'Star Trek: Discovery' season 5 episode 9 offers a tense but questionable cliffhanger

 a humanoid alien with pink skin and several deep clefts on its face, wearing a blue tunic
We've really enjoyed Saru's storyline throughout "Discovery," it's a shame we haven't seen more recently (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Star Trek: Discovery" season 5, episode 9

Here we are then, just two episodes away from the very end of "Star Trek: Discovery," but we'll save the nostalgic look back over the last six years, eight months, one week and two days for next week. And no doubt there will be some kind of emotional farewell at the end of next week's installment, but just how cringeworthy that will be remains to be seen. 

Best non-cancellation last episode of a TV sci-fi show ever, in the "Five Seasons or More" category? Well, it certainly isn't "Enterprise," sadly, and let's face facts, it's got to be the "The Next Generation" episode "All Good Things" (S07, E25) with "Unending," the "Stargate SG1" episode (S10, E20) in second place. 

And as we've seen, the quality of writing on this fifth and final season of "Discovery" has picked up, arguably an improvement the last three seasons, but unquestionably over the last season, which was the switching off point for many who had given "Discovery" the benefit of the doubt for so very long. And, despite this installment, entitled "Lagrange Point," being directed by Jonathan Frakes, it's not terrible. 

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Do you wonder if the Breen worship a god with the same name as a 20th century car rental company? (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

While Frakes has some excellent examples of episodic television under his belt, including "Falling Skies," "The Orville" and even "V," plus both "The Next Generation" and "Deep Space Nine" and "First Contact" of course, he has also helmed a few episodes –— almost always of "Star Trek" — that are...well, the sci-fi TV franchise equivalent of the Roger Moore Bond movies. And let's leave it at that. 

Not knowing more about the writing and production procedure employed on "Discovery," it's hard to know if the writers know what director will be assigned to which episode and whether or not they therefore cater for that individual, or if the director just takes the script and alters it as much or as little as they like. That's ultimately what contributes to the often-seen inconsistency that we talked about a week or so ago.

This week, a few select members of the command crew of the USS Discovery attempt to infiltrate a Breen dreadnought. And to be perfectly honest, after having watched the epic "Orville" episode "Krill" (S01, E06) it's a little hard to take this somewhat clichéd tactical approach seriously. But, for the most part, it's carried off with too much of a hitch. 

Chris (Seth MacFarlane) and Devon (Scott Grimes), from the USS Orville attempt to infiltrate a Krill vessel (Image credit: 20th Century Fox Television)

The Breen have successfully snuck in under the nose of the USS Discovery and half-inched the Progenitors Puzzle. You know, like Belloq in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," and we get to see them attempting to open the final clue, a little like the wonderfully hilarious slaves-get-killed-horribly-first approach that was used to great affect in "The Mummy." Missed opportunity there for a couple of really creative and horrific sacrificial deaths Frakes. Being dragged into an unknown dimension just wasn't unpleasant enough. Also, Wilhelm Scream?!

That said, there is some nice, creative choices of edits and a Starfleet commendation should be awarded to whichever writer championed a line of dialogue where Captain Rayner (Keith Rennie Callum) finally tells Lt. Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) to shut up. Sure, some fans adore her innocent, bumbling, comedy relief-style appeal, but it's not always conducive to Every Single Scene. 

And finally, breaking news this week as, according to The Hollywood Reporter, longtime "X-Men" producer Simon Kinberg is in talks to produce a "Star Trek" movie franchise for Paramount. Toby Haynes, who directed episodes "Andor" is on board to direct the new feature, with Seth Grahame-Smith writing the script. The project is said to be set decades before the events of the dreadful 2009 movie that was directed JJ Abrams, likely around modern times.

Captain Rayner (Keith Rennie Callum). (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

It is said to involve the creation of the Starfleet and humankind’s first contact with alien life. This is music to the ears of all fans who believe that keeping Trek ridiculously far flung into the future is an awful, awful idea. Also, someone other than Alex Kurtzman and Akiva Goldsman calling the shots is an excellent, excellent idea. 

And while this period in Trek history is so very interesting as we saw in the vastly underrated "Enterprise," it does feel like everyone either wants to fast forward into the future or slam the franchise into reverse and go all the way back...but always, always leapfrogging over the most underutilized period, which is "The Wrath of Khan" movie era: Monster Maroons, Admiral Kirk, the USS Excelsior ... and all of that unexplored wonder. 

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 US, 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.