There’s Only So Much I Can Do!

Discovery arrives at the hyperfield surrounding Species Ten-C and attempts to hail them – unsuccessfully. The hyperfield is massive, awing the crew. They try to come up with a plan to communicate with the Ten-C using the 16 hydrocarbons they took from their prior home. They program a message using the hydrocarbons in the dots and send them to the hyperfield to try to communicate. Zora also communicates to Stamets that something with her feels “off” (Book’s attached ship). They promise to get the bottom of it. 

On Book’s ship, Tarka and Book are arguing about dealing with the DMA. Reno asks them both for a piece of black licorice… an oddly specific request.

Back on the surface of the hyperfield, the dots are pulled inside by an energy burst that looks like a water tentacle. Before they can escape, it captures Discovery as well and pulls them inside of the field. 

What Kind of Help?

Inside the hyperfield, the ship scans 4 gas planets being pulled towards them. General Ndoye steps away to communicate with Book and Tarka, bringing them up to speed. She also asks about their plans to disarm the DMA and Tarka shows his equations to Book and reassures him it will work. While the two of them are rerouting power, we see Reno spit out her licorice and apply it to her badge. 

Back on Discovery, the Ten-C are scanning the ship. Zora explains to Stamets and Colburn her feelings of being “not right.” Colburn agrees to start her treatment with the Trill game. The Federation team plans their approach for First Contact and how to communicate. They decide to offer some Boromite as a gift to break the ice.

On Books’ ship, Reno tries to reach out to Book asking him why he is partnering with Tarka, and begins to sow doubts about Tarka’s motives. The two bond, sharing stories of their past. 

On Discovery, a lifeform approaches the shuttle bay. It’s indistinct in the gasses – you can see its eyes and a broad outline. Scans show it can see and use pheromones, but it’s unclear if it can hear. The creature excretes some pheromones and then flashes a specific light pattern. The crew then tries to figure out how to communicate. 

The General warns Book and Tarka that communicating with Ten-C will likely take a lot longer than planned. Out of these concerns, she agrees to start Tarka’s plan that will destroy the DMA. Reno is able to get Book alone and tells him that Tarka’s plan will kill them all and the resulting debris field will destroy Earth. She tells him to ask Tarka about his math and watch for how he reacts to the question.


Back on Discovery, Zora has been able to decipher the language. It appears that Species Ten-C is trying to teach them a Bridge language, similar to Lincos, that should be understandable by all intelligent life. The team constructs a simple message to send to Ten-C to show they understand.

On Book’s ship, Book confronts Tarka who admits that he has been dishonest, but argues that it won’t be as catastrophic as Reno suggests. Book attempts to stop them, but Tarca has rigged the ship and strikes Book with an energy field. He puts Book in the same force field with Reno.

On Discovery, the Ten-C responds to their message and sends an oblong sphere to the ship as an invitation. A small group including the President of the Federation, President of Ni’Var, Burnham, and Saru board the sphere where they find a replica of the Bridge of Discovery. Ten-C has created this to make them feel comfortable. Species Ten-C sends a question, asking why they destroyed the DMA with the isolytic weapon. They respond with a message that tells Ten-C that the DMA+Carbon life-forms = Terror. Ten-C responds that it gives them great sadness. They can empathize with them and can engage in diplomacy.

While the crew of the Discovery is on the oblong sphere trying to communicate with Ten-C, Tarka tricked Ndoya into triggering his plan. Zora detects Book’s ship just as it starts to vent plasma. Discovery is unable to stop it as its emergency shut-off has been disabled by Ndoya.

Whatever it Takes

The Ten-C sends the orb back to Discovery due to Tarca’s attack. Reno shares with Book that she has been using the licorice with her communicator chip to call Discovery (with Book’s access codes). She tells Discovery that Tarka’s plan to destroy the DMA will cause mass destruction and that she needs to stop them – whatever it takes.


It’s the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Discovery’s season. The Federation has made first contact with a completely different and unique species. They are on the brink of stopping the DMA. And I just can’t seem to care. The storytelling this season continues to drag. Much of the episode is spent going through the analysis of the language the Ten-C uses to communicate with Discovery. While I get the gist of it, it’s not particularly interesting. 

Tarca’s drive to get the power source of the DMA is still a confusing one. Why is he willing to sacrifice everyone and everything for a chance to join his friend? It can’t simply be because it was paradise or the two were besties. 

Zora’s role, exploring her humanity, still fails to deliver. Why do we have a sentient ship with feelings when it does not seem to go anywhere? Having feelings seems to have, in many ways, made her dumber. I can’t help but think that a simple scan would have found Tarca’s implant, not a vague “something isn’t right” feeling. 

I appreciate that they are trying to develop the characters, Saru’s love-life, Burnham’s insecurities, and Colburn’s emotional struggles. However, they fail to focus enough on any of them to truly drive this home.

With one more episode left of Star Trek: Discovery, I hope that it can be salvaged before the end.