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REVIEW – Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 7 “Erigah”

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As of the end of the last episode of Star Trek: Discovery, the crew were safely decoding the next clue. In Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 7 “Erigah”, They’ve received a distress call from Moll (Eve Harlow) and L’ak (Elias Toufexis). For a minute, everything seems safe, sound, and finally over with the pair in custody. Fate, however, has something else in mind. The Discovery is caught in an ugly diplomatic situation, with the Breen Imperium wanting to take custody of Moll and L’ak.

Can Captain Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) navigate her way out of this safely? What surprises do our antagonists have up their sleeves? And where will the final clue lead the Discovery crew? Find out in my review of Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 7 “Erigah”. The episode was written by M. Raven Metzner and directed by Jon Dudkowki.

WARNING – Spoilers below for Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 7 “Erigah”

Mary Wiseman as Tilly and Blu del Barrio as Adira in Star Trek: Discovery, episode 7, season 5, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo credit: Paramount+

Blood Bounty

As we learned back in “Mirrors”, there’s an Erigah over Moll and L’ak. It’s a Breen bounty, putting quite the price over their heads. The only way to clear it is blood, and the only way they can pay it off is with the Progenitor’s technology. It’s good that the season’s villains have proper, understandable motivations. The whole thing’s almost enough to want them to succeed. Every time they’re onscreen, they absolutely steal the show. Easily the best, most fleshed-out villains the show’s ever had.

This week sees the pair beamed aboard the Discovery, largely held behind a containment field. It allowed Burnham and Dr Culber (Wilson Cruz) a good opportunity to talk to the pair. I half hoped they’d see reason. This became all the more dramatic as the Breen began angrily contacting the Federation, giving their interactions some real stakes. Unfortunately, Moll and L’ak aren’t too interested in the Federation’s help, immediately beginning to plott their escape.

Moll’s escape plan is a little on the foolish side. I’ll get into it more later, but it’s a terrible plan. Although, the camera work and fight choreography through the sick bay during the escape sequence was amazing. For Dudkowski’s first directorial effort, this is some great work. Although with so much editing experience on shows like Fringe, The Umbrella Academy, and of course Star Trek: Discovery, he’s had plenty of experience in top-quality TV.

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham and Wilson Cruz as Culber in Star Trek: Discovery, episode 7, season 5, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo credit: Paramount+

Diplomacy

As I mentioned earlier, a Breen warship is on it’s way to Federation HQ, demanding they hand over custody of Moll and L’ak. This isn’t entirely due to the Erigah however, with the warship’s leader, Ruhn, only wanting L’ak to take the Breen throne. It’s a solid effort of different political ambitions coming to a head. I think it made Ruhn’s character a lot more menacing, having very self-serving ulterior motives.

Burnham and Rayner (Callum Keith Rennie) actually have a pretty good plan to bluff him down from destroying the station. The pair have seen a destroyed Federation HQ in a potential future thanks to the Time Bug in “Face the Strange”. So, naturally they’d do anything to prevent that future from coming to pass. To do this, Rayner needs to open up about a tragic past on Kellerun, where his entire family were wiped out by a Breen faction leader called Tahal.

The season’s new characters, Rayner, Moll, and L’ak have been more fleshed out than some side characters that have been with the show for years. It’s a real shame that there’s only 3 episodes left, as I’d love to see much more of them. Seeing Rayner push himself, really open up to Burnham, and face down the Breen in her absence was great. I can definitely see Rayner being given a command or some kind of re-promotion after all this is over.

David Ajala as Book and Rachael Ancheril in Star Trek: Discovery, episode 7, season 5, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo credit: Paramount+

Loss

In trying to escape the Discovery, L’ak injected himself with a lot of medication to cause a distraction. He creates a medical emergency, Culber lowers the field, L’ak escapes to a shuttle and beams him aboard. There’s a lot that can go wrong with this half-baked escape plan. Since Moll and L’ak aren’t the protagonists of the series, a lot does go wrong, and it has some shockingly major ramifications for the series going forward.

For starters, Moll is caught by Book (David Ajala) and Nhan (Rachael Ancheril) pretty quickly. Nhan’s presence is kind of a non-starter, setting off a brief phaser skirmish down a corridor. I’m glad she’s in the episode, but her appearance doesn’t amount to anything too massive. Which, given the rest of the episode is kind of a shame. I’d have loved for her to have a more substantial presence, although the episode is juggling more characters than usual.

Thankfully, Book’s able to get through to her, relying on the trust established between them throughout the season. He tells her that L’ak is going to die, which he does pretty much as soon as she’s escorted back into the medbay. It’s a touching scene and a pretty shocking death this far out for the rest of the season. A lot of tension is created, with Moll running off with the Imperium to get the Progenitor tech herself, and Book disagreeing with Burnham’s decision to allow her to go. Some massive turning points that really shake up the status quo for the rest of the show.

Eve Harlow as Moll in Star Trek: Discovery, episode 7, season 5, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo credit: Paramount+

The Next Clue

While Burnham and Culber are handling everything over at Federation HQ, there’s something brewing over on the Discovery. Adira (Blu del Barrio) and Tilly (Mary Wiseman) are trying to solve the next clue to little avail. Stamets (Anthony Rapp) has managed to figure out that the metal card reads “Labyrinths of the Mind” and that it’s from Betazed. While a helpful clue, it’s just the name of an ancient manuscript, not much of a clue as to where to find the final clue.

They find that the script was written by a Dr Marina Derex, who’s one of the scientists who worked on the Progenitor’s technology. I’m glad there’s an ongoing connection to these unseen scientists, it makes them seem important to the whole season. Also no, a Betazoid named Marina did not pass me by. Subtle, but cute. We also learn a bit about Reno (Tig Notaro) and her crazy history of jobs. Could watch a whole spinoff series about her time being a smuggler crazy archivist. She gives the episode all its funniest moments.

They manage to track the metal card’s origin to the Eternal Gallery and Archive, a space library that moves about every 50 years. In tracking its location, they employ the services of Book, who tracks it to an orange void full of plasma storms. Every time we’ve seen orange voids in Star Trek, I’ve run straight to Badlands theorising, except this time I was actually right! I can’t wait to return here, that brief glimpse we got makes it look more dangerous than ever. Next episode’s sure to be a treat!

Tig Notaro as Reno, Blu del Barrio as Adira, and Mary Wiseman as Tilly in Star Trek: Discovery, episode 7, season 5, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo credit: Paramount+

Conclusion

With the last few episodes being very focused on finding the Progenitor’s clues, this was a breath of fresh air. It was a very tense episode that gave all the main characters something to do. I’m glad they were actually stumped by the clue for more than 5 minutes here. An episode’s B-story that’s mostly independent from the rest of the episode? Amazing. This episode really felt like it had a lot more going on as a result. I also think the impacts will be felt for the rest of the season, particularly with L’ak’s death.

Next week’s episode is called “Labyrinths”, with the whole B-story this week being a massive set up. Details as of writing this are scarce, but it sounds really exciting. The final clue being in a library moving through space that now resides in the Badlands? How awesome is that!

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 7 streams via Paramount+ in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Latin America, France, Germany, Brazil, South Korea (via Tving), France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. It is also available on CTV Scifi / Crave in Canada and TVNZ in New Zealand. The show is also available on SkyShowtime in the Nordics, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, and Central and Eastern Europe.


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Connor Schwigtenberg
Connor Schwigtenberg
All round science fiction geek and a passionate Star Trek enthusiast. Can reliably be found nerding out online. Currently exploring the expanded media. A writer at heart, look out for deep dives, reviews, and feature articles.

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