Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Discovery Loses a Crew Member

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 5, "Die Trying," now streaming on CBS All Access.

Star Trek: Discovery boasts a large cast still growing. The characters shown aboard the U.S.S. Discovery go from the captain's chair with Saru (Doug Jones) all the way down to lower decks with Ensign Tilly (Mary Wiseman). But in the latest episode, one among them has chosen to leave the ship and embrace the mysteries of the 32nd century.

Commander Nhan (Rachael Ancheril) was a late addition to the Discovery crew. She originally served on the Enterprise under Captain Pike (Anson Mount) before being transferred to the ship and serving as its security officer. She was thrown into the action of Season 2 almost immediately, killing Airiam (Hannah Cheesman) when it was discovered when she was corrupted by the malevolent A.I. Control. She was able to avenge Airiam when she assisted Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) in destroying Control shortly before the ship entered the wormhole and traveled almost 1000 years in time.

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In Season 3, Episode 5, "Die Trying," Discovery embarks on a mission to cure a dying race of refugees from a deathly disease, and to prove themselves to the Federation of 3189. To do so, they go to the U.S.S. Tikov -- a ship that houses seeds from many planets and periods -- to help create an antidote. The last people aboard the ship were the Barzan. Nhan herself is of the Barzan species, and her experience puts her on the away team alongside Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz).

On the Tikov, Nhan is able to breathe without her device for the first time in a long time, and it allows her to exhale (literally and metaphorically) as she opens up about her history. The Barzan are known for "diligence and poverty," and she devastated her family when she said she would be joining Starfleet. Her departure was the last time she saw them, and considering Barzan was not part of the Federation at the time, it's been quite a while since she's embraced her heritage.

She does so fully on this ship, captivated by holograms of its previous occupants playing. Unfortunately, that happiness crashes down when she realizes that most of the family was killed in a burst of solar energy, leaving its patriarch Dr. Attis (Jake Epstein) alive but emotionally wounded. As the crew try to figure out how to handle Attis' situation, she approaches him with a sympathetic eye, sharing a cultural connection.

Attis is told he has only days to live with the radiation he encountered, but the doctor refuses to leave the Tikov and his family. Nhan then sees an opportunity, volunteering to stay behind and man the ship after Attis dies. Michael is stunned, but Nhan wants to take the opportunity to give the Attis family a proper burial. It will allow her to finally return home, and make that visit she was never able to before. The Barzan commends Michael on the work she has done for herself and countless others before she and Discovery beam away, leaving Nhan to her new work with the Barzan.

Considering that Star Trek: Discoveryrevolves around the titular ship, it's safe to say Nhan will be a much smaller part of the show, if not off the show entirely. If the ship does stay in the 32nd century after making the time jump, it could be possible she makes cameo appearances. However, it seems like the show has sent Nhan off onto a new path for now, showing how much the future has to offer for the crew in so many different ways.

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 Gray, Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. New episodes of Season 3 air on Thursdays.