Star Trek Discovery

CBS All Access

Season One Episode Five

Choose Your Pain

Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) awakens from a nightmare as she endures the same kind of torture that is being done to “Ripper” for the sake of the spore drive jumps. She enlists Dr. Culber to examine the creature to determine if the jumps are causing it long term damage. Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) is giving a report to members of Starfleet Command about the drive and their success has prompted a hunt across the galaxy for more of the creatures. In the interim, Lorca has been ordered to reign in use of the drive until more are able to put into production. An order that doesn’t sit right with the Captain considering the mounting casualties from the war with the Klingons.


On the way back to the ship, Lorca’s shuttle is ambushed by a Klingon ship and the Captain is taken prisoner. With Saru (Doug Jones) in command, the former first officer is second guessing his ability to perform the task of Command and he searches through Starfleets database of the most successful Captains in the fleet (A list of names that are familiar to Star Trek fans which includes Jonathan Archer and Christopher Pike) in order to match his decisions to theirs. Lorca wakes up and discovers that he is on a Klingon prison ship sharing a cell with Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson).


Burnham convinces Culber to confront Lt. Stamets (Anthony Rapp) that the creature they are using to navigate the ship is being harmed, prompting the scientist to look into an alternative and an expletive to be spoken that felt forced and unnecessary. Lorca and Mudd get into it when the Captain discovers that Mudd has been working with the Klingons and his bringing up the Captains past. Meanwhile, the Tartagrade creature goes into survival mode after the ship makes another jump and Culber refuses to force it to wake up.


In order to rescue the Captain and ensure the sustainability of the drive, Stamets and Lorca will have to make some tough decisions and there is a question about whether or not Tyler can truly be trusted.

This episode was enjoyable for the most part. There were moments that seemed forced like the cursing and the animosity between Sura and Burnham. The resolution of the episode is satisfying as a Star Trek episode goes. The threads they are building are interesting and I hope to see them explored with good writing.

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