Discovery pulls off another of its space action finales in what I felt was a satisfying (except in one aspect) end. There were lots of emotional moments, in particular I’m a sucker for heroic deaths of cute robots but there were lots of other tear-jerking scenes particularly for the Hugh-Paul-Adira-Gray family. It’s a finale though, so spoilers follower.
I’ll start with what I’m less than happy with, which is at the end Michael becomes captain (deserved narratively if not realistically) which I’m OK with but only because Saru had left to return to his home planet. That I am not happy with. I’ll let it go though. If there is a season 4, we’ll see how things go.
As I’m starting with dislikes, I wish the ‘you must confront the traumatic event in your past to move on’ trope would die a horrible death. It won’t though as it is tied to multiple genres including the haunted house trope of the restless spirit that must find peace. Oddly, I hadn’t thought of the holodeck environment of the Kelpian spaceship as a haunted house, despite the ruins and the spooky monster but the ghost story aspect was a little stronger this time.
There was an interesting set of layers about what is genuine and what is depiction in the holodeck scenes: Saru being the real Doug Jones, to be revealed once the illusion was shattered to be ‘really’ a Kelpian. Gray also had some interesting layers here, ‘real’ in the holodeck but that illusion was because they are real as a person and not just a figment of Adira’s grief. Hugh’s vow that they would find a way that Gray could be seen by everybody another way of affirming reality.
Michael’s plan to sabotage the nacelles? No, I didn’t get it either and the implication was that it was a suicide mission was sharply at odds with her motives. It did give the bridge crew some heroic moment time and everybody survived except the little robot (sob) but they got better later (yay).
Overall a very Olatunde Osunsanmi episode. Lots of pew-pew woosh bang but with some real heart to it. Anthony Rapp didn’t get as many big acting moments as he did in the previous episode but I thought his expressions with regard to Michael after the climax were pitch perfect. You were left with no doubt that he hasn’t forgiven her and that he is will continue not to forgive while being utterly professional about it.
So where are we? New uniforms and a new captain. Discovery has spent three seasons rejecting the idea that the main character in Star Trek has to be the captain and has conceded defeat. Michael gets to run the ship and that might work. She is no more a maverick than Kirk and arguably Napoleon’s maxim about lucky generals applies here. Also, that whole Klingon war she started was a very long time ago now.
Lastly, what was that bit about “Cleveland Booker”? Dave Ajala’s character gets listed as Cleveland Booker but people call him Book and it’s clearly not a name from his own world. At the last minute we get a short mention of a ‘mentor’ with that name? Who knows! Regardless, best quote goes to Book who responds with righteous indignation to an insult to his cat “SHE IS A QUEEN!”
Honestly, this is what I needed this week. The good guys win, the bad guys got horrible Hans Gruberish deaths and the cute robot got repaired by Jett Reno.