Scoop About That ‘TNG’ Connection, Saru’s Decision & Book’s Revelation

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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episodes 1 “Red Directive” and 2 “Under the Twin Moons.”]

Star Trek: Discovery just set Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the rest of the crew on quite the adventure for its final season, with a major connection to a previous series in the franchise.

The Paramount+ drama’s fifth and final season premiered on April 4 with the first two episodes, “Red Directive” and “Under the Twin Moons,” which also featured a farewell to a fan-favorite—but don’t worry, he’s not leaving the show, just the U.S.S. Discovery—and a surprising revelation about the identity of one of the dangerous foes also after the same ancient power the crew is.

Read on for a breakdown of the major moments, plus some scoop on why the final mission is connected to The Next Generation and what’s still to come.

Discovery Expands on TNG‘s “The Chase”

It’s not until the end of the premiere that Kovich (David Cronenberg), after a lot of pressing from Burnham, reveals the details of the classified mission. A Romulan, Dr. Vellek (Michael Copeman), one of the greatest scientists of his day, was present when Picard (Patrick Stewart) found a message left by a race of ancient beings called the Progenitors who created life as we know it. A few thousand years ago, they would’ve been called gods.

Vellek found their technology, whatever they used to design life itself, and when he disappeared 800 years ago, the location was lost with him. The crew has to find it first before it falls into the wrong hands, La’k (Elias Toufexis) and Moll’s (Eve Harlow).

“‘The Chase’ was an episode that had stuck with many of us from TNG, just for the ideas and themes that it explores in an hour, and then that’s it. And then they go on to other adventures,” executive producer Michelle Paradise tells TV Insider. “But there are these very profound questions and explorations, and it just felt like an area that was so rich for exploration and asking what happened next.”

She continues, “When we were looking at Season 5 and looking at where our characters were emotionally and where we wanted to take them this season and the things that they were going to be exploring internally and discovering about themselves internally – questions of meaning, place in the world, where am I going? Where do I fit? — it felt like that was a really wonderful launching point in terms of theme. It also gave us a really great quest, and that was something else we wanted this season was an adventure, a quest, and so the quest to find this technology becomes the thing that they’re after. And it all seemed that it worked very, very well together.”

Saru Leaves Discovery

Saru (Doug Jones) leaves behind the crew that’s his family to take a diplomatic post, but before doing so, he and Burnham go on one last mission together in “Under the Twin Moons.”

“Oh, I hate goodbyes in real life and for Saru and Burnham,” admits Jones. “Saru and Burnham’s relationship has been brother-sister-like since the very beginning where we are at each other’s throats a little bit and competitive with each other, and now going through life and death situations, we have grown such a respect and admiration for each other that when this new opportunity comes for Saru, and it might be time for him to move on, is it or isn’t it? And should he or shouldn’t he? So much goes into it. His loyalty to Discovery. His loyalty to her mostly is what really is the tether that, do I stay, do I go?”

He especially loved a significant moment the two shared. “When foreheads touch in my Kelpian culture, that is not so much romance as it is family. And so my goodbye temporarily, if I have to go and seek out a new position somewhere, I couldn’t do it without a forehead touch with her because she’s family to me now,” he says.

Doug Jones as Saru and Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery, season 5

Michael Gibson/Paramount+

“That episode is so beautiful, and I love the way they told that story,” Martin-Green raves. “I love what the writers gave us, and of course, it’s always such a joy to work with the brilliant, once-in-a-lifetime, Doug Jones.”

Saru leaving the U.S.S. Discovery is key for Burnham’s journey. “Here we have her guide, her big brother in a lot of ways, her voice of reason moving on, fulfilling his own destiny. And so it’s interesting because it’s like Burnham needed that,” explains Martin-Green. “It was a graduation for her in a lot of ways. It’s like, well, now the things that he gives me— speaking as Burnham—I’m going to have to find in myself because I think now it’s time for me to give, for me to be the guide, for me to be the shepherd, for me to be the one who’s sort of in the mentor position. So I love it. I also just love what it speaks to regarding Saru and him returning to his people and realizing that that’s where his place is. I think that that speaks volumes as well.”

But while Saru and T’Rina (Tara Rosling) are going strong, there are some challenges they have to navigate politically. Jones thinks it’s harder for T’Rina to do so because “she has more at stake diplomatically and politically because of her position as president of her planet and how things will look, how will her people respond to her relationship to an outsider, which I am in her culture. And so how is that going to affect her diplomacy?”

Moll’s Connection to Book

Book (David Ajala) realizes that the crew’s current foe, Moll, is the daughter of his mentor, making her the closest thing to family that he has left. Once he realizes who she is, “It is such a mix of emotions because how do you quantify that the last human life form of connection to your family is also potentially your enemy?” asks Ajala.

“There’s so many questions and of course, it just heightens the level of drama. Unpacking that was always going to be a fun challenge. And throughout the season there is closure at the end, but it’s still very, very gray,” he says. “And I really admire the way the writers have approached that specific storyline because it is a tricky one to quantify.”

What did you think of the first two episodes of the final season of Star Trek: Discovery? Let us know in the comments section, below.

Star Trek: Discovery, Thursdays, Paramount+

Originally published here.

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