Star Trek: Discovery – Labyrinths – Review

Spoilers

Labyrinths kicks things forward a notch for our crew on board Discovery as the series ramps up the tension and the execution of its long-game arc. The chase is hardly new – it’s a connect-the-dots mystery map that keeps the suspension familiar and on safe grounds, Burnham leading the ship on a personal mission takes her and the crew to one of the coolest Trek creations, a floating space library that bounces between systems never staying in one place for long, bringing Book and a few select members of the crew with her. I live for the little things, like the show having a character named Book and having him set foot in a library; an observation that was not going to be unnoticed by the librarians present. The little things, at the beating heart of an action packed episode that feels so big for Discovery I’m almost confident this will end up better than Season 4.

The episode doesn’t drive things forward all that much despite appearances, but the Eternal Gallery and Archive is a very fun place to visit all the same. The interior of Burnham’s mind-palace-type prison creates a fun map for her to solve the clue; that of course ends up with her admitting her weakness about being afraid, not of danger, not of death, but failure – it’s a big character moment that has been driving her forward all season long. Sonequa Martin-Green does an excellent job with Burnham’s emotions here – and for a show about emotions and feeling, Labyrinths gives us exactly what we need and then some. It’s kind of the episode that distils what Discovery is going for thematically in a nutshell, this test feels like something that Burnham’s had to do several times over and over again and there’s nothing really new here. Maybe give it to Adira, or Stamets? Someone without as much exposure this season. It’s the Burnham show though, and Martin-Green is terrific after all – and it allows her to examine her feelings for Book. It’s a positive step forward if it hadn’t been at the forefront of the show all season long. What’s more interesting is the connection with the relics of his past that Book gets early on here, a fascinating showcase for David Ajala.

Moll has been manipulating a safety net for her and L’ak – I’m beginning to think L’ak won’t stay dead all season long, and has been using her newfound position as widow to the scion to manipulate the Breen under her thumb for Progenitor tech. The clash head on between Moll and Primark Ruhn feels like a disaster waiting to happen, and Moll triumphantly standing tall at the end was no surprise, with Ruhn making the classic villain mistake of executing your henchmen for not following orders – if you do that every time, you’ll have no henchmen left. Ruhn hasn’t quite been as intimidating as I would’ve perhaps liked, but now that Moll’s in the driving seat of the Breen? Again, peak insanity, peak Discovery. Her character is chaotic and all over the place, the decision to intervene to protect Hy’rell gets her there – and although her arc hasn’t been the cleanest of arcs for any character on the series, her newfound power is a force to be reckoned with.

And now Discovery has the surprise advantage – the cunning battle plan to take out the ship and make the Breen think they’re dead provided the edge that the crew needed. I really like how capable the crew of Discovery are at doing their job and this a show that is testament to people being very good at them: Gen Rhys takes the wheel as Lt. Cmdr with Patrick Kwok-Choon revelling in absence of Rayner and Burnham. The absence of Saru is felt this series, no questions asked, I was hoping he’d stick around longer, but the rest of the bridge crew are stepping up when required.

“you should try one of my seven of limes” was a hilarious nod to Voyager. The little touches are what makes this episode as great as it is, and the fact that the space library is there at all makes it a real breath of fresh air from the exotic alien worlds, an enclosed labyrinth of books upon books which Discovery is held.

VERDICT: 7/10

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