I feel like whoever wrote this episode wasn't really operating from the other depictions of Saru we've seen so far. Yes, his race is always afraid and very much on the flight of fight vs. flight. However, he's mostly been just pretty cautious and we even see him control his fear to do a damn good job in rescuing Captain Lorca. His threat ganglia also aren't up most of the time so he's not afraid all the time or at least not of the mind DEATH IS NEAR. So the premise feels all sorts of wonky.