Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Discovery - Who Is Booker, Burnham's New Ally?

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 1, "That Hope Is You, Part One" now streaming on CBS All Access.

The Season 3 premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, "That Hope Is You, Part One" found Burnham alone and flung far off into the future, further ahead than Star Trek has ever been. But before Burnham even arrives through the wormhole, she meets a new companion, the courier, Cleveland Booker.

Booker debuted, quite literally guns blazing, as he was in the midst of a chase between himself and Cosmo Traitt, another courier. Booker at first seems like a roguish Han Solo type. Cosmo had accused Booker of stealing his cargo and commission, but Booker asserts the cargo "belongs to itself."

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In that moment, Burnham in the Red Angel suit comes bursting through a wormhole and collides with Booker. The two crash down onto the surface of Hima, a planet run by an alliance of Orions and Andorians. Booker's work as a courier, a quasi-legal smuggler, is seemingly for them.

Burnham seeks him out after crashing, but their initial meeting doesn't go well. Booker is defensive and cut off, very skeptical of Burnham's belief in the Federation. He spends most of the episode mocking her for being a "true believer." Eventually, Burnham is able to barter with him and tag along to Hima's main outpost, Requiem.

Burnham sees early on that Booker has an affinity towards animals, keeping a pet maine coon with thyroid issues named Grudge. When things go south, the two are forced to hop around Hima using personal teleporters to escape. Burnham is injured in the process and that is when she learns something unique about Booker.

After entering a trance, glowing marks form on his head and he summons plant life from the nearby ocean shore, gathering some of it to help heal Burnham's wound. He doesn't have a chance to properly explain because the two are confronted yet again.

Luring their pursuers back to his ship, Booker unleashes his cargo, a creature called a trance worm he named Molly. The trance worm makes mincemeat of their foes and swallows Burnham as well. But Booker is able to soothe the creature and it spits Burnham out.

Booker reveals that he comes from a human-offshoot colony that is comprised mostly of hunters and killers. Booker is considered an outcast among them because he was born with empathic powers that allow him to commune with nature. However, he is not alone.

Booker takes Burnham to his home, a reservation he tends with other outcasts. He releases Molly and shows Burnham how they work to preserve endangered species since the Federation is no longer capable of doing so. His work as a courier is a cover to facilitate smuggling endangered species to his world.

There's much more to learn about Booker to be certain, but in his debut episode, he turns out to be a complex character and a true ally to Burnham. In this dangerous and uncertain era she has found herself in, Burnham will need all the help she can get.

Streaming on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Commander Saru, Anthony Rapp as Lt. Commander Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly, Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber, David Ajala as Cleveland "Book" Booker, Blu del Barrio as Adira, Ian Alexander as Grey, Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno, Ethan Peck as Spock and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. New episodes of Season 3 air on Thursdays.

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