In Review: Star Trek: Discovery (S5 – EP10) Life, Itself

While trapped inside a mysterious alien portal that defies familiar rules of time, space and gravity, Burnham must fight Moll

Synopsis: In Life, Itself, While trapped inside a mysterious alien portal that defies familiar rules of time, space and gravity, Burnham must fight Moll – and the environment itself – in order to locate the Progenitors’ technology and secure it for the Federation.


The Story

Picking the story up from last week. Captain Burnham follows Moll through the alien portal, where the progenitor’s technology is hidden. While Commander Rayner and the crew of the Discovery deal with the Breen. Michael has to figure out how the various environments within the portal work while also dealing with moll. As Moll and Burnham reach the final puzzle that unlocks the Progenitor technology the two women must consider their approach to solving the puzzle with great care.

Elswhere, Saru and D. Nhan take an unarmed shuttle into Breen space to intercept the Primark whose fleet is heading toward The Discovery. Saru must use all his wits in order to get the Breen Primark to stand down. 


The Acting

Sonequa Martin-Green and Eve Harlow share some pretty tense scenes in which Burnham has to persuade Moll to stand down from her actions and work together on a more considered approach to accessing the Progenitor technology. The scene where Michael meets one of the Progenitors is nicely done and perhaps one of Martin Green’s better performances on this show.

Callum Keith Rennie is excellent as Captain Rayner and it has been so good to see Rayner’s character arc pay some dividends as he finally gels with the Discovery crew. The scene toward the close of the episode where Rayner tells Burnham that he found Saru wandering about the ship was quite fun.

Doug Jones also shines in this episode as we see a more accretive version of Saru when he bluffs the Breen Primark into backing down.



Life, Itself was a fairly good series finale if you like seeing character arcs get some degree of resolution. But I think there are likely going to be lots of discussions about the decision that Burnham ultimately made when it came to how the Progenitor technology should be used. Some will see Burnham’s decision as the right thing to do whereas others might have a different take. Either way, it is now classified in regards to Starfleet personnel knowing about it. I’m somewhat in two minds about how this story is resolved. I did enjoy the reveal about Admiral Kovich.

I loved the incidental music throughout this episode and particularly enjoyed the soundtrack toward the end where we get taken forward through time to see Admiral Burnham take the Discovery out for one last flight.

Overall. A fairly good series finale that puts a full stop at the end of the character arcs, but leaves things open for certain characters to appear in Star Trek: Starfleet Academy.


Star Trek: Discovery (S5 - EP10) Life, Itself
  • 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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