In Review: Star Trek: Discovery (S3 – EP 3) Jinaal

Captain Burnham, Book, and Culber visit Trill and must pass a dangerous test to prove themselves worthy of the next clue.

Synopsis: In Jinaal, Captain Burnham, Book, and Culber visit Trill and must pass a dangerous test to prove themselves worthy of the next clue. Adira reconnects with Gray and Saru’s first day as ambassador is complicated by his engagement to T’Rina.


The Story

Having found a clue to the Progenitor mystery in last week’s episode. Captain Burnham, Book and Dr. Culber visit Trill in order to find the second piece of the map that will lead them to the Progenitor technology. However, in order to find the next piece Culber must undergo a Trill ritual to merge his consciousness with that of an 800 – year old Trill Synbiont called Jinaal, who was one of 8 scientists who studied the mystery of the Progenitors shortly after events that we saw in the TNG episode The Chase, due to the dangerous nature of what these scientists found. It was decided that the Map to the Progenitor technology should be hidden until the various humanoid races were mature enough to deal with it. So to that end, Jinaal uses Culber’s body to guide Burnham and Book through a test to see if they are worthy.

Meanwhile, on U.S.S Discovery Commander Rayner who has undergone a demotion is acting on orders from Captain Burnham to make a connection with all members of the ships crew In order to do this she orders Tilly to facilitate Rayner’s integration into the crew. However, Rayner has his own method and insists that each crew member tells him something about themselves that isn’t in their file using just 20 words to do so. This makes for some quite funny moments.

Back in Federation Space Saru has a difficult first day when T’Rina’s Vulcan aid tries to get them to postpone the announcement of their wedding because of concerns about Vulcan purists who would disapprove of a mixed-race marriage.


The Acting

This episode offers Wilson Cruz a chance to showcase his talents by portraying the consciousness of Jinaal being channeled through Dr. Culber. As a result we get a truly nuanced performance in which we learn a lot about Jinaal’s past and their work with 7 other scientists that were hand-picked by the UFP to study the Progenitors and their technologies. The scenes between Jinaal, Book, and Captain Burnham had a few fun moments as well as some high drama.

Callum Keith Rennie puts in a wonderfully deadpan performance as Commander Rayner. The scenes between Rayner, Tilly and the various other crew members make for an amusing way for Rayner and viewers to learn more about the periphery characters who normally do not enjoy too much screen time on the show.



A fun episode with some fantastic CGI creatures that are seen during the testing of Culber and Burnham. Although there isn’t much from L’ak and Mol this week. At least not until the close of the episode, which sets things up for next week.

Star Trek: Discovery (S3 - EP 3) Jinaal
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

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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