Well, here we are, the end of the third season of a series that has been all over the place. That’s not a euphemism either, this series has been in the extreme past, the extreme future, alternate timelines, alternate universes and just about everywhere in the galaxy, not to mention the meandering plot… So we find ourselves at the end of a really, interesting season finale with Discovery commandeered by Osyraa and the Emerald Chain, Saru, Culber, Adira and Gray trapped on a highly toxic dilithium planet with a superpowered Kelpian man-child; and the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance. Well, here we go…
Is it a ‘Good’ Episode? WARNING LOTS OF SPOILERS
The thing that makes this review so difficult is that the last two episodes were wonderfully done from a visual sense, and incredibly paced…but this was an ending this season did not deserve in any way form or fashion and sadly felt rather…forced. Before we really dive in, lets quickly recap this season hitting the high notes shall we?
Burnham jumps into the future to find the Federation missing and all of the Dilithium destroyed by a mysterious event known as ‘The Burn’. Book tries to sell her but the two end up teaming up and they eventually find Discovery. Discovery, appearing a year later, crashes and runs afoul of the Emerald Chain only to be saved by Burnham at the last minute from an icy death.
Saru takes command of Discovery and they all begin searching for The Federation while attempting to discover the origin of this Burn. Somehow they find the Federation who have no interest in solving a century old mystery of why the Dilithium went boom, but instead have found themselves putting out fires infinitum. Burnham breaks the rules but ends up the only person who can talk to the Vulcans, Tilly is made the 1st Officer, then Georgiou returns to the mirror universe only for it to be a dream test which causes her to be sent somewhere to be determined. Oh yeah, Discovery finds a strange signal indicating where the Burn began and finally cracks it. There they discover a Kelpian man-child who has superpowers and caused the Burn due to a moment of great distress. Osyrra arrives, steals Discovery and tries to make peace with the Federation only to throw a fit and leave when she has to face the consequences of her actions.
Wow, that’s a lot huh? Like I said, this season has been all over the place. Now. My biggest issue with this and the previous episode is how the mystery of the Burn is solved and how everything that transpired before these last two episodes really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It was like watching LOST again with an ending so out of left field that it felt like a game of telephone combined with a story written by committee. Seriously, outside of moments there was nothing that occurred that really drove this ending or could not have been done with a simple phone call. This episode, to me, was, to paraphrase Macbeth, ‘full of sound and fury signifying nothing.’
I have already ranted about the solution for the Burn in my review of Su’Kal and I stand by that. For a series that can literally pull from 50+ years of lore to make the cause of a galaxy threatening event the cries of a superpowered child is preposterous at best and lazy at worse. It not only makes no narrative sense but is the very definition of a false mystery that viewers, who were trying to figure it out along side the crew of Discovery, had no chance at even getting close to this ludicrous answer. I digress, lets move on shall we.
The episode itself is an action packed and intense story about Burnham and her crew fighting to regain control of Discovery as the very fate of the nuFederation hangs in the balance all the while the clock ticking down to the inevitable deaths of Saru and friends on the dilithium planet. It is a classic setup that works as a basic plot for this episode. Of course, Burnham and her intrepid bunch of 23rd century crewmates save the day killing of the one threat to them and the system and returning just in time to save Saru and the others. So, predictable really but in doing so killed off the single best villain this series has seen and essentially erased a powerful organization all at the same time.
Seriously, the death of Osyraa was not only horribly disappointing but also rather sudden. During a moment that felt pulled right out of Superman 3, Burnham manages to pull herself out of some kind of computer thingy after blindly shooting Osyraa killing the green enemy in the process? Really? Then, to add insult to injury, in the monologue we discover that the Emerald Chain just kinda…vanished in Osyraa’s absence. Because a large organization that has pretty much taken control of the cosmos didn’t have a larger leader or a second in command who could just keep running things. I honestly never thought that Osyraa was the defacto leader of the Emerald Chain, I thought for sure that she was the face of the organization and we would discover that the Chain was actually led by something more insidious. Maybe a revelation that explained the conspicuous absence of the Klingons this season, or possibly the Ferengi had finally figured out a way to take over…or better yet remember those bug aliens from season 1 of Star Trek the Next Generation that infuriated the Federation…what if it had been them. But no. Osyraa dead, Emerald Chain gone. Let’s move on. ffs
Finally, in the end Burnham is made Captain of Discovery in a really awkward speech by Admiral Vance about his daughter doing math with pictures or some such. Basically what it came down to is that he had been a dick this whole time and didn’t recognize that this was actually Burnham’s show so he should have let her do what she wanted from the start, or something like that. With Saru tending to the Kelpian Charly X, Discovery needs a good Captain and who better than Burnham right? To add insult to injury Discovery’s new mission is to deliver Dilithium to the rest of the galaxy. No, you heard that right, they have essentially become an intergalactic UPS with Burnham in command of a super advanced tugboat. So this next season will basically be a live action Futurama.
To add even further insult…Tilly, despite her command and leadership and sheer awesomeness, NEVER GET’S PROMOTED. That, THAT in and of itself makes this episode a travesty. Seriously, if Burnham can get the Captaincy, surely Tilly can at least be made a Lieutenant?
Anyhow, Overall this was a beautiful mess of an episode that was visually appealing, intense and fun with a horrible resolution to what could have been a wonderful callback to any number of loose threads that have been left by the many previous series. Setting this show in the extreme future makes every single story from every single series completely available to play with and yet they squandered every opportunity to do so. While I am horribly dissapointed in where this season ultimately went, I know I will be back for season four. Let’s just hope Discovery finds it’s legs before it is given the Enterprise treatment. Sadly, I don’t foresee us making it past a fourth season…I guess only time will tell.
Gleanings, Questions and cool bits: (slight spoilers here)
- I loved that Gray was ‘seen’ as a hologram. Not only a cool moment but symbolic as hell.
- So… Lt Owosekun reveals at the last minute that she can hold her breath for 10 minutes just when they need someone that can…hold their breath for 10 minutes. Huh…that’s rather convenient.
- Will Owosekun and Detmer just kiss already? Those two are seriously into each other.
- So, the Discovery Crew has new uniforms. Ok. no surprise there…kinda wondering why that hadn’t happened already to be honest.
- Book can fly Discovery because he is psychic….huh…okay. Convenient as hell but okay. Is it just me or was this episode filled with Deus Ex moments….
- Oh yeah…just how big is Discovery? when we see the inside of the ship and the innerworkings of the turbo-lifts, it seems to have the mass of a space station but where the heck is any of that room compressed?
- THEY KILLED OSYRAA. Seriously that still pisses me off. Didn’t you learn anything from superhero movies? Don’t kill your best villain in one storyline. ugh.
Well, thanks for joining me in this journey. You can bet we will be back for season four…with STAR TREK: DELIVERY errr Discovery
Thanks for reading the SciFi TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you! Some teasers of next weeks episode below!
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Late To The Game 1/10/2021
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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