Star Trek: Discovery

“Life, Itself”

2 stars.

Air date: 5/30/2024
Written by Kyle Jarrow & Michelle Paradise
Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

Review Text

So, here we are. The season finale that — unexpectedly, for the show's producers and actors — became Discovery's series finale. "Life, Itself" is a decent encapsulation of the series at large, showing its various strengths, weaknesses, and sensibilities. It's hard for me to get too worked up about any of it, because, at this point, the season — and series — has been running in place for a while. The show is what it is, the structure and formula are what they are, and the writers have stayed the course. It's not a surprise that it's any of these things. The result is ... fine, I guess? I don't know. Whatever.

I'm not a Discovery hater by any stretch. There are things this show does well and I'm willing to recognize those things. Nor am I a Discovery apologist. With the profligate resources and technology this series has usually had at its disposal, it's a shame that it couldn't find a way to live up to its potential and be less milquetoast in its mission and singular (to the level of monomania) in its point of view.

Michael Burnham — always the alpha and omega on this series. The show's narrow focus on her POV has been at the expense of the rest of the ensemble, who all serve as supporting characters to orbit the star. Meanwhile, the series' stubborn attachment to its "one serialized storyline per season" structure has meant there are few opportunities for the show to branch out and vary the formula or offer up unique character stories. We follow the breadcrumb trail from A to Z in a fairly predictable, linear way. Sometimes we get some useful character insights along the way.

"Red Directive" promised that we would find the Progenitor TECH by episode 10, so we find the Progenitor TECH in episode 10. We were introduced to Moll and L'ak at the beginning, and here we have Moll as Burnham's main adversary at the end. (L'ak is dead, which might be the least predictable thing to have happened this season.) Now they enter the Progenitor's technological realm and engage in a battle for its secrets. But the universe, on the whole, is too small. "The Chase" at least had more than two parties chasing the prize.

One of the strengths of this series has been the occasional brilliantly imagined setting, with top-tier visuals and production design, and within the Progenitors' realm we get an example of that, with a broad entrance corridor featuring expanses of light, and gravity that sometimes follows the rules of Inception (including a fight in three-dimensional space between Burnham and Moll), and massive windows that serve as portals to other worlds. These worlds range from the stormy (a rocky, rainy environment in harsh light in the middle of a hurricane) to the strange and colorful (a planet with aggressively purple vegetation) to, well, volcanic fire. When we get to the final Indiana Jones challenge, it takes place in a field of bright yellow flowers lit with light bars under a dark sky. It's both beautifully serene and eerie. Discovery is good at creating visually distinctive places when it decides to do so, which can evoke a mood simply by existing on the screen, in the way some of the best filmed science fiction does.

So, full points for the visual imagination. What gets substantially fewer points is what happens in this realm, and most of the blame can be placed on the weak antagonist for the season, Moll. There's little Eve Harlow's one-note performance can do with such a one-note character sketch. Moll loves L'ak obsessively, and adamantly refuses to trust anyone else, to the detriment of everyone, including herself — and us in the audience. And that's it; that's the character.

The writers have steadfastly refused to give this character a millimeter more depth or insight, which means revolving the entire season around this stupid conflict was a massive blunder. (Even Book's mission to connect with her over their shared father/mentor — set up as a major thread — has gone nowhere.) Moll's actions here are predictably idiotic, and every time it looks like Burnham has talked her off a ledge into trusting her, there's another Moll double-cross just around the corner. (I mentioned last week that Burnham would probably reveal the final hidden clue to Moll just in time to be betrayed again, and that's pretty much what happens. Fortunately, Moll isn't smart enough to even use the clue once she has it.) Moll is simply an infuriatingly tiresome character on a repeating loop that brings down everything around her.

The rest of the cast remains involved through some subplots, although the results are mixed. Saru and Nhan volunteer to take on the diplomatic mission to contact Breen Primarch Tahal, who's on a collision course with the big showdown between Discovery and the Breen ship formerly led by Primarch Ruhn. The whole thing comes down to a bluff that Saru sells with all his might, but the logic of his bluff's premise doesn't hold water, and it's really hard to believe Tahal would buy it. (Nhan has a line about reminding her never to play Ferengi rummy with Saru, which plays like the oldest recycled line from the TNG-era playbook.) The whole subplot builds to this one bluff scene, and it's a pretty implausible anticlimax. Tahal is ultimately irrelevant to the larger plot; I'm not sure why they even spent time building up to this, except maybe to give Saru something to do.

Meanwhile, Book and Culber take a shuttle to try to grab the portal before it gets pulled into one of the black holes. Culber tags along (much to Stamets' chagrin, given the danger involved) because he just knows he needs to, because his newfound faith in a higher power, or whatever changed him in "Jinaal," is telling him this is surely his key moment. And that moment is ... knowing exactly the right frequency (based on a buried memory of Jinaal's) required to allow the tractor beam to lock onto the portal. It would be positively divine, if it weren't so clearly and perfectly scripted around such a mundane detail. I dunno: Wilson Cruz sells the wonder and amazement of it all, and I see what they were going for here, but it's still a letdown that Culber's season-long spiritual journey is reduced to a standard technobabble plot thing. Maybe it wouldn't feel like a letdown if we hadn't spent so many episodes leading up to it, but that's the problem with Discovery's serial plotting structure overall: Lots of time spent arriving at middling conclusions.

Meanwhile, Rayner commands Discovery through the crisis on the bridge, as the Breen deploy fighters that chase after the ship, which Rayner intends to defeat by igniting a plasma cloud. Later, an ingenious tech plan (if blatantly and conveniently conjured in an instant) is devised to separate Discovery and use the spore drive to jump the Breen ship tens of thousands of light-years away — a clever way of disposing of them without resorting to wanton destruction. By this point, the writers have pivoted to Rayner being the competent leader on the bridge, for which I'm glad, as it's something that would've worked better throughout the season, rather than wasting so much time on all the forced silliness involving his abrasive personality.

So, everyone does their part. As a matter of editing and construction, "Life, Itself" is nicely put together, cutting between all these threads and making sense out of most of it. Olatunde Osunsanmi (despite not resisting the urge to do a 720-degree virtual camera rotation), along with the editors, skillfully weave together all the pieces, underwritten as they may sometimes be.

It all leads up to Burnham's entry into the Progenitors' room of final secrets, but first there's the matter of that last clue. And for some reason, by the time we get to this moment, with the nine triangles and the pattern that needs to be constructed from the riddle of the "one between the many," with Burnham and Moll trying to figure it out, I was reminded of Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson running around Manhattan solving riddles in Die Hard With a Vengeance, and Willis complaining about playing kids games in the park. It's a good metaphor for this season. We have the mystery of life itself, and here we are arranging plastic triangles on a goddamn tabletop. Predictably, Moll botches this, too (after knocking Burnham unconscious because she can't wait two more minutes to save L'ak because Starfleet is going to fail her!), which looks like it's going to get her killed Indiana Jones style, but naturally Burnham continues to try to save this loser, because We Are Starfleet and yadda yadda. Sigh.

When Burnham solves the mystery and enters the secret area, she's greeted by an ancient Progenitor in a realm that transcends time. The Progenitor tells her she will have the opportunity to learn how to use the TECH, but if choosing to do so, she must remain and replace the Progenitor as its steward (again, much like the Holy Grail at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). I know Sonequa Martin-Green has taken plenty of flak for her overly emotional performance on this series, but let it be said she really nails it here and carries this finale, with a modulated balance portraying grace, trepidation, and awe.

The biggest piece of new information here is that the Progenitors didn't create this TECH themselves, but merely found and used it, all those billions of years ago. So even their seeding of the universe was part of a larger, mysterious cycle. (The Progenitors give Burnham a history of life in the galaxy in 30 seconds, an experience akin to touching creation itself. But the plot reveal here is mostly that the whole thing is and always was just a MacGuffin to drive the season.) The possibility that the TECH could resurrect the dead is quickly dispensed with, which makes Moll's efforts the past few episodes into even more of a fool's errand. Surprisingly (or more accurately, because the story has no more time), Moll actually believes Burnham when she tells her there is no magical cure for death.

With the season out of time, Burnham decides (not unreasonably) the technology is too dangerous to leave in the hands of one person or group, so she decides to push it beyond the event horizon, never to be retrieved again. (Representing the perspective of scientific discovery, Stamets is dejected; thankfully someone is.) Much like with "The Chase," it's about what we learn about ourselves in reaching this destination, not what we learn from the destination itself. So, really, we used 10 episodes to learn what we had already learned in the original episode more than 30 years ago.

The rest of the episode is wrap-up, and it's a simple matter of tidying up the season's loose ends — most notably, Saru and T'Rina's wedding, and Burnham and Book's romantic reconciliation. Nothing spectacular or unexpected, but nicely enough done, I suppose. Moll continues to live, for reasons beyond my grasp, and gives a halfhearted smile to Book in a conclusion to their vaporware of an arc. The writers triple down on Moll's supposed usefulness as a character and suggest that her tenacity is worthwhile, and Kovich announces to Burnham that he might recruit her for a future mission. (Why? She sucks.)

Perhaps the most interesting of the season-closing bits is Kovich himself, who has on his office's shelf a bottle of Chateau Picard wine, Geordi's visor, and Sisko's baseball. He reveals his true identity to Burnham as "Agent Daniels" from the "USS Enterprise, among other places." It's a solid reveal, given all the timeline shenanigans and how he's mysteriously played into this show since our arrival in the 32nd century. The Temporal Cold War during Enterprise's run was a mess, but having Kovich tie into that mess given his strange nature makes a certain amount of sense.

That all closes out the season the way it would've before the series was canceled. But because the series got the axe, and the studio allowed the producers to go back and film a coda, we get an extra 15-minute sequence to permanently turn off the lights. This coda is also an apt representation of the season and series at large. It's laser-focused on Burnham, and none of the other characters (aside from Book, and their adult son, Leto) have so much as a line of dialogue. (Okay, Zora does.)

Taking place decades later, we join a much older Burnham at her rural cabin, which is hilariously filmed like a Folgers commercial. (Book should be singing, "The best part of waking up, is melted wax in your cup.") Their son has just been given his own command, and there are some pleasantries and wisdom about leadership exchanged between mother and son. Meanwhile, Admiral Burnham herself is brought out of retirement to see the Discovery off for its final mission — one which will leave Zora in deep space in total isolation for centuries until the arrival of "Craft" — thereby closing the "Calypso" loop.

I suppose "Calypso" is the biggest WTF-level question mark left unanswered by this series, and I can see why they might've wanted to answer it. But no rationale is given for this mission (beyond a generic "red directive"), and the connection provides not so much insight as merely obligatory reference. It's somehow typical of this series to end by addressing a mystery without actually answering it. This series has always been about skipping over the compelling details to dutifully check off the next plot point. I futilely hoped this final season might do some world building in the 32nd century, but, alas, they didn't. All three seasons in this century were myopically devoted solely to their season-long plots, and somehow never managed to build a larger sense of what this galaxy is actually about. (The literally faceless Breen were certainly too generic to count.)

And, of course, we get the cloying and Discovery-clichéd final minutes, which I'm labeling Star Trek: Dis-hug-very, where Burnham remembers all her friends on the bridge. Everyone is hugging and smiling. They even bring back Owosekun and Detmer for the final hug-fest, despite previously and unceremoniously writing them off the show. If this chokes you up, I guess you're the target audience. As for me, I wondered why the writers couldn't figure out how to give any of these people something worth saying, or catching up with where they are now. Discovery ends on a note of greeting-card emotions and no substantive content. I have no problem with wanting to end on nice feelings. But there are less schmaltzy ways of doing it than this.

So, we end on a sigh. Discovery may go down as a strange duck — a series of split personalities between its 23rd-century and 32nd-century eras. It started its run being accused of being too dark. It goes out on a saccharine display of the feels. There's perhaps a place in Trek where these aspects meet in the middle, and have a more intellectually cohesive current running through it. But Discovery never figured out how to grapple with either tone in a satisfying manner. Two things are certain — they didn't crack the code of the serialized narrative, nor the omnipresent protagonist.

Previous episode: Lagrange Point

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Comment Section

200 comments on this post

    Finally this series has been put out of it's misery. It's hard to imagine Star Trek will ever have another series as bad as this again.

    0 Stars for series 4 and 5. Pure undiluted trash (1 and 2 had their tiny moment and 3 was vague tolerable).

    With maybe 4-5 extra lines of dialogue, this season’s entire story could have just been this episode.

    . . .

    Oh boy, Olatunde Osunsanmi has discovered both shaky cam and slow motion fight choreography. Two of the 2010s decade’s worst and most lambasted filmmaking trends that I thought we all agreed as a society we were embarrassed about and had completely moved past by now. How cringe.

    Listen, as an artistic technique, I can forgive you if you want to use it in the Progenitors’ tech facility to show that the space is “weird” there. What’s your excuse for using it in the briefing room scene with Saru and Vance? Just terrible.

    Osunsanmi has made some questionable directing choices in past episodes but it hardly mattered because it was just a distracting shot here and there, like a dumb spin or a weird upside-down angle or whatever, easily gotten over and forgotten about before immersion was broken. This? This, for the first time, was intrusive. Very bad. I get that as an artist you can get bored and sometimes want to do things that are more “interesting” to you, but you can’t lose sight of the forest for the trees. Directing shouldn’t ever be something I, as a viewer, notice. (Cinematography, yes, absolutely, but not the directing.) And I must say there is a worrying downward trend in his directing if he’s going to go on and direct a lot of Starfleet Academy.

    . . .

    I like the design of the Progenitor tech facility. It’s gotta look like something, and it has to have a certain awe and majesty about it after its been built up so much. The design achieved that while thoughtfully incorporating use of purpose into why it was laid out the way it was laid out and why it contained what it contained.

    But one might think their portal technology is an even bigger deal to the Federation than their life sciences tech as far as its impact and import to galactic society . . .

    . . .

    I’m (checks timestamp) 15 minutes in and Michael Burnham is already in her second protracted bareknuckle brawl.

    Really, show? Like, really?

    Look, flames everywhere! That’s how we know she’s extra badass. I want to be Michael Burnham when I grow up!

    . . .

    Culber just told his husband he wants to go with Book, who is totally not his sidepiece, on the death shuttle ride, for no other reason than he “has a feeling he needs me.” Stamets, step up, can’t you see your man is slipping away from you toward the guy who has so much sexual potency he can find chemistry with a faceless stormtrooper Breen? Heh.

    Nah. They’re not going to screw. Michael Burnham is the center of this universe and Book is her love interest, so that’s right off the table. It would be too interesting of a story for this show, anyway.

    And I’m glad it’s getting Culber right in the middle of the action. Definitely more excited at the prospect of Culber exploring the facility than Burnham. At least he’ll have a proper sense of wonder about everything he finds.

    Oh wait, he never gets off the shuttle though. Well, bummer.

    . . .

    BURNHAM: “I need you to trust me.”
    MOLL: “And the Federation?”
    BURNHAM: “No. Me. I’m bigger than the Federation. I give you MY word.”

    Yep, sounds about right.

    . . .

    So the little thing on the officers’ sleeves that allow them to summon multiple phasers and tools and stuff are pattern buffers. Neat. I actually really like that. Makes perfect sense with existing Trek tech.

    . . .

    Tilly’s idea to ignite the plasma to destroy the Breen ships is the most elementary, obvious plan ever, but everyone on the bridge exclaims “YES, IT’S GENIUS!” It’s, uh, it’s about as genius a plan as yelling “OH NO LOOK BEHIND YOU!” so you can run away while the enemy is looking over their shoulder. Oh yeah. Good one, Tilly.

    I have no doubt the Breen will be completely drawn in by and fail to defend against this tactic. It’s several orders of magnitude beyond their capacity for tactical thinking as demonstrated multiple times already this season.

    Did enjoy Rayner saying “no need to qualify it just say it” when Tilly said she had a “crazy” plan. Any attempt to correct Tilly from being Tilly and saying Tilly things and behaving in Tilly ways gets a cheer from me.

    . . .

    (checks timestamp)

    Oh dear, I still have an hour to go?

    . . .

    Saru tries to talk down the rival Breen primarch with a deal that’s far too intelligent and nuanced and not evil enough for her to grasp. Trade routes? Hard for her to twirl her proverbial mustache evilly over trade routes, Saru. Just not satisfying enough a venue through which to vanquish one’s enemies. Can’t grind someone’s skull to dust under a trade route, you need a bootheel for that!

    But Saru’s a good ambassador. He did tons of awesome ambassador things, off screen, all season to level up his ambassadorial skills for just this moment. He was bluffing. And he learned something he needed to. Nice one, Saru!

    Glad you’re here, buddy. Thanks for coming out. We appreciate you.

    . . .

    Moll has the attention span and patience of a gnat, Michael. Of course she’s not going to wait to figure out how the tech works before trying to use it on L’ak. Did you learn nothing from “Erigah” and “Mirrors?” Definitely turn your back on her, though. Plot’s gotta plot.

    I’m so glad she wasn’t able to resurrect L’ak, though. I also liked that Burnham told her “nothing here can bring him back.” It’s a tacit acknowledgement that there are, of course, other ways to bring people back from the dead in the Star Trek universe. Hi, Culber. Hi, Gray. Hi, Book.

    It would have been even worse storytelling if Moll had been able to get what she wants.

    . . .

    I’m going to believe that Culber knows how to fix the tractor beam due to residual memories from hosting Jinaal (who after all has been to this facility before and was an engineer) and that way I won’t fall over and have an epileptic fit.

    (Okay, yes, glad a later conversation with Book makes this explicit.)

    . . .

    Hey Discovery writers, Saru’s scene where he threatens the rival primarch’s bases with attack and asks her to look into his eyes and tell him if he’s bluffing was approximately twenty times as badass as any of Michael’s earlier fistfights and cost probably 1/100th of the budget. Take a lesson for your next job (and may that job not be on Star Trek).

    . . .

    Ah, the Progenitor wants to make Michael Burnham god. Of course. She followed some fairly easy clues to learn some fairly trite “lessons” on a journey that required no personal sacrifice—no “crucible”—for her as a character. There has, of course, never been a worthier candidate in existence.

    . . .

    Man this directing just gets worse and worse. For the love of god, someone rein Olatunde Osunsanmi in.

    . . .

    Okay, doing a saucer separation to mushroom the Breen dreadnaught away was cool. You got me, Discovery. Nice one. Cool idea and use of the show’s built up mythology.

    . . .

    I’m very okay with them just tossing this entire season into the black hole like Michael ultimately decides at the end. It would have broken the Star Trek universe to have this technology around. And it seems like a resolution they might have written back in the TOS days.

    The technology is likely older than even the universe, so I’m sure it will be fine. And hey, they only tossed a portal to it into the black hole, anyway. Wherever that “life room” is, that’s just one doorway.

    . . .

    Moll was clearly planned to be a recurring character in seasons to come had Discovery continued. She would have played into Book’s arc, as their “family connection” arc had not been properly explored or paid off this season. I am glad we will be spared that.

    Eve Harlow’s gotten a lot of flak for her portrayal of this character but I just want to say that she actually is a better actress than this in other projects. I guess she can only do so much with that writing and direction.

    . . .

    Kovich is Daniels?! Okay. Cool. That’s . . . really cool, actually. I’m a fan of this idea.

    . . .

    Did Vance just call Saru “Admiral” while congratulating him at his wedding? Goof, or did he get another new job? Guess we’ll never know!

    . . .

    Okay. I am guessing that the last footage originally filmed, before the show was cancelled, was Saru’s wedding. This is why Owo, Detmer, Bryce, Reno, etc. aren’t at the wedding. From the beach scene on, I assume was the new material they were allowed to film after the cancellation to properly wrap up the series. At first I thought they were only given enough money to bring back Michael and Book and hire the actor playing their son, so I was surprised but grateful that they were able to bring back more or less everyone, even if it was just for a fantasy daydream hug sequence (which, when you think about it, is the most Discovery-iest of possible Discovery endings, isn’t it?).

    I did like the ending though, as overwrought with sentiment as it was. It was thoughtful, showing Michael’s future to wrap up her arc. If Discovery had been that thoughtful, with a pace that actually let scenes breathe like that throughout its run . . . if Michael had been allowed to be a human being like that rather than a two-dimensional superhero . . . well, it would have at least been a better show a lot of the time, if maybe not quite a good one because the same writers would have been writing it, after all.

    Definitely didn’t expect them to close the loop on Calypso with the final moments of the show. Most unexpected. No explanation why they have to put the ship back in its 23rd century configuration and send Zora off to wait alone for another thousand years, just “it’s a Red Directive, don’t ask.” In the wildest, most comic book-y plot I can imagine I cannot imagine any scenario where there isn’t some kind of better solution than that to whatever mission Zora is on, but okay. It’s just . . . it seems quite harsh. A bit off-message for the show that Discovery was, no? Burnham wouldn’t make Stamets do that . . . Zora is an equivalent sentient being . . .

    . . .

    So Tilly is the longest tenured instructor ever at Starfleet Academy, eh. I guess Boothby doesn’t count.

    Also guess there’s no chance of her having to rescue a bunch of cadets from a shuttle accident and ending up in a Pike chair before the Starfleet Academy series films, huh.

    Bummer.

    . . .

    I hope we will see some of the secondary cast pop up in Starfleet Academy as guest stars as part of Tilly’s “mentorship program” that she established. I think maybe that line was inserted there to set that up.

    I’m thinking mainly of Reno, Owo, Detmer, Rhys. Nhan, and actually give her something to do this time (again, she had nothing to do in this episode but be someone for Saru to talk to so he’s not alone in a scene). Rayner would be nice but I think the odds are long. Saru is probably too high-profile, ditto Culber and Stamets. If any of them show up it’s gotta be for an “event,” a significant appearance rather than a minor one. Book probably wouldn’t slum it to turn up on the new show. I never want to see Adira again, but probably we will. The writers probably love the character that much.

    I never want to see Burnham again either.

    . . .

    So what will Discovery’s legacy be? Probably some answers/lessons about what Star Trek should NOT be. I am thinking primarily of the lessons that were learned after season one: don’t take a mean tone, don’t do “shock” plot twists just for the sake of it, and respect the source material with your large decisions, though—importantly!--not that you should be preoccupied with or get mired in sixty years of minutia. I’m talking things like don’t try and tell fans Klingons have always had two penises, or make your ship be able to teleport on mushrooms when your show is a prequel, or make your lead character Spock’s never-mentioned human sister. You know, pretty basic stuff. There are many (many, many, many) more lessons that the franchise stewards should learn from Discovery about what Star Trek absolutely should not be, but I think it’s pretty clear those stewards have NOT learned all those lessons that they could learn from Discovery. Still, a few basic ideas were tested with Discovery and were learned not to work, and have hopefully been learned definitively.

    But Discovery’s main legacy will always be Strange New Worlds. We would have never, ever, gotten this show if it wasn’t for Discovery. I mean the odds on us, under any other circumstances, ever getting that show are so long as to be non-existent. Discovery accidentally brought about a very specific circumstances that allowed it to snowball into existence, and I will always be grateful to the show for that more than anything else.

    . . .

    Star Trek: Discovery. It was a Star Trek show. Says so right there in the name.

    Okay then.

    We're still just calling it "the Progenitor technology" in the laziest act of nomenclature of the year. Maybe the century. Good riddance to bad trash.

    @ Clavain

    Henceforth you may refer to it as the "Gizwowo" if you wish.

    (For anyone who read my wall of text above all the way through, I appreciate you. Sorry about that, it got away from me somewhat.)

    Now I am just looking forward to Strange New Worlds...
    Discovery could have been really good. Over the 5 seasons, it is ok... Just ok.
    SNW is much much better.

    Well, I'll say this for season 5: it was consistent.

    As the credits rolled, I thought to myself "Do I actually have anything to even say about this episode?" The answer is no, not particularly. There were exactly zero surprises in the storytelling, which was especially aggravating in the case of Moll, whom I was desperately hoping would just get fucking VAPORISED already and begone from my TV forever.

    Instead I got what I predicted, based on how the season had gone so far: she would prove once again that every single person who trusted her along the way was a complete moron who *deserved* her inevitable betrayal. Such was the case with Burnham here, who after an interminably long fight scene once again just reverts to the status quo with this one-note bitch and waits for next knife in the back. Shit, even season 3's Discount Seska was a more complex character than this.

    The extended coda once the action wrapped up had almost no weight at all. Michael Burnham getting a happy ending was nice and all, but her character was so infallible and perfect throughout the show that you really would never expect anything less.

    There was one cool moment I enjoyed: the trick of using a split Disco to spore-jump the Breen away. That was kinda fun.

    And just like that, Star Trek: Discovery takes its final bow. It would actually be kind of amazing to me that this brash, upstart show that seemed so hell-bent on ruffling feathers back when it debuted would go out with such a bland whimper - if they hadn't been on such a mediocre trajectory ever since season 3. So much potential for world-building in a new century after breaking away from the shackles of a prequel, and they consistently squandered it.

    Sure, there were a couple of interesting additions to the canon along the way - Vulcans and Romulans finally unified, species 10-C, a Federation no longer centered on Earth - but for the most part, we just got a series of action-adventures that didn't push any envelopes except for the viewers' stomachs whenever the camera did yet another loop-the-loop. Flashing images on the screen that passed the time, and usually were mildly entertaining, but did nothing to engage the brain on anything other that the most superficial of levels.

    I mean, shit, what has Disco actually left us with, once all is said and done? Prior Trek shows had some pretty definitive legacies that their successors built upon. VOY is probably the most inconsequential, but even that show introduced a new alien race every other week and like TOS had to spin it all from whole cloth. No free passes there. I'm sure you could point to a couple of things - actually, I did it in the previous paragraph - but for the most part, the show's greatest claim to fame is re-launching Star Trek on the small screen and giving us Strange New Worlds, and Lower Decks, and the third season of Picard. I suppose that's something to be grateful for.

    So long, Disco. I had such high hopes for you.

    Now when is SNW coming back?

    I don't know if this will amount to a review or just a stream-of-consciousness ...

    @Jeffery's Tube: Your OOO (Olatunde Osunsanmi Observations) are regrettably not-hyperbole. I'd call it obnoxious.

    I found the episode unintentionally funny. I mean, I've joked about Burnham ascending, and we got pretty close here.

    Oh, and I had to pause, facepalm and burst out laughing at Kovich = Daniels. I suppose it's a harmless 'memberberry, and no offense was taken. Still, I had to laugh at the extraneous nature of it. For a moment, I thought he was going to introduce himself as Data.

    Saru's "look into my eyes" scene was solid. Doug Jones should be applauded for managing to make a silk purse from a sow's ear season after season.

    But please, can someone explain why ... why why WHY the dialogue is *so* painful? Honestly, I spent most of the episode looking at the bottom right corner of the TV; I could barely bring myself to look these actors in the eye as they were compelled by contractual obligations to spout what they did. It's all such unrealistic, hyper-sentimental ... blather. I don't ... I *can't* connect with these characters, as none of them sound like real people. Ironic, given the series' fixation on connection.

    The one positive takeaway is that the show was given a definitive end, putting to rest any notions of a Disco movie or follow-up in the future.

    Other random thoughts:

    OO's direction has been sufficiently covered by @Jeffery's Tube. Is he really being shunted over to the Academy series? Oooph.

    Disco's flame grilled whopper station didn't disappoint. LOL, it's just so obvious. These little random flame bursts ... I mean, what's igniting? If it's a safety feature, then perhaps eject the flames somewhere where crewmembers aren't standing right in front of? Maybe?

    Burnham pleading with Moll to stop fighting one another. I could be wrong, but didn't Burnham literally kickstart the fight? At least we got a brief Neo v. Smith style fight out of it - right?

    Oh, which reminds me - another OOO - the slow-mo. For dramatic effect of course. I think the first full belly laugh was Burnham's slow-mo build up to the gust of wind boosting her back through the ... er, planet portal thingy. It just looked ... cheap.

    Bit of a 'Contact' rip off, it seems. The Progenitors did not originate the technology - they were merely guardians. On the surface, I feel it adds unnecessary complexity to the simplicity of the story presented in 'The Chase'. Also, given the supposed age of the technology and the age of the Universe, I don't know how much room there really is for the "countless cycles" alluded to by The Progenitor.

    The coda. I had some small hope for something more human at the end, but cringy, wonky dialogue won the day again.

    Overall, a pedestrian, fairly cringe-inducing end. So, quintessential Discovery.

    Also, the final hug-fest on the bridge was an odd choice. I mean, why flashback to the crew in the middle of a red alert?

    Either 2 or 2.5 / 5.

    Tootle pip, Disco. You never failed to disappoint.

    What could've been, I wonder?

    I *sincerely* hope the only thing Academy has in common with Discovery is the time period.

    @Jeffrey's Tube

    I am afraid though, that SNW is slowly becoming DISCO. Without the Michael of our heart.. but still the writing seems to borrow from Disco instead of using it as the example to avoid. What really saves SNW is the amazing cast and its chemistry.

    As for Disco, I would say good riddance, but if I understood well, they gonna do a Tilly spinoff?

    There's a lot to unpack here, given this episode tries to do many things at once. I'll start with an analysis of what I think is the "episode proper" - which ends I think with T'Rina and Saru's wedding. Since Owo and Detmer weren't there, this seems to have been filmed pre-cancelation.

    Anyway, episode proper - better than most of the season, but also a let down, because it left almost nothing to surprise. A very Trek-by-numbers experience.

    The plot involving Michael and Moll inside the anomaly got off on the wrong foot with me pretty quickly. I absolutely hate it when they have Michael speak aloud for the necessity of the audience, and I don't even think it was needed here. The (admittedly pretty awe-inspiring) CGI setting would have come across as more dreamlike and surreal if Michael was exploring it mostly silent. The fight with the Breen rando was fine, but the fight with Moll was just terrible - both because the quick cuts made me feel ill, and it wasn't clear at all why they started sparring and what Moll hoped to do if she knocked Michael cold.

    Then we get to the "tech" proper. The "puzzle" involving the triangles was pretty laughable, if I am to be honest. In a show full of CGI whiz-bang, I'm shocked the prop came down to bits of plexiglass my son played with at a children's museum when he was younger. And I'm still confused how Michael just instinctively knew the cairn was a dead scientist.

    The stuff with the living (or whatever) progenitor was good. I liked that they couldn't bring La'k back from the dead - that would have been a cheap "happy ending." I 100% loved the reveal that the progenitors didn't invent "the tech" - that there were even older races, mysteries beyond the scope of the series. I think it's important in speculative fiction that some aspects of a setting remain unexplained in order to keep fans invested in the world, and this was perhaps the single most inspired choice of the entire show.

    I am, however, still quite confused as to what "the tech" is. The way it's described, it's just a big biological lab and cloning chamber? That...doesn't sound like the most profoundly new, awe-inspiring thing in the galaxy. It's something within the Federation's power now, only on a more massive scope. Even clone army means little without things like ships and weapons. Honestly, this whole element of the show was super underbaked - as if the writers' room thought it would be a good idea to have a magic tech, but it never quite gelled what it was supposed to be, even by the end.

    Turning elsewhere, the stuff involving Rayner & company onboard the ship was a decent example of shipboard action. Tilly's trick to blow up the fighters was a pretty standard Trek move treated as something genius, but I can forgive this as a moment of melodrama. The decision to spore jump the dreadnaught was one of the most creative choices of this episode, even if it involved some of the nuttiest technobabble in Star Trek. I'm happy here overall.

    Book and Culber going in the shuttle to try and stabilize the gateway in the accretion disk of the black hole was...fine. When I heard Book was going out for Michael, I had expected he was going to go in after her, since he had unfinished business with Moll within the scope of the narrative. Not to mention we know Starfleet uniforms have built-in spacesuits, and I just expected Michael to jump out into space at the end. But this seemed mostly to exist just to give some sort of resolution to Culber's "spirituality arc" - the resolution is - he doesn't know? The voice of Jinaal whispered to him from the afterlife? Not sure what to take from this. But it felt like there was one scene too many here.

    Saru's side adventure (with Nhan in tow, just to give her one final thing to do) initially confused me, because I was unclear how the hell he could intercept a Breen dreadnaught at warp within minutes (where was Vance? Still at Federation HQ). The new primarch was about as unimpressive as I expected, given a few minutes of time on a viewscreen, though she didn't come across as being as much of a fucking idiot as Primarch Ruhn. That said, Doug Jones was awesome in these scenes, giving perhaps the best performance of the show in his final tirade to her. So I'm happy enough with where this ended.

    That brings us to the pre-cancelation coda scenes. I'm not surprised at all about Michael's decision to effectively destroy the "progenitor tech." The decision of the writers to put it near a black hole was a big tell of what would happen. Not to mention Trek has a long history of treating universe-shattering tech as something that happens once, is discarded/classified, and never spoken of again (Michael effectively makes an allusion to how this was done with the spore drive). So it couldn't have ended any other way, though I do wonder, if they knew this was the last season, if they might have made a different choice.

    Book's final scene with Moll was a bit of a letdown in terms of a resolution of the "arc" he had with her. The established connection between the two meant nothing to the overall plot, or the direction of her character. At least Moll finally washed and combed her hair, though.

    I don't mind the reveal that Kovich was Daniels. Sure, it's fanwank, but the kids can have one bit of it, as a treat. And I have basically nothing to say about Saru's wedding. Book and Michael healing the rift between them was a good ending to the season, and I would have been fine if this was the last scene of the entire show.

    Then we come to the scenes which were clearly filmed post-cancelation. The extended sequences with an older Michael/Book and their adult son were good. It felt like the beginning of another story entirely. I loved that the scenes took their time, and were slow and deliberate - something I wished we saw more of in Discovery.

    The reveal that Michael was sending Zora off to the nebula to set up the events of Calypso was awful, though. I've long maintained that the beauty of that amazing short came about due to the lack of explanation, and attempts to tie it into canon weaken it. It's made worse because it happens in the laziest of ways. Kovich tells them they just need to do it, to make canon ... err ... the timeline work out right. He even knows Zora needs to meet Craft, something Zora didn't know (and it makes little sense, given Craft just left Zora behind at the end of that short.

    Michael's reminiscing of when she was younger did give the chance for the cast (including Owo and Detmer, absent for the season) to have one final reunion on set, and I'll admit that I felt the feels. That said, in the moment, it made me wonder if she was stroking out in the captain's chair, and this was the last thing she saw before she died. I also think the scene would have hit harder if they aged Michael up even more - made her 100+ years old, not like 65, and accompanied by her grandson instead. That would imply that most of her crewmates were dead, rather than simply having moved on to different things. Still, I did feel a feeling here, so I cannot fault them for this, any more than could fault DS9 for the really self-indulgent clip scenes in its finale.

    The episode was good, by the standards of Discovery. It's probably my favorite of the season finales of Discovery overall, edging out Such Sweet Sorrow by a hair. However, the season arc as a whole came out as a bit of a waste. By far the biggest failure was on the antagonist department. I don't need mustache-twirlers, but Moll was never once a compelling antagonist, and devolved into a lost petulant child stumbling through things by the end of the season. The Breen were an underdeveloped joke (not surprising given it took half the season to even get them involved) and their place in the story could have been taken by the Klingons or any number of other races with little difference. But even beyond this, the story lacked real surprise, following the setup. You can go from Episode 1 to 10, skip the entire middle, and follow the finale pretty well. In the end, it just felt like the season existed to engage myself and fans for a few weeks in discourse (and capture our eyes) and didn't have anything much to say beyond that. As a result, I think it's probably my least favorite season of the show.

    Reflecting on Discovery as a whole, it's strange to see the transformation of the show from the most bonkers, off-the-wall show in its first two seasons to Trek comfort food by its end. The producers seem to have gotten really burned by the frosty reception from the toxic elements of fandom early on, and learned the wrong lessons, thinking what we really wanted was Discovery to turn into a latter-day Voyager, with more treacle emotions. I had my criticisms of the show early on, but I really wish that some of that gonzo creativity effused the writers room this season.

    Farewell, Discovery. Despite my nitpicks, I'm happy to have spent time with you, and happy you birthed a plethora of offspring, some of which are still with us - hopefully for some time to come. Though as Admiral Burnham noted, all things do come to an end.

    It's fun to watch the last episode of DS9 and then immediately watch Emissary. It's neat to see how the characters evolved, how the writing found its groove, and how everything got better and better as the years went on.

    On the other hand, you can watch Life, Itself and then go back and watch the first episode of Discovery (I don't even remember the name... The Vulcan Hello maybe?). It's like two completely different shows, and what's weird is there were a million flaws in the first episode too. It's just somewhere along the way, those flaws were replaced by a million different flaws.

    May this show be forgotten. Or, may this show always be remembered as what not to do with the Star Trek franchise.

    For Discovery, this was a good outing. Tying in “Calypso” at the end was satisfying. Clarifying that the Progenitors didn’t actually create anything was good (but then they seemed to fudge it later). The four threads of (A) Burnham in the portal (B) Rayner dealing with the Breen (C) Saru’s negotiation with the other primarch and (D) Booker and Culber on the shuttle were woven together quite competently. The initial scenes/effects were beautiful and interesting. Thank God Burnham realized the portal should be destroyed. I was afraid they were going to make her God. Thank God Lak was declared dead dead dead. “Life itself is meaning enough” is a sentiment I strongly agree with and appreciate. (However, for Culber to get there from his recent "spiritual awakening" didn't quite make sense to me; but hey, it's Disco.) The saucer separation was the most interesting use of any ship in a long time. Doug Jones's acting in Saru's bluff was terrific.

    Were there negatives: Of course, it's Discovery. WHISPERING. I guess SMG will never learn. And the camera whirls, although for me they've been hugely annoying for years. The cutouts for emotive chitchats. The Progenitor voiceover with flashbys of the crew was moronic. The whole last 20 minutes of the eppy was unnecessary, though the old-Burnam-and-Booker scenes were the best part. "Let's see what the future holds" is a quote from Pike, isn't it?

    This seemed an especially weak season of Disco. I think the first two will improve on rewatch, especially if binged to some degree. The third and fourth have their moments and strong points, but this one was only held together by Rayner. He is the only one of these characters I could see fitting into any of the previous Trek series. Most of the rest would never even have made it through the Academy. Except Detmer, Owo , and Airiam. And Saru could fit anywhere, though not as a captain.

    Disco's basic failing was its didacticism. It wasn't so much trying to tell a story as to prove a point. Even Picard didn't have this problem, though it had plenty of others. But every other Star Trek series was literally about trekking to the stars and what we found there. Disco was about touring the galaxy and how we felt about it.

    I'm still hopeful for Strange New Worlds, but I don't plan to watch Starfleet Academy.

    P.S. Can't edit a post? Huh. I forgot to add, the one thing I missed most in the last episode was a sacrifice. I was sure there was going to be one - Hugh or even Burnham becoming the guardian of the portal, for instance. When Hugh said, "I have to do this," I was sure he was going to die. Isn't that what that means?

    The idea of Burnham being shown as much older and having a fatal stroke as she parks Disco for the last time really appeals to me. Have Booker and Leto both with her and show them sadly leaving with her body. Perfect.

    @Karl Zimmerman: "You can go from Episode 1 to 10, skip the entire middle, and follow the finale pretty well."

    I can attest to this (I did check out the penultimate episode as well).

    I hope Daniel's hasn't been stealing ancient memorabilia from all Star Trek officers from the same century like Sisko's baseball and Georgi's visor. Doesn't this man have like 10 more centuries of Captains to lurk over? Instead he is centered on the same 200 year span.

    I have to say the aged make-up on future Michael was really good. That's exactly how she'll probably look when she's in her 50's. I'm really surprised how real it looked too especially when we flashback to her current present day self and you see how young she is in real life.

    An observation perhaps worth noting: Discovery is the first Star Trek series since TOS to have ended on its weakest season.

    It is the first one to receive what I would qualify as a "mercy cancellation."

    @ Scott

    I was also very impressed by the old age makeup. I know that sort of thing has come a long way in recent years but it still surprised and impressed me because it was apparent a lot of effort went into getting it right and that effort wasn't strictly required to pull off the scene convincingly. There are a lot of very subtle details like skin patterning (check out Book's forehead for a great example) when they could have just added some wrinkles and greyed up their hair and it would have served convincingly enough. For someone involved with the makeup department, this was clearly a labor of love (perhaps they did it for their reel to help them get their next job since the show was cancelled, ha!) and a really great showcase of their talent.

    @ Jeffrey's Tube "But Discovery’s main legacy will always be Strange New Worlds. We would have never, ever, gotten this show if it wasn’t for Discovery."

    I don't know if I agree that we NEVER could have gotten it. One could argue that the whole principle of Star Trek is to "Explore strange new worlds" and to "Seek out new life forms and new civilizations."

    Seriously. That's the formula. We're into Season 3 of our TNG rewatch and very purposefully don't skip the intro credits, just to get that monologue. We ALWAYS skip them on Discovery.

    But yeah, Discovery spinning off SNW is probably its most noteworthy achievement.

    Not sure why TPTB didn't start with the time honored formula SNW implements. Instead we got this weird detour into a show equal parts dark/depressing yet shamelessly self-indulgent at the same time. For some bizarre reason it started out as a prequel to TOS and morphed into something 800 years ahead of TNG yet cribbed heavily from that era of Trek, because I guess nothing interesting happened between the 24th and 32nd centuries? Why wasn't the show just set in the 25th or 26th century from the jump?

    RIP Discovery. At least Voyager is no longer the worst Star Trek series. ;-)

    re: Scott's "I hope Daniel's hasn't been stealing ancient memorabilia from all Star Trek officers...." I think Kovich-Daniels might have yet another alias: Berlinghoff Rasmussen.

    Seriously though, I did like that, Kovich is Daniels.

    I liked a lot about this season. And I very much enjoyed this episode. In fact it's the only episode in all of Discovery I'd rate 4 stars. I particularly liked that Burnham and Book wound up together.

    My feelings about Discovery, overall, are mixed, but I liked this.

    Well, that was certainly an hour and twenty minutes.

    That's all I thought. I spent seven years with these characters. They helped reinvigorate the franchise... You'd think their swansong would leave a bigger impression on me.

    But no, it was what it was and now it's over. Michael Burnham was always bigger than anyone and anything on this show, the finale was no different. It's Burnham who gets to decide everything, she wears the chain of command for a necklace.

    The tacked on endings were fine. Owo and Detmer somehow couldn't make it to the wedding of Saru, but luckily they were able to show up for a silent, congratulatory cameo in the big flashback along with Reno and some other familiar faces.

    As for Burnham's future... OF COURSE she has a son who is so brilliant he made captain when he looks barely old enough to be a lieutenant. But hey, she got her happy ending, good for her. Time to close the book.

    Truly, there's no better symbolic ending to Discovery than seeing Burnham alone on the bridge. She never needed anyone anyway.

    This was ... a DISCO episode.

    Lengthy but meaningless action sequences? Check.
    Shaky cams all the damn time? Check.
    People talking about their feelings at the worst possible moment? Check.
    No apparent command structure and people just doing whatever they want? Check.
    One-dimensional villains? Check.
    Flamethrowers on the bridge? Check. (although, to be honest, those are so absurd that I'll actually miss them)

    I liked the future scenes because they were noticably slower and cerebral than pretty much anything that Discovery did during its five seasons. I wish they would have done something like that more often.

    But yeah, that's it. I'm somewhat glad it's over. I liked the first two seasons of the show. Despite their flaws I appreciated that they've tried something new in the Star Trek franchise. And ultimately that led to Strange New Worlds, so I'll have to give them credit for that. Anything after the season 3 time jump was not my cup of tea though. There was never enough worldbuilding for my taste because so much screentime was devoted to Burnham and Book, and that meant that the 31st century never really felt "real" to me.

    Maybe I'll rewatch seasons 1 and 2 somewhere down the line but I have no interest in watching seasons 3-5 again. I'll just treat them as Burnham's fever dream or something like that.

    I'll confess I'm not sure how those of you that want to rewatch Season 1 can do it. From my perspective, that's the season that took Trek completely off the rails, with pointless violence, gore, darkness, deeply flawed characters (to put it mildly; Michael commits a premeditated murder in the PILOT episode), etc., etc.

    Season 2 is redeemable because of Pike. 'nuff said.

    Season 3, worst ending ever.

    Season 4, missed the mark in spots but at least they tried. Closest thing to a 'Trek' story arc Discovery did.

    Season 5, meh. Not fair they got cancelled AFTER the scripts were written, but hey, ask the Enterprise cast/crew about fairness in the final season/episode.

    I feel like I've mostly complained about Discovery these past couple of years (and I'm still doing a lot of complaining with this post) but I really want to thank them for having not only revived the franchise, but playing with some big concept ideas that we haven't seen in a very long while. Things like that can't be easy.

    PROS:
    [1] I enjoyed the twist of knowledge half-way through the episode.
    [2] Nice to see a saucer separation and a new use of the spore drive!
    [3] CGI on the progenitor tech was pretty cool.

    CONS:
    [a] The conversation about “letting the tech go” between Burnham, the Admiral, and the President seems like a missed opportunity. I can’t imagine it would have been that easy for either of them to allow Burnham to just relinquish control of the tech.
    [b] Why would Michael ever turn her back on Moll? For all her intelligence, she still makes stupid mistakes. It would have been enough for Moll to take advantage of Michael being distracted by picking up Book's call, have a short fight sequence where Moll gets the upper hand, and knocks her out. But for Michael to walk around as if she's trying to pick up cell tower signal was just asinine.
    [c] Moll just continues to strike me as stupid.
    [d] I hate how they wrapped up Zora’s storyline in closing the loop with the Calypso episode. I think I would have preferred it to be unresolved. To purposefully send a sentient being that is aware of the passage of time at the same speed as humans (and likely even faster) for hundreds of years is just dreadful. That Burnham was smiling as she was about to accompany Zora on this last mission… I don’t know, that’s just not the kind of thing I would be happy about. I mean, we isolate people for torture and punishment, for crying out loud.
    [e] I’ve always hated forced saccharine scenes and statements. They just rub me the wrong way. For example, Zora saying, “The Federation has so many wonderful possibilities ahead because of you and your crew,” really gets under my skin.

    OTHER THOUGHTS:
    [i] Kovich actually being Daniels seems appropriate. For a second, I thought they were gonna bring back Picard. 😆 (@Starman: Your guess with Data definitely makes more sense. I think I still think of him as dead after having lived with Nemesis for so long lol)
    [ii] So Owo and Detmer are an item now?
    [iii] SNW aside, I’m quite looking forward to Section 31.
    [iv] So Moll finally cracks a smile at the end and may work for the Federation? Nope. Not buying it.
    [v] Nothing new happened with my favorite new character, Rayner, but he wasn’t bad, either.
    [vi] I don’t know if I can take another series with Tilly in it. May the Star Trek gods have mercy on my soul and write her in a way that that doesn’t make my skin crawl.
    [vii] We’ve now had several Star Trek iterations with a white male lead, black male lead, white female lead, black female lead… can we have one with an Asian lead? Preferably in the Captain's chair. I was hoping that was going to be Michelle Yeoh and her Section 31 TV series.
    [viii] Does anyone know who the Progenitors' housekeeping service is? 'cause I'd like to give them a ring. I mean, that place is centuries old and has gigantic doorways that just casually hang open to other worlds where dust, leaves, pollen, ash, and sulfur can just spew in, and yet that place is freakin' spotless.

    @Jeffrey’s Tube: “I never want to see Adira again, but probably we will. The writers probably love the character that much.”
    → We may not. The showrunner is LGBTQ, and I’m guessing she’s the primary driver for Adira.

    @The Queen: “…the one thing I missed most in the last episode was a sacrifice. I was sure there was going to be one - Hugh or even Burnham becoming the guardian of the portal.”
    → I was expecting this as well! Quite surprised they didn’t go there. If not Burnham, then Culber would’ve made sense as the writers had him on this rather unusual mission on the shuttle with Book. That whole thing with spirituality would have lined up well with a tech that creates life.

    @Norvo: “There's no better symbolic ending to Discovery than seeing Burnham alone on the bridge. She never needed anyone anyway.”
    → Hahahaha – Truly.

    A couple of cool moments (Discovery doing a saucer separation and jumping something besides itself) servicing an entirely predictable outcome that nevertheless showed Burnham's growth - being given the chance to become the universe's god and turning it down. THANK YOU DISCOVERY for showing, rather than telling, that particular bit of character arc. And of course the Progenitor's tech was dumped. They couldn't have it lying around this storytelling universe. I suspect that that's why the Progenitors hid it next to black holes: it allowed its discoverer to dump it beyond all recovery if that was their choice. Also entirely appropriate yet completely predictable that the tech came from someone before the Progenitors - taking a cue from the plot twist in "Contact", which will no doubt tickle Jammer. But it all just seemed too easy to see coming.

    A fascinating visual depiction of the Progenitor's nexus, entirely ruined by distracting directorial flourishes, people leaping to conclusions they couldn't possibly make, and the entire fate of the multiverse coming down to a tangram puzzle that I could have solved. Stupid. I get the attempt at Meaningful Irony™ in invoking simplicity in a moment of wonder, but it didn't get there for me. (And the zero-G fight scene was Quantumania levels of CG jankiness.)

    When Burnham first entered the Progenitor's liminal space and looked around at the bioscape, I thought for a second it was all spores. Now THAT could have gone in an interesting direction, tying Discovery herself into the quest somehow. But it was not to be.

    I appreciate that the writers decided to do something with Saru's absence, something that played into the final plot. Once again Doug Jones's nuanced and rangy acting was the best thing about this show.

    Intriguing the way they set up Zora's fate (restoring her original configuration) before sending her into the Short Trek. Still a lot of points left on the field with that character - the one aspect of this show that really did feel natural to a post-VOY era.

    I agree with others that the aging makeup on Burnham and Book was one of the more effective deployments I've seen. Would be crazy to learn that it was actually computer-generated, but I doubt it.

    Kovich's true identity seemed somehow appropriate, but somehow it struck me as douchey for him to be holding onto the relics that he was. How did he get them? And again, I doubt Burnham would have connected the dots on his age unless she had familiarity with those particular items.

    An oddly anti-climactic outcome for Moll that didn't do justice to her loss. I for one liked L'ak and his character and would have liked to see him back and perhaps taking charge of the Breen, but if they aren't gonna do that, Moll at least needs to have more of a moment about it. They just sucked punched that entire storyline and left it for dead. Also, Burnham attacking Moll and then telling HER to stand down? LOL. No.

    I liked the arc for Culber. Wilson Cruz was also one of the best things about this show. Wish other characters had been so used. Especially Stamets, whose only role after the first two seasons was to fret about Culber all the time.

    And then...that gaggingly protracted maudlinfest of an epilogue. Urgh. I need to go wash my mouth out with Mountain Dew and play some Fortnite. That was just so bad. Almost slow motion. Could have been done in a third of the runtime just as effectively. How much can you milk (no pun intended) wax in a cup of coffee? Paradise must be a fan of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, except those films earned the endless soft-focus multiple-endings squish. DS9 had a little bit of this too, but not nearly as much. VOY and ENT just...ended, abruptly. TNG's way, as always, was best. Less is more.

    ...

    How will I rank this series amongst the Trek canon?

    I agree with Karl's supposition about the producers: they misinterpreted the vocal minority early in the show, dug their heels in, and ended up doubling down on all their worst tendencies. Discovery definitely peaked in the fourth season, with a real mystery centered around a good character (Book) and a lot of scientific process to retain interest. Other than that...blah. The first two seasons were spent trying to ape Game of Thrones, the third was...well, I don't know what it was...and the fifth was trope-stifled with a telegraphed outcome. They actually managed to dig up a decent arc for Burnham at the end, but still...nothing about this series is going to stick with me. The writing just wasn't there.

    I'll probably rate Discovery at the same net level as Enterprise. Could judge it by season, had its moments, but screwed with canon and descended into formula too often. Enterprise, though, was boring. Discovery was too, but in a hyperactive way.

    And for the first time - we're looking at a show that didn't even have the benefit of a promising premise. Voyager and Enterprise had those and squandered it. The JJ movies had that and squandered it. Discovery - well, perhaps we have to blame this on the studio chaos and the game of musical showrunner chairs, but I'm not sure what this series was supposed to DO. Ten years before Kirk? Klingons? A half-sister of Spock? Unless Strange New Worlds was the intended goal the entire time, I just don't get why this series was set where it was.

    At the very least, this show could have ended on a high note by ending in the fourth season. As it is, this just isn't going to stick in anyone's minds, and no matter what its therapy-rabbit defenders say, I suspect its ultimate legacy will eventually bear that out. And if Tilly's ominous wedding talk about "connection being what the Academy is missing" means anything, they're probably planning to port the same saccharine excess into the new Academy series. How exciting.

    Also, I would have loved the final Starfleet formation to include a glimpse of the ISS 1701 with detached nacelles. Guess it wasn't to be.

    So I guess Michael and the whole Disco crew really do live out the rest of their lives in the 32nd century. Spock never does reunite with his sister after Season 2, and we see Spock's entire life till he dies in the Kelvin timeline.

    It's easy to forget this crew is even prior to Pike's time in Strange New Worlds, these guys are so far in the past and now live out their lives the furthest in the future in the timeline so far.

    I wonder why Daniels never insisted they all return to their own time eventually. Guess not.

    Well, out of all the series finales in Star Trek, this was definitely one of them. You would think as crazy as Discovery got over the years in some nonsensical plots, they’d go all out, but this was pretty boring. Not offensive, not bad, not good, it seemed to be an episode that existed solely to tie up loose ends, but not to tell an interesting story.

    Two parts of the show I liked: Kovich being Daniels, and warping the Breen ship to the galactic barrier. The rest I really I doubt I’ll remember a week from now.

    Moll remained a lackluster nemesis and Burnham remained a lackluster hero. Also, I don’t know why when the Breen released their fighters, we didn’t get see them in action??? We just saw them get blowed up in a brief scene. Why didn’t we see more of that fight? Too much money spent on pyrotechnics and old lady makeup?

    Also, the key to all life in the galaxy comes down to a game of Blockdoku? You know that crappy game you get ads for in less crappy games? Really? Some parts of this episode are so smartly written and other parts are bafflingly idiotic. So in other words, the perfect end to this series.

    Also, there were like 3 codas to this episode, which already could have been told more succinctly in half the time it took. The heartfelt scene of Burnham hugging all the extras… errm, I mean crew… just rang hollow. I don’t think the writers really put enough work to make any of us care about anybody there.

    Farewell Discovery! The worst Star Trek series is officially over, and now I have no further desire to pay for Paramount+, or watch the new Starfleet Acadamy show, which I’m absolutely certain that like this show, will only exist to check the boxes off of every minority and sexual orientation combo possible. I will not be happy until I see a half-Korean/half-Guatemalan asexual transgender female-presenting person in the captain’s chair! Representation over substance!

    Probably for the best that this is over but the finale was not unwatchable. The main plot was predictable and pedestrian but tolerable. It at least escaped boring. I think "action" Saru and "crabby" Rayner improved the situation making the best of a paper-thin plot. I could nitpick all day, but I'll take a pass since it's the finale. The coda was probably best part of the entire season let alone than the episode due to the Calypso tie in. I liked that Kovich was really Daniels but that's just my inner fanboy. The resolution between Burnham and Book was tolerably sentimental. When a tacked-on coda is the highlight, you know it's time to go. Oh, what might have been both in the 23rd and 32nd centuries.

    A very good finale to the series, punctuated by a few effective, quiet moments and exchanges. The central message, or pondering over the meaning of life, fits well in the canon of Star Trek, but it was not quite earned, or firmly situated within the season arc. The action sequences, as usual, were quite compelling.

    The weakest portions of the episode, to me, involved the gratuitous hand-to-hand fighting scenes (see an earlier message from @StarMan on short-lived truces), and the close to Moll's arc as a villain. The epilogue also fell a bit flat: while I really like Burnham and Book, the familial nature of the crew is largely unseen and unearned.

    All in all, a typically good to very good, but far from outstanding, outing for a later season episode of Discovery.

    Stray thoughts (and spoiler alerts):
    - It was not clear that Burnham was on the Discovery with anyone else when she made the final jump, so just how was it accomplished? Also, if the ship jumped to some far flung area of space, how exactly is she supposed to get back? Maybe I missed some detail(s).
    - Perhaps more so than ever, the ending scene, with Burnham being alone on the bridge, signaled to me just how much this series was about her, and not any crew or broader collective (juxtapose that with the close of The Next Generation). This series was more about one character than another titled after an individual character. It's a shame, not only because of the scenes that preceded the close, focusing on family, but also the general importance that collaboration has played across the franchise.
    - Somewhat relatedly, it is a real shame that Emily Coutts's Detmer and Oyin Oladejo's Owosekun were effectively written off the show. Apparently scheduling conflicts precluded them from completing filming. Nevertheless, I fully expected them to be reintergrated before the close of the series, and they were limited to one scene in the epilogue.
    - @Tim "I'll confess I'm not sure how those of you that want to rewatch Season 1 can do it. From my perspective, that's the season that took Trek completely off the rails, with pointless violence, gore, darkness, deeply flawed characters (to put it mildly; Michael commits a premeditated murder in the PILOT episode), etc., etc" I share the sentiment: the first season, based not only on its tenor, but also the muddled storyline, is arguably the worst in all of Trek, and I do not really know what others see in it.
    - One four-star episode across five seasons, and it was one that mostly focused on a character and episode from the Original Series. Probably says quite a bit about the mediocrity of this series.

    Series highlight: Probably Species 10-C, and its environment. Although a bit difficult to fully appreciate, they were among the most alien of aliens, and a lot of the related story worked incredibly well.

    Series ranking: near or at the bottom of Trek, in close competition with Picard (despite its very good last season), and Lower Decks (not for entertainment or enjoyment value, but simply because of some difficulty fitting it into and making sense of it relative to canon).

    Here's looking forward to Strange New Worlds.

    Discovery, for me, started with a great deal of excitement, anticipation. Star Trek was back! Hopes for a great show were off the charts. Yet, from my perspective, by the second season, it was over for me- turned off by the weak material, lack of character development, the poor scripts, stories that were just not that interesting from an entertainment point of view. The preposterous, implausible, contrived endings. No problem with the cast. My problem was with lack of creative vision. The secret to the lasting success and legacy of TOS, TNG, DS9 were the creative people coming up with strong, interesting stories and the cast chemistry & character development that was off the charts. Sure they had their share of stinkers along the way, somewhat caused by the number of episodes required by TV shows back then. Yet there so many memorable ones! None of that happened with Discovery. From the comments, it doesn’t appear I missed much the last three seasons.

    I can binge watch with the best of them (can go through a whole season in a day or two). Discovery just didn’t do it for me. The seasons I looked at were slow moving going with what appears to be lots of filler, padding. Just from a plot point of view, the seasons were too long. No don’t think this series will age too well. The serialized season long story arcs only work if you have an exciting interesting story to tell, you develop the character. Discovery didn’t close to doing that. Don’t think the serialized format did Discovery any favors. Would have been more interesting for me with they would have gone episodic. Maybe they could have salvaged a few great shows. Who knows? Remember DS9 was not a strict serialized show. In later seasons, it was a combination of both formats. Discovery strictly adhered to the serialized format with what amounted to five rather uninspiring stories with preposterous, implausible, contrived endings. So long Discovery. I haven’t missed you.

    I just rewatched Calypso after finishing the Disco finale. Did I miss something? Are we supposed to know the significance of Craft and why they went out of their way to send Discovery/Zora out in the middle of nowhere for 1000 years?

    Also, clearly Calypso was written and filmed at a time when 1000 years would put it in the 33rd century, but with the ending of Disco that would seem to now actually be the 43rd century, wouldn't it? Zora says it's been 1000 years since the crew left which obviously now refers to the epilogue of this episode.

    Just confusing and I'm not sure what we're supposed to do with that.

    Interesting also is what seems to be the waning interest on this site in comment activity. Wrote about this a few episodes ago. The season finales for the first three seasons all generated 600 or more comments. Love it or hate it that does show a lot of interest. Season 4 season finale cleared 100 comments showing a dramatic decline from years past. Season 5? Would be surprised if it even gets close to 100 as so far this season no episode has even come close to 100 comments.

    The first three seasons it was all so much different with many episodes in the 200 or 300 comment range (with some being even more) with all of the episodes for all three seasons having more than 100 comments as a bare minimum.

    Was a prolific reader of Jammer in the 90s. I have never seen so many small, hateful, lazy commenters allergic to the spirit that made Trek great.

    @Mike, I imagine a lot of people are just commenting in other places. Like the Star Trek reddits or on other forums. The reddit episode threads for Discovery all have hundreds of posts.

    Discussion of Discovery is lower everywhere I look, from Trek BBS to Star Trek discussions within long-time message boards.

    One thing that has contributed is that it's harder to see Discovery internationally now. For a long period of time, only Americans needed to go through Paramount Plus, but in most other countries, you could watch the show through Netflix. That isn't the case any longer.

    Yeah, I am in Canada and had to sign up to Paramount for Disc and will need to keep it for SNW. All Trek shows are now there only (We used to have them on Netflix and on Crave). So, they got me for another streaming service.

    I would think that did hurt international viewing of the show.

    Some things I liked

    I enjoyed the tie in to Calypso. They also made it a mystery why the ship and Zora has to be out there waiting for "something". I like that to some degree; although I hope they follow up on it sometime in another series.

    The design of the Progenitors "technology base" was top notch stuff. Have to give it to them for that. All the portals to planets was super cool. I also liked how this tech was something they found when exploring and it likely pre dates the Milky Way galaxy (a cool concept that maybe it was invented by someone from an older galaxy).

    Jumping the Breen ship to the Barrier was just awesome. Whomever came up with that at least earned their writers pay for one episode.

    I was one who thought this series would end with Michael controlling the tech and going off alone to rule the galaxy and start messing with life on new planets. So, i was pretty happy to see she said no and they sent it into the black hole (they didnt destroy it though, so it can still be found again sometime if they so desire).

    One thing I felt on a more neutral note. The ending vision Burnham was having thinking aboug hugging all the crew. I didn't feel that sense of connection as I did when the older series had their finale and everyone said good bye. We really didn't get to know most of them on a meaningful level and I think all of us agree the biggest flaw of Disc was making it so central on one person. The Lord and Saviour of us all.

    An aggressively bland and meh finale made much worse by its sluggish pace and interminable run-time together with its whiplash contrast to last week's tightly plotted and well-paced penultimate episode. It's too bad that this much-maligned series had to go out with a whimper instead of a bang. But it's just as well. I find it telling that I have yet to see anyone anywhere complain that they wish they could have gotten more seasons of Discovery, unlike the outcry and petitions that came about immediately following the news of Lower Deck's cancellation.

    There used to be so much animosity directed against anyone who dared speak out against Discovery, even if simply to point out the shortcomings and flaws that were as plain as day for all to see. And yet, now nearly all those vocal supporters have gone quiet. Because I suspect they knew deep down what the critics knew all along: that Discovery is an abject failure through and through. They merely took offense to the perception that what the show /represented/ was under attack, because the good things that Discovery championed were part and parcel of their deeply held convictions and identity. Unfortunately, merely pointing to a thing is not same thing as becoming that thing, nor even a worthy representation of that thing... it's a lesson that we all -- critics and supporters alike -- would have to internalize sooner or later.


    Mol and Burnham buffoonery:

    - Why did Burnham heal Mol and then suddenly attack her after they agreed to work together..?

    - OMG don't tell Mol the secret clue! Have you learned nothing thus far?!

    - Maybe Burnham should have let Mol bleed out...this whole working together thing already failed to many times before and it was never supposed to be a "we" mission to begin with.

    - Wish that Mol woulda suffered a terrible death for 'Choosing Poorly'. What was even the point of holding her in status like that?

    - Never would I have guessed in a million years that the Progenitors would be like "Yes, go on, take the technology and become God." Many of us guessed that Burnham would bestow the holy honors upon herself but while this outcome isn't any worse, it seems dumber.

    - And if the Progenitors were so keen on giving the powerful technology, why didn't they do this on the original TNG episode rather than just giving them a holo-hallmark greeting card?

    - Why was Starfleet suddenly cool with Burnham unilaterally destroying The Tech after all the ado about red directives and such...?


    Ship-to-ship shenanigans:

    - LOL @ them calling Tilly's plan to ignite the plasma "genius".. like that hadn't been done soo many times before

    - Why didn't the Breen open fire when Discovery presumably first made its way through the flammable plasma? They may not know have known it was explosive but that doesn't explain why they would just stop firing when Discovery was most vulnerable.

    - "Why can't we tractor beam a portal?? I don't understand it! Why we so dumb?"

    - Did Saru, a Federation Ambassador, seriously fire first on a Breen scout ship...? It all happened so fast and got glossed over so I'm not sure... I doubt the writers want us to think too much about it. Either way, whether he triggered a battle or just lied to the Breen (which they will soon fact-check), you gotta wonder about the long-term consequences of this. At best, Saru lost all his hard-earned ambassador cred.


    Technical mishaps:

    - Stammets was somehow able to figure out what happened from Burnham's tricorder readings, even though while she was in there her tricorder spewed anomalous nonsense

    - You know O.O. directed this since the camera spins and flips and twirls around enough to tie the viewer's stomach into knots


    Interpersonal snafus:

    - Was kinda grossed out about how Tilly was inspired by how much "growth" Raynor (the old seasoned Captain) has shown because of Burnham (a young junior Captain)'s "mentorship"... you know, instead of the other way around. But at least Raynor didn't die. Discovery has come far in that respect.

    - Aww, all that romantic tension between Book and Culber culminated in a mere fist-bump.

    - Meanwhile, the chemistry between Book and Burnham rings so false that they can barely say the L-word.


    Misc. thoughts:

    - Were those extra 20 minutes really necessary? What's the significance of aging Admiral Burnham flying a solo mission on the original Discovery? Do we care that Burnham has a son if we never get to know him? What's the context behind Burnham's memory of everyone laughing and hugging for no apparent reason..with even Raynor getting surprisingly cuddly with his commanding officer(!)? Where's an editor when you need one?

    - There's a poetic symmetry befitting of the show with how in the first episode of DISC, the diabolical Klingons were swapped from Black to White, and on the last episode of DISC, the angelic progenitors swapped from White to Black.

    - Not gonna lie, when future-Book faded into view, I kinda hoped he would 'grow into' Idris Elba.

    plot hole confusion

    Burnam jumps Discovery somewhere for Zora to hang out for 1000 years for whatever/whomever Daniels needs to find her and the ship.

    But Burnam can be back home in a couple of days? How will she get back if its being jumped to some deep space remote location?

    I can buy that by then the ship could jump without Stammets , but this seems like a stretch that the ship could exist only 2 days at maximum warp from Fed headquarters and no be found/stolen for 1000 years.

    Well I for one am going to miss Sonequa Martin-Green looking like she is about to cry during every conversation.

    Ughh.

    I just watched the last half hour for "closure". I was bored 10 minutes in.
    Thank you Discovery for giving us Strange New Worlds.
    That's all you get now.

    And now we say goodnight to the most well funded work of mediocre fan fiction in the history of the sci-fi genre. It’s almost fascinating to look back on this show’s five seasons and see a series repeatedly, stubbornly committed to the same unforced errors and systemic failures. Discovery just out and out refused to make any critical adjustments, instead choosing to double down on its unearned blubbery emotionalism and over-focus on Micheal Burnham. It seems that the DISC creative team took Paula Smith’s parody/cautionary tale of how *not* to write a character and used it as a base template, imbuing Micheal Burnham with every Mary Sue-esque trait they could scrabble together while starving every other character of development to the point of utter irrelevancy. Made all the more strange by how seemingly self evident this poor character craft is. Maybe after the catastrophic first season the well was so poisoned that there was just no way out. The die had been cast as it were, it was all or nothing.

    For my part it’s easy to disregard DISC entirely as a series. It seems to me everything that happened before Micheal’s space walk in the pilot episode was vaguely trekkian and well done, and everything after that incident was some sort of dystopian, self-serving, logic-free fever dream. So clearly Burnham died that day, succumbing to radiation exposure, and the whole series is just some bizarre nexus-like wish fulfillment hallucination. At least that’s the best rationalization I can muster to explain how such a massive wasted opportunity could happen.

    Well, happy trails DISCO. I’ll probably never watch you again unless I’m feeling like an academic exploration of what not to do in the realm of televised story telling.

    @Austin: "You would think... they'd go all out [for the series finale], but this was pretty boring."
    → As a season finale, I thought this was on par for them. But the writers and producers didn't know this would be the last season until it was too late, so I don't think they had the opportunity to do anything big. I get the sense most of us feel like anything filmed after Saru's wedding is what Corporate allowed the showrunners to do to bring the series to a close.

    @Scott: "I imagine a lot of people are just commenting in other places"
    → The only other place I post aside from here are a few Facebook groups. It's tough to post there, though. My experience with active groups are: [1] admins want everyone to like everything, [2] people are overly toxic, [3] admins have their groups designed so they must approve everything and are slow to approve.

    @Bryan: "nearly all those vocal supporters have gone quiet."
    → You can find a couple Facebook groups that have ardent Discovery followers. I just got banned from one yesterday for posting a near-identical post as to what I've put here in this group.

    @Bryan: "Did Saru, a Federation Ambassador, seriously fire first on a Breen scout ship...?"
    → I thought I saw a scene where Saru told Adm. Vance that they would disable their weapons before leaving for the Breen dreadnaught to ensure there will be no aggression on their part. So I was surprised to see that they went to fire on the scout ship.

    @dave: "plot hole confusion..."
    → If I had to write that scene, I'd probably make up some BS about how another Federation ship would meet Burnham near the coordinates that's within shuttlecraft range to pick her up. once Zora lands in that nebula, Burnham can then take one of Discovery's shuttlecrafts to meet with said Federation ship.

    I liked that my prediction (https://www.jammersreviews.com/comments/?id=117263) they would rip off the old school TNG video games — “This power is too great for us to possess” — came true. Called that one. :D

    @ Karl “One thing that has contributed is that it's harder to see Discovery internationally now.”

    It’s harder to see EVERYWHERE now. I really hate that they paywalled Star Trek. There are still long running franchises on broadcast television. Sigh.

    It doesn’t help that Paramount+ still sucks. If you read Jammer’s reviews of the first season of Disco he had technical problems galore. As we go through our TNG rewatch, the ads are not synchronized to the natural commercial breaks built into TNG. Scene ends, then three seconds into the next one it’s abruptly cut off for ads.

    They couldn’t be bothered to pay an intern minimum wage to timestamp the correct location for commercials?!?

    @ Bryan “Mol and Burnham buffoonery:”

    We were hoping for a gruesome “she choose, poorly” death as well. 🤣

    An addition to your list, Mol was never my favorite character, to put it mildly, but did anyone else find it jarring that she just resigns herself to L’ak being dead based on nothing more than Michael’s word? Just hand wave away the last few episodes where her entire character was based on brining L’ak back.

    Such lazy writing. Exposition dumps, characters whose foundational motivations change in the blink of an eye, sigh.

    I think was a very DSC series finale -- and it bettered my expectations which were in the gutter (how could they not be?) The sci fi was decent, as DSC can sometimes do. The inside of the portal, the various worlds, and the part with Burnham and the Progenitor (a black woman of course) was modestly intriguing, which is more than can be said for the prior 9 episodes. I think the epilogue went on for far too long and it wasn't particularly insightful. A far better "scene" than just the characters' hugging was when the Progenitor had her monologue and we get snippets of the various characters on DSC doing their thing. Shouldn't we have seen some footage of Georgiou here?

    I think the series finale had to be "2 hours" but again there wasn't enough material for that. But DSC could really be called "Star Trek: Michael Burnham" -- MB is intended to go down as the greatest human of all time for her contact with the Progenitor and decision on what to do with their tech.

    This season spent so much time on Moll's [far-fetched] devotion to L'ak but in the end she just accepts that he's not coming back? That she no longer offered any resistance is inconsistent with her behavior throughout the season. What about that stupid, lengthy fight scene with Burnham once they first meet inside the portal?

    DSC took some more liberties with the spore drive and displacing the Breen ship. I give some marks for creativity here -- and of course it works. This is a series finale after all.

    That Kovich is Daniels is a cool touch, though he looks nothing at all like him so that makes it less believable. But on some level it can make some sense.

    I liked Culber in this one. Good actor, good character for the most part when he's not overly emotional. Book and Culber have been good to watch together. At first Culber's awakening of sorts after the Trill ritual was puzzling but it wrapped up reasonably well thereafter.

    As for Saru, one of the better DSC characters, I don't think he has ever disappointed. Good use of the bluff on Tahal. But given what we've seen of the Breen, his shuttle should've been blown to bits.

    Overall this episode deserves some credit for tying together a few subplots (Rayner on Discover battling the Breen, Burnham in the portal, Saru) fairly cohesively. Just the epilogue seemed to go on and on, but a series finale can play by a slightly different set of rules.

    3 stars for "Life, Itself" -- just barely, as I do think this is marginally the best episode of the season. At least it put some meat on the bone of overall creation, and it tried to address existential thoughts like how the Progenitor described how it cycles, etc. The scenes inside the portal felt much more impressive than the usual DSC. At least DSC was ambitious here.

    While S5 is truly DSC's weakest, at least it didn't get into virtue signalling and woke nonsense like its prior seasons. It was very much like PIC S3 in that sense and so that much was refreshing. I truly thought Rayner would die in this episode, but instead he remained the best thing about this season and turned out to be a valuable addition to the crew while still keeping his characteristics.

    DSC is a highly flawed series. Hard to believe it's been around for nearly 7 years. I think the model of season-long arcs is a poor one -- very hard to pull off (especially with the lack of talent among the nu-Trek writing staff). Stick to episodic and make things easier for yourself nu-Trek.

    Ultimately what doomed this series was the Michael Burnham by about season 2 had no flaws and no use for anyone except maybe as a doorstop. Every captain up until then and after needed at least a few trusted crew members. What would Kirk be without Spock and McCoy? What would Picard be without Riker and Data? Sisko trusted Kira, Dax and O'Brien. Janeway needed Tuvok and Seven. Archer needed T'Pol and Trip. Yes, you are a captain because you are amongst the best, but the best commanders in any real or fictional organization can't do it alone...Unless you are Michael Burnham.

    @ Rahul "I think the model of season-long arcs is a poor one -- very hard to pull off (especially with the lack of talent among the nu-Trek writing staff)"

    It's not impossible to pull off if you actually have the material to do it. Game of Thrones -- until they outran the source material -- comes to mind. Our household is excited for the rumored Harry Potter series on HBO, telling that story on the small screen will allow all the plots cut from the movies a chance to be told. Anyone up for a SPEW episode? :D

    What doesn't work is this nonsense where every episode ends on a cliffhanger -- usually immediately resolved in the first scene of the next episode -- because they don't trust the audience to come back. Particularly when the nonsense is completely out of character, e.g., Riker "Get off the bridge, you've killed us all!" at the end of that Picard episode.

    What doesn't work are characters behaving abnormally, e.g., Discovery not bothering to pursue Mol and L'ok at the conclusion of Mirrors, just to conform to the needs of the studio's desire for a 10 hour long movie.

    I do think Trek is better told episodically, with some long running plot lines in the background (e.g., DS9/Dominion, SNW/Gorn, TNG/Worf's discommendation) but you COULD do a good telenovel if it was based on the right source material. Raise your hand if you've read the Star Trek: Destiny trilogy and imagine that adapted into a television production with Discovery's budget.

    Also have to mention that while the Breen dreadnought getting spored out of the galaxy was a cool idea and visual, it's also a can of worms on the level of the Holdo Maneuver. The ability to remove anything on the scale of a Borg cube from the field of battle? I'm sorry, but even if Starfleet had been dumb enough to shutter the spore technology, they'd be huffing and puffing it down to the mothballs department to pull it back out after that little display. Talk about a tactical game-changer.

    Conducting a Discovery post mortem, some series notes:

    -Discovery is often cited as being a more realistic take on Star Trek. But realistically, I don’t know anyone who regularly cries at work.
    -The Vulcan Hello is possibly the dumbest, and ironically, most illogical idea ever put forward in Trek. Reflexive violence carries far too many uncontrollable variables to ever have a predictable outcome. As a means of diplomacy it’s utterly stupid.
    -I think the point at which this show really floundered was the whole planting booby traps in fallen Klingon warriors thing. It represented such a multi-layered creative failure that I don’t know if the show could ever come back from that moment. In universe, I’d argue that THAT was the true catalyst for the actual war between the Federation and Klingon empire. Out of universe, that was the moment that it became clear that the writers of this show weren’t thinking very deeply about their subject matter.
    -Shadowy kangaroo courts and forced convict labor? Really? Soooo, I guess the upwards and onwards ethos of “risk is our business” has given way to a dystopian nightmare-scape vision of “people suck”.
    -The spore drive, ugh. Setting aside the unsettling notion that the entire universe has a massive fungal infection, I think the main issue with this maguffin is that it represents a fundamental reimagining of the entirety of physics as Trek knows it. Once a discovery of that magnitude occurs, you can’t put that particular genie back in the bottle. Every subsequent scientific endeavor in the Star Trek universe would be geared towards exploring this rather transformative new understanding of, well, everything. Also, it beggars belief that other advanced galactic powers such as, say, the Borg, wouldn’t be exploiting this mushroom realm to conquer the universe. It’s an example of an idea being so big it actually limits one’s story telling potential.
    -Was the tardigrade supposed to be a sub-microscopic creature blown up to the size of a grizzly bear? I was never clear on that. Because if so, it would require some sort of RE-bigulator which is a concept so ridiculous it makes me want to laugh out loud and chortle.
    -Discovery deserves a legitimate attaboy for presenting the first true, and overdue, representation of LGTBQ folks in Star Trek. Hopefully it does some good.

    -Season 1 overview:
    Starfleet: hey everybody, we can power our ships using tardigrade tears! Alright!!
    Burnham: you guuuuuys….
    Starfleet: oh right, morality and junk..
    Starfleet: hey, let’s end this war by committing unthinkable planet-wide mass murder! Great idea!!
    Burnham: you guuuuuys…
    Starfleet: oh yeah, ethics or principles or whatever…take a victory lap Michael.

    -Season 2 started strong. Relatively speaking.
    -The seven signals stuff was a real mess. I can’t even..
    -Pike’s demure command style always bugged me. I mean, I get it, the moment Anson Mount’s Pike stepped on screen he immediately upstaged Burnham by a mile, so the creative team had to undercut his presence to keep their protagonist relevant. But I always wanted him to take the real lead. Perhaps an episode could have opened with MU Georgiou strutting onto the bridge, preparing some snarky barb, only to be unceremoniously vaporized in a sudden poof of phaser fire. As Pike reholsters his weapon he casually remarks “I told myself if I ever met Hitler I’d kill the bastard. This was the next best thing.” Then plunks himself down in the captain’s chair, picks up a dog eared copy of Richard III, and goes about his day, leaving the Discovery bridge crew aghast in slack-jawed shock and confusion that’s there’s an actual adult in the room.
    -Burnham should never have been grafted into the Sarak/Amanda/Spock dynamic. Period. This is definitely in the running for worst creative decision of the entire show.
    -Again with the outrageously high stakes. First, it’s all life in the universe everywhere, now it’s the much more subdued “all sentient life in the galaxy”. Sheesh DISC, switch to decaf.
    -Why did control hate life so much? Did we ever get a motivation?
    -Season 2: a bit of a mess.
    -The burn was a weird creative choice. Removing warp drive and thus reducing the potential for exploration of the galaxy feels rather ironic for a show called “Discovery”.
    -The Federation got wrecked because a little kid had an episode? Emotions, always with the emotions this show.
    -Tilly stopping to motivationally shame her trainees while literally being chased by a lava monster mere meters away is the most Discovery thing that ever Discovered a Discovery.
    -I quite liked species 10c. That’s a pretty cool, straight sci-fi alien concept right there. I could have done without the “threat to the galaxy!” stuff, but it seems DISC just can’t help itself.
    -Season 5 feels like Discovery limping towards the finish line. And then it’s over.

    I will take a spin off with Rayner please.

    Callum Keith Rennie stole the season as far as I am concerned. It got ridiculous for a while with Tilly trying to emasculate him because these allegedly committed Starfleet officers couldn't handle a leader who didn't want to hug them and stroke their hair. I also loved going back to a leader who asked his team to provide options and then make a decision whereas Michael Burnham pretty much is able to solve everything herself (a flaw in the entire series).

    Not sorry to see Discovery end. Only series 1 and 2 are worth rewatching.

    Moving series into the future was complete failure and I would have no interest in seeing another based in this setting. As Jammer has identified, the universe/nation building was very weak and the entire notion of the future that they created is brutally uninspiring. It was probably best left to out imaginations.

    I would have preferred a complete reset to 22nd century and the ship sadly lost countering a major threat to galaxy.

    Apart from the weak writing and characterisation, a significant problem was that because the newly realised 22nd century was so futuristic in set design and visually in terms of technology, when Discovery went to the future - it had ZERO wow factor.

    The ships were boring, starfleet was boring, uniforms were boring, it was all a bit boring.

    Roll on SNW new season.

    Rahul "I think the model of season-long arcs is a poor one -- very hard to pull off (especially with the lack of talent among the nu-Trek writing staff)

    Exactly! The serialized season long season arcs are not impossible to pull off or doomed to mediocrity if you have a talented creative writing staff working with strong material putting the characters involved in interesting moral dilemmas with difficult moral choices. A writing staff that invest in character development. In this regard, Discovery was sorely lacking. Its material was weak or average and they simply didn’t have enough material to cover season long story arcs. Given the realities of their writing staff, Discovery would have been much better served with the episodic format.

    As everyone has mentioned, I’m baffled to this day about their continuous obsession with the Michael Burnham character. The obsession certainly didn’t do Michael Burnham any favors. It prevented her from becoming a real character. She became more or less comic book fodder. Couple this with the lack of real character development with the supporting cast made me question the talent (even competency) of the Discovery’s writing staff.

    I haven't watched Disco since I abandoned it halfway through season 3, but I still follow what folks say about it out of curiosity, including lurking on this site.

    I remember really enjoying a lot of seasons 1 and 2, though it was a very mixed bag with some very high highs and extremely low lows. I still can't get over how the red angel suit brought Michael back to life when we first see it appear, with zero explanation about that particular power. The suit is for time travel, but also can just revive people? Contrivance that always bothered me. Why even have her be mortally wounded in the first place? Weak dramatic tension, I guess.

    Anyway, I believe "Star Trek is a place", and that all sorts of stories are welcome. People often say as a criticism, "that's not very Star Trek". Star Trek has never only been a particular kind of story and there is no one formula for it. It's always been malleable and capable of telling so many different kinds of stories, so any attempts at something new is always welcome in my eyes.

    However, Disco just...never knew what it was, and even when it had an inkling, it lacked any confidence in itself. The swerve in the first season to MU stuff and the asspull of making Lorca a MU villain (and pretending it had been set up all along) showing that they didn't even know what the entire season was going to be from the outset was...amatuerish.

    Eh, this is just going to be a weird footnote in Star Trek, and probably remembered as the worst series of the franchise. It is indeed worse and less watchable than Voyager or Enterprise (though Enterprise really started getting good in that final season).

    Now maybe everyone whose been seething with anger about Disco for years can finally stop being angry keyboard warriors about it.

    I'm always for trying to take a show on its own terms and not faulting it for not being what I want it to be. Clearly, this show has its own idea of what it wants to be, and at its core, I don't have a problem with that. Earnestness and sentimentality can be done well - witness the recent X-Men 97 series - but the problem is just that this show doesn't do its own thing well.

    It's certainly not the cast. This is a talented group of actors. Whoever does the casting for this show deserves credit for getting a higher caliber of actors than the material warrants. Doug Jones, Wilson Cruz, and David Ajala are standouts for me, but Sonequa Martin Green is no slouch either. The faults in her character are in the writing, not the performance. When the material is good (and there are times where the writing clicks), the characters shine. But more often than not, the actors are given weak, uninspired lines.

    In plotting out this season, who in their right mind thought that Moll would be a good fit as the primary antagonist? For this type of story, it should have been someone who has been obsessively trying to find the progenitor tech for years or decades. Someone who actually knows more than our heroes at first. Maybe even make it someone who is as equally obsessive as Michael to give it some character resonance. Moll would have been fine for one episode, but a whole season??

    Rayner was easily the best part of the season. His bizarre relationship with Tilly was surprisingly engaging. But the balance was off. Michael needed to learn from him as much as he learned from her. Give her an opportunity to grow as a character.

    The whole move to the future was just handled poorly from a character standpoint. All of the characters are apparently experts on the 31st century. No one misses their families. Everyone just wants to stay on Discovery. It's weird.

    The final epilogue stuff was fine, if a little overly sappy. I enjoyed the Daniels Easter egg like everyone else. The age makeup was decent. The connection with Calypso was good. Just.... slow.

    I don't know. I kept watching the whole thing, so what does that say about me then?

    @Undesirable Element “In plotting out this season, who in their right mind thought that Moll would be a good fit as the primary antagonist? For this type of story, it should have been someone who has been obsessively trying to find the progenitor tech for years or decades. Someone who actually knows more than our heroes at first. Maybe even make it someone who is as equally obsessive as Michael to give it some character resonance. Moll would have been fine for one episode, but a whole season??”

    Now THAT would have been 10x better. Instead of having an emo girl with a terminal case of RBF as the villain, why not make it the female Primarch, and maybe she views her cause exactly as just and righteous as Michael’s? Now we can have a Reed Richards/Dr. Doom dynamic going, and the Breen can be fleshed out as a real nemesis instead of lava-faced stormtroopers.

    Because that’s really what the Michael character needed, someone to challenge her portrayal as an infallible and exclusively superior character, and maybe even challenge her own internal sense of right and wrong, which never seems to waver (making her quite boring and annoyingly written). Ah what could have been, but this writing staff is more suited to Days of Our Lives or Fuller House.

    From the moment Bryan Fuller left the production, Discovery was a creatively compromised work. "Compromised" in the sense that there's the profound sense that whatever singular vision initially existed for this series was meddled with by studio execs and workshopped in board rooms until the result was a soupy mess of pandering that spoke to nobody at all - and *that*, in my view, was the fundamental problem with Discovery. The initial version of the show could have been a genuinely dark, edgy take on Star Trek that threw out the rulebook and wasn't afraid to upset people. That would have been cool. The post-jump version of the show could have been a wildly abstract, high-concept science fiction show about gods and 2001-like beings from beyond the galaxy. At times, seasons 3-5 touched on that feeling in a tantalizing way.

    But instead, we just kinda got...a show that fumbled its way through a lot of very interesting ideas. The first couple seasons were the more compelling ones for attempting to deal with the messiness of it all, for deconstructing the mythology of TOS and attempting to say something about prequels and authoritarianism and violence. The last three were a wasteland of execs getting the complete wrong message from the backlash, taking neat sci-fi premises as excuses to reduce the idea of Star Trek to "connection" and toxic positivity and therapyspeak. I'm a person that did give Discovery an optimistic, fair shot, and continue to do so to this day, and my interest just could not be sustained throughout the last couple seasons. Forgivingly, I could see this series being seen at the same level as Enterprise with the benefit of years, with some good ideas but a lot of useless filler and period-dated tropes.

    I will maintain Season 2 is the single best season of the series, and maybe of nu-Trek in general, with a number of really great standalone episodes and a deranged but cool overarching plot with some actual nods at science fiction (time loops, evil AI, the idea of tracking seven signals in space). While it might have been as ponderous as every other season plot in the series, there was a Matrix-like dark action movie energy to the back half that made it enjoyable.

    Discovery had a handful of genuinely great episodes that I would call at the level of the highlights of the other series - this is where I probably disagree with the most people here - stuff that either experimented with something fresh and deserves credit for that, or just acts as a good solid sci-fi story. Among these I'll count "Into the Forest I Go," "New Eden," "An Obol for Charon," "The Sound of Thunder," "If Memory Serves," "Species Ten-C," "Face the Strange," and, fuck it, this finale. I think these eight episodes do genuinely reach the spirit of Trek and I'm grateful at least that this series was able to give us these.

    Oh, and by the way, while I'm having unpopular opinions, for as exhausting as DSC could be - still better than SNW S2.

    @ Mal01 “the asspull of making Lorca a MU villain (and pretending it had been set up all along)”

    Happy I’m not the only one that found this jarring. Such wasted potential. They could have done an in depth exploration of a personality like Captain Maxwell from TNG’s “The Wounded.” Instead we got a cartoon villain in a cartoon evil universe.

    Wasted a great actor too. Same as they did, IMHO, with Michelle Yeoh. She had Patrick Stewart level gravitas as a captain and was unceremoniously killed off to be brought back as a mustache twirling bad guy.

    “Now maybe everyone who’s been seething with anger about Disco for years can finally stop being angry keyboard warriors about it.”

    I complain just as loudly in my meatspace life about it, lol! Mostly to the same echo chamber. I’ve met a few people that have rebutted my criticism of Picard but none for Discovery. Not for nothing TPTB cancelled it. 🤷🏻‍♂️

    @ Undesirable Element

    Well said.

    Maybe they could have brought back Osyraa from season 3 as the antagonist. They built her up to be this big badass that season--leader of the entire Emerald Chain, which we kept hearing about--but the final confrontation with her ended up a bit undercooked and she was a bit too easily dispatched. Maybe make it clear that Burnham and co got lucky in their confrontation with her because she underestimated them and she won't make that mistake again. And it would be personal now between Bunrham and her. They have history. Burnham phasered her to death in Disco's computer core the last time they fought, after all.

    (Yeah, yeah, she can get better. Death never stops the really good villains.)

    You pretty much have to do something like this with a character like Burnham or you can't get a good story out of them. It's that or deconstruct the character, and Discovery clearly wasn't ever going to really commit to THAT to do it properly, so . . .

    If they wanted to do the Breen rather than the Orions, well, I'd surely believe Osyraa could wrest control of a faction of Breen . . . I mean they tried to convince us Moll could do it, anyway, so . . .

    Shit you could even do your dumb love story between her and a Breen scion if you've just gotta have that . . . L'ak could still be in the show . . .

    You would need to find another reason to drag Book along on the treasure hunt, but how hard is that? He's the guy you go to for things like this. He still knows things from his time as a courier that the Federation doesn't know yet. And if you want to make it personal for him (not necessary, but hey, you can have that hook in there a zillion different ways if you want it), maybe his mentor/namesake went looking for the clues and disappeared . . .

    I mean . . . this shit isn't even really all that hard to write. It takes only maybe a modicum of ambition, honestly. All you have to do is decide to shoot a little bit higher than to tell a lazy story. Just a slight desire to want to do something other than "phone in" your job.

    . . .

    Sigh.

    I take some exception to the characterization of SMG as a standout actor with the faults in Burnham being down to the writing and not the performance, however. I think it was her choice as the performer to turn the waterworks on as much as she did. The scripts likely did not explicitly call for that. She could have made performance choices to show Michael maintaining a more professional demeanor during times when it was inappropriate not to do so, regardless of what lines had been written for her to say. While not a 50% share, she carries accountability for Burnham being Burnham, too.

    Jeffrey's Tube said:

    [Discovery is the first Star Trek series since TOS to have ended on its weakest season.]

    I do agree. But there is a flipside to that coin that is rather difficult to address without seeming mean-spirited. I am, however, going to do just that.

    Discovery's first 4 seasons really do not possess anything groundbreaking for science fiction, either in terms of storytelling, pioneering new concepts, or even in terms of the acting and directing. I have been complaining during this entire show of the sound being so off balance between the dialogue and the sound effects. It's been a lame haycart ride through Trek Country™, the Disneyfied, theme-park version of Star Trek, and I've been encouraged to sing "Kumbayah" and hold hands far too much for my taste.

    I may not have been alive in the 60's, but I do happen to be able to play and sing a lot of music from them, and based on what I can glean from that, the 60's were not just about everyone getting along and being nice to each other, though that was one aspect of it. The whole point of even Beatnik culture, before being a Hippie became a thing, was to think for yourself and question authority, after all, we are supposed to have the right, aren't we?

    This entire aspect of the environment that TOS grew out of, is missing from Discovery, except in the form of various tick-boxes ✅ that are being rattled off. We got this crew member from this ethnic group, who does this thing etc etc.

    Saru is a bright spot and I cannot overstate how that one character never said or did anything that made me upset.

    But the Michael Burnham-centric "Star Trek: The Tourist Attraction" vibe has utterly grounded the show. The show was pretty much cooked by the time it aired. There were a few notable twists and turns that got exciting along the way, but later stupidites always seemed to dull that excitement. Emperor Georgiou getting stuck in the Prime Universe was like "Oh crap that's rare," but later she just gets nommed by the Guardian Of Forever (in one of the most 'memberberry of 'memberberry moments, deserving of being the trope image for 'memberberry on TvTropes.org). And that's just one example. The show is filled with developments like that which seem promising, but go nowhere.

    Only Doug Jones seems to have read the source material. It's a real shame it had to go down this way.

    DISCO's dead. Long live SNW. So long crying fits, so long whipered whimpered pained dialogue about our inside feels. So long sudden 0-100 jumps into action packed insanity. So long, one major villain a season syndrome.

    However.

    ...When this did happen to TOS, what later developed was a genuine love for the parts of the series that were truly groundbreaking, while people tended to just sort of ignore the parts which were sort of "ugh," to use Harve Bennett's ratings system (Excellent, Sort Of Okay, and "Ugh.")

    This later led to TMP and TWOK being produced. I wonder if something similar with happen with DISCO, in a way. Perhaps, down the line, someone will pick up the bits and pieces of what were good about DISCO, and construct something awe-inspiring.

    But, to quote Chancellor Gowron, son of M'Rel:

    "One day, perhaps........ :D But not today."

    I need one thing cleared up. I thought the spore drive was destroyed at the end of season 4. How come they get to use it now?

    @Tim Such wasted potential. They could have done an in depth exploration of a personality like Captain Maxwell from TNG’s “The Wounded.” Instead we got a cartoon villain in a cartoon evil universe.“

    Yes! Lorca is where I believe Discovery could have had perhaps a memorable impact in the very first season. A potentially great character, actor completely wasted. As you described the potential. Oh the potential. A morally ambiguous Starfleet captain putting the crew in morally compromising situations a number of times during the Klingon War (where the Klingons look like Klingons and not Orcs extras leftover from a Peter Jackson LOTR stage set) or perhaps during other missions. The Michelle Yeoh character was not killed off but left her command mysteriously perhaps related to the Klingon War (later her mission is revealed to have something to do with dark ops). A few episodes during the season explore this dynamics. Lorca becomes an anti hero type villain along the lines of a Walter White or perhaps Tony Soprano. Michael Burnham is the moral conscience of the crew who stands up for justice, stands up for what’s right. She suffers but ultimately triumphs. Only in the latter part of the season does she mutiny. Lorca such potential. Lorca the centerpiece of the first season. The cartoon Mirror Universe? Who needs it?

    @ The Queen

    The spore drive 2.0 prototype, which Starfleet was developing, was destroyed at the end of season 4. Disco's spore drive has always been a part of the ship and was not destroyed.

    At the beginning of S5 Stamets mentioned that the destruction of the second generation spore drive prototype at the end of S4 had led Starfleet to give up development of the spore drive again, in favor of using the new Pathfinder drive. It is never quite clear what exactly the Pathfinder drive is, just a faster warp drive I guess. It's definitely not a ship teleportation system like the spore drive. Abandoning further development of the spore drive causes Stamets to worry about his legacy, and makes him extra interested in the Progenitor technology.

    . . .

    Starfleet would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER abandon research on a technology that could teleport starships anywhere in the galaxy. It's simply too powerful and a game-changing tool for intergalactic civilization.

    We just have to choose to believe that either Disco's drive working is a one in a billion chance that could never be replicated (somewhat indicated by a sentient organic pilot being needed that has tardigrade DNA spliced into them in a way that is perhaps that one in a billion chance that cannot be replicated, but also somewhat undermined by certain events in the show*), or that any use of the subspace mushroom network on a scale larger than just a stray ship here or there would damage or destroy it, making it not viable as a large-scale transportation option. This despite neither having ever been outright stated by the show.

    *(On the other hand, those times on the show when the spore drive was used successfully without Stamets and his special biology may have just been down to chance. In S1, Disco's sister ship that was also fitted with a spore drive had made numerous jumps successfully before being destroyed by the drive. So did Disco, before Stamets got the DNA. So that time Book jumped the ship, they might have just been lucky. Disco/Stamets may be the only drive/pilot combo where jumping is reliable rather than a great risk, and therefore, Disco's ability to use it is still one in a billion.)

    (But wait! In the coda of this episode Burnham jumped the ship without Stamets. Well, maybe they've learned in the intervening 40 years it's low risk if you spend like a week or so plotting your jump beforehand. Not practical for starship transportation, but good enough to stick Zora in a nebula for a subjective eternity . . .)

    DSC is terrible. It took most of you several years to finally come to this conclusion. Maybe now you'll wake the fuck up and do something with your lives. Or not. And you'll keep bitching about shows you continue to pay to watch.

    @ Dirty Dancer

    That’s a bit harsh. I stuck it out for the dregs of Voyager and Enterprise. I paid to see the JJVerse movies despite hating 2/3 to 3/4 of what they stood for. Discovery had some good episodes and arcs.

    It’s Star Trek. I’m going to watch it. 🤷🏻‍♂️

    @ Mike “ where the Klingons look like Klingons and not Orcs extras leftover from a Peter Jackson LOTR stage set”

    +1 to your whole post with emphasis on👆

    Also, random cat lover’s lament, no goodbye scene with Grudge?

    Dirty Dancer puked:

    "Maybe now you'll wake the fuck up and do something with your lives. "

    Like posting comments on a discussion board about a show we hate?

    MY GOD Didn't anyone else LIKE THIS SHOW and will.muss it for.the ACTUAL EXPLORATION AND DISOVERY..?? AND DIDNT ANYONE ELSE.THINK THE FIRST HALF.WITH THE PROGENITORS TECH WAS WONDROUS AND IMAGINATIVE AND ORIGINAL..IF ONLY THEU HAD SPENT MKRE TIME ON THAT..WHERE DID THISE PORTALS.COKE.FROM..WHERE AND HOW WXACTLY.WAS THAT LIMINAL SPACE..WHY DIDN'T WE LEARN MORE.ABOUT THAT??

    So Discovery is finally over, the network execs have put it out of my misery. Some thoughts and reflections:

    Bad Things:

    Burnham should never have been Spock's long lost half sister; good job Nu Trek writers; way to say "Canon? What canon? Who gives a rat's ass about canon? " I mean, do you know or care anything about the franchise you are taking over and attempting to revive?

    I actually didin't mind the hairless Klingons; that was the least of the show's problems.

    All the dark, depressing, amoral, exploitive, dystopian ,violence; (Lorca, tardigrade cruelty, Klingon cannibalism, mutiny, murder) this is Star Trek, not Game of Thrones.

    Spore Drive??? How do we travel on mushrooms? Where are these musrooms? In subspace? And why do we have to commit animal cruelty on tardigrades? Aagain with the "We don't give a #$%^ about canon."

    The moment I truly knew this was a bad show with writers that had no clue what they were doing: The Ash Tyler is actually Voq becasue Voqs bones were gradted onto Tyler's and thus the Voq DNA took over the Tyler DNA (or something.). WHAT??

    Seriously, how can any of you say the first two seasons were better than later seasons? They were all bad, or mediocre entertainment at best.

    So Starfleet ships carry armies of little semi-sentient robots and squadrons of fighters to do Star Wars like space battles? That's new, I guess that's what the kids want today.

    Sadly, the opportunity to tell new stories and do real world building by jumping 1000 years into the future was squandered by incompetent writers.

    The Burn caused by a child's tantrum.

    So Kovich is Agent Daniels? Really? And a lot of you are ok with that?? The writers decided to take the Temporal Cold War from ENT, one of the most confused, muddled, poorly written and lamest plot threads of that show, and incorporate it into DISCO? Actually, maybe that fits.

    Tilly and her neurotic, manic style, how can she function as an officer, let alone as a teacher and command officer? Barclay had similar issues, but he tried to work through them and deal with them to be his best possible self, and he needed support form his commanding officers to DISCO seems to embrace social anxiety and neuroses as desirable. She is the most annoying grating character on the show.

    Adira; worst written character. I seriously forgot they were a joined Trill. It doesn't factor into the character 's experiences at all. Like Tilly, they are neurotic and unsure of themself and don't get to do anything except get pep talks form Tilly and Stammets. It almost seems the writers wanted to include a non-binary character jsut to say they can check off that box, the character is unfortunately a non entity at best and annoying and cringey at worst. Blu del Bario does the best they can with what the writers have given them but the first non binary LGBTQ character in Trek deserved better.

    Shitting all over Rayner; the writers really hate this guy. In the finale, who is Tilly (who has been an officer all of what 5 years?) to tell a 30 year veteran that he has grown so much?

    Burnham as lord and savior of the universe.

    Ridiculously high stakes, every threat is to wipe out entire planets or all life in the universe.

    Bridge crew has no personality or character development until too little too late in season 5; that scene at the end with everyone hugging didn't work at all since we haven't gotten to know those characters at all over 5 seasons, therefore we don't care about them or have any emotional connection with them. But then this was always the Michael Burnham Show, so I guess that is consistent.

    "Let's Fly." Ughh...

    All Good Things:

    Spawned SNW with Anson Mount and Ethan Peck as Pike and Spock.

    Species 10-C; lights, phermones, mathmatical equations to communicate, truly alien aliens, yet we establish communication and common gorund. Very Trekkian, not like the Vulcan Hello and all the rest of season 1 and 2.

    Side bar: For another interesting, creative, alien-species-that-is-truly-alien, see Prodigy and their episode with the aliens who are made of sand and communicate with music.)

    SARU!!!! (should have been made captain after Burnhams' mutiny and murder and Burnham should have rotted in jail for the rest of the series.)

    T'Rina

    Adm. Vance

    Jumping 1000 years into the future; should have been the setting from the get go; even though the writers botched it. (see above)

    The Burn. Good concept even though the writers botched it (again, see above comments)

    Reunification of Romulus and Vulcan.

    The Progenitor explaining to Burnham that they were just really advanced genetic engineers, but the portal was built or created by someone or something else. (God?) Or maybe is eternal. Leaves mystery and awe around the portal and poses some intriguing mystical or metaphysical questions.

    RAYNER!!! Kurtzman and Co. are giving Tilly her own show but not Rayner? That shows how tone deaf and out of touch they are with reality and what makes for good Trek. I would watch a show with Rayner as captain, but Tilly with her chirpy hyperactive pep talks and her mentorship program at Star Fleet academy? No thanks. BTW, isn't an academy education at least part mentorship? Look at Mariner worshipping Nova Squadron, or Boothby and his sage advice to cadets. Like mentorship is a totally foreign concept at the Academy for the last 1000 years until Tilly invented it.

    Did I mention Rayner? Great character, even if he was done dirty by the writers.

    Farewell Discovery, I enjoyed some of my time with you, you made some worthwhile additions to the Star Trek universe, but not enough to be a good Trek show, or even a good TV show. You had a lot of flaws; maybe some competent writers and showrunners could have fixed you, but we'll never know.

    Totally agree Rayner should have his own show. Cannot fathom why such a great character was treated so badly by the other Disco dweebs.

    Now that we're at the end of the road ...

    In defense of the show's shift to a focus on a singular character, it has often been cited that Discovery never set out to be an ensemble; it was Burnham's story first and foremost from the outset.

    So, in place of a well-developed ensemble to look back on, we have Burnham, then one or two characters that received a scant bit of TLC, some who were more front and center at the beginning whose presence diminished as the show progressed, and several glorified extras.

    So, at the end of the road, tell me about Burnham's journey. Who she was and ultimately, who she came to be. Was her singular story at the expense of a more traditionally rounded-out ensemble worth it?

    The story of Star Trek Discovery is the story of Michael Burnham. What is it?

    I don't know.

    Since everyone came out of the woodwork to give a series retrospective on Discovery, more extended thoughts:

    I cannot understand those who argue Discovery never changed over the course of its run. It's almost diametrically opposed to the vision shown in Season 1 at its conclusion. Discovery started out as Edgelord Trek - putting bombs in dead bodies, exposing characters (particularly Michael Burnham) to unbelievable trauma, and having no one particularly trust or like one another. It shifted to Hallmark Channel Trek, where aside from Book's planet blowing up, they avoided being "mean" to the characters by letting anything bad ever happen, to the point the ship stopped taking any casualties (even random redshirts) when under attack.

    Overall, I agree with modulum's take. Bryan Fuller may have had an original, interesting idea on where to take Discovery. However, he was shitcanned before a single scene of the show was filmed by CBS (though not before he had wasted millions on expensive props and sets like the Klingon ship of the dead, and setting up needless on-location shoots in Jordan for a 5-minute scene). I don't think this was really the Network's fault - Fuller flamed out of 3-4 other shows in the same year - something was going on which made it impossible for him to work properly. But if Star Trek wasn't in the title, any network would have pulped the work already done and written it off as a tax loss. But CBS needed to try and build its app, which meant exclusive content. Star Trek is the crown jewel in their IP library, and starting over would mean another two years minimum.

    So it became a "zombie show" - with showrunning duties handed over to the two writers who had worked with Fuller in the past (Berg and Harberts) and Kurtzman and Goldsman trying to make something out of the mess that they were left with. Season 1 was flawed, but it only really fell apart in the final three episodes, which honestly is a better track record than a lot of the monstrosities Hollywood now tries to salvage in post-production.

    Then, in Season 2, it all happened again, with the showrunners fired in the middle of shooting (around when Episode 6 was finished). We'll likely not know for years (until the NDAs expire) what happened exactly, but it sure seems like after they left, Kurtzman felt bound to pulp their original plans for the season (maybe to stop paying them) and pulled the whole Control plot out of nowhere. It's profoundly...weird...to have a showrunner fired mid-season. This is something that almost never happens in Hollywood.

    Kurtzman didn't want to actually be the DIS showrunner, and thus found someone he liked in the writer's room (Michelle Paradise) and effectively turned over the show to her ASAP. Her vision of the show starts as early as Project Daedalus and can be seen clearly in Such Sweet Sorrow, where there's plenty of time for extended, tearful farewells even as the fate of the galaxy is at stake. Which is how we got to Hallmark Channel Trek. Though, even then, the series continued to change every season. People were upset that Burnham was the lead and not a captain, so she became a captain by Season 4. People were upset that Season 4 had such slow pacing, so they tried to repackage Season 5 as a romp of an action-adventure (which petered out quickly). It's clear the network was listening to the fans, and giving notes back every season.

    Regarding the whole discussion of season-long arcs, I think it's important to note that most serialized dramas that pull them off successfully in genre fiction are based on a series of novels. The whole question of plotting is already dealt with, it's just down to adaptation. Often there really isn't a "plot of the season." Look at Game of Thrones - each season had a climax in the penultimate episode, but none of the seasons are "about" something.

    Part of what I think makes the way that Discovery (and Picard) did things grate is there's no long-term planning beyond the season level. The writer's room convenes and tries to come up with a way to stretch out a new story to fill 10-15 episodes. Then they do it again and again. But there is no real sense of forward movement in the shows overall. Character growth is not only not consistent across seasons, but it's actively reversed if it's not deemed relevant to the next season.

    Witness, for example, Adira being established as a human with a Trill symbiont. This was an important plot point in Season 3, but when Gray got "taken out" in Season 4, they not only stopped referencing the symbiont, but the multiple lifetimes of experience Tal provided were never mentioned again, with them being portrayed as just a generic, wet-behind-the-ears kid. Presumably, because that's all the writers needed for the "big plot," and actually doing anything would be a needless complication.

    There are numerous other examples, too. A big one, as I noted, was Michael and Book's relationship reset at the start of this season. The two should have broken up last season, given the big betrayal Book made siding with Ruon Tarka. But they decided to go with Book and Michael having an unshakable bond - maybe because they already worried about a cancelation, and didn't want to risk the season ending on a downer with an unhappy ending for them. So instead, they just break up due to not returning texts between seasons, which is both artificial and dramatically limp compared to...you know...actually referencing things we saw onscreen!

    At least unlike Picard, we didn't have showrunners actively undermining one another from season to season. But it still means that every season of "serialized Trek" to date is effectively as self-contained as the average Voyager episode. So the shows aren't serialized at all - just the seasons.

    Probably the most dominant theme of this final episode is the deep and unconditional love that this show has for itself. In case you miss how "brilliant" a plan or plot point is, or how ingenious a particular character is, it never fails to have another character point it out in the script.

    The "plasma cloud" takes the top prize: How obvious it is when it's brought up in the beginning, and when Tilly just mentions it later without even giving a plan, and instantly another crew member is there to tell her how much of a genius she is. Pron is more nuanced and subtle than this show.

    My favorite part is where the eldest, most wise species in the galaxy decides it would be a good idea to hand the God Keys over to someone whose main character traits are "shrieking" and "ignoring orders". "She figured out the triangle puzzle, man. She must be 'The One'..."

    Holy god, this show was the drizzling shits and the finale was the icing on the cake.

    @Karl Zimmerman really interesting comment thanks for that. I can't speak to Discovery which I gave up on about 1/3 of the way through season 1 but your comment about each season being a reset a la a typical Voyager outing immediately made me think of Picard's resurrection in an Android body at the end of season 1.

    @Starman says: "Oh, and I had to pause, facepalm and burst out laughing at Kovich = Daniels. I suppose it's a harmless 'memberberry, and no offense was taken. Still, I had to laugh at the extraneous nature of it. For a moment, I thought he was going to introduce himself as Data. "

    Hey, Picard had two characters that look exactly the same and weren't in any way related to each other. Why not have a character actually be a different character and have them, in no way whatsoever, resemble each other? Not in physical appearance, not in mannerism, not in speech inflection.

    I like your suggestion, so I think they should make Tilly actually be Data.

    @jeffrey’s Tube

    I agree totally, there’s no way Starfleet would ever give up on the spore drive. And the cat was definitely out of the bag given how ubiquitously it was used in season 1. We can hand wave numerous explanations as to why the spore tech is never mentioned again, but what can’t be reconciled is why the mycelial network itself disappears. The realization that everything in the universe is made of mushrooms on a quantum level, and intelligent mushrooms at that, would become the centerpiece of everything science related from that point forward. Not just in the Federation but in every science lab in the galaxy. It’s one of many examples of DISC cranking its ideas up to a screeching 11 without thinking through the larger implications, a pattern that always made it feel like meh fanfic writing.

    Additionally, I always found it odd that the main application of this fungus realm was transportation. I mean, I get that there was a war on and all, but it seems like everything being made up of living, thinking, quantum entangled mycelium would have some, I don’t know, medical possibilities? But Starfleet, in the face of this massive news, thought “hmm, I wonder if I can use this to move my couch?”

    @Dexter "Holy god, this show was the drizzling shits and the finale was the icing on the cake."

    This reminds me of that video of the guy that literally scares the crap out of his dog, popping out from behind cover with a mask on; then the dog just starts darting around the living room leaving dark pebbles in his wake.

    Which also reminds me of this show. I'm glad Michelle Yeo escaped with her dignity intact.

    Tilly is how DISCO creators think ST fans are. Not sure if they thought it would be a tribute (even social awkward nerdy Trekkers could join Starfleet) or they did is as an insult.
    I cannot believe it she is gonna have her own series as an Academy instructor or whatever.

    @ StarMan

    "The story of Star Trek Discovery is the story of Michael Burnham. What is it?

    I don't know."

    I don't know either.

    The name "Michael" being applied to a female character was a pretty stupid idea. That was a bad sign right from the start. Glad I never watched Discovery, not even the opening. Reading about this final season here, it doesn't even sound like a Star Trek show. Just a woman named Michael chasing after some nobody called Moll. Oh and the Breen were shoved into it all somewhere.

    I never understood why they used the name "Michael" for her. At least use "Michelle" or something similar that's feminine.

    I've known two women named Michael. Both black women, incidentally. Maybe it's more commonly used as a woman's name in the black community.

    But the name is a Bryan Fuller thing. Main character of Dead Like Me is a woman named George, main character of Wonderfalls is a woman named Jay, female lead of Pushing Daisies is named Chuck.

    When Michael told Moll "I know what it is to lose someone" I initially thought (hoped?) she was referring to Philippa Georgiou. But no, she meant Book. There was far more chemistry between Michael and Philippa than Michael and Book. The rebooted Michael (and since I've been rewatching seasons 1 and 2 I've noticed she bears little relationship to the original Michael beyond the fact she's always right) seems to have forgotten all about Philippa.

    I'm just surprised that they want to make an Academy series during this boring Discovery time period. I suppose, barring a TNG or VOY reboot, Lower Decks is the last we'll see of 24th century Star Trek.

    Oh yes, I watched this season and suffered in silence. I would be curious to hear if black folks enjoyed this, though. I mean, the concept behind Discovery and it's teamwork/inclusiveness wasn't bad, it just suffered from a lack of engaging direction from the writing team.

    @Artymiss

    "When Michael told Moll 'I know what it is to lose someone'"

    It's a good thing that Burnham didn't elaborate on what she meant or else Moll would have felt insulted by her grief being minimized like that. I mean, she just lost her lover that she risked everything for while Burnham now only has a cordial working relationship with her ex, whom she sees everyday and whose relationship only fizzled because they let their long-distance communications lapse. Pathetic.

    The next time a Trek character says the words "I know what it's like to...", I'm going to become the Joker.

    Two stars for the finale of Discovery and the series. I appreciate Paramount bringing Star Trek back to television, and the game efforts of the regular cast, especially Martin-Green, to keep a sinking ship afloat. But I’m really glad the series is over and don’t expect many rewatches, unless I dip back into the more interesting early seasons.

    Until it jumped to the 32nd century for a largely boring look at a bleak future for the Federation, this series ironically improvised more, taking risks and altering established characters and stories in irritating ways. After going forward into the future to give us personal transport devices and detached nacelles, it suddenly gave up on universe building and any sort of innovation. But the one-dimensional and two-dimensional villains and near-total lack of storytelling logic have been consistent throughout.

    It took me longer than Jammer to get there, but I finally got exasperated with Moll in this episode. Early in the show, it occurred to me that she was as one-note and simplistic a villain as Kruge in Star Trek III. Then the episode suddenly had her fighting Burnham in an unexciting brawl on the edge of a fiery apocalypse — a perfect chance for Michael to say “I have had enough of you” and kick Moll to her death. Too bad she didn’t. Moll is such a minor league antagonist that we barely notice when she disappears in time to let everything resolve itself.

    Michael seems especially slow witted to think Moll would sincerely want to be her partner after pummeling each other in that fight scene. It’s almost like the executives said “we need a fight scene at this point in the episode,” throwing it in Andromeda-style without caring if it advanced the plot or made sense. And it doesn’t make sense. As always with Disco, characters behave irrationally until they don’t, but then they do again, but we’re never really sure.

    Cliches: The alien regular cast member becomes an ambassador, checking a Trek cliche box, simply to sideline him for a middking b plot for most of the action. The captain encounters the other. People sacrifice themselves, or at least try to. An “A” is added at the end of the ship’s registry. It all feels like reheated leftovers in this finale. And what happened to some of the old regular bridge crew that disappeared in this season?

    The solemn scene about letting go of the spore drive feels like an overwrought franchise reset button: “sorry, we’re taking back the all powerful technology we introduced into the Trekverse.” Um, ok, whatever. It does seem to fit with this show’s gradual rollback of all its new ideas (except Zora, the AI computer who nearly got lost in the season) as some sort of elaborate “mea culpa” to longtime fans who hate pretty much hated every Star Trek since JJ Trek brought the franchise back to life in 2009. I’m not one of them, but this show will always be frustrating to me because it couldn’t commit to anything concrete.

    The episode feels far long at nearly 90 minutes. It gives the characters the sort of respectful sendoff/chance to process their adventures that Voyager never provided at the end of its rushed finale. But the prologues feel endless in an uneasy way, with a series of scenes that keep fading to black without any sense for why more scenes come after them. Kinda lame.

    I liked Michael and Book coming together, although Book’s reason for playing a key role in the season never became clear — he never connected with Moll effectively, leaving that to Burnham despite the lack of logic in that development, and Burnham’s own general failure to connect. Btw it’s interesting how the Trek captains always seem to settle in rustic homes — and to see married life in Star Trek, which is a rarity.

    Despite being a Trek fan for 34 years who has seen every episode made, I still had to look up “Agent Daniels.” It was one final “Meh” fan service from Discovery that didn’t make any sense, although I guess it makes a sort of dark sense to link this lousy series to that lousy one.

    I was really hoping there wouldn’t be some kind of godlike resolution to Burnham’s story, given Disco’s overkill of Soecial and Unique stuff. So I liked how the show ended with a group hug memory just before the older Burnham jumped (but I thought they junked the spores?) the ship to be scrapped/abandoned. Strong ending.

    Anyhow, I will remember some things I liked about this series, and perhaps time will be kind to it. I think it was an inconsistent, middling, average television show that would have been cancelled sooner were it not for the Star Trek branding.

    I haven't actually watched the past few seasons of Discovery, I just wanted to stop by to shovel a little more dirt on the coffin.

    @Dirty Dancer: "It took most of you several years to finally come to this conclusion. Maybe now you'll wake the fuck up and do something with your lives."
    → Calm down, bro. It's just how some of us like to have our fun. Love for the franchise is greater than our unhappiness for the show. So some of us will keep watching.

    @Kyle: "So Kovich is Agent Daniels? Really? And a lot of you are ok with that??"
    → Time heals all wounds, bro.

    @Leif: "MY GOD Didn't anyone else LIKE THIS SHOW"
    → I know you and I have spoken before on this, but I'm gonna reply to you again anyway: I totally enjoyed the big concept ideas and (I think) I recognize the efforts on where they tried to do new things with the franchise. But those two items I listed tend to be more cerebral. The things that bother me in Discovery hit me on a more personal or emotional level. I usually have to resolve my emotional reaction first before I can appreciate the other aspects. I have a feeling it will improve a little with age.

    @Karl Zimmerman: "Bryan Fuller... was shitcanned before a single scene of the show was filmed by CBS (though not before he had wasted millions on expensive props and sets like the Klingon ship of the dead, and setting up needless on-location shoots in Jordan for a 5-minute scene)."
    → Yoooo, I didn't know this. Where is the info on all this??

    @ Chrome “ I would be curious to hear if black folks enjoyed this, though. I mean, the concept behind Discovery and its teamwork/inclusiveness wasn't bad, it just suffered from a lack of engaging direction from the writing team.”

    My partner is black and disliked it as much as I did. Our venn diagram overlaps on “unprofessional Starfleet characters, lazy trope writing, underutilization of Saru, and intense disappointment with The Burn arc.” She has a higher tolerance than I do for gore, so the S1 scenes in both Discovery and Picard that bothered me so much did not impact her. Conversely, she’s a US Navy vet with two combat deployments, so you can imagine how she feels about the "Stop mid-mission and talk about your feelings" Startleet.

    Her gusband dislikes it more than we do. Military brat, and he REALLY hates the "in your feelings" portrayal of Starfleet, and views the inclusion of LGBTQ characters as pandering. His quote, paraphrasing, "It's the 32rd century, this should be unremarkable." He has repeatedly said this isn’t made for us, it’s made for Gen Z.

    Interestingly, I never thought they were pandering with the LGBTQ characters. The handling of those characters was as close as they came to TNG-style modeling of behavior. Nobody patted themselves on the back for not being homophobic.

    The pandered in plenty of other places though. I think throwing a modern day politician (Stacey Abrams) into Star Trek was one of the low moments in the entire franchise.

    @Chris W,

    Honestly, I read all of this years ago, but it's been confirmed that a lot of the visual redesigns were Fuller's ideas, from the over-engineered Klingon makeup (which worked so terribly in Season 1 they needed to overdub all Klingon dialogue, and the actress who played L'Rell kept having the makeup tear away from her lips while speaking) to the needlessly elaborate ship of the dead. They spent a ton of time and money constructing things like that Klingon spacesuit, which we see for like a minute onscreen.

    Fuller's shitcanning was discussed in one of the comment threads for another episode. Around 2016 he was hugely over-extended, working on American Gods at the same time, and connected with at least two other shows (a reboot of Amazing Stories and a vampire show) which never saw the light of day. He was replaced as the American Gods showrunner after Season 1 for largely the same reasons he was forced out from Discovery (unable to stay within budget, clashed with studio, etc.). Given he flamed out from so much - and hasn't worked on anything of note in Hollywood up until putting a new movie together over the past two years - I presume he had some sort of compounding mental illness/substance issue, though that's admittedly without evidence. But he went from Hollywood wunderkid to seeming blacklisting within a year, which was...odd.

    Fuller was fired from Discovery in October 2016. Filming didn't start until January, 2017. Some aspects of Fuller's scripts for the first three episodes remained, though we don't know how much. I did read a story that when Jason Isaacs was brought on for Episode 3, he was given a script and then told it would be pulped and completely rewritten. We do know that Michael Burnham was a character that Fuller designed, and SMG was his choice for the role (after Rosario Dawson was unavailable). But he's going to be covered by the NDA until 2027, IIRC, so he can't speak freely yet about his original intent for the show.

    Given Season 1 of American Gods was produced by Fuller at roughly the same time, and turned out pretty damn good (though also way over the budget the network wanted, similar to DISCO), I do think it's possible that if Fuller stayed on we would have gotten a much better story. However, Fuller was so over-stretched at that time that it could have ended up an unworkable mess as well.

    @ theBgt “Tilly is how DISCO creators think ST fans are. Not sure if they thought it would be a tribute (even social awkward nerdy Trekkers could join Starfleet) or they did is as an insult.
    I cannot believe it she is gonna have her own series as an Academy instructor or whatever.”

    I always thought what’s his name (got the crossover with SNW) from Lower Decks was the fan self-inserted into the universe.

    Tilly just annoys me.

    TPTB have been flirting with an Starfleet Academy series since the 90s. I don’t know many people outside of the studio bubble that want it or think it’s a good idea. Not then, nor now, yet here we are. How many successful television series are set in undergraduate settings?

    I predict a crash and burn if they manage to get it on the small screen. :(

    Regarding Starfleet Academy, it's true there are very, very few hit TV shows set in college. Off the top of my head I can think of A Different World, Felicity, and Community. Shows which start in high school and then follow the cast to college don't count, IMHO. I think networks avoid these shows because high school is a universal experience, while many people don't go to college. Not to mention those who attend college are honestly a bit less likely to watch TV shows to begin with.

    I make note of all this because there will be tremendous pressure by the network to age the characters down, turning it into "space high school" rather than "space college." And indeed, the initial casting call asked for actors as young as 16. Obviously there are child prodigies like Wesley Crusher who have been in Starfleet Academy before, but I think we need to be prepared for the possibility they will lean more into high-school level drama than what we would expect for college-age young adults.

    I'll wait and see Jammer's review, but I liked the three last outings to end the series. Discovery has never been a standard of excellence by any means, far from it, but last two seasons have been very Trekkian and Season 5 progressively got better, which is an exception for the series (only Season 4 had a compelling end with 10-C).
    For what it's worth, I would have liked to see it going another couple of seasons.

    @ Karl "but I think we need to be prepared for the possibility they will lean more into high-school level drama"

    I'd say it's almost a certainty, despite Starfleet supposedly being the "best of the best" in the Federation. We'll get all manner of youthful angst, drama, and hijinks, and none of it will be half as compelling as "The First Duty" or "Valiant" were.

    Raise your hand if you know someone who went to one of the service academies. Starfleet Academy is supposed to be that on steroids. You don't get there if you're emotionally immature, unsure of yourself, self-centered, etc.

    It's funny, I agree with just about every single one of the criticisms other people have mentioned, and I have a few not yet mentioned:
    - GRAY, a useless character
    - the whispering drove me so, so crazy
    - I thought Tarka was a failure as a villain
    - the whole series favored telling rather than showing

    And yet, I enjoyed the show much of the time, if "much" means 40% or so. I do think time will be kinder to Disco than we are being right now. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it will ever rise out of next-to-bottom place (nothing can sink lower than Picard), and I have no desire to rewatch it. But if I was forced to, I could find a couple of episodes each season that would feel worthwhile. Keeping in mind that "worthwhile" for Discovery is a lower bar than the others in the Trekverse. But "Species 10C" and "Terra Firma", for example, are interesting additions to Trek lore.

    We rewatch a show is to reexperience adventures which made us feel good/satisfied and to spend time with people we liked. But there's little of either in Disco. The best characters were Lorca, Saru, Pike, and Rayner, and of those, Lorca's nobody's friend, Pike is charming but doesn't belong on the show, and Raynor is savaged by the script. Saru is admirable, but for some reason I don't feel close to him.

    What I think Disco was successful at was forcing us to think differently about some elements of canon. I loathed the Klingons, but the explanation for their looks and attitude did make sense to me. I detested the whole idea of Lorca as the anti-Trek captain, but it was worth exploring. I wanted to know more about Airiam. I thought Spock was handled well; of course he's not like TOS Spock, he hasn't gotten there yet.

    Despite the production chaos of the first two years, there was some creativity there. The last three years got increasingly bland, as exemplified in Booker, a character with potential that just seeped away until he had no purpose at all.

    I won' t be watching Starfleet Academy or Section 31, but will check back here and look for rave reviews of the kind that persuaded me to watch Prodigy.

    @Tim: "[He] views the inclusion of LGBTQ characters as pandering"; "I never thought they were pandering with the LGBTQ characters."
    → I'm unclear what your partner's gusband's (?) position is. He thinks DSC was pandering but also thinks the writing treated the LGBTQ characters as if it's a norm, i.e., not a big deal? I didn't think they were pandering, either. The writing seemed to imply that it was all unremarkable to everyone, he said. But I'd be lying if I said the many characters' and actors' LGBTQ-ness isn't consciouslly one of the first things I notice when they appear on the screen. It's something I still need time to get used to.

    @Karl Zimmerman: RE: Fuller's shitcanning
    → Thanks for the info!!!

    @The Queen: "I won' t be watching Starfleet Academy or Section 31"
    → I hope you change your mind.

    Correction:
    ----
    The writing seemed to imply that it was all unremarkable to everyone, as*** he said.

    @ Chris W. "I'm unclear what your partner's gusband's (?) position is. He thinks DSC was pandering but also thinks the writing treated the LGBTQ characters as if it's a norm, i.e., not a big deal"

    He thought it was pandering. I thought it was the norm, as in throughly unremarkable to the characters in universe, in the best spirit of TOS/TNG, one of the things Discovery did correctly.

    @ The Queen "But if I was forced to, I could find a couple of episodes each season that would feel worthwhile"

    That's easy:

    Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad
    The Sound of Thunder
    If Memory Serves

    Most of Season 4, emphasis on the penultimate episode, Species 10-C

    I can't think of a single memorable episode from Season 3 or 5. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    If I engage in the same exercise for Voyager and/or Enterprise I'd wager that I can come up with a lot more episodes on my personal 4-star list. Granted, they got 24 episodes a season rather than 10, but still....

    @Karl

    "SMG was his choice for the role (after Rosario Dawson was unavailable)."

    I never knew this. It's interesting to think what the show would have been like with Rosario at the helm. She isn't considerably older than SMG but definitely has a more controlled and mature vibe, plus it helps that she's way more experienced with consistently solid results. If Fuller got his first pick, it would have brought a welcome modicum of maturity and groundedness to the whole series since the rest of the cast looks to the principle actor to set the tone.

    @Queen

    "The best characters were Lorca, Saru, Pike, and Rayner"

    I don't want to single you out particularly or put you on the spot, but I'm curious what people think about the irony of the the series' "best characters" being almost identical to the short list of its SWM (straight white male) characters. I say it's ironic because this is show that conscientiously aimed to limit and de-centralize the SWM in contrast to most other Trek series, for better or worse.

    It could be somewhat coincidental but I'm thinking there has to be something more to it. One possibility is that the preference is mostly subjective and viewers more readily warm up to their inborn preferences, or characters that reflect their own group-identity traits. This couldn't fully explain the preference though since I keep hearing these names again and again, and it must have some objective grounding... for instance, no one disputes that Doug Jones is a talented and very much in-demand actor.

    Another significant factor is that, as much as the show tries to put many diverse actors on screen, many are relegated to the background and not significantly fleshed out as characters, which fails to attract the viewer's interest. It's as if the priority is bare inclusion and not much else for these characters and in many of those cases, it apparently doesn't matter who fills the role, just as long as it gets filled by someone of the right group identity.

    Also, while the show did indeed showcase /some/ star power such like Michelle Yeoh, I feel like the writing didn't do her any favors in endearing her to the audience. Georgiou was likely a lot more fun for her to play than for the audience the watch. This same reason may account for why I don't often hear people say that Burnham or Book are people's favourite characters. These actors seem capable enough but their potential may have been squandered by throwing the fundamentals of good storytelling out of the window.

    Definitely felt more of a connection to the crews of the old shows. Yes, the writing on this show sucked. But also these ten episode seasons cut down a lot of the time we used to spend with characters per season. 16 more episodes per season over five seasons is 86 more episodes to get to know characters and to learn what to expect of them.

    In Theory is a great episode for characters. I love the montage where Data asks a bunch of crew members whether to date a fellow crew member. The things all the regular crew members say are in character and that’s what makes it interesting. Geordi would be nervous, Riker would have a grin, etc.

    Everything happens so fast and in such desperate straights in this show that you don’t get to see the characters and how they react in varied situations.

    Glad Detmer and Owo got an unspoken cameo. Weird how so many people had “scheduling conflicts” this season. When I don’t want to go to a bad party, I always seem to have scheduling conflicts, too.

    Way to forget that Zora is sentient and then literally condemn her to a tortured existence for 1,000 years.

    Kovage is Daniels? Ok. Why wasn’t he Wesley Crusher? It would have made as much sense.

    @Tim "I think throwing a modern day politician (Stacey Abrams) into Star Trek was one of the low moments in the entire franchise."

    I don't necessarily disagree with you on this. But, I do want to make it clear that Stacey Abrams is a legit hardcore Star Trek fan. I once saw her compete in a celebrity Star Trek trivia game that Wil Wheaton hosted, and she absolutely trounced her competition.

    @bryan

    I, too, noticed that often the characters cited as “the best” were SWM. It’s a strange pattern. It’s possible some bias is at work in that, although it bears mentioning that just as many female fans as male that I’ve talked to have had the same assessment. One thing I’ll say, is that each of the characters listed by Queen shared a similar trait outside of demographics: they were all deliberately undercut as characters. Lorca’s whole character arc was basically scrapped to make him a generic big bad, after which he was unceremoniously killed. Pike was never allowed to stand firm, constantly being written as demurring to the other characters around him. Raynor was basically bullied, being forced to take flak from Tilley for crying out loud. And Saru had to be reminded how to use his own eyeballs at one point. So what I might draw from this is that it’s possible the audience could sense these efforts from the writers, that we could easily pick up on the inorganic ways in which characters were being deflated or pumped up in accordance with the writers goals. As such, it would almost be natural for the audience to sympathize with these characters, in so far as it’s natural to sympathize with a fictional person being mildly sabotaged by clumsy writing, and start to see them as a sort of underdog, leading these characters to be the beneficiaries of the audience’s resentment towards the writers unpleasant efforts to force us to like certain characters by diminishing others.

    @ castlerook "I don't necessarily disagree with you on this. But, I do want to make it clear that Stacey Abrams is a legit hardcore Star Trek fan."

    Barack Obama was a legit hardcore Game of Thrones fan. I don't think a cameo from him would have been appropriate. It'd accomplish the same thing this one accomplished: Needlessly offend some portion of the fan base while ripping 100% of the fan base out of the story.

    I like both of these figures, FWIW, my issue isn't political. Just another example of the Discovery team not being able to help themselves, IMHO.

    I'll go back to something I've said before. NuTrek needs more diversity in the writer's room, heck, on the whole team. One person should have raised their hands and called out the stupidity of this long before a single scene was shot.

    @ Bryan "Also, while the show did indeed showcase /some/ star power such like Michelle Yeoh, I feel like the writing didn't do her any favors in endearing her to the audience. Georgiou was likely a lot more fun for her to play than for the audience the watch."

    I absolutely loved her in her prime universe incarnation. Felt like the producers struck gold with that casting/character as I watched the pilot episode. Too bad it was a bait and switch.

    "These actors seem capable enough but their potential may have been squandered by throwing the fundamentals of good storytelling out of the window."

    Yep.

    @ Bryan and @ Idh2023

    Regarding SWM vis-à-vis Saru: I never viewed his _alien_ character in human definitions. He has an arc, much of which you can't neatly cut and paste onto a human story, and the human elements of his story don't have much to do with gender, race, or sexual orientation. I remember the scene in the pilot (I think?) where he was so unsure of himself as to be asking the computer for advice on command.

    One of the few characters on the show that got an actual arc, come to think of it.

    Lorca might have had a great arc but they abruptly made him into a mustache twirling villain. I wonder if we'll ever find out if that was the intention all along or was it a mid-season gear shift?

    Still no review from Jammer? Did he fall asleep halfway through the episode or something?

    @Idh2023

    Good point on how showrunner intentions can sometimes backfire in terms of the contrast between the desired and actual audience reception, especially if they push too hard or the efforts feel inauthentic or inorganic. This effect would naturally be amplified if people have a beef against the writers or if a viewer already feels aligned with SMWs, but it could also occur totally independent of any intentional regard for race or gender.

    @Tim

    Agreed about Prime Georgiou being Best Georgiou. She could have easily become a popular fan favorite had she been allowed to live...but of course such an excellent character would have risked stealing Burnham's thunder.

    Also agree that Saru doesn't easily slot into the SWM archetype when considered as a character rather than as an actor. I've made the same rebuttal that he doesn't quiiite count, in the past when people listed Saru as a counter-example to my claim that Discovery, in its early seasons, didn't convey or treat SWMs particularly well. I'm also the first to admit that the show gradually overcame this unfortunate trend, with Rayner exemplifying just how far the show has come (not just in letting him survive, but also in his full inclusion and integration with the rest of the crew).

    I don't know why you guys brought up "Straight white males" to be honest. As was noted, while Doug Jones is a white actor, he's covered in so much makeup that the actor being white doesn't really matter. Much in the same way that O'Brien was the only white (hu)man in the DS9 cast, because Armin Shimmerman and Rene Aberjunois were playing aliens.

    As for "straight" - how do you know? I admit that Saru, Pike, and Lorca all displayed romantic interest in women, but there's nothing to say they aren't bi. And DIS Season 5 was so disinterested in fleshing out Rayner that we never got any idea of his romantic inclinations whatsoever. Sure, most of them "read macho" (other than Saru), but that doesn't mean anything. That's just masculine presentation, not who they bone.

    I'd also note here that SNW has done a good job fleshing out Una, La'an, M'Benga, Chapel, and Uhura (sorry Ortegas - may your day come soon) into strong, multi-dimensional characters in a fraction of the time of DIS - so I don't think diversity has anything to do with it.

    Karl, I don't think a character needs to be canonically straight in order to fit the generalized archetype... what matters most is how the character will tend to be "read" by the audience. It's similar to how various characters have been commonly read or claimed by an audience as queer even without any firm canonical basis. It's all in the subtext.

    Also, as a queer viewer myself the "How do you know they're straight?" argument is tiresome one, not because you broach it but because any time anyone complains about a lack of good queer representation in a fandom, inevitably folks chimes in with just that, as if we're supposed to content ourselves with this phantom representation purely by virtue of our imagination! Just in general, as a rule, I don't tend to credit a showrunner with a favourable notion that they don't explicitly present themselves. So as inconvenient as it may be, I'm sorry to say that without sufficient subtext or explicit say-so, any character will tend be read as cis/straight by default.

    @Bryan - Karl Zimmerman's take is pretty much where I'm at. I'm a straight white female and perfectly happy to see characters of all colors, races, orientations, what have you, AS LONG AS they show competence at their jobs and maturity in their personalities. All of the characters I mentioned had that, and also their actors were all excellent. Wilson Cruz is an excellent actor, but his character never recovered from being killed. Michelle Yeoh sometimes seemed great to me and sometimes cartoonish, and I think that was the writing. She could make an honorable mention on my list. David Ajala as a person makes me wish I were several decades younger, and I loved Booker for quite a while, but the fourth season destroyed him.

    The bottom line is that the writing was so poor, hardly any of the regular characters were developed at all, but they made an effort for these "season guest stars" and their actors were up to it. I would have loved to have seen Detmer and Airiam especially developed more, but they had to be submerged for Marvelous Michael.

    I can't help feeling that TOS did a much better job with this kind of thing, though I can't put my finger on exactly how. I just felt like the TOS crew were all admirable people that I might want to be, and the Disco crew are kind of pathetic.

    As for my list being "macho," to me that word means "excessively masculine in a negative way," and that's not how I see them. I see them as competent, confident, sensible, and self-contained.

    @ldh2023 - I agree about the characters being undercut and think it definitely did come across to the viewers. It was most obvious with Rayner, but I saw it several times with Saru, too. Lorca I think was always meant to be from the Mirror Universe. There were several hints along the way (use of mirrors, etc.) but IMO they were too subtle; if they'd been played up just a bit more the twist wouldn't have been so shocking. And although I hated the idea of such an amoral leader in Starfleet, sticking with it in the Prime Universe would have been interesting. (Though the producers may have felt that DS9 had already done that.)

    All I have to say to this series ending (which I heard no news about except for when I went out of my way on one of my infrequent checks of Trek news sites, that's how much I've checked out of this butchered IP) is:
    Na na na na,
    Na na na na,
    Hey, hey, hey,
    Goodbye.
    (And good riddance)

    I don't have much to say beyond what you already posted in your review. This final episode of Discovery pretty much captured all my feelings about the whole series: so much potential, with occassional moments of brilliance, but inevitably let down by the show tripping over its own feet and falling on its own incompetent face.

    The only thing I really wanted to comment on was the "Calypso" tie-in. I only recently got around to watching some of the Short Treks, and was a bit baffled by the concept of "Calypso", but figured it could easily be written off as a bit of speculative fiction, or an aborted timeline or something like that, but no. Having shot themselves in the narrative foot by writing a "snapshot of the future" episode totally incompatible with the eventual direction of the show, the writers decided to spend the final moments of the show contorting themselves into knots just to bridge that ridiculous gap.

    More than anything else in the episode, it broke all sense of immersion for me. Why send Zora, a sentient AI and trusted friend of the crew, off on this apparently pointless mission of isolation, which we know will make her miserable and lonely for centuries to come, and from which she has no clear orders to return? (She holds position at the end of Calypso, after all). How heartless an act is that? And even hand-waving it away as some kind of "red directive", what could possibly justify the need to undo the retrofit? To re-attach the nacelles, to scrub the "A" from the hull, other than pure narrative contrivance?

    I ended the episode passionately yelling at the screen at the stupidity of it all. Which I suppose in a way is fitting, given how many times Disco has ellicited that reaction from me. Just as the episode summarised all my other feelings about the series as a whole, it wouldn't be complete without it getting in that one last punch.

    Great review, Jammer.

    So far as serialization, suggesting it can't work in Trek because of Discovery is akin to saying flying can't work because of the Hindenburg. Any format can or cannot work; the decisive factor is the writers' room (and the showrunner, the studio, obviously ...).

    (@Karl Zimmerman did a great write up on the distinction between more traditional serialization and the constrained-to-a-single-season mystery box version witnessed in Disco and Picard upthread.)

    Anyway, here's hoping the end of Disco marks the end of this particularly irritating format.

    And now, for some meaningless number crunching:

    - 2nd lowest rated season of NuTrek (25 stars total, next to Picard S2's 24)

    - Joins Lower Decks S4 as the only NuTrek season not to score an episode higher than 3-stars.

    - Tied for lowest rated series finale of Trek (last place shared with ENT's 'These Are the Voyages ...')

    That's that, I suppose.

    Jammer,

    Thanks for the review, thanks for all the reviews.

    Regarding Prodigy, it dropped in multiple places yesterday Season 2 will premier on Netflix on July 1.

    Given this will almost certainly be dropped in the standard Netflix release model (whole season at once) how are you going to do reviews?

    I don't think any of us expect you to review more than 1-2 a week, but maybe you should put up stub links for all 20 episodes for discussion, until you get to the reviews? Or maybe (since there are five two-parters) you could restrict it to only 15 reviews, saving yourself a bit of effort.

    Since the entire season was released early in France, you can find all the episode titles/directors/showrunners online already, saving you a ton of trouble with formatting.

    "Nhan has a line about reminding her never to play Ferengi rummy with Saru, which plays like the oldest recycled line from the TNG-era playbook."

    Haha, so much this. Also, Ferengi Rummy? Is that the game Quark played in DS9? I'm pretty sure it was called something else.

    BTW excellent review, Jammer. I wish I had more to say, but this series really switched gears after season 2 and I never quite embraced the 32nd century. Book was a cool character, the transporters were fun microcosms of the spore drive, Burnam making captain makes sense, but— the endlessly long talkfests, usually between Burnham and a female antagonist with a paper thin motive, made this series flat-out dull.

    Say what you will about season 1, but Lorca was interesting because he created *conflict*. You hated Lorca but maybe he made a good point or two that didn't resonate with the hugfest aboard Discovery. That's a good villain.

    You know what this show could have really used? Leonard McCoy. Yep, BONES! Sharp-witted one liners would've helped make the light-hearded therapy sessions aboard the Discovery so much more tolerable.

    I enjoyed reading Jammer's review as usual -- could go on and on about DSC's shortcomings but a couple of lines from Jammer's review really hit the nail on the head for this highly flawed series as I previously said:

    "Discovery's serial plotting structure overall: Lots of time spent arriving at middling conclusions."

    And this is the issue with the season-long arc and not having the writing chops to pull it off.

    "Discovery never figured out how to grapple with either tone in a satisfying manner. Two things are certain — they didn't crack the code of the serialized narrative, nor the omnipresent protagonist."

    DSC really is 2 series in 1 and neither are satisfying. Actually, they both suck. I suppose things changed big time when Paradise took over but she proved to be terrible. But the emphasis on Burnham is just so over-the-top ridiculous.

    The only other thing I'd say is (and hopefully not to ignite another debate on ratings, b/c it is the review that is far more meaningful) I wonder if this 2* rating is a result of overall frustration with the season and perhaps even the series overall rather than just what took place in this episode. Jammer's rating would indicate "Life, Itself" is among the worst episodes of the season. (I actually think it's the best by a slender margin, but that's not saying much). But to me, his review of the actual episode suggests something better than 2*.

    I rarely comment on the review itself because Jammer is very thorough and perceptive and just about everything he says has me either nodding in agreement or thinking 'that's a fair point' so there's not really much for me to say beyond echoing his statements. However, I just want to add to the general praise because I think this review is particularly excellent and says just about everything that needs to be said without being unfair or hateful. I have enjoyed reading all of the reviews over the years going way, way back so please keep 'em coming!

    "Jammer's rating would indicate "Life, Itself" is among the worst episodes of the season. (I actually think it's the best by a slender margin, but that's not saying much). But to me, his review of the actual episode suggests something better than 2*."

    You aren't necessarily wrong. The rating was 2.5 stars for a long time as I wrote this in chunks over three days. But as I got closer to wrapping it up, it felt more like a 2. It was honestly practically a coin flip, and I probably let the cumulative nature of the season weigh on it. The star ratings can sometimes be a struggle.

    "Regarding Prodigy, it dropped in multiple places yesterday Season 2 will premier on Netflix on July 1. Given this will almost certainly be dropped in the standard Netflix release model (whole season at once) how are you going to do reviews?"

    I honestly don't know. My guess is I will post empty pages for comments and review them as I have time. My process and site were definitely not set up for the Netflix model. And I really hate having comment threads on episodes I haven't watched or reviewed when I intend to watch and review them. It messes up my workflow, because I don't want to read comments on shows I haven't seen and reviewed, but I also don't want the threads to go un-monitored.

    When Discovery S5 premiered as two episodes, I faced this as a mini-dilemma. One review or two? I ultimately decided on one, instantly regretted that decision, and have since gone back and split the single review into two.

    It can be frustrating when a plot thread that had been teased along for many episodes gets unceremoniously dropped or squandered by the end of a season, for instance Book's relationship to Mol, or Culber's spiritual awakening so I certainly don't blame Jammer for taking out that frustration out on the star rating of the final episode. Because you don't really know that until the very end and you've been giving the prior episodes the benefit of the doubt the whole damn time. Eventually something's gotta give and it's either that or those prior episodes need to be re-appraised retroactively...and who wants to do that?!

    To be fair to this season, I don't think Jammer has liked any of the season finales much for Discovery. Something I agree with - the show just doesn't close well, and almost never lives up to the promise of the initial season premise.

    I might make a bit of an exception for Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2, which is the only finale Jammer rated as three stars. I think it stands out as better because the season faceplanted earlier in the arc (around The Red Angel/Perpetual Infinity), meaning it was on an upward climb by the end.

    The bigger structural issue with the season though is even if the finale isn't really any worse than most of the other finales, we didn't really get much worthwhile along the way. IMHO only the memberberry jump through time of Face the Strange felt worth it, and even that was just good, not great (past seasons at least had a bit of great, if not flawless).

    Jammer, a big thank you for all your work on this frustrating series which never understood what Star Trek is all about. Hope you can now go and watch some really GOOD shows.

    The "Ferengi rummy" line had two of my least favourite clichés at once. Both taking a familiar thing and sticking an alien adjective in front of it, and the whole "I wouldn't want to play [game of chance] against you," which was used at least twice on DS9 (both with reference to Kira -- in the pilot with "Rolandan wild draw" and in "Shadows and Symbols" with plain old poker.

    I think Jammer had a great review of the finale and the series. I won't go over the myriad of issues this show had from the start, except to say it was tough slog from the initial concept.

    Doing a prequel where a ship was technically much more advanced than the Enterprise was very hard sell right out the gate. (And I'm not obsessive about minutia of continuity either, but come on).

    Throw on top of that the aforementioned issues of a failed serialized format to the excessive emotional outbursts and excessive special effects, and you got yourself a series that was hard to like.

    That said, I did like some aspects and efforts, and I'll highlight some of those here:

    1. They often did a fantastic job with various planetary and space settings.

    2. Action Saru.

    3. The scene in S3 where Discovery arrives at Starfleet HQ was fantastic.

    4. They FINALLY brought in some openly gay and trans characters. Hurray! Unfortunately, I could barely endure their sappy, preachy, precious stories and personas. Unhurray! (Lesson: Careful what you wish for, I guess).

    5. The show gave us Anson Mount, Pike and "Strange New Worlds," definitely the best thing it did.

    6. The whole idea behind The Burn -- what happens to the Federation if warp drive is hard to come by -- was a truly solid one. But the execution and resolution were epic fails. And really, that was the only season that had what I considered a solid story for season-long arc. (I didn't like the Klingon War/Mirror Universe nor the Red Angel/AI threat nor the Rogue Thing Killing Planets nor the S5 plot with Moll as season-long arcs).

    Gosh, even when I try to find something good to say about the series, I end up with a "Yes, but ..." situation.

    Overall, it's an improvement over the JJA movies. And it was good enough to watch once. I doubt I'll ever watch "Discovery" again, though. Once you find out the resolution to each season's arc, there's no compelling reason to ever return for repeat viewings.

    Excellent review and clear, succinct discussion of this show’s consistent problems from Day 1.

    Also, still not over Mirror Universe people needing eye drops because they come from a morally dark universe. 😂🤣

    I don't see why so many people attack this show for wokeness. They were simply trying to show that in the future, gender, race, and sexual orientation is not a barrier to success, and they did this by including characters of different backgrounds. Star Trek has always done this.

    Including and valuing differences is not virtue signaling. It's just reflecting reality.

    shit ending to a shit show

    @Jammer, salute you for your service. Even if this thing turned out to be about as enjoyable as 'Nam.

    Looking forward to Prodigy - that's a show I can get behind. Can't wait to see what Rok has been up to!

    I'm glad I got out seasons ago!

    I should note though that like Jammer, I didn't always hate the show. The last episode I watched was the season three finale, which I did absolutely detest. Just awful. And the last one I rated before that, "Su'kal", I gave 1.5 stars on Jammer's scale (there's another episode between those two that I recorded no rating for, not sure what happened there).

    But that season, I gave three stars to "Far From Home", "People of Earth", and both parts of "Terra Firma". And I even rated "Scavengers" a full four stars! But that leaves eight out of thirteen episodes of the season that I gave mediocre or low ratings. Just not a good enough hit rate, especially on a serialized show where it's hard to just dip in for certain more acclaimed episodes.

    @RobSoLF

    "Probably the most dominant theme of this final episode is the deep and unconditional love that this show has for itself."

    OMG, this is sooooo correct. I've been looking at how to put this into words for quite some time. RobSoLF - you nailed it.

    Just listen to any SMG interview. My god, they are SOOOO full of themselves.

    What to say about this episode...

    Does anyone anywhere think that this technology should just be discarded? Good Michael (I mean lord), what happens if the universe ends up in the same state it once was? All you need to do is take the triangles out of the room and no one can access it, right? Jesus, remove the damn things and hide the progenitor tech thingy...but we all worship at the altar of Michael. She singularly has determined that no one in existence can handle this technology. I'm sure all mighty Michael knows the answer to this, but what medical knowledge can be gleaned from this? How many lives were just lost because she just threw it all away? I'm guessing this is why we didn't hear the conversation between Michael, the UFP President, and ADM Vance. Nothing said could have logically made sense to support Michael's decision. But this is Discovery so she probably told them and they took a deep breath and just folded.

    Is it possible to write Moll any more one-dimensionally stupid? There is no reason to fight Michael inside the thingy... none unless you don't want to learn what the progenitors have to offer. Michael even explained it to her very directly. The fight seemed to go on forever. Then, when Burnham comes out and tells Moll there is "nothing in there that can bring him back", she just kind of shrugs and says OK. All the tears we've seen subject to throughout this series' run and no tears here? ... but then again, this is the word from the almighty Michael here... I should expect complete submission and understanding.

    Action Saru was good I guess. Doug Jones has always done an outstanding job with his character and he gave it everything he had here too. Too bad he wasn't given more of an argument to make. It's still sad to me that Saru was not present for most of the final season.

    Colber/Book... I guess they needed something to do... fist pump. Both actors did well. Wilson Cruz continues to excel with the Culber character.

    Adira... I really liked her when she arrived, but she ended up in blah land. But hey, we got the stupid pronoun inject so all is well. Stamets ended up a one-trick pony too... (solve the science problem guy...)

    While I've always enjoyed the Nhan character and was happy she returned for the finale, I was equally upset at the lack of Reno here. Tig always was a plus when they decided to include her.

    Detmer and Owo return and don't get to utter one frakin word. Only good for a couple of hugs.

    I enjoyed the Discovery crew with Rayner at the helm. ... well everything but Tilly's "brilliance". Hey, just shoot the plasma!! ... how many times have we seen that throughout trek? Worming quantum entanglement into the solution to remove the Breen Dreadnaught was pretty cool as was Rayner's growth to remove them from the equation rather than killing them all. (much more than Michael can say). I thought sure he would be dead by the end of the season.

    So Kovich is Daniels from STE? He said he was from the USS Enterprise... I'm assuming the "J"? The NX-01 wasn't a "USS".

    I saw they were putting Discovery back to its original configuration right down to removing the "A", but I didn't catch the reasoning why. Anyone?

    I also didn't catch the reason why Discovery needed to be sent to deep space. Why now? I'm figuring her last mission takes place around 40 years after this episode. I had always figured it would have something to do with the sphere data...

    Did anyone but me feel sad for Zora? Esssh... just sit here for 1000 years all by yourself... she experiences time right?
    I thought Burnham's aging makeover was exceptional. It really made me think of her mother.

    So it's over. I will NOT miss Michael's whispering and loooong draaaawn out word pronunciations.

    This has been nothing more than DEI trek. It's sad that that meant more than well-thought-out stories.

    For me, the first two seasons were the best with season 2 on top. I've rewatched each.

    Season 3's everything blew up because a child screamed was laughable and the season 4 emotion-Fest topped off with Stacey Abrams was bad and telling.

    There were definitely fantastic moments throughout. I ended up being emotionally moved by the loss of a character we barely knew. I was moved by Nahn volunteering to "stand the watch". I was brought to tears by Aditya Sahil's steadfast dedication to duty. Michael and Spock had many memorable moments.

    Visuals were always top notch. Cinema quality. You really can't give enough praise here. Saru's character development is probably unparalleled in trek.

    This series just loved to piss me off. I'd get a few episodes where things felt like trek and then - the knife in the back.

    I've seemingly graded individual episodes pretty high, but then was mostly let down at the end of the season. This past season felt better on average, but it was all pretty average.

    It would have been nice to see this crew in some episodic TV rather than a season-long arc.

    I'll give this 2.5 stars.

    I'm trying to remember if I ever heard the word "family" in the 72 episodes and 6 movies with the original crew like it was continually used here. I should count how many times it was uttered in this short 65-episode run.

    Good night Discovery.

    @RMS81 "I don't see why so many people attack this show for wokeness. They were simply trying to show that in the future, gender, race, and sexual orientation is not a barrier to success, and they did this by including characters of different backgrounds. Star Trek has always done this."

    I've never attacked it for "wokeness" on the basis of including people of diverse gender, race, or sexual orientations. That's one thing Discovery has done correctly. It's unremarkable to the characters in universe, which is appropriate, and how previous incarnations of Trek handled it.

    My attacks on NuTrek's "wokeness" have to do with:

    * Repeated portrayals of Starfleet characters stopping mid-mission to talk about their feelings (seemingly every other episode of Discovery)
    * Repeated examples of Starfleet characters freezing/cowering during a crisis (Picard S3)
    * Silly virtue signaling like Pike's horseback ride through a landscape littered with wind turbines, or covering the Golden Gate Bridge with solar panels, because that's what we'll be using once we have fusion reactors?!
    * Stacey Abrams' ill advised cameo.

    Well written review, @Jammer.

    I appreciate that it is critical without being derisive or toxic.

    Thank you for all your efforts.

    If grading within the disco ethos, this was a solid series finale - it hits all the Disco tropes. If you're watching it after 5 seasons, you know what you're gonna get for better or worse. I think this ep and season arc worked better than the other season finales to repurpose as an unplanned series finale so writers lucked out a bit, and the added coda flowed naturally from the wedding beach "original" ending. Progenitor chat was very disco. I had to laugh when Saru mentioned "connection", knew Paradise would get that in somehow.

    Moll/Lak/Breen angles all should've been reworked early in the writers room, glad we never have to endure the book-moll plot they seemed to be planning for another season. They didn't end up spoiling Rayner's character either, very nice. Could they really not come up with something more interesting than an elementary school geometry puzzle as the final riddle to creation and existence though, eesh.

    Of course the coda had to be all about Michael and close on a hugfest with crew most of whom we barely got to know. SMG did act very well throughout episode though so props. And nice to see how far old makeup fx has come since all good things.

    I'm 45 minutes into this finale and it's sooooo boring. Not sure I will be able to finish it. I started laughing when Burnham was arranging triangles on a plate and dramatic music was playing in the background. The final clue! Make a triangle with the blank space between the triangles, who writes this stuff? Then they are trying to sell the riddle as this really profound thing with deeper meaning when they are literally playing with children's toys.

    One further thought - an issue with the plot arc this season is it put adult characters into a kid's plot - something more befitting the crew of Prodigy.

    So many of the issues with this plot wouldn't be a problem if stuck into a middle-grade format. The one-dimensional nature of Moll as an antagonist (Before La'k died, they began to remind me of Team Rocket). Primarch Ruhn being a cartoon villain worthy of Power Rangers. The antagonists collectively never killing a single person. The clue trail feeling artificial like an RPG, with some of the "puzzles" so laughably simple a child could figure them out.

    All of this is paired with some mature characterization by established adult characters, but it's fundamentally adults bumbling through a kid's story, which is part of why the result is underwhelming.

    @Jammer,

    Thanks for the fantastic review. Always excellent writing and thoughtful analysis.

    @Karl Zimmerman: "The clue trail feeling artificial like an RPG, with some of the "puzzles" so laughably simple a child could figure them out."

    It's so true. My 6 year old was doing something really similar when she was playing with toy shapes on the living room floor the other day.

    I suspect whoever came up with the idea of arranging triangles on a plate has kids and might be a little sleep deprived...

    @Nick, @Karl Zimmerman: RE: Puzzles
    → My memory's kinda hazy, but I feel like they could've turned to the Stargate franchise to retrieve some ideas for some good pseudo-puzzles.

    @Chris W Thanks for answering. Makes sense. And I tyink I agree with you to an extent..I wish we had mlre new aliens and had spent mlre time exploring the wondrous tech of the Progenitors ' Progenjtors..for lack of a better term..wpuld you mquve ahree..MY GOD THAT SHOULDVE BEEN THE ARC OF THE SEASON! It just dawned on me while tyoijg tbis..whybwasn trbks like eoisode 4 abd we thejnwxpre all thise portals and windows thebrest of the season??

    Am I the olnly.oje who has no idea who or wjat Cslpypso and Craft are..i think Calyposo was a Short Trei episode right? Guess ill have to rewatch.

    just for funsies I tried watching the finale

    Yep Moll is about as nuanced as a cactus on a loveseat

    I made it thru the teaser and was like "This goes on for 85 minutes? F*** that"

    Discovery: F.

    It had some moments here and there, but overall Disco was a thoroughly disappointing and underwhelming series.

    It was way too schmaltzy and laser-focused on a single character that often didn't deserve all the attention, depriving the rest of the cast of development.

    The one-story-per-season format never actually worked in the way it did with serialized series like Battlestar or The Expanse. It always felt like a two-parter stretched across a season.

    The near-constant upheaval in the showrunner's seat and writers room couldn't have helped. Too many competing visions.

    That said, I'm sad whenever a Trek series leaves the airwaves.

    Thankfully there's still SNW and LD for now, and hopefully a film will come out at *some* point. Nothing like Trek on the big screen.

    I'll close with my ranking of Trek TV series (not including Prodigy as I've only seen half of the first season):

    1. DS9
    2. TNG
    3. TOS
    4. VOY
    5. Lower Decks
    6. Picard (S3)
    7. SNW
    8. ENT
    9. Disco
    10. Picard (S1-S2)

    Long-time reader, first time commentor -

    Discovery has been on for as long as I've known my (now) spouse, and it's wild to see how much I've grown over this show's run time. Not that I can really say the same for the show itself. What started as a big melodramatic 'red alert' to the Trek of the past morphed quickly into, well, just a melodrama. Pleasantries, as Jammer so aptly put it, has been the name of the game for a while now and you can feel it in the way the characters communicate with each other, right up to the very end.

    The other word that has come to define Discovery for me, mostly by way of Burnham because of her importance to the show's format, is 'Crusade.' Star Trek has always been in conversation with jingoism of a kind, but DIS took it to a new level with its "We are Starfleet" rejection of Lorca and the Mirror Universe and the way the crew fits into the Starfleet of the future. There is a kind of fundamentalism at play here that Trek has usually declined for our heroes. The closest it has come was in VOY where the ideals of Starfleet served as a safety blanket for a crew operating in a strange land, and in ENT, where the Jingoism is towards Earth. In both cases these hard stances softened with time and exposure to other cultures. DIS on the other hand, funnels every action through Burnham, whose eyes are constantly on the mission. What is that mission? An ongoing need to prove her worth by doing the absolute most for the Federation. Given that she usually disagrees with most characters on what is good for the Federation or on how to get something done, and then has the mettle needed to push through and save the day her way, how else can we describe Burnham other than as a crusader?

    It's not like Michael is starving for other religious connections, either. Let's not forget that Michael's namesake is an archangel, she's been the red angel, and the predominant culture on the world of her upbringing is one based on a relgious belief in logic. In the the future, who does she eventually end up reporting to? A man who transcends time and space, whose single mission is to protect and guide The Federation, and who appears to live in a dimension of white light!

    How apt then, that the series ends with Michael, after finding inner peace on the road to finding G-d's Kingdom on Earth as only a crusader can, is entrusted with protecting the Pearly Gates made manifest, and then accepts a job as the Federation's guardian angel.

    There's probably a lot that can be said here about the captain as divine soldier conversation that goes all the way back to Kirk, about Kathleen Kennedy's and Sonequa Martin-Green's own relationships with faith, and in fans' almost religious belief in Star Trek as a vision for the future. Thankfully, however, I probably don't need an entire series rewatch to explore those ideas in full.

    Thanks philadlj

    Rankings are always fun.

    My series ranking:

    1. TOS
    2. ENT
    3. VOY
    4. TNG
    5. Picard (S3)
    6. DS9
    7. Lower Decks
    8. SNW
    9. Disco
    10. Picard (S1-S2)

    ... and Jammer... great review as always. I so appreciate your efforts here on the site and I never miss one of your reviews.

    Will you be reviewing Prodigy?

    If we're doing rankings:

    1. TNG
    2. DS9
    3. SNW (almost tied for #2 IMHO)
    4. TOS
    5. ENT / VOY (tied)
    6. Picard
    7. Disco

    If the handful of LD episodes I've seen are representative I'd probably toss it into a three way tie with ENT/VOY. One of these days we have to actually sit down and watch it in full.

    And since nobody ranked the movies:

    1. The Voyage Home
    2. Wrath of Khan / First Contact (tied)
    3. Undiscovered Country
    4. Insurrection
    5. Search for Spock
    6. The Motion Picture
    7. Generations
    8. The Final Frontier
    9. Nemesis

    My partner hasn't seen all the shows but she'd rate the movies:

    1. First Contact
    2. The Voyage Home
    3. Wrath of Khan
    4. Insurrection
    5. Undiscovered Country
    6. Search for Spock
    7. The Motion Picture
    8. Generations
    9. Nemesis
    10. The Final Frontier

    I wished I like Discovery more than I did--I really do. Jammer's 100% correct on two of the things that drove me the most nuts: the overwhelming focus on Michael Burnham and the disjointed season arcs. These arcs were literally so spread out that the characters had a lot of time to just... gibber. For this season, honestly whenever it was just MB and Book, I just fast-forwarded, which means that I fast forwarded over 95% of the coda because, frankly, I don't care. There is space for romance in Star Trek (Kira and Odo come to mind or Dax and Worf), but those felt organic while the MB/Book pairing felt needlessly forced with their lackluster chemistry. There was literally no reason why he was roped into every mission over the rest of the Discovery crew. In the hugging scene at the end, I _still_ didn't know how half of the people were.

    My other beef are that there were so many dangling plot threads that you could knit a blanket each season. For instance, why introduce the ISS Enterprise at all when it could have been literally any other ship (other than save money, of course)? Or why did we even need Gray given that his character provided almost no value and that Adira's joining was just forgotten (and yet the creepy family dynamic with Stamets remained). Or how the 10C aliens could only understand simple messages, then somehow an entire speech in the next with no developments explaining how that happened. Or all the time wasted in the first season getting the Defiant's data just to.. not use it or have any bearing on returning to the Prime Universe. So many things like this just happened because the plot du jour needed them to happen, but weren't deemed important enough to remember in subsequent episodes? It made the serialized fashion so much more unbearable. They could have learned a LOT from just watching the Dominion War arcs in DS9, which gave enough oxygen for each character to develop while, more importantly, being actually interesting.

    Don't get me started on how easily and seamlessly these 23rd century people adjusted to the 32nd century. I can't imagine a 12th century person being flung into the 21st and just getting everything immediately. Like... what? That person wouldn't have even been exposed to a mechanical clock or printing press, much less the Internet or electrical appliances. It was so badly brushed aside because the plot needed it to be.

    I don't hate Discovery, but I see it as highly wasting its potential. The spore drive turned Discovery into a Tardis-like ship that could move anywhere in time and space, or even dimensions with all our travels to the Mirror Universe. It really could have been a way to, well, discover new and interesting worlds. But instead it became a badly serialized romance novel relying too much on feels and spiffy visuals than any real storytelling.

    At least Strange New Worlds is interesting. They at least remember that there is a whole cast (okay, maybe minus the underused Ortega, who I really, really wanted to have a line in the musical of "...and I fly the ship!" and I hope doesn't get the Travis Merriweather treatment). Maybe there can be some future redemption for Discovery. I hope so.

    Since rankings are fun, here goes:

    1-TOS
    2-DS9
    3-TNG
    4-VOY
    5-SNW
    6-ENT
    7-PIC
    8-DISC

    I’ve excluded LD because I haven’t seen it and I have a tendency to consider animated series as a separate category anyway. Picard only beat Discovery because of its solid third season, had that season not happened it would have pretty easily been the bottom series. TOS, DS9, and TNG are in a tight race for the 1/2/3 slots, but I gotta give the original the nod.

    @Tim
    Bold choice to go with Voyage Home as your top movie pick, I respect that.

    The Voyage Home is great. Classic Trekkian plot, no Bad Guy of the Week, message for mainstream audiences, minimal violence and at its heart a character story.

    It's my "go to" upbeat movie if I'm feeling down/depressed for whatever reason. :)

    A more complete list :-)

    My series ranking:

    1. TOS
    2. ENT
    3. VOY
    4. TNG
    5. Picard (S3)
    6. DS9
    7. Lower Decks
    8. SNW
    9. PROD
    10. Disco
    11. TAS
    12. Picard (S1-S2)

    My movie rankings:

    TWoK
    FC
    ST2009
    TUC
    STB
    TVH
    TSFS
    TMP
    GEN
    STiD
    INS
    NEM
    STV

    Anyone who places ST2009 and Beyond in even the Top 50 for greatest Trek films is history's greatest monster.

    @Jason R.

    Careful not to blow a gasket. We haven't even heard what everyone's partner's cousin's dog thinks yet!

    @Yanks: "Will you be reviewing Prodigy?"

    My plan for that will be announced later this month.

    My favorites in order:

    TNG
    TOS
    ENT
    VOY
    DS9
    LDS
    PRO
    SNW
    TAS
    DIS
    PIC (excepting S3, which would go right after DS9)

    Movies:
    Wrath of Khan
    The Motion Picture
    Undiscovered Country
    Voyage Home
    Search for Spock
    First Contact
    Generations
    Nemesis
    Insurrection
    STV

    Beyond
    ST (2009)
    ST (2013)

    My ratings on series in which I’ve seen at least a few seasons (Discovery is the only one I haven’t in its entirety). The first three are more or less tied & have gone through rewatches and regularly look at my favorite episodes from all three. On VOY & ENT, watched the episodes when they were first released but neither really impressed me much at the time. My view is there was a definite decline in quality. Now a days use Jammer’s guide to look at a handful of episodes from those series to refresh my
    memory of those two series. May go back and look at a few of the first half Picard S3 episodes. Discovery - the only episode where I have any interest in rewatching is If Memory Serves & that’s based more on how it relates to TOS, PIke, Spock.

    TNG
    DS9
    TOS
    SNW
    ENT
    VOY
    PIC
    DISC

    Thought the third season of Picard was very well written in the first half of the season but, unfortunately from my perspective, the second half deteriorated into a nostalgic fest at the expense of the story.

    rankings! yay!

    1. TNG
    2. VOY (the 7 of 9 seasons) /DP9
    3. TOS
    4. PICARD S3 (although...it could count as a TNG season?)
    5. Lower Decks
    6. Picard S1, S2
    7. SNW
    8. ENT
    9. The Michael Burnham show

    What have I done 😂

    My film ranking (Kelvin excluded):

    1. IV The Voyage Home
    2. I The Motion Picture
    3. II The Wrath of Khan
    4. VIII First Contact
    5. VI The Undiscovered Country
    6. III The Search for Spock
    7. V The Final Frontier (best score)
    8. VII Generations
    9. IX Insurrection
    10. X Nemesis

    Fuck it, why not:

    1) DS9 (seasons 4-7 are the best of Trek)
    2) TNG (the quintessential Trek)
    3) TOS (greatest "space Western" of all time!)
    4) VOY (somewhat less than it might have been, true, but still often very good)
    5) SNW (still early, but I love what they're doing and I have faith)
    6) LD (not my favorite format of television, but really good given that)
    7) PROD (see above, only there's not enough of this show yet)
    8) TAS (everyone else is just leaving this out?! About 50/50 split between bangers and trash)
    9) PIC (on the strength of S3; S2 being the very bottom of Trek and S1 being poor-to-middling)
    10) ENT (just barely redeemed by S4, otherwise this show has nearly nothing to offer)
    11) DSC (S2 didn't suck, but there were four other seasons, each of which when evaluated individually ultimately amounted to "suck")

    Movies:

    First Contact (maybe it's not as good outside a theater, but that's how I'll remember it)
    TUC (it's just such a great send-off, even if it could have used a larger budget)
    TWOK (great film all around even if personally it's not my #1)
    TVH (great film, just not my preferred type of Star Trek story)
    TMP (better than most people say it is, also I have a soft spot for it being "the weird one")
    TSFS (what a letdown after TWOK!)
    Generations (undercooked, all around)
    Insurrection (a fine episode of television masquerading as a movie)
    STV (better than most people say it is, but not a good movie)
    Nemesis (stupid, stupid, stupid, bad, bad, bad; nearly ruined TNG entirely)

    The reboot universe no one gives a fuck about:

    ST: Beyond (the best of a bad crop, but not a good movie--it at least tries to be Star Trek)
    ST (2009) (a decent movie, but awful Star Trek)
    STID (not as bad as everyone says it is, but neither a decent movie nor good Star Trek)

    @philadlj, see what you started!

    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country - best of all Trek
    TNG - Measure of a Man, The Wounded, BoBW, Chain of Command - the ultimate four star show
    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - Trek with whales!
    TOS - the magic that started it all
    DS9 - Star Trek’s contribution to the era of peak television, even if the first few seasons were shaky
    Star Trek: First Contact - drunk James Cromwell FTW
    Star Trek II: TWoK - Khaaaan

    Thus ends top tier Trek

    SNW - I know it’s early, but I love the crew so much. And this is the only Star Trek my SO enjoys, and everything is better with her
    Star Trek: Insurrection - what can I say, I love firm boobs ;)
    Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

    Here we end second tier Trek and begin our slow descent into substandard fare

    VOY - not great, but love the Doctor, Seven, and Paris - and at least this is a show you can watch for fun
    Star Trek (2009) - a little too long, but a net positive for the extended Trek universe, and Chris Pine FTW
    Star Trek Generations - better than most VOY episodes, but if I had to choose only 1, I’d rather have VOY than this
    Star Trek Into Darkness - More Chris Pine, now with a side of Marcus
    Star Trek TMP - slow and steady but groovy in a 70’s kind of way
    Prodigy - might get better, but already not bad
    Star Trek V: The Final Frontier - Row, row, row your boat

    And here starts Trek that is a net negative for the franchise

    Star Trek Nemesis - the start of what I actually wish did not exist
    Star Trek Beyond - pointless, except for the stand out scene on Kirk’s birthday with Bones
    ENT - first Trek I couldn’t get through on first run. Years later went back and completed, but even with that one episode with Damar, it wasn’t worth the effort
    Discovery - really bad, even if there were a small number of good episodes
    Picard - two seasons of torture were not justified by an ultimately mediocre season of TNG
    TAS - can’t watch this shit
    Lower Decks - utter dreck - Lower Drecks!?!?!

    So since Star Trek Academy is set in this same time period, you guys do realize this is probably not the last time we'll see all the Disco characters, right? I can see each of them guest starring on an episode or two throughout the new series.

    We're not "free" of Discovery yet. Especially if Tilly is also a main character in that series.

    @Yanks

    When I hear the term "Toxic Positivity", I instantly think of this show. On a screen level and a meta level. All the "you got this!" nonsense on the show level, and the doubling down on the worst traits of the show by its runners. You can see where Raynor, the only serious character on this show, gets "schooled" to the point where he's just there to listen to all these stellar ideas(They're brilliant! It says so in the script!) and say, "Yeah, do that".

    I enjoy SNW. I enjoy Lower Decks. Hell, even Prodigy has its moments. Prodigy is childish, but it should be childish; it's clearly a show for kids. What's Disco's excuse? Why are they trying to take the worst of what it is and make it into "Starfleet Academy"? Again, doubling down on stupid. Probably due to Toxic Positivity.

    DS9
    TNG
    TOS
    VOY
    ENT
    DISC
    PIC (S1-2)
    Haven't seen the rest.

    TVH and TWOK
    TSFS (the score and direction during 2 scenes make this seminal for me - Stealing the Enterprise, Battling the Bird of a Prey)
    FC
    TUC
    Gen
    TMP
    Ins
    TFF
    Nem
    2009
    ID
    Bey (closest I've come to walking out the cinema for any film)

    OK, I'll play:

    TV series:

    TNG
    TOS
    DS9
    (all very close)
    (gap)
    Voyager
    TAS
    (gap)
    Disco (s1-2)
    Picard (s1 only)
    Enterprise (s1 only)

    The last three are fairly close actually. Enterprise s1 is maybe the most Trekkish really but rarely held my interest (years ago). Picard gets a huge boost from the major stars from yesteryear but squanders it in various ways. Disco has Saru, so great on that, and Jason Isaacs and Michelle Yeoh though I think both end up being wasted on the MU stuff.

    Haven't seen Enterprise s2-4, Picard s2-3 (I want to see s3), Disco s3-5, SNW, LD, Prodigy, short Treks, whatever else is coming down the pike (or Pike).

    Movies:
    WOK
    FC
    TUC
    TVH
    TMP
    TSFS
    Generations
    Insurrection
    2009/TFF/Nemesis

    Have not seen ID or Beyond. 2009 is hard to rank: I don't like it, at all, but it's also more competently made than TFF or Nemesis. I decided to just throw the bottom ones all together.

    Rankings are hard. TUC and TVH could move above FC, but I have a huge amount of affection for FC coloured by nostalgia.

    Wow, it's super hard to rank the series for me, since I tend to think of them linked together in a more or less cohesive narrative. I do enjoy reading everyone else's takes, though. :-)

    However, I will rank the new series since they're all under Kurtzman and his era may be coming to a close:

    1. Picard - I think it's admirable that the writers tried to fix the weaker Trek canon, like Nemesis. No one ever went to The Final Frontier's rescue, for example, so I have some respect for this show. The writers set up a colossal challenge bringing these characters back and sure they failed on many levels, but they stuck the landing.
    2. Lower Decks - I mean this kind of speaks for itself. It's one of the few new shows that follows canon and it carves out interesting arcs for each main character. This all despite being a children's cartoon.
    3. Discovery (S1 and S2) - It was crazy and not Star Trek as we all know it, but it was bold, fun and spun off a few other shows, so it deserves it credit.
    4. Strange New Worlds - Actually, I don't watch this show, but it's not bad. It's certainly not painful like Enterprise or the bad seasons of Voyager. It's also pretty hard to deny the charm of the TOS era.
    5. Discovery (S3+) - Jammer's comparison to a Folger's Coffee commercial is exactly right.

    (Haven't watched Prodigy, have nothing against it.)

    Damnit, now you got me doing it too.

    1)TNG (when Trek lived up to its original ideals in principle and execution)
    2)DS9 (didn't like the characters and cynicism as much but this is storytelling at its finest)
    3)VOY (they tried a lot of stuff that fell flat but this is still classic Trek and it was never dull)
    4)SNW (the best that Nu-Trek can be with all its flaws)
    5)ENT (I found the characters and stories rather bland but at least it retained its dignity and had heart~)
    6)PIC (quite embarrassing to watch, even S3, though it had its moments)
    7)DISC (there were times I resented this show's mere existence)

    Movies:

    1)ST2 (not very Trekkian in principle but very dramatic and fun)
    2)Generations (it's just an enhanced regular TNG episode which I enjoyed)
    3)ST6 (It's Trekkian -and- good but lacks the wow-factor for me)
    4)First Contact (this is when the TNG movies turn into generic action films but still some great moments here)
    5)ST4 (I didn't care for this as much as others -- still decent though)
    6)ST1 (kinda yawn-worthy but still a classic in my mind)
    7)Insurrection (not a huge fan but it could be funny at least)
    8)Into Darkness (a decent action film if you ignore its dubious pedigree; it's dumb but entertaining at the same time)
    9)ST5 (really pointless and dull though the final "God" scene is among my favorite moments of the TOS movies, a real guilty pleasure)
    10)ST3 (this one keeps putting me to sleep and I barely remember anything)
    11)ST2009 (really cringe)
    12)Nemesis (somehow even cringier)
    13)Beyond (no, please.. just stop)

    My ranking: (I’m just a stranger who checks in every now and again because this site is a brilliant resource for trek reviews and otherwise)

    1. TNG
    2. VOY (my introduction to trek, so it has a special place in my case)
    3. DS9
    4. PIC (S2 was bad I admit, but 1 has some worthy qualities and 3 does too, though the series wasn’t as good as it should & could have been, by a long shot, and S3 was too reliant on nostalgia, especially the final episode - the Q epilogue was totally unnecessary)
    And the rest: either I watch rarely or not at all
    5. TOS (the original! though I admit I rarely watch them, I guess it’s just too far before my time for it to resonate with me (I’m 32 as of 2024), which I hate to admit, in terms of the 60s cheesiness etc)
    6. STW (barely watched it, haven’t watched a full episode, but it seems fine I guess)
    7. ENT (never liked it to be honest, cast didn’t gel for me, the show was stale IMO)
    8. DIS (I actually watched most of S1 back around its original airings and early S2 - but then I lost interest and hasn’t come back to it. I haven’t watched S3 but checked out a few scenes, which obviously didn’t compel me to watch further and I haven’t seen a single frame of S4 or S5.

    Movies:

    I like all the original ten and so this is more a case of listing them in terms of how often I tend to rewatch them. Its not really a listing that reflects the movies from best to worst, strictly speaking, but I know many fans would disagree with my ranking here.

    1. First Contact
    2. The Undiscovered Country
    3. Generations
    4. The Final Frontier
    5. Insurrection
    6. The Search for Spock
    7. The Wrath of Khan
    8. Nemesis
    9. The Motion Picture
    10. The Voyage Home
    11. Star Trek
    12. Into Darkness
    13. Beyond

    Having a hard time deciding in my own mind now that DSC and PIC are both done which is the least bad of the 2 series. Both series are quite poor, but overall I actually think DSC is slightly less so. Both series had to reset themselves — DSC had to go into the distant future and PIC had to bring back the old TNG cast and basically rebrand.

    DSC was, on average, more interesting than PIC. Whereas when PIC thought it was being at its best (S3), it was basically nostalgia — that was its calling card. There was no need to come up with a creative, intelligent story. Just had to wheel out the TNG cast and call it a day.

    As for the integrity of the characters, Picard himself was the biggest disappointment. Of course he shouldn’t be the same guy as on TNG, but he was portrayed often enough as a helpless old man, depending on a number of others to do stuff. But I’d take this Picard over Michael Burnham any day. DSC had so few likeable characters and enough super-annoying ones.

    The thing about these season-long arcs is that it makes it harder to develop individual characters or to give a legacy character their time to shine — unless you design a sort of standalone episode to make use of their qualities.

    Probably the biggest deciding factor for me is what % of episodes were 3.5* — the excellent episodes. They’re hard to come by. But DSC did it more often than PIC did, even if DSC is more cringe (woke / virtue-signalling) than PIC. But PIC S2 is the worst live-action season of Trek ever made, and that’s a third of the series.

    Another thing that makes it harder to develop characters is the episode count. Ten episodes just does not give a show as much room to do the kind of detours and character building that the shows of the past could do. SNW has tried, and even done some wild detours like the LD crossover and the musical, but it still is limited by screen time. You got to spend a lot more time with all the characters back when there were 22 or 26 (!) episodes a year.

    I’m not sure I agree that episode count is a major culprit when it come to poor character development, or even a relavent factor really. After all of five minutes of The Man Trap, both Kirk and McCoy were firmly grounded as people, additionally, the rest of that episode gave us a pretty solid foundation for several other characters as well(Sulu is a botany guy!). That’s one, relatively basic episode that did as much character work in one hour than Discovery did in a whole season or five. Or take Encounter at Farpoint, the same situation, character building flying all over the place. I don’t think a show needs 26 episodes to effectively create fully fleshed out characters, it just needs proper focus and competent writing.

    I think Discovery spent so much time *telling* us who to care about and how to care about them that it failed to *show* us why we’d want to care in the first place. A few small establishing scenes is all it would take.

    My list:
    TOS
    TNG
    DS9
    VOY

    I didn't watch Enterprise or any of the NuTrek, except the first episode of SNW (which was enough). Ultimately, I just prefer to read Jammer's reviews. Thanks again, Jammer.

    Discovery S1 had 15 episodes. I would give a lot for SNW to have 15 episode seasons. Not too long ago the standard for streaming shows was 13 episodes, and now we're down to 10. Some are down even further to 8. Arguably that's enough for heavily serialized shows (they start to drag in the middle of the season otherwise), but for a show like SNW or the classic Treks, a season model with such low episode counts really isn't optimal. They can't flourish properly under those conditions.

    I think most viewers for SNW would be okay with cheaper episodes (in VFX mainly) if it meant more of them per season. Trek has done some of its best storytelling on shoestring budgets in the past ("The Measure of a Man" comes first to mind).

    Kurtzman has said he wishes SNW could have 20-plus episodes a season. That's probably just not a reality the studio will grant in the current streaming landscape.

    @Idh2023

    "I think Discovery spent so much time *telling* us who to care about and how to care about them that it failed to *show* us why we’d want to care in the first place. A few small establishing scenes is all it would take."

    Couldn't agree more. And bear in mind, the old shows only ran for about 42 minutes and had to factor in ad breaks and all the dramatic road blocks that entailed.

    And then look at something like Andor. Developed characters in 3-episode mid-season arcs better than Discovery could in 5 years.

    @Jammer Frankly the man seems so disingenuous that I don't believe he actually wants or has envisioned that. Even if studios would let him, he'd probably just fill it with slightly cheaper space battles than the ridiculous wastes of money that we got from Discovery. While it would be interesting to see studios go back to a less serialized format, I honestly don't think that current-day showrunners are able to handle the monster-of-the-week format very well.

    How many unique ideas has SNW actually explored per season, or per episode? Every time the Gorn show up and start being violent, it's a wasted opportunity for something more interesting to happen (and the Gorn show up a lot). This may be due to limitations imposed by the studio, but it's just as likely that the writing team can't come up with 10 ideas that can fill a full hour of television, let alone 20 to 26 hours like classic Trek would do.

    When you know that your whole episode has to be structured around massive and expensive visual effects sequences, your writing suffers. Trek's writing has suffered for years. Can it be saved? Probably not by Alex Kurtzman.

    Jammer

    I would like to respond to this statement:
    Another thing that makes it harder to develop characters is the episode count.

    I recently reseen Brothers. They have 3 seasons of 8 episodes each. The characters are well-developed. I can tell you something about each of the main characters. For myself, I enjoy watching the relationship between Frenchie and Kimiko develop over the seasons, as their love for each other deepens.

    The problem with the writers of nu-Star Te4k is not the episode count. It is in their writing skills and what their vision of Star Trek is.

    I am not interested in a Section 31 movie nor the Star Trek Academy series. I believe they will be as badly written as Discovery has been.

    Te4k should be Trek.

    My favorite series is DS9, followed by TNG and VOY. I am watching VOY from the beginning to the end, seeing episodes that I missed out when they first aired. There are some very good episodes in VOY, though the continuity errors can be annoying (ex. the shifting number of crew aboard VOY),

    TOS is difficult to watch due to its misogyny and the constant abuse McCoy demonstrated to Spock. it is nice to see that the abuse softened over the years, to where it was tolerable in the movies. TAS is meh.

    Of the new Trek, DIS and PIC seasons 1 to 2 are at the bottom. SNW is heading that way for me. Prodigy has its issues, but it shows potential. LD is the one series that seems to get the Star Trek vibe the best of all the shows.

    Like I said earlier, I have a bad feeling about the new show and movie.

    I hate the word "shit." I hate this show. It is shit from top to bottom.
    This show makes Picard look like high art.

    @ Jeffrey's Tube "Nemesis (stupid, stupid, stupid, bad, bad, bad; nearly ruined TNG entirely)"

    It did ruin TNG insofar as it tanked so badly at the box office it denied us further TNG movies. I've long felt cheated the TNG crew never got an Undiscovered Country-esque sendoff. :-(

    I guess we'll have to rewatch Picard S3 -- after our full rewatch of all the TV series + TNG movies -- to see if it ages better with time. I do not recall thinking nearly as highly of it as many of you do. With the exception of Worf, nearly every character felt wildly out of character to me, and we never had any sort of intermediate story telling that might have explained how they arrived there. Much of it felt forced to create drama and drama between the leading cast was never something TNG did well, which was to its credit IMHO, these were professionals to aspire to.

    "STV (better than most people say it is, but not a good movie)"

    It did give us the fan dance. ;-)

    "Not too long ago the standard for streaming shows was 13 episodes, and now we're down to 10. Some are down even further to 8. Arguably that's enough for heavily serialized shows (they start to drag in the middle of the season otherwise), but for a show like SNW or the classic Treks, a season model with such low episode counts really isn't optimal. They can't flourish properly under those conditions."

    Even cheap to produce non-serialized 20-30 minute streaming shows (e.g., This Fool) are not getting decent episode counts these days. The cynic in me thinks this is driven by capitalist incentives that would make Quark proud: Minimize the number of writers and actors you need to pay residuals to and keep any individual actor from building enough of a profile to demand real money. There was a definite undercurrent implying this in the recent Hollywood strikes.

    As we go through our TNG rewatch, 26 episodes per season, and some of the standout gems started as ideas submitted by the audience (raise your hand if you're old enough to remember that TNG did that; you could submit your own story ideas!) that would never see the light of day in today's ecosystem.

    "I think most viewers for SNW would be okay with cheaper episodes (in VFX mainly) if it meant more of them per season. Trek has done some of its best storytelling on shoestring budgets in the past ("The Measure of a Man" comes first to mind)."

    ✋🏻

    @ Clavain "it's just as likely that the writing team can't come up with 10 ideas that can fill a full hour of television, let alone 20 to 26 hours like classic Trek would do"

    See above about TNG's open solicitation of ideas.

    I just watched the episode for the first time. They should have ended the show and the series with the original ending.

    @ Tim

    Picard S3 is really just the final TNG movie we never otherwise got. It IS their "Undiscovered Country," really. When you think of the season as movie-Trek rather than TV-Trek, it works a lot better. Even though it's a 10-hour movie and probably would have worked better in a 2.5 hour format.

    . . .

    As for Nemesis, the minute the screenwriter put the words "Picard clone" to paper, that person should have been shown the door.

    . . .

    There are a lot of complex reasons behind the trimmed episode counts on the streaming model. Some of these include (but are not limited to): chasing new people to sign-up rather than focusing on retention of existing subscribers under the assumption that getting people to sign up in the first place is the most significant hurdle to overcome and once they have signed up more people than not will be drawn in by something or another and keep their subscription no matter what, even if the program they originally signed up for isn't on or has been cancelled, and so the way to attract those new people to sign up is with a new program that attracts them and since the program that you started airing two years ago obviously did not move the needle for them in getting them to sign up, then let's try making something else instead . . .

    . . . and the upfront spend on completing an entire season of a show before you even know if it will do for you the numbers you want from it, and the gamesmanship of shorter, more frequent seasons driving retention by keeping people subscribed for longer (although the "more frequent" part hasn't been working out so much) . . . and also just the need to attract top tier talent in order to stand out anymore and attract any kind of buzz in an ever-increasingly crowded entertainment landscape, and top tier talent wants flexibility and to make choices. Not too long ago there was a clear delineation between "move actors" and "TV actors" and now plenty of "movie actors" will do "TV" but they're not going to do 26 episode seasons, but they will give you 8 episodes every two years . . .

    It's just a lot of things converging, but the end result is an entertainment business landscape that isn't friendly to storytelling the way Star Trek best thrives at the moment.

    It's okay though. It's only this moment. When people miss that old format of storytelling enough, that will eventually be a compelling business reason to resurrect it.

    Are you guys seriously comparing Picard Season 3 to Undiscovered Country as if it's remotely of the same calibre?

    @ Jeffrey's Tube

    I know that's how the production team thought of it but it doesn't work for me. As you note, it's nowhere near the caliber of TUC. If TUC had followed the Picard S3 script they'd have killed off long running recurring characters (Chapel?) for shock value. Kirk and Spock would suddenly butt heads for no reason and hurl insults during a crisis situation. Scotty would have become a coward. Sulu would have pulled his sword out during an extensional fight for survival rather than use a phaser. I can keep going but you get the gist, lol.

    TUC had the characters grow in a way that felt organic and true to themselves. That's the worst thing Nemesis took away from us. They did (finally) have some of the crew move on (though weirdly had others, i.e., Worf, regress without explanation) and if the main plot hadn't been such a stinker we might have gotten another movie where they came back together, as Sulu did in TUC.

    It could have been better as a 2.5 hour movie; glad I'm not the only one that feels that way! Told as a movie I think they'd have had less incentive to employ all the cheap tricks above to fill airtime and keep the unwashed masses subscribed to their streaming platform.

    I'll give it another shot when we finish our TNG/DS9/VOY rewatch (first time watching DS9 and VOY for my partner), so probably 2025 or 2026, lol, and the sole reason I'm willing to do that is the mass of comments here that rate it higher than I did. I'll give y'all the benefit the doubt. :-)

    Criticism of Discovery has mostly been fair and has been done to death, so as a bit of a swan song, I'd just like to chime in with the things that I think were great about STD.

    * The tech introduced was pretty interesting and at least very imaginative. Mushroom drives, programmable matter, personal holographic interfaces, personal transporters, etc. Some of that stuff might influence engineers and designers of the near-future.

    * The creative design and special effects work was great throughout the series. Each episode looked pretty much like a feature film.

    * Many of the characters were either over or under-developed, but there were a few standouts that I found particularly interesting, thought-provoking, compelling, and/or acted very well: Saru (really nailed it there), Christopher Pike, Georgiou, and Lorca.

    * Some of the episodes and plots were pretty unique and compelling from a science fiction entertainment perspective.

    * Even where STD failed, I think the creators were generally trying to be respectful of Star Trek's history and legacy. I don't think they were trying to purposefully jam their thumb in the critic's eyes, I think they just made some dumb creative choices.

    I'm hoping that the creators can learn a bit from the love and respect that fans have for SNW and LD and build on the good things there for any future incarnations of Star Trek.

    @Chris P: "I'd just like to chime in with the things that I think were great about STD..."
    → 100% agree with you. I also would never want any positives to down in the negatives.

    I've loved reading everyone's rankings. I thought I would change it up and provide some Discovery-specific rankings of my own.

    My Discovery seasons ranked:
    1. Season 1 & 2
    3. Season 3
    4. Season 4
    5. Season 5

    Below are my favorite Discovery episodes in no particular order: It was really tough to come up with this list because they're not stand-along stories; they connect with other episodes. So I find myself choosing some episodes as favorites because of isolated moments or scenes in those episodes.

    [*] s01e01-02 - The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars
    --→ I absolutely love the series high-bar setup in these episodes; the mystery of how we will watch Burnham grow from her actions here was very enticing for me

    [*] s01e03 - Context is for Kings
    --→ Lorca's phrase here is probably one of my all-time favorite quotes from Star Trek

    [*] s01e11 - The Wolf Inside
    --→ Watching Burnham do the legwork to find critical answers she needs to solve the problems for the seasons is one of the few times the answers feels earned, and that comes from her conversation with mirror-Voq

    [*] s01e15 - Will You Take My Hand
    --→ We see Burnham come full circle from the series premiere applying the lessons she was supposed to learn back to Starfleet seniors and her current mission.

    [*] s02e06 - The Sound of Thunder
    --→ Character writing for Saru and his acting here is great as he wrestles with being more aggressive and less fearful. Brand-new dimensions to explore!

    [*] s02e14-15 - Such Sweet Sorrow 1 & 2
    --→ A fantastic, action-packed set of episodes along with emotional goodbyes and a wonderful, if a bit saccharine, wrap-up to the Michael/Spock sibling relationship storyline. (But with Control being neutralized just before entering the wormhole, did they really have to continue on to the future?)

    [*] s03e06 - Scavengers
    --→ I love this episode for two reasons: [1] We get to see a futuristic Starfleet (further expanding on some great imaginations of future tech from past s03 episodes); and [2] we witness the ramifications that Burnham has to go through for going against orders. She gets a serious dressing-down from the admiral and Saru removes her as First Officer. I don't know if I would argue that the lesson really sticks with Burnham for the long-haul, I found it cathartic to what I perceive as some of Burnham's largest character flaws.

    [*] s03e09-10 - Terra Firma 1 & 2
    --→ We get to see Georgiou take what she's learned from the Prime universe back to the mirror. Through this exercise, we see how she's changed in ways that are more obviously pronounced when shown in her mirror settings. And we also say goodbye to Georgiou, one of the best things to come out of Discovery.

    [*] s03e12 - There is a Tide
    --→ Osyraa's efforts to legitimize the Emerald Chain with the Admiral was fascinating to watch, and from these negotiations, we learn just how big a deal the Emerald Chain actually is. I mean, they have a congress. And they're well-integrated into some other Starfleet bases that are beyond the reach of Starfleet. It's too bad Osyraa's story closes out on simple "bad guy" terms. It was also great to see Burnham make some smart, difficult choices in this episode (ejecting Stamets away from Discovery and into space as he pleads her to let him stay). We also get another one of my favorite Discovery quotes: "[The apple's] made of our shit, you know. It's pretty good for shit."

    [*] s04e07 - But To Connect
    --→ Flushing out Zora as a character while also tackling the problems that she exhibited in the past several episodes led to a fantastic Discovery story that is reminiscent of the best of Data, The Doctor, and Seven episodes.

    [*] s05e04 - Face the Strange
    --→ With Discovery dealing with a time bug sending Burnham, Stamets, and Rayner back and forth through time, we can see Burnham and Stamets reflect on past events.

    [*] s05e10 - Life, Itself
    --→ I mean, it's the series finale. It's hard for me not to include it here even if I didn't think it was amazing. It won't be a conventional "favorite" episode, but almost by default, it will have replay value.

    [*] ST:ST s01e02 - Calypso
    --→ It's just a nice, sweet episode.

    @RobSoLF

    "I enjoy SNW. I enjoy Lower Decks. Hell, even Prodigy has its moments. Prodigy is childish, but it should be childish; it's clearly a show for kids. What's Disco's excuse? Why are they trying to take the worst of what it is and make it into "Starfleet Academy"? Again, doubling down on stupid. Probably due to Toxic Positivity."

    But if you listen to "them", you would have any of this had it not been for STD.

    lol

    @Jammer.... thanks... standing by.

    If you thought Discovery was "woke" or whatever, check out what Acolyte is doing. That'll give you some perspective.

    @Brandon
    “If you thought Discovery was "woke" or whatever, check out what Acolyte is doing. That'll give you some perspective.”

    Yes, Kathleen Kennedy and Michelle Paradise are definitely cut from the same cloth. Usually when people start complaining about “woke” tv shows, they’re essentially saying they don’t see it packed with straight white men in all the lead roles. For those people, I say cry me a river.

    When I complain about “wokeness,” what bugs me is the exclusion of other stories at the expense of promoting whatever cause the writers are pushing. For example, I don’t believe the actors playing Adira and Gray were cast in these roles for no other reason than being trans/non-binary, not on any acting merits.

    The writers were also hyper-focused on telling stories about LGBTQ couples. Don’t get me wrong, Culmets was probably one of the best portrayed couples in ST history. But queer stories took front and center throughout the entire run (particularly the last 3 seasons). Michael and Book was the only heterosexual couple explored, and I don’t know if it’s a matter of the writers not being bothered to write a decent straight story, or the actors having the chemistry of a wet paper bag, but their relationship was as uninteresting as you could make it. You could make an argument for Saru and T’Rina, which was a well fleshed-out relationship, but who knows if Kelpians even have genders.

    Just pointing this out often gets you labeled as homophobic. But there is a difference between diversity and overrepresentation. There is a way to tell queer stories without slapping you in the face and saying “Look! Representation!” but this is indicative of the bigger problem in general of Disco: the lack of nuance and coherent storytelling.

    @Austin: "For example, I don’t believe the actors playing Adira and Gray were cast in these roles for no other reason than being trans/non-binary, not on any acting merits."

    --→ I could see an argument that while Blu del Barrio and Ian Alexander (Adira and Gray actors) may not have been great actors when compared to the large community of TV actors out there, they may have been the best actors available within the trans/non-binary community. It's not like members of that community have a wide array of roles accessible to them, so I can accept that it would be difficult for any given LGBTQ member to develop the acting experience (not necessarily education) to higher standards. Besides, it's not like DSC --or the Star Trek franchise as a whole-- has successfully cast all other main characters such that it's clear Barrio and Alexander stand out like sore thumbs. William Shatner was made fun of for decades for his stagy pauses; Robert Beltran was perceived as wooden; Sonequa Martin-Green dramatically cries a lot.

    Going on a tangent to something you said: I do agree writers are still figuring out how to tell LGBTQ stories to hetero audiences. I also I think it can be tough for an audience to draw the distinction between a story slapping you in the face with representation and realizing that the audience's mind may inadvertently make the involuntary effort to notice their queerness. With the exception of Adira stating, "I'd like to be addressed as 'they'," I don't think Adira's or Gray's queerness was explicitly ever brought up.

    PS: Don't forget about Moll and L'ak! 😆

    @Chris W

    "I do agree writers are still figuring out how to tell LGBTQ stories to hetero audiences."

    I kinda liked what they did with Tarka. It's very subtle and never explicitly spelled out but it doesn't have to be. It's not his defining character trait and it adds a little extra nuance or dimension to a character who might have otherwise seemed like just another stock SWM villain. They could have gender-swapped his missing lover which would have maintained the same undercurrent of empathy that the audience feels toward him, but this mutual tenderness felt between him and this alien dude is welcome in how unexpected it is, and provided a contrast that's intriguing in its specificity compared to what we hitherto had known about Tarka. It also transcends the typical cliche chasing after a female damsel in distress.

    @Austin

    * I think when people complain about "woke" media, they're complaining about bad shows that use their casting choices as a corporate marketing strategy and defense mechanism against criticism.

    * IMO, Kathleen Kennedy deliberately keeps the casting "woke" in Star Wars specifically because she can deflect any criticism of the lame product being put out as being bigotry and the media will eat that up rather than the shitshow Disney just wasted another few hundred million dollars on.

    * Even racists and extreme bigots don't care if a show or movie isn't all straight white men. I'd bet you up and down that the people complaining loudest about wokeness loved DS9 the most of all of the Star Trek shows even though the show portrays almost exclusively non-straight white males.

    @Bryan: "I kinda liked what they did with Tarka..."

    --→ Yeah, I generally think Discovery's LGBTQ portrayals were excellent, including Tarka. 😊

    PS: In case I wasn't clear, my comment on writers penning LGBTQ stories was meant to refer to writers in Hollywood as a whole and not specifically to Discovery's writers.

    Oh well.

    Here we are again at the end of a Discovery season -- the end of the series too -- and the climax is, well... nevermind.

    The sought-after tech is cast off beyond the event horizon, the 10C were simply a misunderstanding, the burn caused by a troubled child and the red angel... Burnham herself as it turned out.

    I find myself wishing the minds behind the series had foresworn season-long story arcs where THE FATE OF THE GALAXY IS AT STAKE! in favor of something more relatable, less breathless, less given over to spectacle over substance. I wish they'd played a bit of small ball instead of always swinging for the fences.

    Chaotic as the first season was, with Burnham as The Mutineer, with evil Captain Lorca, with Voq/Ash Tyler, the mirror universe, the Klingon war and all that edgy uncertainty, it felt fresh and new in a way the subsequent seasons never really did.

    They just felt unnecessarily drawn out, and those big reveals at the end? Pffft.

    So much wasted potential.

    I wanted to love Discovery as I have so many other Star Trek series. I watched every episode, at times reluctantly, but loyally, dutifully. Only to be as whistful as the series' final scenes.

    Oh, what could have been.

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