In Review: Star Trek: Discovery – Lethe

The USS Discovery crew is intrigued by a new addition, Lt. Ash Tyler. Sarek seeks Burnham's help, rekindling memories from her past. Admiral Cornwell questions Lorca's tactics.

Synopsis: The USS Discovery crew is intrigued by a new addition, Lt. Ash Tyler. Sarek seeks Burnham’s help, rekindling memories from her past. Admiral Cornwell questions Lorca’s tactics.

Review: This latest episode focuses very much on Burnham’s relationships and zooms on her troubled relationship with Sarak. We learn more about Burnham from Sarak’s point of view and that of the Vulcan people as well as an extremist group of Vulcans that try to kill Sarak.

While on a diplomatic mission to try and negotiate an accord with the Klingon’s Ambassador Sarak is critically injured when a Vulcan extremist tries to kill him with a bomb. As a result, Burnham feels Sarak’s fading life force via her link with his Katra and must use her new relationships with Captain Lorca and the Discovery crew to aid her in a rescue mission. Lorca goes against Starfleet orders and proceeds to launch an unauthorized rescue mission, which gets the attention of Admiral Cornwell.

In many ways, this felt like the most ‘Star Trek’ that discovery has managed thus far.  The scenes between Sonequa Martin-Green and James Frain as Michael and Sarak are well acted and give us insight into why Michael has been kind of hard to get to know. By the close of the episode, we see a little light of hope in Michael and the beginnings of a more human and likable character. 

The addition of Ash Tyler has really helped things along. His scene in the shuttle where he helps Michael decipher why Sarak maybe pushing her away from the link with the Katra is really revealing in the sense that it gives Michael a human perspective and asserts that Vulcan’s only choose to suppress emotion. Thus they would likely have the same regrets and feelings as the end comes near. Shazad Latif does brilliantly with this scene and it looks like Ash, Michael, and Tilly could well be a new triumvirate for Discovery. 

We also see a lot of interesting stuff with Captain Lorca who is pretty much in deep shit with Starfleet for disobeying orders. We learn that Lorca has a past history with Admiral Cornwell and tries to use that so that she remains his ally. But it ultimately backfires. By the end of the episode, Cornwell is sent in Sarak’s place to do the talks with the Klingon’s, which ultimately proves to be a trap. As a result, she is snatched by the Klingon’s.

In an interesting turn of events, Lorca decides to suddenly follow Starfleet protocols when Saru tells him about Cornwell being taken. Saru queries the orders by saying that we normally act independently on such things, but Lorca insists that they communicate with Starfleet and ask for orders. Which begs the question. Is Lorca changing his ways and following the chain of command or is he using it as a stalling tactic to keep his command?

Overall this was a solid episode with lots of backstory for Michael and great introductions to the newer characters. I can see Tilly, Ash, and Michael is a strong ensemble should this series get a second season and begin to take the form of an ensemble show in line with the Star Trek shows of yesteryear. Michael seems to have come out of this as a more likable character and more in touch with her human side than her Vulcan side.

Star Trek: Discovery - Lethe
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Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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