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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Brings Relationship Tension to “Lagrange Point”

5 Minute Read
May 23 2024
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It’s the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Discovery. The gravity of the situation has never been greater. Literally.

There’s not a lot to the plot of “Lagrange Point”. Discovery finds the Progenitor device, but the Breen bring it aboard first. Michael, Book, Rhys, and Adira sneak aboard to steal it back. And then everything goes tits up as you would expect! Discovery has to fly into the Breen ship, decompressing the whole main bay in the process. Michael and Moll jump into a mysterious portal in the device! Now there’s a portal between two primordial black holes! Are Michael and Book still in love?

THERE IS A LOT GOING ON. And that doesn’t even cover Saru throwing his life into peril to slow down some other Breen (much to T’Rina’s Vulcan chagrin). It’s funny because in one way this is all very tempest in a teacup. It’s an episode where things only move a little bit. The device is closed at the beginning of “Lagrange Point” and by the end it’s open. Also Moll and Michael are in it. That’s all that really happens plot-wise.

However, if that tempest breaks out of the teacup (and it kind of has to), nothing will be the same after. So the tension is there. And to get it out of the way way, the tension works!

But the larger question is—how well does “Lagrange Point” work in telling this final season’s story overall? And even more importantly, how does it work in bringing our characters towards a satisfying end point? In lieu of general recaps or reviews, let’s hone in on those two questions.

Courtesy of Paramount Plus

“Lagrange Point” and Discovery Season 5

The first thing to say here is that while the plot of Star Trek: Discovery‘s final season involves a race to find ancient technology, that’s not what the season is about. This is a story about searching for greater meaning and purpose. And it’s about looking for those things in three places: from within, from those around us, and from the nebulous universe at large. It’s about how the past and the present help us decide our collective future.

And since there’s no such thing as universal consensus (not even on the feel-good starship Discovery) that means conflict. In this case, much of the conflict boils down to the one between the Federation and the Breen. And that often plays in specific through Michael and Book interacting with Moll and L’ak.

There’s not a lot of the philosophical in “Lagrange Point”. But despite L’ak’s death, the connection between the couples is especially strong. So much of this story is about Michael and Moll reaching out to love and to the unknown. Michael stops everything to tell Book that all of this, her drive, her curiosity, is tied inexorably with her realization that she regrets letting go of their relationship and her desire to find her way back to it.

Moll’s love for L’ak plays out with similar intensity. She projects that love on the Breen as their de facto leader and she she projects the rage of her loss on the Federation. And when Moll and Michael step through that portal it’s about all that stuff: love, loss, hope, fear. What lies on the other side are the answers to all questions great and small—but will they like those answers?

Courtesy of Paramount Plus

Character Growth Everywhere

The Progenitor tech sits betwixt two black holes. As a metaphor that works because we have the two couples and then on the other we have everything else.


Adira takes the leap on their riskiest mission to date. Not only do they need to rise to the occasion, but Stamets and Culber also have to hold onto each other as they let go of someone who is, in many ways, their child. It’s moving!

And let me say this: I can watch Tilly and Rayner ALL. DAY. Their conflict, the way their opposites complement each other is magic. The moment Tilly tries to get Rayner to sit in the captain’s chair and he basically says, “if you hug me with your eyes one more time, you’re going out the airlock” is everything. They teach each other at every turn and it’s so darn entertaining.

Finally, there’s Saru and T’Rina. Watching them navigate when to do the Vulcan logic thing and when to let themselves share emotions is so rewarding. Both of them consistently worry about the other. And they each get it wrong in ways that are just adorable. Saru knee-jerk takes on a mission that may get him killed and you can see T’Rina thinking, “it would’ve been nice if you’d asked!”

But in the end they open space for one another to do the hard thing. T’Rina helps Saru set aside emotion and see the logic in his choice to help Discovery, risks be damned. And Saru gives T’Rina the permission she needs to illogically ask him the most simple thing: promise me you’ll come home to me.

“Lagrange Point” brings the personal to the philosophical in a way we need before the series finale and it’s beautiful.

Courtesy of Paramount Plus

Not So Fast, Star Trek: Discovery

It’s nice being nice, isn’t it? But “Lagrange Point” has its flaws and it wouldn’t be much of a review if we didn’t acknowledge them.

I will say, there’s a lot of rolling natural 20’s in this episode. Somehow, despite knowing very little about the Breen, everyone who sneaks aboard that ship somehow manages to navigate some pretty tense and complex social situations.

Also, the Breen come off as kind of gullible. I mean… Book flirts with a random dude and it just works? Listen, we’ve all seen David Ajala. We can all appreciate his voice, my goodness. But is he that good? Okay, maybe. But it felt like a moment where the writers wanted to relieve tension through comedy and it came off silly and unbelievable instead.

But the biggest bummer isn’t anyone’s fault, just a matter of bad timing. The actors who play Detmer and Owosekun were not available for a big chunk of filming, and they are sorely missed. I appreciate the actors playing the new bridge crew attempting a heavy lift, but there’s just no way to make them into people I know and love in such a short time. Not when there’s so much else going on.

It feels like “Lagrange Point” misses something essential by not having those two quintessential characters in it.  Again: no one’s fault. But it’s unfortunate. Otherwise, this is a thrilling penultimate episode and the perfect set-up for next week’s series finale. We’ll see you then!

4.5/5 stars


Lina Morgan
Author: Lina Morgan
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