'Star Trek: Discovery' season 5 episode 7 'Eirgah' is the best yet of this final season

promo image for the show "star trek: discovery," showing a closeup of a bronze-colored space helmet with a green line where eye slits would be
The Breen have in fact been around, albeit mostly only in passing references, in "Star Trek" since TNG. (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Star Trek: Discovery" season 5, episode 7

Almost immediately, we're treated to the return of Commander Nhan (Rachael Ancheril), who we last saw in the episode "Rubicon" S04, E09, just like we called a couple of weeks ago with episode 3, "Jinaal." And you know, this new episode, entitled "Eirgah," starts off strong and actually holds our attention throughout. In short, with just three more episodes remaining until the end of "Star Trek: Discovery" forever and ever, we actually get a pretty good installment. 

Yes, it seems the writers aren't quite sure what to do with Captain Rayner's character, and that was always a danger. Callum Keith Rennie is an actor of the highest caliber, and a reoccurring B-character was never going to be worthy of his talent. And so we seem to continually walk the very thin line between a basic, two-dimensional character and someone who teases the tiniest hint of Mariana Trench-like depth.

Regardless, we are at least given a little more insight into his background, and, of course, it leaves us wanting so much more — though his character is so disappointingly clichéd at times, you really have to wonder how Raynor actually made it through Starfleet and ended up with his own command in the first place. 

Related:Watch the bittersweet trailer for 'Star Trek: Discovery's final season (video)

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Larry, Curly and Moe — albeit they've been regendered and are now living aboard a Federation starship. (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Another interesting observation is the mention of the USS Mitchell, clearly a nod to the actor Kenneth Mitchell, who popped up a number of times in "Star Trek: Discovery" playing various roles, but who tragically died from complications of ALS back in February. Possibly an indication of when this scene was actually filmed, which seems really rather recent, but it's a small matter. 

Arguably the most important issue to focus on here is that Malinne "Moll" Ravel (Eve Harlow) and L'ak (Elias Toufexis) are in fact chasing the ultimate power in the universe, to trade it ... so they can, in essence, elope? It's less of a romantic gesture and slightly more of a staggeringly irresponsible and breathtakingly selfish thing to do, don't you think? 

"Oh, darling, let's go and visit Risa, the pleasure planet, for our honeymoon," purred Moll as she gently shifted under the bed sheets, her skin enjoying every moment of contact with the luxury one-billion-thread Vulcan cotton. 

"We could do that," he replied, his arms still wrapped around her. "But don't forget, absolutely everyone in the galaxy is dead, so we'd have to make our own Samarian Sunsets..." he added almost as an afterthought. 

Paramount continues to make odd choices on the publicity pics for each episode, so here's Admiral Vance. (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

But enough of all of that. There are a number of reasons, many beyond the obvious, as to why this is a pretty good episode. The obvious ones include the fact that this episode didn't rip off any decades-old sci-fi that the millennial scriptwriters have only just discovered, so you know, that's always a plus. It happens, sure. It's like discovering the music of T-Rex for the first time, 20 years later, then trying to form a band, aged 13½, believing beyond any doubt that you have a rock-star future ahead of you, basically by copying their songs. The difference is, you were prepubescent, no one in the band could actually play an instrument — and the writers on "Discovery" are Paid Professionals.

Interestingly, this episode is the first major directorial role that Jon Dudkowski has had, and frankly, it shows a lot of promise. He too, we suspect, has studied the work of the legendary Vince Gilligan, and some of the camera angles and edits reflect this. The problem with all of Nu-Trek is that a ton of different directors are hired to come onboard and churn this stuff out. "Picard" was practically a case study on how not to production line principal photography as quickly as possible. Because every director has their own style and when you have a minimum of say, six different styles, more often than not, it jars, making the show inconsistent and harder to enjoy, ultimately driving a wedge between the viewer and the experience. 

"Discovery" too suffers from the same problem, but if they'd given Dudkowski the whole season to direct, well, we might have had better episodes, and certainly a more consistent experience. Having the same showrunner isn't the same as having the same director, and having a variety of such notably different styles, in this instance, is a bad thing. Each episode should be a labor of love, and, as such, in a show where the season is only 10 episodes long, both the season and the show would really benefit from being seamless. 

Will the Discovery be left abandoned at the end of this season, to fulfill the fate of "Calypso?" It's doubtful. (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Of course, quite how much actual control Dudkowski had we'll never know. But this installment definitely benefits from good dialogue, good pacing, some creative cinematography and even little touches like how Burnham is never quite given the chance to use a catch phrase, lame or otherwise. And that self-aware-style of writing has been noticed and appreciated.  

The fifth and final season of "Star Trek: Discovery" and every other episode of every "Star Trek" show — with the exception of "Star Trek: Prodigy" — currently streams exclusively on Paramount Plus in the U.S., while "Prodigy" has found a new home on Netflix. 

Internationally, the shows are available on Paramount Plus in Australia, Latin America, the UK and South Korea, as well as on Pluto TV in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland on the Pluto TV Sci-Fi channel. They also stream on Paramount Plus in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In Canada, they air on Bell Media's CTV Sci-Fi Channel and stream on Crave.

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Scott Snowden

When Scott's application to the NASA astronaut training program was turned down, he was naturally upset...as any 6-year-old boy would be. He chose instead to write as much as he possibly could about science, technology and space exploration. He graduated from The University of Coventry and received his training on Fleet Street in London. He still hopes to be the first journalist in space.