This week’s Star Trek: Discovery episode, “Face the Strange,” takes a page from David Bowie‘s “Changes”—not just from the title but also from a narrative perspective. It’s easily the strongest outing in Season 5 thus far and feels like a return to form. Time loops are a sci-fi trope staple; despite their overuse, they almost always make for an entertaining, gripping story. 

“Face the Strange” is a delightful retrospective that pays homage to Discovery and Michael Burnham’s incredible journey from mutineer to captain of a Starfleet vessel. It brims with hope in true Star Trek fashion. 

Below, I’ve compiled my favorite quotes from Season 5, Episode 4, “Face the Strange.” Energize! 

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Reliving the Past 

STAMETS: “I’ve just been repeating my past actions, some of which have been deeply unpleasant. But I did get to see Linus stuck in the replicator again.”

RAYNER: “Always a silver lining.”

I would rather avoid reliving my worst mistakes, so I feel for Stamets (Anthony Rapp) here. That said, I imagine watching Linus get stuck in the replicator would be a hilarious palate cleanser. 

Cmdr. Jett Reno chats with Lt. Cmdr. Paul Stamets in engineering aboard the U.S.S. Discovery. They wear their blue and silver Starfleet uniforms on Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 4, "Face the Strange."

Tig Notaro as Reno and Anthony Rapp as Stamets in Star Trek: Discovery, episode 4, season 5, “Face the Strange,” streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Paramount+

BURNHAM: “Change can be hard.”

BOOK: “It’s also the only way anything meaningful can happen.”

This exchange between Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Book (David Ajala) profoundly resonates with me. Change is so damn hard, but it’s necessary and inevitable. Life’s most meaningful moments are usually born from change of some sort. 

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The Long and Winding Road 

BURNHAM: “I know that it’s hard to see a path to the captain’s seat from where you are. Even I forgot just how hopeless this time felt. It will be a long road. But just … don’t give up.” 

Martin-Green always delivers the acting goods in every episode, and “Face the Strange is no exception.” Her performance elevates and complements Burnham’s unique journey. It’s gratifying to watch her empower her past self to forge ahead. It’s the gentle self-talk we all need. 

Captain Michael Burnham stands in her ready room aboard the U.S.S. Discovery. She wears her red and black Starfleet uniform while tinkering with a malfunctioning screen on Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 4, "Face the Strange."

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery, episode 4, season 5, “Face the Strange,” streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Marni Grossman /Paramount+

RAYNER: “For what it’s worth, I lost my family young, too. And when that happens, there’s only one thing you can trust. And that’s the voice in your head.”

Rayner (Callum Keith Rennie) embarks on his own journey in “Face the Strange.” The first three episodes of the season showcase a sharp-tongued, sardonic curmudgeon singularly focused on tracking down L’ak and Moll. He’s uninterested in working with a team.

However, this outing allows him to develop as he bonds with Burnham. It’s a beautiful thing, as is this quote. I just hope we don’t lose all the tension and head-butting with Burnham. That’s part of the fun. 

RELATED: Read all of our Star Trek: Discovery recaps here!

BURNHAM: “We are always changing. With everything that happens to us, with the choices we make — what’s meaningful to us.”

We humans are perpetually in a state of evolution. This thought is equal parts reassuring and terrifying. Stagnation is the enemy! 

What are your favorite quotes from “Face the Strange”? Sound off in the comments below. 

Star Trek: Discovery drops new episodes every Thursday on Paramount+

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Melody McCune
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