Even though the main arc of the season involving the Klingon war was wrapped up too quickly and too neat for me, there was plenty of nostalgia and solid storylines that made this a great episode to end the season with. While many will be talking about the final few minutes, and rightly so, the episode again took some time to work on characters as the show prepares to take us into season two.
We all knew putting Emperor Georgiou in command of Discovery was a bad idea, both story wise and as a plot device, but who knew it would get so bad so quickly? I’m sure most thought the mission to send out a probe to seek out the best targets for an attack by Discovery was too simple a solution. It seems the powers that be in Starfleet, which include Admiral Cornwall and Sarek, feel they are desperate enough that detonating a bomb inside the Klingon homeworld of Quo’noS and killing millions is justified.
This is pretty much the overall theme of the episode, a sort of “how far will people/governments go to save or preserve their way of life?” It’s an old question, done many, many times before but still a good one. It not only tackles the plot of this episode but of Discovery as a show since day one. There has always been that militaristic side of the show, that dark edge, that seems to come before any science or exploration and truth be told, war will do that for you. However, it is still a tricky subject, and over the years, while “seeking out new life and new civilizations”, there have been many times where Starfleet has employed some questionable measures in terms of aggression or outright violence.
One of the perks of this mission was that an away team had to be sent to get some information about a specific shrine they need to find in order to release the drone/bomb. Burnham, Tyler, Georgiou, and Tilly are great here, throwing their different characters into the mix and providing both some hilarious and interesting interactions. Tilly getting high and meeting Clint Howard, a nice wink to the original series and the episode “The Corbomite Maneuver” was great and Tilly once again was stealing scenes left, right and center.
When Burnham figures out what Georgiou and Starfleet are really up to, she calls out Admiral Cornwall and with the backing of the Discovery crew, threatens a mutiny if she doesn’t call it off. It was an interesting moment of symmetry for Burnham and a testament to how far her character has come since the beginning of this series. Sonequa Martin-Green has been good from start to finish and because of that, the character of Burnham has been asked to carry a lot of the load, with mostly solid results. Her speech here is good and Cornwall backs down, agreeing to let L’Rell use the bomb as leverage to gain control of the Klingon Empire. Yeah, this was a bit too quick and easy for my liking but it works as a plot device and ensures us that we haven’t seen the last of the Klingons in this series.
Tyler decides to go with L’Rell and as a man now with no future in Starfleet it does make a measure of sense. The goodbyes between he and Burnham were emotional but measured, which was a good thing since they will be seeing each other again. I am curious as to what the show is going to do with L’Rell moving forward. She has potential and honestly, the only Klingon they have really invested any time in as a character, so it only makes sense that they develop her some more. With Tyler by her side, in theory, this will also allow for some interesting interactions between not only the two of them but the rest of the Klingon houses as well.
The crew of Discovery is given commendations for their work, and so they should, but re-instating Burnham as a Starfleet Commander was too easy and yet another reminder how quickly this show can gloss over consequences of one’s actions. That being said, it was nice to see Sarek give her the news, praising her for her humanity while he himself was part of the group ready to destroy a whole planet.
There was a lot going on in the final moments of the finale, as the ship sped towards Vulcan to pick up its new captain. Yes, apparently someone new is going to take over though why Saru wasn’t given a chance to captain the Discovery after his exemplary work under such horrible conditions I’ll never know. Regardless, they answer a distress call that just happens to be from the U.S.S. Enterprise, captained by Christopher Pike. The sequence, showing the Enterprise swooping into view, was really well done and honestly, gave me goosebumps, as well as the shout out to the original series in terms of the score as the credits rolled. What a great way to end a sometimes bumpy but very successful first season.
However, there are so many questions. Who will be the new Captain? What will they’re interaction be with the Enterprise? And hey, is Spock aboard? Whatever the answers are, I hope they don’t just fluff this off as a publicity stunt and give the viewers something interesting to chew on come next season.
It was a bumpy ride at times but after fifteen episodes I have to say Star Trek: Discovery has put together a fine show. With a full season now under their belt, I look forward to more character development and just enough surprise to keep the fans guessing.
Four out of five stars.
- Great ending sequence, with a heavy dose of nostalgia
- Sonequ Martin-Green was solid again
- Good character development, solid storylines
- The whole Klingon war arc was wrapped up too neatly and far too quickly