitors' technology



The U.S.S. Discovery -A jumps to the Badlands, where a communications buoy beeps in close proximity to the largest plasma storm in the quadrant. On the Bridge, Captain Michael Burnham gathers with Commander Rayner, Lieutenant Sylvia Tilly, and her Bridge crew — Lieutenant Commanders Gen Rhys and Asha, as well as Lieutenants Linus, Christopher, Gallo, and Naya. Tilly describes the Badlands as kind of beautiful in a twisted sort of way. Gallo notes the presence of the communications beacon, and Naya reports that it is made from the same alloy as the Betazoid library card. As Tilly transmits a scan of the card to the beacon, Rayner mentions that Ruhn is almost assuredly on his way there.

The Archive hails Discovery , and a robed Efrosian figure* appears on the Bridge in holographic form. Hy'Rell, one of the sworn order who tend to the Eternal Gallery and Archive, prepares to deliver a cheery speech which describes the Archive as having the largest known collection of historical and cultural artifacts in the Alpha or Beta Quadrants. Aware that the Breen are in pursuit, Captain Burnham politely interrupts and explains they are in a hurry. Unperturbed, Hy'Rell sends coordinates and velocity adjustments, though she warns them to precisely follow her instructions — the Archive is not responsible for any damage, dismemberment, or death that may result from their failure to do so. The hologram of their guest vanishes, and Rayner wonders whether her comment was a joke.

The Discovery heads into the tumultuous, orange-hued plasma storm, its Bridge crew listening as Hy'Rell's voice recounts how the Archive has made its home in the Badlands for nearly a century and uses its uniquely treacherous environs to help protect its collection. As the storm rocks the ship, Burnham requests that the archivist permit them to focus on their journey. Sparks fly, radiation levels rise, and shields drop to 75 percent. Hy'Rell tells them to cut engines, so the ship coasts on its current momentum. Energy discharges strike Discovery and bridge stations flicker, all while radiation levels continue to rise and shields fall to 25 percent. The raucous turbulence ceases as the vessel reaches an oasis within the Badlands.

Discovery approaches the Archive, a gigantic-yet-elegant facility with tall spires and large domes awash in a blue glow. The ship took a beating, but Rayner relays that there are no significant injuries or damage. High levels of Cherenkov radiation — a byproduct of the plasma activity — will prevent them from cloaking, but the Breen won't be able to cloak either. Archivist Hy'Rell returns, overjoyed to see that the visitors made it all in one piece. She will have the Archive lower its shields, but has a small favor to ask. Scans show that there is a Kwejian aboard Discovery , and the Archive has an item from Kwejian in its possession. As it is one of the last remaining artifacts from the planet, they request for Cleveland "Book" Booker to accompany the captain and provide some context on the piece. Burnham promises to check with Book, then stands and hands the conn over to Rayner.

Soon after, Book responds to Burnham's call and enters the Ready Room. The captain conveys the Archive's appeal regarding the Kwejian artifact, and after a moment of disbelief passes, Book appears pleased to accept. He reflects back to when the Federation transferred Moll into Breen custody and apologizes for his outburst. Burnham stands by her tough decision to support the move, though she emphasizes that she does care about Book and what is important to him. Her statement is met with silence, so she leads him to the exit.

Hy'Rell escores Burnham and Book through the aisles at the Eternal Gallery and Archive in 'Labyrinths'

Countless stacks of books and artifacts extend to unimaginable heights — and depths — within the Archive's immense library as numerous archivists traverse its floors. Hy'Rell escorts Burnham and Book through the aisles, seemingly unconcerned about the looming Breen threat. The Breen are contributing members of the Archive, and the facility has extensive experience in dealing with cultures in active conflict with one another. The Archive is here to serve everyone, as long as everyone follows the rules. Those who disobey will be sent to the dungeon — well, it's actually more of an oubliette . Burnham and Book exchange quizzical looks before being guided to one of the Archive's many viewing rooms. 

A thick bound book — Labyrinths of the Mind , the manuscript the captain had requested — sits on a simple wooden table. The Archive's records indicate that Burnham is the first person to have come looking for the tome, which was written by Dr. Marina Derex of Betazed. An accomplished neuroscientist, Derex became an archivist later in life and lived out the remainder of her days in The Archive. Hy'Rell walks Book out in order to take him to another viewing room, leaving Burnham to comb through the text's paper pages. She finds a metal panel concealed within and touches her finger to its center. Light radiates across it…

Meanwhile, Book and Hy'Rell arrive in an identical space. The archivist is amused at the idea of a "Book" visiting her at the library for a change, turning to gesture toward a small case that sits on the room's table. Book wraps his hands around the box, smiling as he realizes it's made of Tuli wood. Emotion overwhelms him as he opens it, only to discover that it contains a cutting of a Kwejian World Root. Hy'Rell tells Book that the item was given to the Archive long ago, and they had recently moved it to a place of honor — it is part of every archivist's sacred duty to ensure that cultures that are lost are never forgotten. Book is free to take the World Root with him, as the Archive considers it his right as one of the last living Kwejian. He holds the box to his chest, agreeing to return someday to let them know what has become of it. Book and Hy'Rell proceed back to Burnham's room and are startled to find the captain lying unconscious on the floor…

In Burnham's mindscape of the Eternal Gallery and Archive, she discovers an Archive version of Book reading an ancient tome in 'Labyrinths'

Burnham opens her eyes, visibly confused and completely alone in her viewing room. In fact, the entire Archive is devoid of other lifeforms, and Discovery does not answer her hail. She calls out once again, though she is shocked when she hears someone making a shushing sound behind her. Burnham turns to find Book reading a book while wearing an archivist's robe. The captain gives the situation some thought and deduces that this isn't real. "Archivist Book" confirms that her consciousness has been transported into a mindscape, a virtual space created from what her neural activity indicates as the most important place in her life.** Archivist Book is a program fashioned by Dr. Derex, and his form was generated from Burnham's subconscious. The captain gazes around the library, recognizing that this is a test — as with the other clues, she must pass in order to get out. Burnham claims she's ready, so Archivist Book directs a desk lamp in her direction…

…just as Dr. Hugh Culber evaluates Captain Burnham's physical body in the real world. She's stable and still unconscious in her viewing room, where Commander Rayner stands with Book and Hy'Rell to inquire what happened. Culber notices what appears to be some sort of nucleonic emitter connected to Burnham's frontal lobe, and it seems to be running a program in her mind.** Transporting her to Discovery could disrupt the nucleonic beam, which might be fatal. Determined to go in after her, Book presses the metallic transmitter hidden in the manuscript, but there is no reaction. The doctor hypothesizes that, since each clue has had a challenge so far, they must assume that this is another test. Unwilling to sit around, Rayner springs into action, sending Hy'Rell for biographical data on Derex.

Within the captain's mind, Burnham wanders the library's enormous collection alongside Archivist Book, who relays that — while the clue is the objective — she needs to figure out the test on her own. Sadly, the manifestation is not allowed to give hints, though he might be able to answer some yes or no questions, depending on what the questions are. Growing frustrated, Michael mutters that her mind should've picked Tilly as her archivist. She perseveres, reasoning that Derex would've included a way to narrow the search. Burnham spots a cabinet which catalogs the library's collection by topic and is enthused by the "HISTORY" section.  

The scientists started the clue trail during the Dominion War , but Jinaal said they wanted it found during a time of peace. The only way to make progress like that happen is by learning from the past — "those who learn history aren't doomed to repeat it" — so Burnham intends to read The Archive's books on the Dominion War. Her archivist slows her momentum when he mentions that, should Burnham fail, the mindscape will shut down and her brain functions will cease. He's apologetic over the security precaution, but Burnham credits Jinaal's willingness to let an itronok devour her as a sign of the extent to which the scientists wished to protect the Progenitors' tech. This is her last chance to turn back and guarantee her own survival, yet the captain is resolute and wishes to continue.

Hy'Rell rushes into the Archive's actual viewing room, presenting Book with a device containing Dr. Derex's biographical data and a list of all materials she accessed during her residence. Book skims through the information, disheartened by the number of texts that Derex had opened while serving as an archivist. Hy'Rell has more bad news — the Breen Dreadnaught has arrived at the beacon. Rayner insists they refuse entry to the Breen, but the Archive does not want to be perceived as taking sides. The commander contacts Discovery and orders the ship to go to Red Alert.

Aboard the Breen dreadnaught, Moll stands besides Arisar as Ruhn stands on his platform in 'Labyrinths'

In the Breen Dreadnaught's command area, Moll listens as Primarch Ruhn converses with Hy'Rell in a ferocious manner. The Breen tracked Discovery 's jump signal here, and Ruhn takes a menacing tone with the archivist. Hy'Rell's patience is clearly waning, and she points to the many priceless Breen artifacts, which are kept in The Archive. The Primarch draws concerned looks from Moll and his subordinates when he threatens to turn the library and its collection into ash should his demands not be met. Hy'Rell denies the request and suspends Breen privileges, ending her commentary by saying, "May you gain knowledge elsewhere." The channel is closed, but the Breen have already tracked her signal.

Ruhn commands his crew to enter the plasma storm, but they are hesitant. Moll seizes the chance and remarks that L'ak once told her the Breen have great reverence for their culture and history — but Ruhn does not. In order to locate the Progenitors' tech, the item they seek must be combined with the other clues in Discovery 's possession. The Primarch is irritated that Moll has waited to tell him that they need to recover those clues from the Federation ship, and he reaches out to grab the human by the throat. She falls to her knees, and he cautions her not to test his patience again. Moll catches her breath, stealing a look at Lieutenant Arisar, who — despite his helmeted visage — is clearly bothered by Ruhn's outburst.

Trapped within the confines of her own mind, Captain Burnham believes the library's lights have gradually been getting dimmer. She's seated on the floor, surrounded by various books that she’s pulled from the shelves. Archivist Book is too busy reading to pay much attention to her observation, but the captain voices her inability to find any pertinent information in any texts concerning the Dominion War, Betazed history, Trill history, or the Mirror Universe. She turns to her archivist, and he confirms that she's going the wrong way. Burnham is annoyed that he didn't alert her to this earlier, though he reiterates that this is her mindscape — he can help her, but he cannot solve it for her.

In the Eternal Gallery and Archive version of her mindscape, Burnham looks across the table towards the Archivist Book in 'Labyrinths'

Burnham's focus returns to the task at hand, questioning why her subconscious chose the Archive for the test. It's the mission! The mission is here, and that is her priority. Speaking proactively, Archivist Book says that she may be onto something. He holds up Labyrinths of the Mind , causing the captain to assume that the library itself is a maze. She must find her way back to the reading room where this all started in order to retrieve the clue, right? There are mathematical methods for solving mazes, including Trémaux's algorithm. In need of a way to mark her path and eliminate routes, Burnham is pleased when the archivist manifests a sand-filled bucket. She's grateful for this "helpful" version of Book, though he states that Archivist Tilly would have been just as frustrating. Burnham sets to work, pouring sand to denote her path through the aisles.

As Dr. Culber continues to keep a close watch over the captain's body in the real-world Archive, Book and Rayner dive into Derex's reading list — A Comprehensive Guide to Talaxian Hairstyles , Hupyrian Folk Tales , Euclidean geometry — the neuroscientist seemed to have loved to learn new things. A discordant alarm suddenly rings out, and Hy'Rell scrambles back into the room. The Archive's conversation with the Breen did not go well, so the facility has raised its shields. Transport back to Discovery will be impossible for the time being. Book follows the archivist out to assist her in preparing defenses, while Rayner checks in with the Bridge. The Breen Dreadnaught has been detected about two minutes out, and the Federation ship will need to find a way to conceal itself. Unable to cloak, Discovery uses natural cover and retreats back into the plasma storm just before its Breen counterpart emerges into the oasis.

Additional lights fade out in the captain’s mindscape, where Burnham has narrowed down her search for the exit with the bucket of sand and her holopadd's mapping function. She endeavors to eliminate more routes, breathing a sigh of relief when she finally spies the door to her destination. Triumph transforms into tragedy upon entry, as she finds herself back in her subconscious' reading room rather than its reality-based counterpart. Archivist Book chastises her for pursuing an incorrect solution, proclaiming that the scientists who hid the clues did not ask for her. They wanted the technology in the right hands where it could be protected, but who is to say Burnham is one of the "good guys." The captain permits his words to sink in, then comes to the realization that the library's lights are going out. Speaking in an ominous tone, the archivist acknowledges that Burnham is running out of time.

In the physical realm, an urgent notification beeps from Dr. Culber's medical equipment. He informs Rayner that Burnham's cortisol levels are rising — whatever she's experiencing in her mind, she's stressed and scared. The viewing room quakes and its lights flicker. The Breen Dreadnaught has established an energy connection between itself and the Archive. A rotating green beam looks to be drilling into the Archive's shields. The first officer recognizes it as shield-tunneling technology designed to get troops inside and recalls Book to aid him in delaying the Breen forces.

Within the captain's mindscape, the library's shelves are bathed in deep shadow. As Book pages through the manuscript, Burnham paces in an effort to discern what the test may actually be. A glimpse of Labyrinths of the Mind sparks an idea — is she the test? It's her mind, and it picked a construct of Book as her guide because she had spoken to him earlier and was unable to fix things. She goes "more psychobabble" — must she admit that her job is everything or that not completing the mission will leave her uncertain of who she is — desperately grasping for any hint of how to get the clue. Archivist Book's stoic face initially remains unchanged, though he concedes that she has yet to deduce the answer. More lights shut down, but the captain pursues her train of thought. Burnham must go out every day and prove why she deserves her uniform and rank — that she can be counted on and won't fail again. Archivist Book considers her use of the word "again," evoking a harsh retort from the captain and prompting her to opt to find her own way out.

As Discovery hides within the plasma storms, Commander Paul Stamets collaborates with Commander Jett Reno and Ensign Adira Tal in Engineering. How can they disrupt shield-tunneling technology they've never encountered before from a species they know almost nothing about? Adira analyzes a schematic of the Breen Dreadnaught, highlighting that the tunnel has a periodic fluctuation. They're using a harmonic resonance — Adira and Stamets call out in unison — to match the Archive shield frequency ! If they make the Breen system think the frequency has changed, it would remodulate and close the tunnel. However, the Breen use difficult-to-hack base duodeca coding.

Reno weighs in, referencing all the odd jobs she had and remembering her stint fixing comms relays near Hysperia.*** She laughs — Hysperians really know how to party. She utilized concentrated positron beams to make remote repairs, which could be set to pulse at any frequency. If they direct such a beam to where the tunnel meets the Archive's shields and set it to a different frequency — Adira and Stamets together again — the tunnel would automatically close ! The astromycologist praises Reno, who replies with, "I live to serve." As the plasma storm continues to rattle Discovery , they get to work implementing their solution.

A Breen soldier enters the Eternal Gallery and Archive with a phaser rifle in 'Labyrinths'

Phasers drawn, Rayner and Book navigate the Archive's aisles in a bid to buy their science team time. Guessing the Breen will assault them in groups of four, they select a tactical position with clear sightlines and adequate cover. Book declares that Rayner thinks like a hunter, and the first officer responds that he had to in order to survive the Breen. Stamets communicates that the tunnel has been closed, but some of the soldiers made it into the library. Rayner and Book steel themselves for battle.

On the Breen Dreadnaught, Primarch Ruhn orders his subordinates to repair the tunnel. Moll directs them to a status hologram, which maps Breen invaders within the Archive. A soldier's signal disappears as someone commences with dispatching Ruhn's forces. They tap into the helmet feeds of his boarding party, only to see Book and Rayner taking down Breen — who the Kellerun refers to as "gelatinous assholes" — one by one. Ruhn denies Moll's plea to send her to confront Starfleet, preferring instead to sacrifice as many of his troops as it takes. Moll employs the Primarch's indifference to her advantage, telling Arisar that Ruhn does not "give a shit" about L'ak or any of the Breen under his command.

Rayner and Book burst into the Archive's reading room. The Kwejian has been shot, and the first officer provides support to assist him through the door. Culber inspects the wound — it's a blast to Book's abdominal cavity, and it must be treated in Discovery 's Sickbay. The bad news flows in — Captain Burnham's status is unchanged, the Breen have nearly repaired the tunnel, and Discovery is being battered by the plasma storm. Rayner concentrates, concluding that they'll give the captain five more minutes to regain consciousness. If she's not awake by then, Starfleet will evacuate. The clue won't matter if they’re all dead. Book objects to the notion of putting Michael at risk by transporting her, but Rayner apologetically feels this is the only way.

Burnham is trapped in her mindscape of the Eternal Gallery and Archive as the room starts to descend into darkness in 'Labyrinths'

The captain's mindscape is submerged in near complete darkness, as the only illumination emanates from the light fixtures embedded in the room's wooden table. Burnham returns and takes a seat. There's nothing else for her to do, and she confesses that she does not want to die in here. Archivist Book asks if she is afraid of death. Burnham admits she is afraid of a lot, but not of death. She recounts her fear of failing and of not being enough — a good enough captain, friend, partner. Her voice just a whisper, she divulges that the fear sometimes drives her, and she hates how small, weak, and ashamed that makes her feel. Burnham brushes away a tear, disclosing that she's working on it. The captain finds relief in saying it out loud, even if the archivist isn't actually Book. Burnham wishes she had told the real Book that is why she pulled back, but she was too afraid to do so.

Resigned to her fate, the captain asks Archivist Book what the true test was. He simply closes the manuscript before him and declares that she has passed. The Archive's lights pulse back to life, and awe covers Burnham's face. The archivist clarifies — if she is to be the one to protect what the Progenitors left behind, she will need to know and be honest with herself. Reflecting on fear, guilt, and whatever else she may be vulnerable to indicates that Burnham can be trusted to do the right thing with so much power. The manifestation thanks and congratulates her, proclaiming that there is a crystal in Viewing Room 7. When the captain wakes up, she just needs to go in, get it, and break it open. Burnham stands to leave, but the archivist says he must share one last thing about her final destination — the way to get through it.

Captain Burnham's eyes blink open in the physical realm, and Book moves swiftly past Culber to embrace her. As Rayner provides her with a status update on the Breen, Burnham springs into action and guides them to Viewing Room 7. With seconds left until Breen reinforcements reach them, the captain grabs a delicate crystal and smashes it on the floor to reveal the final clue. Breen soldiers transport in and start to fire, but Discovery beams Burnham, Rayner, Book, and Culber out before the deadly energy blasts can strike them.

Burnham and Rayner materialize on Discovery 's Bridge, while Book and Culber are sent down to Sickbay. With the room awash in the plasma storm's glow, Burnham secures herself in the captain's chair and orders Commander Lorna Jemison to have Gallo's team route all available power to the ops station. Its shields bolstered, Discovery charges into the oasis to defend the Archive. Burnham's hails the Breen Dreadnaught and attempts to redirect the Imperium's attention to the Starfleet vessel. Ruhn threatens to destroy the Archive and its 1,000 innocent inhabitants if Discovery does not beam over the entire set of clues. The Dreadnaught charges an energy weapon and emits an explosive warning shot into one of the Archive's domes that causes significant injuries to its residents.

Backed into a corner, Discovery 's Bridge crew looks to their captain for guidance. Burnham mulls over her next move, ultimately requiring Ruhn to swear a tergun — a sacred Breen oath — and promise he will not harm the Archive any further. Incredulous, Ruhn nevertheless takes a moment to consider it. The Primarch speaks to Moll and Arisar on the Dreadnaught, vowing that the Federation's compassion has always been its weakness — to save the few, they will risk the many. Ruhn reopens communications with Burnham, granting her the tergun in exchange for the clues. The captain tells him to stand by for transport.

Moll, with Arisar behind her, faces Primarch Ruhn on the Breen Dreadnaught as he stands on his platform in 'Labyrinths'

Tilly beams onto the Bridge with the key containing the other four clues, and Burnham fits the last one into place. Energy crackles up the device's sides, and then the key projects a vast map containing the coordinates to the Progenitors' technology. They make a copy of the map for Stamets and ready themselves for a jump. The captain orders her crew to prepare to vent Discovery 's Main Shuttlebay and all plasma from both nacelles. The completed device is transported to Ruhn aboard his Dreadnaught, and Moll authenticates it. Satisfied with the map, the Primarch commands his ship to fire on Discovery . Moll objects, stating that a war with the Federation could draw all Breen factions in and cause them to turn against "us." Offended that Moll considers herself a Breen, Ruhn clarifies that she is the wife of the dead Scion.

The Dreadnought locks onto Discovery — on the Bridge, Burnham readies her crew to vent plasma and make a spore jump simultaneously. Two beams from the Breen ship stretch out and rip into Discovery , and the Starfleet vessel returns fire as its structural integrity begins to weaken. Shields start to collapse, and Discovery jumps just as incoming Dreadnaught blasts ignite the vented plasma.

Discovery emerges from its spore jump with significant damage to its hull. Burnham and her senior staff compose themselves after the harrowing ordeal and find that they've arrived 22 light-years off target. The Breen assault caused the spore drive to malfunction, and the ship can't jump again until it is fixed. Asha reports that the warp drive is also down, but considering it will take the Breen Dreadnaught roughly six hours to reach the map coordinates at maximum warp, the captain gives her team five hours to make repairs. Rayner commends Burnham's gambit to make Ruhn believe they are dead. She offers a knowing smile and replies, "Someone once told me never turn my back on a Breen." The captain learned a piece of vital information in her mindscape, and she can't imagine the Primarch ever figuring it out. But Moll?

Standing on his platform, Ruhn executes a Breen soldier who lies motionless at the bottom of his platform in 'Labyrinths'

On the Dreadnought's command deck, Ruhn and Moll gaze at a scan of Discovery 's last position. Debris and traces of warp plasma convince them that the Starfleet ship has been destroyed. Moll appears disheartened, but the Primarch turns his ire on the Archive. His order to fire upon the library provokes Moll, who demands that he set course for the coordinates — the goal is L'ak. Ruhn retorts that the goal is whatever he says it is, and he executes a Breen soldier who tries to voice dissent over his order to confine Moll. The human refuses to be silenced, relaying that destroying the Archive would also incite other Breen factions to pursue Ruhn as revenge for his dishonor. Even though he has yet to acquire it, the Primarch is relying on the Progenitors' technology to keep his foes at bay.

Ruhn materializes his staff, responding to Moll's pressure by pronouncing that he does not need L'ak — or her — any longer. Moll underscores his admission, pointing out that he does not give a damn about his Scion, his oaths, or the lives of his soldiers. Speaking to Ruhn's soldiers, she asks if L'ak would ever be this selfish. L'ak loves her, but he left the Breen because of Ruhn. The Primarch moves aggressively towards her, but Lieutenant Arisar draws his own weapon to defend Moll. The human pivots and kicks Ruhn, stealing his staff from him and discharging two lethal blasts into him. Ruhn's soldiers take aim at Moll and form a circle around her.

Moll assesses her situation, and asserts that she is the wife of L'ak — Scion and true ruler of the Imperium. Turning to Arisar, she pledges that they will get L'ak back and says, "Long will he reign!" She lifts Ruhn's staff in triumphant fashion. Arisar hesitates, then chooses to respond by raising his arm and repeating her words. The other Breen soldiers follow suit, striking their weapons on the deck and following Moll's lead with chants of "Long will he reign!"

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Canon Connections

* Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home — The Efrosians, a humanoid species part of the Federation, first appeared in this film, with an Efrosian member later serving as Federation President in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country .

** " The Inner Light " — When Captain Jean-Luc Picard is hit by a nucleonic beam, the captain finds himself as a resident of Kataan, living out an entire lifetime. However, it turns out this lifetime was in actuality just 20 minutes of a simulation in his own mindscape.

*** " Where Pleasant Fountains Lie " — The Cerritos chief engineer, Andy Billups, was revealed to be Hysperian crown prince, next in line for the throne. His homeworld Hysperia preferred to rename everything technological to sound like magic.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Log Credits

  • Written by Lauren Wilkinson & Eric J. Robbins
  • Directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour

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Jay Stobie (he/him) is a freelance writer, author, and consultant who has contributed articles to, Star Trek Explorer, and Star Trek Magazine, as well as to Star Wars Insider and Learn more about Jay by visiting or finding him on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms at @StobiesGalaxy.

Star Trek: Discovery Seasons 1-4 are streaming exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., the UK, Canada, Switzerland, South Korea, Latin America, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and Austria. Seasons 2 and 3 also are available on the Pluto TV “Star Trek” channel in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The series streams on Super Drama in Japan, TVNZ in New Zealand, and SkyShowtime in Spain, Portugal, Poland, The Nordics, The Netherlands, and Central and Eastern Europe and also airs on Cosmote TV in Greece. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

Graphic illustration of Rayner standing on the bridge of the U.S.S. Discovery in 'Lagrange Point'

star trek discovery 7 signals explained

9 Great Star Trek Heist Episodes

WARNING: Contains SPOILERS for Star Trek: Discovery, season 5, episode 9, "Lagrange Point"!

  • Star Trek loves heist episodes, from classic setups to twists on the genre like casino heists.
  • Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 9, "Lagrange Point" is the latest entry in the heist episode canon.
  • Star Trek has riffed on classics of the genre, including Ocean's 11, Die Hard, and Reservoir Dogs.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 9, "Lagrange Point", is the latest entry in the canon of Star Trek heist episodes. Written by Sean Cochran & Ari Friedman, and directed by Jonathan Frakes , Discovery season 5, episode 9, "Lagrange Point" saw Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and her away team disguise themselves as Breen to steal the structure that contained the Progenitors' treasure. It's a classic heist set-up, with each character having their own role to play, and comedy deriving from the Burnham and company having to keep up appearances as Breen soldiers.

It's not the first time that a Star Trek TV show has riffed on classic heist movies. From as far back as the 1960s, Star Trek has sent characters behind enemy lines to secure some prize or other, be it advanced technology, or to defeat a computer virus. Other Star Trek episodes have put the crew in the position of being the marks, having to fight off alien thieves who want to possess their starship. While the majority of these Star Trek episodes are sci-fi updates of heist movie archetypes, one classic episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine proved that the franchise isn't above doing a traditional casino heist .

The Complete Star Trek Timeline Explained

From James T. Kirk to Jean-Luc Picard, from Kathryn Janeway to Michael Burnham, we're breaking down the full chronological timeline of Star Trek.

Star Trek: Enterprise, Season 1, Episode 19, "Acquisition"

Captain archer makes unofficial first contact with the ferengi..

It's therefore up to Trip to play the role of John McClane (Bruce Willis) in Die Hard and foil the Ferengi heist.

Star Trek: Enterprise , season 1, episode 19, "Acquisition" is a Ferengi starship heist told from the perspective of the "mark", Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula). When a group of Ferengi disable the crew of the Enterprise NX-01 with toxic gas, they don't realize that Commander Trip Tucker (Connor Trinneer) was sealed in quarantine. It's therefore up to Trip to play the role of John McClane (Bruce Willis) in Die Hard and foil the Ferengi heist. It's a fun episode that finds a creative workaround when it comes to the official Ferengi First Contact in Star Trek: TNG .

Star Trek: Enterprise

Cast Dominic Keating, Connor Trinneer, Linda Park, John Billingsley, Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock, Jeffrey Combs, Anthony Montgomery

Release Date September 26, 2001

Genres Sci-Fi, Drama, Action, Adventure

Streaming Service(s) Paramount+

Franchise(s) Star Trek

Writers Rick Berman, Manny Coto, Brannon Braga

Showrunner Manny Coto, Brannon Braga

Main Genre Sci-Fi

Creator(s) Rick Berman, Brannon Braga

Rating TV-PG

Where To Watch Paramount+

Like many early Star Trek: Enterprise episodes, however, "Acquisition" often feels like a hollow retread of stories done better elsewhere in the franchise . While the set-up is different, "Acquisition" does feel like a knock-off of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Starship Mine". There's a lot of fun in watching Archer and Tucker run rings around the Ferengi villains, but it doesn't add anything new to the starship heist subgenre of Star Trek episodes.

Star Trek: Discovery, Season 4, Episode 8, "All In"

Captain burnham riffs on casino royale to secure a powerful weapon..

There's a great deal of potential in a Changeling criminal genius that would have given DS9 's Constable Odo a run for his money...

Star Trek: Discovery season 4, episode 8, "All In", sends Captain Michael Burnham to an alien casino for a highly important mission. While Burnham and Lt. Joann Owosekun (Oyin Oladejo) aren't there to rob the casino, they do have to deploy some techniques from the heist movie genre. At the climax of the episode, Burnham and Cleveland Booker (David Ajala) are pitted against each other in a card game to stop the deadly isolinium from falling into the wrong hands. Burnham loses the game, but like all good heist movie protagonists, she has a contingency plan, and places a tracker on Book's prize .

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery is an entry in the legendary Sci-Fi franchise, set ten years before the original Star Trek series events. The show centers around Commander Michael Burnham, assigned to the USS Discovery, where the crew attempts to prevent a Klingon war while traveling through the vast reaches of space.

Cast Blu del Barrio, Oded Fehr, Anthony Rapp, Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Wilson Cruz, Eve Harlow, Mary Wiseman, Callum Keith Rennie

Release Date September 24, 2017

Genres Drama, Sci-Fi, Adventure

Writers Alex Kurtzman

Directors Jonathan Frakes, Olatunde Osunsanmi

Showrunner Alex Kurtzman

On top of the high-stakes card game, Star Trek: Discovery season 4, episode 8, "All In" also features another heist taking place in the background. To secure their isolinium, Book and Ruon Tarka (Shawn Doyle) are tasked with catching a cheater that turns out to be one of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 's Changelings . There's a great deal of potential in a Changeling criminal genius that would have given DS9 's Constable Odo (Rene Auberjonois) a run for his money, so it's disappointing that Discovery doesn't do more with the idea.

Every DS9 Alien In Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery has reintroduced many popular aliens from Deep Space Nine. Here are all of the species who have survived into the 32nd century.

Star Trek: Discovery, Season 5, Episode 9, "Lagrange Point"

Burnham and the crew embark on a breen heist to steal the progenitors' treasure..

...unlike heist movies, "Lagrange Point" crashes a starship into the scene of the crime.

In the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Discovery , Captain Burnham leads a covert mission to steal the Progenitors' technology from the Breen Imperium. Armed with translated Breen language , Burnham and her team pose as Breen soldiers so they can bring down the Breen Dreadnought's shields and beam out the tech . As in all good heist movies, there's comedy derived from the Discovery characters having to keep up the pretense and Book awkwardly asking a Breen soldier out on a date as a distraction is a standout moment.

"Lagrange Point" was the eighth and final episode of Star Trek: Discovery to be directed by Jonathan Frakes.

As always in heist movies, things go wrong for Burnham and the crew as they get discovered by the villainous Moll (Eve Harlow) at a crucial moment. Unlike heist movies, however, "Lagrange Point" crashes a starship into the scene of the crime. It's one of the more thrilling episodes of Star Trek: Discovery season 5, as it drills down into the urgency of Burnham's mission, and provides some exciting action sequences and tension thanks to the assured direction of Jonathan Frakes.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Season 6, Episode 12, "Who Mourns For Morn?"

Quark tries to locate the takings from the lissepian mother's day heist..

"Who Mourns For Morn?" is the closest that Star Trek will get to a Quentin Tarantino episode or movie.

Not every heist movie focuses on the planning and execution of the crime. For example, Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs is largely focused on the bloody aftermath of a failed heist as paranoia sets in among the crew. Therefore, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 6, episode 12, "Who Mourns For Morn?" is the closest that Star Trek will get to a Quentin Tarantino episode or movie. When his best customer, Morn (Mark Allen Shepherd) dies, Quark (Armin Shimerman) becomes embroiled in a criminal scheme to locate the takings of the Lissepian Mother's Day heist .

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, also known as DS9, is the fourth series in the long-running Sci-Fi franchise, Star Trek. DS9 was created by Rick Berman and Michael Piller, and stars Avery Brooks, Ren Auberjonois, Terry Farrell, and Cirroc Lofton. This particular series follows a group of individuals in a space station near a planet called Bajor.

Cast Terry Farrell, Cirroc Lofton, Rene Auberjonois, Nicole de Boer, Michael Dorn, Andrew Robinson, Nana Visitor, Avery Brooks, Colm Meaney, Armin Shimerman, Alexander Siddig

Release Date January 3, 1993

Genres Drama, Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure

Network CBS

Writers Ira Steven Behr, Michael Piller, Ronald D. Moore

Showrunner Ira Steven Behr, Michael Piller

"Who Mourns for Morn?" is one of Quark's best Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes because it demonstrates how resourceful he can be when his back's against the wall. Morn's former associates are using Quark throughout the episode, hoping that the Ferengi will lead them to the missing latinum. As ever with Quark, he's immediately in over his head with the murderous criminals who just want to secure the latinum. However, Quark's underhanded nature and love-hate relationship with Odo ultimately saves him and earns the Ferengi 100 bars of latinum.

Star Trek's Dax Thought Morn Was Cute & 9 Other DS9 Reveals

Star Trek's Morn may have kept to himself, but Dax's favorite Lurian courier had a wild life that became a running joke on Deep Space Nine.

Star Trek: Picard, Season 3, Episode 6, "The Bounty"

Picard's crew steal from daystrom station and the starfleet museum..

"The Bounty" reveals the Changelings stole Picard's body, Worf stole Data, and Jack Crusher stole a Klingon cloaking device.

In Star Trek: Picard season 3, episode 6, "The Bounty", Captain Worf (Michael Dorn) leads a mission into the heart of Daystrom Station to find out more information about a recent Changeling heist. Worf, Commander Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd) and Captain William T Riker (Jonathan Frakes) have to contend with Attack Tribbles, and a highly advanced A.I. security system to secure the information they need. Riker's friendship with Data provides him with the key to evade Daystrom Station's security systems , free his old friend and discover what the Changelings stole.

Star Trek: Picard

After starring in Star Trek: The Next Generation for seven seasons and various other Star Trek projects, Patrick Stewart is back as Jean-Luc Picard. Star Trek: Picard focuses on a retired Picard who is living on his family vineyard as he struggles to cope with the death of Data and the destruction of Romulus. But before too long, Picard is pulled back into the action. The series also brings back fan-favorite characters from the Star Trek franchise, such as Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), Worf (Michael Dorn), and William Riker (Jonathan Frakes).

Cast Orla Brady, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Jeri Ryan, Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Evan Evagora, Marina Sirtis, Amanda Plummer, Whoopi Goldberg, Gates McFadden, Todd Stashwick, Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd, John de Lancie, Ed Speleers

Release Date January 23, 2020

Network Paramount

Writers Akiva Goldsman, Terry Matalas, Michael Chabon

Directors Terry Matalas, Jonathan Frakes

Showrunner Akiva Goldsman, Terry Matalas, Michael Chabon

On top of the two Daystrom heists, "The Bounty" introduces a third, as Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers) and Ensign Sidney La Forge (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut) also conspire to steal a Klingon cloaking device from Star Trek: Picard 's Starfleet Museum . So to keep score, "The Bounty" reveals the Changelings stole Picard's body, Worf stole Data, and Jack Crusher stole a Klingon cloaking device. Such wanton criminality is justified, however, as Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) has limited time to avert the Changeling's mysterious conspiracy against Starfleet .

Star Trek: Voyager, Season 5, Episodes 15 & 16, "Dark Frontier"

Captain janeway dares to steal from the borg queen..

By staging the successful heist in part one, "Dark Frontier" gets to confront Janeway with the choice of keeping her prize, or risking everything to save Seven.

"Dark Frontier" is one of Star Trek: Voyager 's 12 movie-length episodes , centered around a plan by Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) to steal a transwarp coil from the Borg Collective. The transwarp coil will shave 20 years off Voyager's 75-year mission to get back to the Alpha Quadrant . The first half of "Dark Frontier" concerns Janeway and the crew's plotting and execution of the heist, as they steal the transwarp coil from a damaged Borg sphere with relative ease. When Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) rejoins the Borg Collective, it becomes clear that the heist is just the start of the story.

Star Trek: Voyager

The fifth entry in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek: Voyager, is a sci-fi series that sees the crew of the USS Voyager on a long journey back to their home after finding themselves stranded at the far ends of the Milky Way Galaxy. Led by Captain Kathryn Janeway, the series follows the crew as they embark through truly uncharted areas of space, with new species, friends, foes, and mysteries to solve as they wrestle with the politics of a crew in a situation they've never faced before.

Cast Jennifer Lien, Garrett Wang, Tim Russ, Robert Duncan McNeill, Roxann Dawson, Robert Beltran, Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Ryan, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo

Release Date May 23, 1995

Genres Sci-Fi, Adventure

Network UPN

Writers Kenneth Biller, Jeri Taylor, Michael Piller, Brannon Braga

Showrunner Kenneth Biller, Jeri Taylor, Michael Piller, Brannon Braga

Seven rejoining the Collective was all part of a plan by the Borg Queen (Susanna Thompson) to gain a better understanding of humanity . By staging the successful heist in part one, "Dark Frontier" gets to confront Janeway with the choice of keeping her prize, or risking everything to save Seven. Janeway opts for the best of both worlds, giving chase in the Delta Flyer instead of returning to Voyager with the transwarp coil. It's a thrilling episode that reflects how much the Voyager crew have come to love and value Seven.

Every Borg Queen In Star Trek

The Borg Queen stands apart from the rest of the Collective, and there have been many incarnations since her Star Trek: First Contact introduction.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 6, Episode 18, "Starship Mine"

Captain picard does the original "die hard on a starship.".

All the beats from Die Hard are present in Morgan Gendel's script, from the lavish party crashed by terrorists, to Picard crawling through Jefferies tubes.

Captain Picard got his wish to avoid a formal dinner when he becomes trapped aboard the USS Enterprise-D with a gang of thieves in Star Trek: The Next Generation season 6, episode 18, "Starship Mine". The original version of Die Hard aboard the starship Enterprise, it's a thrilling episode that allows Patrick Stewart to be a resourceful action hero . All the beats from Die Hard are present in Morgan Gendel's script, from the lavish party crashed by terrorists, to Picard crawling through Jefferies tubes.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next Generation is the third installment in the sci-fi franchise and follows the adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew members of the USS Enterprise. Set around one hundred years after the original series, Picard and his crew travel through the galaxy in largely self-contained episodes exploring the crew dynamics and their own political discourse. The series also had several overarching plots that would develop over the course of the isolated episodes, with four films released in tandem with the series to further some of these story elements.

Cast Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, Wil Wheaton, Jonathan Frakes, Patrick Stewart, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden

Release Date September 28, 1987

Genres Drama, Superhero, Sci-Fi, Action

Writers Jeri Taylor, Michael Piller, Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, Ronald D. Moore

Directors David Carson

Showrunner Jeri Taylor, Michael Piller, Rick Berman

Where Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) was using a hostage situation as a distraction to steal millions of dollars, the thieves in "Starship Mine" have no such big distraction. They're there for the dangerous trilithium resin, pure and simple, and are thwarted by Picard, who rather coldly blows up the departing ship by stealing the trilithium resin's control rod. Star Trek: The Next Generation season 6, episode 18, "Starship Mine" is the best example of Patrick Stewart's abilities as an action hero, which presumably led to the TNG movies doubling down on this aspect of Picard's character .

Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 3, Episode 4, "The Enterprise Incident"

Kirk and spock go undercover among the romulans to steal a cloaking device..

"The Enterprise Incident" is full of thrilling moments, from Kirk and Spock's brutal fight to the Enterprise facing down the Romulans in the episode's climax.

The original Star Trek heist episode is "The Enterprise Incident", in which Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) leads a covert mission to steal a Romulan cloaking device. Cloaking devices are controversial in Star Trek , but this doesn't detract from Kirk's gloriously convoluted heist in Star Trek: The Original Series . While Spock (Leonard Nimoy) seduces a female Romulan Commander, Kirk disguises himself as a Romulan to steal the cloaking device and bring it aboard the USS Enterprise .

Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek: The Original Series follows the exploits of the crew of the USS Enterprise. On a five-year mission to explore uncharted space, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) must trust his crew - Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Forest DeKelley), Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (James Doohan), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Sulu (George Takei) - with his life. Facing previously undiscovered life forms and civilizations and representing humanity among the stars on behalf of Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets, the Enterprise regularly comes up against impossible odds and diplomatic dilemmas.

Cast Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, William Shatner, George Takei, Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley, James Doohan

Release Date September 8, 1966

Genres Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Network NBC

Writers Gene Roddenberry

Showrunner Gene Roddenberry

"The Enterprise Incident" is full of thrilling moments, from Kirk and Spock's brutal fight to the Enterprise facing down the Romulans in the episode's climax. It also showcases a different side of Spock's personality as he lays on the charm to seduce the Female Romulan Commander (Joanne Linville). The fact that the audience don't know that Star Trek: The Original Series season 3, episode 4, "The Enterprise Incident", is a heist until halfway through only adds to its considerable charms.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Season 7, Episode 15, "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang"

Star trek does ocean's 11..

There's a palpable joy in watching the DS9 cast let their hair down for one last job before the show's epic ten-part finale.

Star Trek 's most overt riff on the heist movie is its best, as the cast of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine get a chance to do their own version of Ocean's 11 . In "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang", a rogue holographic gangster takes over Vic Fontaine's club, forcing the DS9 crew to defend Vic's by means appropriate to its 1960s setting. The best option to oust Frankie Eyes (Robert Miano) from the holosuite program is a good old-fashioned casino heist with the crew playing various movie archetypes.

"Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" fulfilled a long-time ambition for Ira Steven Behr to do both a caper episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and have Avery Brooks sing in the show.

The placement of "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 7 is crucial, as there's a palpable joy in watching the DS9 cast let their hair down for one last job before the epic finale. It's one of the most enjoyable hours in the history of Star Trek , and celebrates the family atmosphere that Captain Sisko has cultivated aboard DS9 over the past seven years. There's no better example of this than the whole crew instigating a huge casino heist instead of going for the simple solution and rebooting Vic's program, robbing the hologram of his agency.

9 Great Star Trek Heist Episodes

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Star trek: discovery season 2 ending explained.


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Star Trek: Discovery’s David Ajala Still Wants To Tell Burnham & Book’s Lost Year Story 

Star trek’s next series must explain discovery’s spore drive replacement, star trek: discovery gets hilarious sitcom opening credits.

Star Trek: Discovery 's season 2 finale, "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2", concluded our Starfleet heroes' battle to save the galaxy from Control, the evil A.I. that took over the spy organization Section 31. By the end of the action-packed episode, the CBS All-Access prequel completely reinvented itself by shockingly redacting the U.S.S. Discovery from Star Trek history and taking Michael Burnham and her crew 930 years into the future!

The main story of Star Trek: Discovery season 2 was the titular starship's crew, under the command of the Enterprise's Captain Christopher Pike , trying to stop Control from wiping out all sentient life in the galaxy. This involved solving two concurrent mysteries: the identity of the time-traveling Red Angel (who turned out to be Michael's mother Dr. Gabrielle Burnham) and the reason for seven red signals in space that the Discovery was following. Throughout the season, Control took the form of Section 31's Captain Leland and sought to acquire 100,000 years of data the Discovery obtained from a dying sphere; Control needed this data to fully evolve itself and become sentient before it could annihilate all living beings in the galaxy. In "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1", Michael embarked on a desperate plan to take the U.S.S. Discovery into the future to safeguard the sphere data from Control. Meanwhile, the Discovery's crew committed to joining Michael in the 32nd century.

Related: Star Trek Theory: Discovery Is Setting Up A Pike/Spock Spinoff

It all culminated in a final battle against Control and the entire Section 31 fleet waged by the Discovery and the U.S.S. Enterprise together. The devastating interstellar conflict saw Admiral Katrina Cornwell sacrifice her life to save the Enterprise. Despite being outnumbered by Control's drones, the Starfleet heroes received timely help when Ash Tyler brought the Klingon fleet, led by High Chancellor L'Rell, into the battle. Also, First Officer Saru's race, the Kelpiens , who were piloting Ba'ul ships and were led by Saru's sister Siranna, came to the rescue to help the Enterprise and the Discovery demolish the enemy fleet. And while all of that was happening in outer space, Emperor Georgiou fought and defeated Leland aboard the Discovery, destroying the A.I.'s nanobots within a boobytrapped spore drive containment cube.

But everything hinged on Michael taking the Discovery a thousand years into the future. Here's how Burnham's plan worked and how "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2" altered both Star Trek: Discovery 's future and the Star Trek franchise itself:

  • This Page: How Michael Burnham Became The Red Angel Who Sent The Seven Signals
  • Page 2: The Discovery Goes To The Future And What Happens Next
  • Page 3: Why Starfleet Never Talks About Michael Burnham And The Discovery

Michael Burnham Is The Second Red Angel Who Sent The 7 Signals

Michael's plan to save the galaxy involved constructing a new time suit from the original plans her mother, Gabrielle, used, which the Discovery obtained from Section 31. In effect, Michael became the second Red Angel . But it wasn't until she was unable to use the time crystal to open a wormhole to the future that Spock realized Michael's purpose as the Red Angel was to send the seven red signals in space. Based on Spock's earlier guess that the red signals were sent by intelligent design, the Vulcan explained that each signal Michael sent led the Discovery to a key element that would enable Michael's plan to work.

Michael indeed vaulted backwards in time and sent the first five signals: the first was in the asteroid field where they met Jett Reno, who was instrumental in getting the time crystal fully charged; the second signal was at Terralysium, which would be a safe harbor in the future; the third was at Saru's homeworld of Kaminar, where the liberation of the Kelpiens from the Ba'ul would ultimately help the Discovery and the Enterprise beat the Section 31 fleet; the fourth signal was at Boreth so Captain Pike could acquire a time crystal; and the fifth signal was at Xahea to bring Ensign Sylvia Tilly's friend Queen Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po aboard, as she was the one woman in the galaxy who knew how to charge the time crystal. Later, Po also figured out how to disable the Section 31 drones during the space battle. Further, Michael's first three signals mean she was the Red Angel the crew sighted each time - not her mother, Dr. Burnham - and thus, Michael saw her future self at the first signal.

Related: The Meaning Of Star Trek: Discovery's First Five Red Signals

Because Spock's shuttle was disabled and he couldn't follow Michael though the wormhole, the siblings bid a heartbreaking farewell before Spock was beamed back aboard the Enterprise. The sixth signal was Michael as the Red Angel serving as a beacon ( "a North Star" ) for the U.S.S. Discovery to follow as they both entered the wormhole to the future. The seventh and final signal was Michael fulfilling her promise to Spock that she would let him know they made it safe and sound. Due to "time being relative" , it took 124 days until Spock saw Michael's final signal emerging from the Beta Quadrant. By then, the Vulcan had returned, clean-shaven and in uniform , to serving as the Science Officer aboard Captain Pike's Starship Enterprise.

Page 2 of 3: The Discovery Goes To The Future And What Happens Next

The Discovery Goes To The Future - Possibly For Good

Fans had already theorized that bringing the Discovery into the future was Star Trek: Discovery season 2's endgame and the series indeed went full-throttle into the 32nd century. The rationale for such a drastic move was the fact that the sphere data  bonded to the Discovery's computer. The data wouldn't allow itself to be erased nor would it allow the starship to be destroyed. Michael realized the only way to keep that information away from Control was to remove the Discovery from the 23rd century altogether by taking the entire starship containing the data into the unexplored future.

Moreso, even though they defeated Control, the sphere data was altogether too dangerous to keep in the 23rd century - not to mention such information violates Star Trek canon since it would contain numerous things the Federation simply can't know. But by jumping into the future, it allows the Discovery (which many fans griped was already too advanced for its era thanks to its tech like the spore displacement hub drive) to evolve technologically even beyond what fans know to exist in the 24th century. The Discovery actually belongs in Star Trek 's future and now, the series has opened up an era that fans have never seen before.

Related: Discovery Finally Has A Proper Star Trek Crew In The Season 2 Finale

What Happens To The Discovery And Her Crew In The 32nd Century?

After they vanished through the wormhole, Michael and the crew of the Discovery weren't seen again in "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2" so fans will have to wait until Star Trek: Discovery season 3 to find out exactly how our heroes are faring in the 32nd century. We can guess that they arrived safely at Terralysium, which was the endpoint Michael set, and perhaps she was reunited with her mother Dr. Burnham , although it's not yet known if Gabrielle did return to Terralysium when she vanished in "Perpetual Infinity". Since they defeated Control, all sentient life in the galaxy continues to exist in the 3180s, but, as people out of time, the Discovery's crew is likely hiding from the universe on Terralysium - at least for a while.

Compellingly, the Discovery jumping to the future synchs up with the Short Trek episode "Calypso", where an evolved U.S.S. Discovery took on a female personality named Zora and then meets and falls in love with a lost soldier. In "Calypso", the starship was abandoned by her crew and adrift in an unknown region of space. It's possible Michael, Saru, and the crew disembarked on Terralysium and then sent the Discovery away to hide the ship from the rest of the galaxy before the events of "Calypso". This could also mean the crew will have to go out and find their missing starship once more in Star Trek: Discovery season 3.

Page 3 of 3: Why Starfleet Never Talks About Michael Burnham And The Discovery

Why Nobody Talks About Discovery In Star Trek History

Star Trek: Discovery 's season 2 finale concluded with a massive cover-up that explains why Michael Burnham and the U.S.S. Discovery are never mentioned in Starfleet history. After they destroyed Control, the Starship Enterprise returned to Earth for repairs . At Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco, Captain Pike, Spock, Number One, and Ash Tyler all lied to Starfleet Command and maintained their agreed-upon cover story that the Discovery exploded during the battle against the Section 31 fleet, destroying the starship and killing everyone aboard. Starfleet Command accepted this version of events and made Tyler the new Commander of Section 31, with a mandate to reinvent the spy organization (setting the stage for the Section 31 spinoff series).

Furthermore, Spock asserted that all Starfleet Officers with knowledge of the events of Star Trek: Discovery season 2 be ordered to never speak about Michael Burnham or the U.S.S. Discovery under penalty of treason! (It's likely this code of silence also includes the events of Star Trek: Discovery season 1 like the Klingon War and Mirror Universe.) Michael's adoptive parents Amanda Grayson and Ambassador Sarek also agreed never to utter Michael's name in public. Spock did this to keep his sister and her crew safe, as well as to prevent anyone from learning about the Klingon time crystals and trying to alter the timeline by building another Red Angel suit. But this also explains why prominent Starfleet Officers like Captains Kirk and Picard have never heard of Michael Burnham and why Spock never mentioned he had an adopted human sister, not even to Kirk. Spock's silence is out of respect for Michael, whose parting words taught the Vulcan to "reach for others" , which paved the way for his legendary friendship with Kirk and McCoy.

Related: Star Trek: Discovery Made Spock's Banter With McCoy Even Better

But this explanation is also an ingenious way for Star Trek: Discovery 's producers to wave away all of the complaints that their prequel series just didn't fit into Star Trek canon . Essentially, the series agrees and has redacted the first two seasons of Star Trek: Discovery out of the timeline so that they never happened according to "official" Starfleet records. Instead, Star Trek: Discovery is looking to the future that fans have never seen.

Star Trek: Discovery's Future Is Now... Discovery

Now that the U.S.S. Discovery and her crew are in the 32nd century, anything goes and thus, Star Trek fans will finally get to see the future. Star Trek 's forward progress essentially stopped with Star Trek: Nemesis and the only things fans really know for sure that happened afterward was that Romulus was destroyed, which led to the creation of the alternate Kelvin timeline of J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies . The upcoming Jean-Luc Picard series will pick up the events of the 24th century set after the destruction of Romulus but Star Trek: Discovery has leaped centuries beyond that point.

Star Trek: Discovery is now poised to make good on the promise of its title: discovery . Everything is wide open to be discovered. There are unlimited possibilities and countless questions to be answered going forward. For instance, what is the galaxy like in the 32nd century? Do Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets still exist? Are the Klingons, Cardassians, Ferengi, Bajorans, or even the Borg still around? By boldly taking Michael Burnham and the crew of the Disco almost a millennia forward, it means that for the first time in almost two decades, Star Trek: Discovery is giving the future back to the Star Trek franchise and to its fans.

Next: What To Expect From Star Trek: Discovery Season 3

Star Trek: Discovery Seasons 1 & 2 are available to stream on CBS All-Access in the USA and internationally on Netflix.

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