Star Trek: Discovery review, Episode 508, "Labyrinths"

Will Discovery end on a sour note? Will the show continue to challenge our perception of Star Trek and end in a truly beautiful way? We shall find out soon.
Callum Keith Rennie as Rayner in Star Trek: Discovery, episode 5, season 5, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Paramount+
Callum Keith Rennie as Rayner in Star Trek: Discovery, episode 5, season 5, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Paramount+ /

Another Thursday, another Star Trek: Discovery episode for us to feast our eyes and ears upon. With only two episodes left in the series, things are definitely heating up.

As the Discovery crew gets closer and closer to the Progenitor's technology, time is running out in the race against the Breen. In the last episode, "Erigah," we saw L'ak, the Breen Scion, accidentally overdose and die a tragically sad and unnecessary death. Moll has revealed that she and L'ak had gotten married at some point and made the Breen aware of the Progenitor's artifact, claiming she can not only help get it back but use it to bring L'ak back to life.

With all of that in the mix, let's talk about the episode in detail. Here's your SPOILER WARNING! Please read at your own risk.

Star Trek: Discovery review, "Labyrinths"

In my previous review, I mentioned how much the episodes "Whistlespeak" and "Erigah" channeled the original spirit of Star Trek by embodying the core elements of the series: humanity, diplomacy, and the preservation of life. "Labyrinths" is also very much honors those elements as well. The script really lets us get under Burnham's skin, giving us a peek at what goes on in that pretty head of hers at any given time.

The Discovery crew heads over to the Eternal Gallery and Archive, which conveniently changes location about every 50 years and is protected by a massive plasma storm cloud. They're met by Hy'Rell, who's sworn to tend to the archives. Fun fact: she's an Efrosian, and her kind hasn't been seen since the Star Trek movies Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. She humorously guides them through the plasma storm and allows Burnham to enter the Eternal Gallery and Archive, asking for the Kwejian on board the Discovery, who happens to be Book, to accompany her.

Book and Burnham beam down and meet with Hy'Rell, who takes them to two prepped viewing rooms, one for Michael and one for Book. Michael finds some sort of metal card in a book placed on the table. By touching the metal card, her mind becomes now stuck in a virtual liminal space. She must solve the clue before all the lights go out; otherwise, she basically becomes brain-dead. No pressure.

Michael is met by Book, who is actually not Book. He's the embodiment of an entity, there to guide her through the test without giving her any direct answers. Michael's subconscious picked Book's form for the entity as well as the location where her mind is stuck: the Archives, even though she's never been there before. Michael goes through a series of thought processes, ideas, and resolutions, only to find out she's constantly wrong as the lights start going out and her frustration becomes more and more palpable. As she notices she's running out of time, Michael comes to terms with the fact she's about to die.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen Rhys completely kicks ass commanding the ship while Rayner and Michael are away. The Breen have arrived and start to infiltrate the Archive. There's lots of scientific babble as Adira and Stamets complete each others' sentences (or say the same thing at the same time) and figure out how to disrupt the Breen's tunnel, stopping their forces from pouring in.

The show goes quiet as Michael lets it all out. There's not a single background noise or musical cue during this incredibly touching scene. Turns out she's a lot more relatable than she lets on. Under that gorgeous smile, there's a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fake-it-till-you-make-it, a fear of failure, of not being good enough.

"The great Michael Burnham. Afraid."

Michael starts to have a heart-to-heart with the entity, expressing regrets about her life, especially her relationship with Book. She talks about living with fear, shame, and anxiety over not being a good captain. The entity allows her to just get it all out of her system, and this is where Discovery gives yet another nod to its roots: in a very The Next Generation-like sequence, it's revealed that Michael's endurance, adaptability, and patience have been getting tested this whole time. Jinaal needed to know for herself if Michael was one of the good guys, so she'd know whether Michael could be trusted to do the right thing with incredible power.

As Michael has passed the test, she returns to her body and witnesses the craziness going on. She grabs the final clue and returns to the Discovery. The Discovery wedges itself between the Archive and the Breen dreadnaught, which is getting ready to destroy the Archive. The Primarch states that unless Michael sends him all the clues, he will destroy the Archive, which grinds the gears of the other Breen in his ship. In classic Star Trek style, Michael grabs the coordinates to the Progenitor's tech before sending all the clues over and warping out. The Primarch now believes the Discovery has been destroyed when, in reality, it's much closer to the Progenitor tech.

And, because we totally saw this coming, Moll gets the Breen to side with her as she kills the Primarch. She vows to bring L'ak back, chanting "Long shall he reign" with the Breen as they start to make their way to the coordinates.

STD. A. With two episodes of the series left, Discovery continues to channel everything Star Trek embodies in a way that appeals to long-time Trekkies.. Camila Domingues, Winter-is-Coming. Star Trek: Discovery, season 5 episode 8 - "Labyrinths"

I loved this episode so much, I actually watched it more times than I care to admit (about five), and the bit at the end, with Burnham opening herself up to be judged, never fails to touch my soul. She talks about the constant pressure of having to prove she's right for the uniform, of being a good captain, friend, and partner. I understand that a lot of Trekkies aren't a big fan of Burnham as a character, and I hope this changes that a little. She's just like us: afraid, anxious, wanting to do her best and not let anyone down. She's one of the most relatable captains in the franchise and one of the reasons this show has been such a treasure.

Two more episodes to go until this groundbreaking series comes to an end. This makes me nervous, sad, and anxious. Will it end on a sour note? Will the show continue to challenge our perception of Star Trek and end in a beautiful way? We shall find out soon.

Don't forget to tune into Paramount+ next Thursday, May 23, for the penultimate episode in this incredible series.

Star Trek: Discovery reviews, Episode 506 and 507, 'Whistlespeak' and 'Erigah'. dark. Next. Star Trek: Discovery reviews, Episode 506 and 507, 'Whistlespeak' and 'Erigah'

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and Twitter account, sign up for our exclusive newsletter and check out our YouTube channel.