In Review: Star Trek Discovery (S4 – Ep5) The Examples

Burnham and Book race to evacuate a group of stranded colonists in the anomaly's path....

Synopsis: In The Examples. Burnham and Book race to evacuate a group of stranded colonists in the anomaly’s path as one of the Federation’s brightest scientists comes aboard the U.S.S. Discovery to do high-stakes research with Saru and Stamets.


The Story

Having learned that the Anomaly, which they are now calling the DMA is not a natural phenomenon. The question now becomes who created it and for what reason. In order to help answer that question. The Federation brings in a top-level scientist to help Stamats and Saru figure it out. Moreover, this scientist being somewhat of a maverick insists on building a miniature simulation of the anomaly within Discovery’s science lab to try and find answers. Stamets is happy to go along with the plan. While Saru is somewhat more cautious and wants safety measures in place.

Meanwhile, the rest of the crew are engaged in a massive rescue mission of a colony, which is directly in the path of the anomaly. While talking to the colonies magistrate Burnham asks why there are 6 life signs deep underneath the colony’s residential dwellings. The Magistrate tells her that they are The Examples. Prisoners who have been condemned to life sentences for their crimes. The Magistrate tells Burnham to leave them behind as they are not worthy of evacuation. Burnham thinks otherwise and heads off with Book to rescue them.

When she meets the Prisoners having got through some pretty intense security measures. Burnham finds out how harsh the colony’s justice system was. As all but one of them was convicted for what you’d consider being small crimes. However, Felix who seems to be their main spokesperson is the only one of them that is serving time for a violent crime. After some convincing Felix allows his fellow inmates to go with Burnham for a second chance at life under Federation laws. However, Felix personally decides to stay behind and face his destiny, which essentially means his death due to the anomaly.

Meanwhile, back on the ship. Stamets and Ruon Tarka get a step closer to figuring the DMA.


The Acting

Shawn Doyle mixes things up this week as Ruoun Tarka. The Federation scientist who has come aboard Discovery to help figure out the DMA. His scenes with Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Saru (Doug Jones) are quite funny as well as somewhat alarming. It’s pretty clear that Tarka is unorthodox, but the real question is. Can he be trusted? At the end of the episode, he has a pretty tense scene with Book (David Ajala) whose empathic abilities see right through Tarka’s bravado.

Kudos should also go to Michael Greyeyes who does a fantastic job of the role of Felix. Who is the leader of the six prisoners that Burnham and Book save. It’s obvious that Felix feels deep remorse for having taken a life, but also recognizes the colony’s legal system is unjust and insists that his other inmate goes with Bernham because they can have a second chance at life under federation law.



The Examples was another strong episode, which felt very much like a classic Star Trek episode thanks to its themes of examining another culture’s justice system while in the process of rescuing a colony from catastrophe. We learn quite a lot about the ongoing story arc as well as we finally get some momentum with that. But added to that. We also learn that Discovery’s computer, which is called Zora is beginning to feel emotions as well as pick up on emotions of the crew, which can only mean interesting storylines further down the line.

Overall. A really strong episode.

Star Trek Discovery (S4 - Ep5) The Examples
  • 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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