In Review: Star Trek: Discovery (S5 – EP8) Labyrinths

In Labyrinths Burnham is trapped within a "mindscape" designed to test her worthiness to retrieve the Progenitor's powerful technology

Synopsis: In Labyrinths Burnham is trapped within a “mindscape” designed to test her worthiness to retrieve the Progenitor’s powerful technology, Book, Rayner and the crew of the U. S. S. Discovery must hold off the Breen long enough for her to escape.


The Story

The U.S.S. Discovery journeys to the Badlands in order to find a massive library of knowledge where the next piece of the Progenitors puzzle is stashed. As they arrive they are greeted by Hy’Rell who shows Captain Burnham to a room full of books where the Progenitor’s clue is. As she opens a particular book Burnham finds a symbol similar to other symbols she has seen linked to the progenitors. However, when she touches the symbol Burnham is rendered unconscious and enters the realm of her subconscious with a spirit guide of sorts that appears in the form of Book. Burnham seems to have to do some serious soul-searching before this spirit guide is willing to give up the whereabouts of the last piece of the puzzle. 

Meanwhile, The Breen ship is closing in on discovery and the Breen Captain seems bent on dominating his crew to the point where when tested he is willing to break with Breen laws in order to gain the knowledge that Burnham is persuing. Moll uses her marriage to La’k as leverage and is able to reason with the Breen.

Back at the Library Book, Rayner, and Dr. Culber must ensure Burnham remains healthy while simultaneously working with the Discovery crew to limit the Breen’s advances into the library.


The Acting

Elena Juatco puts in an entertaining performance as Hy’Rell. The administrator who is sent to facilitate Captain Burnham’s visit to the Library. I loved the scene where Hy’Rell is enthusiastically giving the crew of Discovery a history lesson while the ship’s crew is focused on trying to safely maneuver the ship through plasma storms and whatnot so that they can park alongside the giant space library. 

Eve Harlow is brilliant in this episode as we see Moll assert her place of honor as La’k’s wife and pushes the Breen Captain when he chooses not to honor a deal that he strikes with Burnham toward the close of the episode.



Labyrinths blends a mixture of spirituality and psychology into a delicate storyline in which Burnham has to prove herself worthy to be given the final piece of the Progenitor puzzle which will reveal where the technology was hidden during the Dominion War. I really enjoyed the aspect of Burnham really having to dive deep into her psyche in order to know herself and face her mistakes and guilt about them head-on and accept them. In certain spiritual circles and psychology, this can often be referred to as shadow work.

I found the Space Library fascinating and would have loved to have learned more about it as well as the people that seem to run it.

Overall a pretty solid episode that is building toward the end of the story arc.

Star Trek: Discovery (S5 - EP8) Labyrinths
  • 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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