If you’re a fan of “caper” or “heist” films then “Scavengers,” the sixth episode of Star Trek: Discovery’s third season, may well be your favorite.
Too few people are involved in the action to call it “Burnham’s Eleven.” But “The Hunhau Job” as an alternate title has a nice ring to it!
Here are five memorable moments from “Scavengers”:
“You had me at ‘unsanctioned mission’”
When Saru tells Burnham the Discovery must stay at Starfleet, ready to jump as rapid response to the Emerald Chain, Burnham plans a covert trek to Hunhau. Her objectives? Retrieve a starship “black box” that could yield data about the origin of the Burn, and find Book.
Her partner? Well, who else?
Sonequa Martin-Green and Michelle Yeoh play off each other masterfully throughout the whole episode, and it starts here. This scene’s also notable for its cinematography. Georgiou’s reflection on the bulkhead is a visual reminder of her “mirror universe” origin. which will also affect her and Burnham’s “unsanctioned mission” in an unexpected way.
Ensign Tilly’s turn to hold a Grudge
In Book’s book his cat is a “queen,” but we discover Grudge isn’t everyone’s cup of tranya when Tilly discovers Burnham’s no longer aboard the ship.
Mary Wiseman consistently gets some of the best lines on Star Trek: Discovery. Her “accusation” of Grudge in this scene is one of this season’s simplest but funniest.
Ryn risks it all to help liberate the prisoners
Played by Noah Averbach-Katz (self-described “life long Trekkie” and husband of Mary Wiseman), Ryn is the first serious competition Shran from Star Trek: Enterprise has had as the franchise’s most fascinating Andorian.
When we first meet him, he’s a reluctant Emerald Chain enforcer, mutilated as punishment for his attempt to rally the Andorians against Osyraa. Even once he joins Burnham and Book’s plan to spring the slaves on Hunhau, he wrestles with self-doubt. But by the episode’s end, he’s regained heroic status, leading the prisoners to liberty at great personal cost.
Star Trek has always been a sucker for a strong heroic arc. Ryn’s, which continues throughout this season, is an instant classic.
Stamets and Adira bond over holding on to loved ones
The fledging friendship between Adira and Stamets is the latest in Star Trek’s long line of unlikely but beautiful friendships.
The scene reminds us friendships need openness and vulnerability to form and flourish. It’s a truth about which Burnham, elsewhere in the episode, tries unsuccessfully to persuade Georgiou, who’s been keeping her growing mental trauma hidden: “A vulnerability is not a death sentence. You’re not alone.”
Star Trek: Discovery gives us a solid Starfleet admiral
Thankfully, Star Trek: Discovery has chosen not to continue the franchise’s well-documented tradition of incompetent, ignorant, or ignominious admirals.
Admiral Charles Vance, played with great dignity by Oded Fehr, isn’t unreasonable or unfair, but he is focused on urgent priorities, and he demands Saru and Burnham remember and respect them.
The scene also brings to a head the conflict that’s been slowly building over the last several episodes—conflict between Burnham and Saru, and conflict within each of them. It’s another example of Star Trek: Discovery’s consistent ability to deliver nuanced, compelling character-based drama.
What are your favorite moments from “Scavengers”? Tell us in the comments!