Saru rests his head on Burnham's head

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5, Episode 2 Recap

Warning: The following recap of Star Trek: Discovery Season 5, Episode 2, contains spoilers.

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The fifth and final season of Star Trek: Discovery continues with its second episode on Paramount+, with the series embarking on an epic hunt across the galaxy for a valuable artifact. However, a new villainous pair is one step of the USS Discovery as its crew faces major personal crossroads. 

Previously on Star Trek: Discovery, Starfleet Command’s black ops official Doctor Kovich assigned Captain Michael Burnham and the USS Discovery to recover a Romulan diary with confidential information. Accompanied by the USS Antares and its commanding officer Captain Rayner, Burnham reunited with her former paramour Cleveland “Book” Booker, but the ensemble was unable to stop criminals Moll and L’ak from making off with the diary. Kovich revealed the diary contained information about the Progenitors, including clues about their technology’s whereabouts. Here is a recap of Star Trek: Discovery Season 5’s second episode, “Under the Twin Moons.”

The Repercussions of the Season Premiere

Vance briefs Burnham

For ordering the Antares to fire at Moll and L’ak’s vessel, inadvertently causing an avalanche that not only allowed the culprits to escape but endangered a nearby city, Rayner faces a tribunal at the highest levels of the United Federation. During the tribunal, Burnham admits on the record that she believed Rayner made a grave mistake that needlessly put thousands of lives at risk and created the diplomatic fallout the Federation is currently facing. After learning more about the diary and its writer, along with information provided by Sylvia Tilly, Burnham pinpoints where she and the Discovery need to go to intercept Moll and L’ak.

For his continued support on the matter, Admiral Charles Vance clears Book to be assigned to the Discovery, rather than sending him back to his penal rehabilitation facility for his own brash actions in Star Trek: Discovery Season 4. Book agrees to this arrangement and continues his discussion with Burnham about their relationship before researching more about Moll and L’ak. As he awaits his determination from the tribunal, Rayner is assigned to the Discovery for further notice and quietly removed from his command of the Antares in the interim.

The Return of Action Saru

Saru and Burnham walk through a jungle

Joining Burnham on the planet’s surface is Saru, with the two old friends finding the environment seemingly pleasant but, after encountering the skeletons of previous grave robbers, deadlier than they anticipated. As the two proceed together cautiously, Saru reflects on Burnham transitioning from mutineer to redeemed Starfleet officer to the inspirational captain of a starship. Burnham reveals she knows that Saru will resign from his Starfleet commission after completing this mission in order to accept the diplomatic job and be closer to his partner T’Rina.

Approaching an ancient temple, Burnham and Saru trigger its advanced defense systems, with dangerous robots activating. Rayner helps Tilly and Adira Tal decipher clues on text engraved on nearby stone structures, with Saru successfully destroying the robots with his Kelpien physiology. Through his own research, Book is able to contact Moll and L’ak, who mock him, revealing they know how important the Romulan diary and its contents are before ending the transmission.

Changing of the Guard

Burnham meets with Rayner

Burnham and Saru discover Moll and L’ak already beat the Discovery to this location, defacing a stone obelisk to prevent anyone following them from reading the clues it contained. Burnham is able to bring back a small piece from the site, revealing it to be one piece of a five-piece puzzle that will create a map leading to whatever the Progenitors have left behind. As they go over the clues with their puzzle piece, Adira realizes that it points to their own home planet of Trill, with the Discovery moving to obtain the next piece of the map.

The tribunal finds Rayner guilty and not only maintains his removal from the Antares, but seek to force him into an early retirement from Starfleet altogether. With Saru officially stepping down from his position as the Discovery’s First Officer, Burnham offers the vacant role to Rayner, giving his place in Starfleet a second chance, just as she had received years ago. Reviewing his recorded conversation with Moll and L’ak, Book determines that Moll is from Kwejian and related to his mentor, making them the last two known survivors from their planet and fueling his desire to find her.

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Sam Stone
Sam Stone is a longtime entertainment news journalist and columnist, covering everything from movies and television to video games and comic books. Sam also has bylines at CBR, Popverse, Den of Geek, GamesRadar+, and He's been a freelance contributor with The Escapist since October 2023, during which time he's covered Mortal Kombat, Star Trek, and various other properties. Sam remembers what restful sleep was. But that was a long time ago.