Star Trek: Discovery: Life, Itself
May 30, 2024 11:59 PM - Season 5, Episode 10 - Subscribe

[SERIES FINALE] Burnham tries to figure out the Progenitor's tech while Rayner and Discovery deal with the Breen.

Maybe Memory Alpha's how the Progenitors seeded life throughout the galaxy.

Memorable quotes:

"Our mission does not change" - Rayner, reciting what's eventually going to be on his tombstone

"Change of plans" - Rayner's character growth arc hits its zenith

"Ambassador Saru, are you insane?" "Not to the best of my knowledge" - Primarch Tahal and Saru

"Look into my eyes and tell me if you see even the slightest glimmer of doubt" - Action Saru forcing Primarch Tahal to stand down

Personal log:

Well, we're done. We've made it. Sixty-five episodes in the can, three (four, if you count "Short Treks") spin-offs either off and running or about to enter center stage. Barring "Picard", which was intended to be short-lived, Disco ends with the least number of episodes of any live-action Trek.

But, I'm... vaguely disappointed with this ending. The coda(s) that were added after the cancellation was known stand out, rather glaringly. Jamming the "Calypso" connection in at the last minute, especially knowing the name "Craft", was awful. Kovich as Daniels? I love the Enterprise callbacks, but that's very on-the-nose.

The plot holes seem a little thick this time around, the biggest of which is "why does Moll suddenly trust Michael when she's told there's nothing here to bring L'ak back?"
posted by hanov3r (30 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's very funny how you can pinpoint the exact threshold between "season finale" and "series finale" on the play time. The time traveler trinkets were pretty weird too, especially given that the baseball was pristine. Has no one actually watched Deep Space 9

Looking forward to seeing more Tilly in the Starfleet academy show! She has been an absolute treasure all throughout this season.

Kind of funny that the Mol and Lok storyline just kind of ends unceremoniously like that. Like it's sad but also everything about the show's history and writing made it feel like a mega certain foregone conclusion that SOMEONE'S getting resurrected here, and then it's just, nope, okay never mind then

The tiny little fish-fin ears on the Progenitor made me laugh. So tiny!

The ending felt like someone on the writing staff cared a lot more about "Calypso" than I did, to such an extent that they felt the need to contort events such that the ship would be put in place to just kind of sit and wait for that Short Trek to happen. No justification provided at all because "red directive" works as a story-terminating catch-all "because we said so"

and isn't that the perfect way to end this series
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:24 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]

That's a solid "meh" from me. I liked Saru's moment of diplomacy more than I expected to, and the Big Dumb Advanced Object was very pretty, but not really what I watch Star Trek for.

I also didn't like the perfunctory way that Moll, L'ak and the Breen were dealt with. L'ak is just perma-dead, which is not a terrible conclusion, but it was a really unsatisfying ending to that part of the story. In the end, Moll seems to be there just to try something dumb so that Michael can be smarter (and this episode illustrates the perils of putting puzzles in a story -- that really wasn't a very hard or interesting or satisfying puzzle).

I would have liked Culber's last-minute participation much more if the writers hadn't spent the entire season shoehorning in the most awkward and pointless "spiritual awakening" subplot. This was completely unnecessary. Culber was briefly possessed by a Trill ghost and retains a faint knowledge of something important from the ghost, but it's not a memory? It's fine; this is Star Trek; Trill lore is literally something you made up and made changes to repeatedly; you really really don't have to overexplain why this residual memory is not technically a memory and lampshade how inexplicable that is. This is what all of that terrible dialogue was building to? JFC.

I really did not like the epilogue(s). Big "hobbits jumping on the bed" energy. The explicit Calypso tie-in was tedious and unnecessary, and requires Starfleet to be giant assholes to Zora, a sentient entity. Did a substantial number of the fans really care about Calypso this much? I would have been content to have it explained as an alternate future which never comes to pass. That would have been completely fine.

I generally don't like far-future epilogues on principle, because they take away the viewer's (or reader's) ability to imagine a range of equally valid possibilities for the future of the characters and setting beyond the screen (or page). This one is particularly jarring in a show which is part of a franchise which is not over, and in fact has another show set in the immediate future about to come out. This epilogue hamstrings future writers, because now no matter what happens they're tied to a set of established facts. What if they get a much cooler idea later that emerges organically from future work? Too bad! I have no objection to any of the specific events (apart from the Calypso thing), but I object that they are now set in stone in any future Trek.

I'm sure that some of this would have gone down differently if the series hadn't been cancelled -- but this is the problem with investing so much screen time to one mediocre seasonal arc. There isn't room for the kind of smaller-scale development of characters and recurring storylines that would make any season more satisfying if it suddenly turned out to be the last one.

My overall series review: this started off weird and flawed but promising, then it got increasingly frustrating to watch in what feels to me very much like a "too many cooks" situation, reaching a truly dire low point at which I found it literally unwatchable some of the time, and then had a pretty decent last hurrah before a disappointing ending. I really wish that we could have seen more of these characters and situations but with more consistently good writing, more character development that was organic rather than awkwardly shoehorned in, and fewer epic-level seasonal threats.
posted by confluency at 4:51 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]

Usually I have more to say about even the worst Trek, but this was just... mediocre, with no real redeeming qualities.

This cast deserved better writing that what this show ever gave them.
posted by rhymedirective at 6:06 AM on May 31 [7 favorites]

I was expecting actual knowledge, although having the mcguffin be an actual thing explains why the original finders hid the thing, and provides a good justification for Michael throwing it away.Two bits I did like were the progenitors having no clue what built the thing, and it not being able to resurrect the dead.
I was indifferent to the Daniels reveal. It didn't help that I was a big "meh" on most of Enterprise. (I watched most episodes, once, on streaming.) I was OK with the epilog with Michael, Book and their son, but didn't like them abandoning Zora in the middle of nowhere for something like 1,000 years. She seemed really sad about it, too.
I still like this season's end better than the end of season 2.
posted by Spike Glee at 7:13 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]

Big agreement with a lot of what has been said so far.

Even though I just finished an Enterprise rewatch last year, I barely remembered Daniels' name and had to go back after the show and look it up on Memory-Alpha to confirm that he was who I thought he was. Here I was waiting for him to reveal himself as Q, especially after commenting he had lived "many lives." I was kind of expecting that the finale would sort of establish humanity had finally really reached a level of enlightenment, so to speak, to move on from the Federation to the Q Continuum. I agree, the baseball was unusually clean.

I also had the amusing revelation during the conversation with the member of the Progenitor race (wait, so is she/they just chilling in eternity to hang out with whomever makes it through to them?), was that the scientists and so on from the 24th Century, who hid the Progenitor Tech because they thought people in the 24th Century were not trustworthy to possess it, end up handing it over to someone from the 23rd Century. Whoops.

I did recognize, I guess, why the Breen were selected to be the big bad in search of the Progenitor Tech. We learn that the Progenitor seeded the universe to create infinite diversity, and the Breen are all about hiding diversity and embracing uniformity. They're the anti-Progenitors. However, that link is kind of weak to be revealed or emphasized in the last 30 minutes of the episode.

And for the life of me, why was the camera so damn shaky for much of the episode?! It made the fight scenes harder to follow between Michael and Molle, but then it was shaky in scenes where people were basically standing still and it made no sense. It really affected how much I was pulled into the scene because I felt like was trying to watch while riding a roller coaster.

Saru's diplomacy was honestly, the unexpected all-star of the episode. I think in part because we'd been missing Saru in anything other than Vulcan pining scenes for most of the season.

The design of the Progenitor tech was fascinating and very Star Trek: The Motion Picture-ish in nature. I also had flashbacks to Interstellar when Cooper enters the black hole.

The absolute lack of the Progenitor Tech to do ANYTHING was a surprise. Apparently, it was as useful as the Molle and L'ak storyline for the season. Heyoooooooo. I had strongly felt that recreating Book's planet was going to be an aspect of its discovery, especially after they featured it in the "previous" part of the season opener and the Library's director gave Book one of the two World Tree roots. And....they just had Book plant it somewhere after the fact. Did they burn through their F/X budget or something and couldn't afford to do anything bigger with the Progenitor Tech or something?

Maybe I missed this because of shakycam or whatever, but I swear that Michael just dropped and swept out Molle's legs without provocation. Which made it weirder when Michael then kept repeating, "TRUST ME!" Did Molle make a swipe at her or something?

I would have liked Culber's last-minute participation much more if the writers hadn't spent the entire season shoehorning in the most awkward and pointless "spiritual awakening" subplot. This was completely unnecessary. Culber was briefly possessed by a Trill ghost and retains a faint knowledge of something important from the ghost, but it's not a memory? It's fine; this is Star Trek; Trill lore is literally something you made up and made changes to repeatedly; you really really don't have to overexplain why this residual memory is not technically a memory and lampshade how inexplicable that is. This is what all of that terrible dialogue was building to? JFC.

Just dropping this instead of repeating it. EXACTLY. I don't know why, but Wilson Cruz's teeth just seemed VERY bright this season, and every time he smiled, which was a lot, I got distracted by the brightness. I like Cruz's Culber but this was not the best way to see the character's last season, even if you try to slip in a McCoy joke.

Other minor gripe has to do with the idea that apparently Discovery's bridge is designed to repeatedly have fountains of fire go off whenever it's hit or whatever. The "battle" damage or whatever you want to call it, just felt so overused and predictable it was like I was going on a theme park ride over and over. Blow out some consoles, drop cables or beams from the ceiling, I don't know, just stop throwing sparks and flames out and telling me that "geez, this is rough!"

So we had two time jumps. The wedding, where I guess, would have been nice to see Rayner back to Captain (Did I miss this on his uniform?). I did like the moment on the beach with Michael and Book, those two had the best chemistry on screen. So much that it was really a bad move the previous season to split them for drama purposes. Saru's wedding outfit made me immediately think of those proto-Romulans or whatever they're called who first appeared in ST:Nemesis, or maybe it was the Green Goblin, not the best design. Sorry Saru.

I had 100% forgotten the "Calypso" Short Trek existed and was someone baffled why the ending took the form it did. Older Book/Michael were fun, but basically aging them up to show they have a son about to be a captain and tie off to the Short Trek was less clever and more just extra. [I was also hoping for more retro futuristic Starfleet ship designs than the same basic models from 30+ years earlier.] Also, I thought Michael said they were going to pick up some crew and then go off to wherever to leave Discovery and Tora in cold storage? I legit thought Michael had died when all of a sudden she became young again and was hugging everyone and that would have been a weirder, but maybe so weird enough ending to be better than this ending.

In the end, i felt that the show suffered in its last two seasons. There are definitely moments and episodes that stood out, but in general, I just wasn't as excited about each installment. I'm more excited for the next seasons of SNW, for example, and I think part of it being that I enjoy that crew more now and the freedom the episodic structure provides means I'm not tied down to a non-crew characters, like our doomed lovers here, for an entire season. I'm definitely here for the Academy series (Holly Hunter? REALLY?!) and won't mind seeing some cameos if cast from this show pop up occasionally.
posted by Atreides at 7:26 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]

The aged-up Michael and Book at home scene felt like it was going to turn into a Folgers coffee commercial at any moment.
posted by dr_dank at 8:09 AM on May 31 [10 favorites]

The kindest remark I can think of is that as Trek finales go, this was "nice":

-Plausible and Roddenberrian resolution of the Progenitor-tech stuff (anticlimactic, yes, but maybe it ought to be—it fits with the yearning quality of the end of TNG: "The Chase")
-Not overly explodey and violent
-As happy an ending as this show could have had (and in retrospect, I should have seen that coming)
-Many warm moments for this excellent cast

But in sum, a weird show that I feel like never figured itself out, and an overall disappointing finale. (Could have been worse!)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 8:50 AM on May 31 [4 favorites]

Oh, I forgot: for a minute I wondered whether Saru and Nhan's ship would accidentally get transported away to the ass end of nowhere together with the Breen dreadnought. That would have been an interesting cliffhanger if the series hadn't ended, but otherwise I think fans would have rioted.
posted by confluency at 8:57 AM on May 31 [3 favorites]

Well, it's a better finale than "These Are the Voyages...", so there's that.

But I agree with the "too many cooks" diagnosis of the series overall. I mean, all of the executive producers that the show had starting out... did Nicholas Meyer ever do anything with the series, or did they just sling him an producer credit to have his name to draw in oldskool Trekkies? And then Bryan Fuller getting pushed out, and then Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts getting fired apparently for being massive assholes... there was seemingly early-TNG-seasons-levels of dysfunction behind the scenes, and that's saying something. As others have noted, the problem wasn't necessarily with the characters, as witness the spin-offs. (In particular, SNW has done very well as the show that DIS seemed to have been intended to be.) It's not even that the show aspired to season-length plots, although they seem to have had some problem with consistently coming up with plots that are compelling enough for an entire season. (The first season mashed together the war with the Klingons, the Mirror Universe subplot, and the problems with the spore drive, not always successfully; I have a hard time remembering the denouement of the last season beyond "communication problems with weird aliens" which is usually a single-episode problem in the other Treks.) And, of course, trying to balance advancing the plot with character development.

This last episode showed some of those problems. After setting up Moll and L'ak as these tragic star-crossed lovers, I too found that Moll not having a bigger reaction/emotional processing scene when it was clear that L'ak wasn't coming back was weird; even just a few seconds of her working through that would have been fine. Also, Culber's out-of-nowhere memory thing didn't really work, especially as it had to justify having the chief medical officer leave the ship right before the big-ass battle. And, given my previous gripe about the Klingons being absent from the 33rd century DIS, it would have been pretty cool if they'd had a short scene, say with the current chancellor of the Klingon Republic, letting the Federation know that they had their back in this fight. For that matter, some acknowledgement of some of the characters from the first two seasons would have been nice... unless they're saving them for the spin-offs.

Things I did like: them not killing off characters just because it's the last episode (looking hard at Berman & Braga and Trip's exceedingly dumb death); Kovich/Daniels (maybe the things on his wall were replicas? He doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would hoard priceless historical artifacts, unless they're from timelines where the Federation went completely under); the trick with the spore drive, which AFAIK is the most direct weaponization of it, and Stamets and Tilly going "no no no" and then immediately working out how it could work. And it was pretty sweet to see Burnham and Book growing old together, and, although I didn't necessarily think that the plot thread from "Calypso" really needed to be tied up, I respect the impulse.

Of course, none of this makes it one of my favorite Treks, but maybe they soaked up most of the bad juice so that the remaining/upcoming series will be better. We can always hope.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:09 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]

I enjoyed it, but it had it's flaws for sure. The "Calypso" tie in did feel rather forced, but as long as I turned my brain off a bit, I enjoyed it. Older Michael and Book were fun together, and the makeup job and future uniforms looked good.

And, in the end, I did tear up a bit. The Discovery crew was my big gay space family that solved space mysteries in a ship powered by mushrooms, and I'll miss them.
posted by SansPoint at 9:48 AM on May 31 [6 favorites]

And, in the end, I did tear up a bit. The Discovery crew was my big gay space family that solved space mysteries in a ship powered by mushrooms, and I'll miss them.

It's really easy with how well the show did inclusivity to forget that Discovery was a super inclusive and diverse show. In that regard, it's the trailblazer for all Trek going forward.
posted by Atreides at 12:34 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]

It was very strange how Owosekun and Detmer just kind of disappeared from the crew halfway through the season and then showed up again for the group hug.
posted by jimw at 3:24 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]

So many characters, Rayner being the last in that long list, that I wanted to get more screen time, but the show was relentlessly Michael Burnham-centric from beginning to end.
posted by obol at 6:41 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]

they never really did quite escape the phenomenon where if a bridge crew character suddenly grows an identity and backstory they are not long for this world, huh
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:10 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]

After a season that I enjoyed more consistently than any other of Disco, this episode fell entirely flat for me. I think it was their worst season finale, at least since the second season - and even that set up the time jump, which made it somewhat worth it.

It didn't surprise me that they would give up the Progenitor tech, but after a season of find the clue for the resolution to be "make a negative-space triangle" was a huge letdown. Michael didn't seem at all conflicted. The argument over whether to do it was strangely muted. That dilemma is the real climax, not the shooty-shooty, punchy-punchy that this show seems determined to shoehorn in every episode.

The post-cancellation epilogue was atrocious. Why not leave the whole show on Book's line on the beach "let's see what the future brings"? That would have been satisfying enough, I think. No show needs all threads tied up, especially not a Trek show. TNG kept flying. VOY made it home. DS9 finished a war and Sisko ascended. None of these felt so wrapped up. (And given that Tilly is off to the Academy show, why drop the info that she remains tenured there forever? Of all the characters not to give an answer to, the one who is on the next show probably should have been left alone.)

I don't care about Michael and Book's son. I don't think Michael having a spiritual goodbye with her space family on the deck of a ship she's about to leave is space is emotionally satisfying. And reminding us that one of the best episodes of Disco was a Short Trek written by Michael Chabon is a weird flex.

I struggled with the show early on but eventually I clicked with it. There was too much stopping to discuss their emotions. There was too much exposition and heavy handed dialogue, even when it focused on the science. But it was inclusive and queer and tried things no other Trek show has. Its season-long stories didn't even quite work, but I'm glad they gave it a shot.

I was really hoping this finale was great, because that would serve my own narrative that the show improved year on year and even if I never watch the first two seasons again, at least the ending made sense. It didn't.

In retrospect, I only really like two Trek finales - All Good Things and What We Leave Behind - because it's too hard to wrap up this kind of show, whose story engine is always explore, keep flying. TNG ended with a found family scene, literally. This show that was explicitly about found family got a wedding that we hardly saw and an epilogue for the lead character and that's all. It was always Michael's show, but that might have always been its fatal flaw. Trek should be an ensemble show always. This show tried but more often than not, the supporting cast go short shrift.

I'm looking forward to Academy, even if it does focus on students and maybe feels like a CW show. But boy, I'd like to hear more about the future of the franchise, because I doubt I'll think about Disco much after this.
posted by crossoverman at 10:12 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]

Just rewatched "Calypso" and S1E3 "Context is for Kings." My opinion of the former is as I stated above; rewatching S1E3 was extraordinary--it's a remarkable episode, not only where the story really seems to begin but just with the risks that it takes; people are generally unpleasant or at least cold to each other, particularly Stamets (Tilly at least apologizes for shunning Burnham when they're both in engineering), and Jason Isaacs is also great. I think that that episode may have been as responsible as anything else in setting up expectations for the show that it didn't, and maybe couldn't, ultimately fulfill.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:14 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]

And reminding us that one of the best episodes of Disco was a Short Trek written by Michael Chabon is a weird flex.

Yeah what the hell is Michael Chabon even doing? He left PIC after season 1 because he got the opportunity to create a Kavalier & Clay miniseries which appears to have never gotten out of pre-production. Can he come back to Trek, please?
posted by rhymedirective at 6:17 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed this last night but reading the criticisms here I can't argue with them. The truth is Discovery has always been uneven, some good and some bad, and this finale was the same. FWIW I really liked the writing for the ending of the main Progenitors story. The whole long dream chat with the tiny-ear alien, Burnham's decision to not claim Pandora's Box, the final reference to Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. That felt like good Trek.

The other stuff, less so. I wanted Moll to have some tragic violent ending. All the space fisticuffs in the wacky gravity multiverse was silly. Nice sets though! The Elven Vulcan wedding also felt awfully silly to me. And yeah the coda was tacked on, the Calypso and Daniels references were too clever by half.

I particularly didn't care for the scenes of the wrap party showing all the cast members hugging each other. (They could have at least put the crew in costumes to be part of it!) I understand we will miss our gay space family but that felt far too pandering for me to enjoy it. Perhaps I'm overly cynical and joyless.

Here's what happened to Detmer & Owosekun this season: they were written out because the actors weren't available. That also explains why Saru is in such an awkward spot this season but at least they wrote and filmed him in a way that was a good story. Kind of crazy that the show hadn't secured so many actors for its final season, points to other production and planning problems.
posted by Nelson at 7:37 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]

I'm glad that the actors are getting other work. And I think that one of the side effects of streaming TV having basically obliterated the old very regular broadcast TV schedule--everything built around every show having 26 episodes that started airing in the fall and finishing in the spring--is that even actors who are cast as regulars don't necessarily get regular work out of it. (Here's Adrienne Palicki complaining about being a regular cast member on The Orville, which, at 33 episodes over six years, had even fewer than DIS. And this is someone who's better known, both in genre work and outside of it, than most of the DIS cast.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:00 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]

Okay, I guess I had fallen asleep during the bit where Detmer and Owosekun had been tasked with something to do off-screen.

I am interested to see where they go with Starfleet Academy, especially with Holly Hunter involved. (And my heretical opinion is that I hope Tilly isn’t on it because that one B-plot in an earlier season of her taking out a crew of trainees was the absolute low point of the whole series for me.)
posted by jimw at 10:19 AM on June 1

Culber was briefly possessed by a Trill ghost and retains a faint knowledge of something important from the ghost, but it's not a memory? It's fine; this is Star Trek; Trill lore is literally something you made up and made changes to repeatedly; you really really don't have to overexplain why this residual memory is not technically a memory and lampshade how inexplicable that is. This is what all of that terrible dialogue was building to? JFC.

What irked me most about this storyline is that Culber literally had a crew member he was extremely close to that had been the first human to host a Trill symbiont- and they never, ever had a discussion about this. It's not the same exact deal, but why would this never come up?

This entire series was hell bent on overexplaining everything and/or dropping things by the wayside even as it tried to shoehorn in all sorts of essentially meaningless Easter eggs and callbacks that it hadn't earned the right to. Just a superficial veneer of Star Trek zhush without grasping any real Star Trek ethos, all wrapped up in too much therapy speak and bad dialog. I'm mad that the series featuring a Black woman captain was so crap. All these actors deserved better.

I did like Saru going full predator on what's-her-face (apparently the only female Breen in the galaxy). Unfortunately "Action Saru" is just about the dumbest possible nickname (ugh... The way this show made everyone pretend to be so chummy, but couldn't even give us a backstory on the new crew members who showed up when Detmer and Owosekun were jettisoned without a second glance...) Anyway. It didn't have to be as bad as it was- SNW is proof of that.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:57 PM on June 1 [3 favorites]

man “Action Saru” still sounds exactly like the kind of clumsy on-the-nose nickname you would only ever give someone ironically
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:56 PM on June 1 [4 favorites]

Have we ever seen how strong Saru really is? (Memory Alpha says that they can run faster than 80 KPH.) "Action Spock" might have seemed ironic, but we've seen him fight and nearly kill Kirk twice; in "This Side of Paradise", Kirk arms himself with a metal bar before starting to goad Spock, and Spock bends it in the middle with one strike.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:55 PM on June 1

At least "Super Saru" or "Scary Saru" has the benefit of alliteration. Also "Action Saru" seems to indicate that Saru is not normally active, which is nonsensical for someone like Saru. "Action Morn" suddenly throwing some Cardassians over Quark's bar makes some kind of sense. Anyway, Action Saru makes me think of an articulated toy Saru in a blister pack with a big VALUE ADDED! sticker on it.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:13 PM on June 1

“Action Saru” was an on-set nickname for whenever Doug Jones took it up a notch and made Saru a threat. It started getting into scripts as an in-joke. Seems it was there just to amuse the cast and crew, then kept recurring.
posted by Servo5678 at 12:39 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]

I feel we've seen Saru in some action moments. He definitely ran fast on his one mission with Michael, and there may have been something after he realized that his people's perceived death throes was actually just puberty or second puberty.
posted by Atreides at 11:19 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]

And given that Tilly is off to the Academy show, why drop the info that she remains tenured there forever?

Also, Michael noting that she had officially just become the longest serving instructor at Starfleet Academy seems to conflict with Carol Kane's long-lived Lathanite character, Pelia, on Strange New Worlds. I'm not sure they specified how long she was an instructor at the Starfleet Academy, but she joined Starfleet at its inception after Earth's first contact with the Vulcans.
posted by fairmettle at 11:19 PM on June 3 [3 favorites]

Did a substantial number of the fans really care about Calypso this much?

I didn't see it and had to come here to find out what the heck was going on.

It was always Michael's show, but that might have always been its fatal flaw.

Absolutely! Since somewhere mid-S1 that has been the problem. They had lots of great characters (Saru! Stamets! Adira! Tilly!) and added even more (Reno! Rainer!) but whatever the problem was, Michael Burnham had to be The Only One Who Could Solve It.

(In this episode: Michael single-handedly gets to make the decision about what to do with The Most Powerful Thing in the Universe, and everybody is OK with that.)

Most of the major and minor characters got short-changed this season. Giving more time to any one of them would have made me happy. (How about a Linus episode!)

And the ending puts the final nail in that coffin: Michael Burnham taking Discovery on its last mission to nowhere, on a completely empty bridge with no crew. (I'm not counting Zora as crew, which is unfair, but not as unfair as abandoning her for a thousand years without asking her first.)

I liked the wedding and the future epilogue because they were character-driven scenes that let us see them interacting with each other instead of mindlessly chasing a McGuffin.

I'm hoping the Starfleet Academy show has much lower stakes and lets us spend some time with the characters.
posted by mmoncur at 7:28 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]

According to this Variety article, supposedly season 6 was going to do more with the Calypso plotline leading up to a similar end point, and probably would have felt more satisfying rather than tacked on.
posted by Pryde at 7:55 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]

I mostly enjoyed this. It feels like a fitting season finally - very uneven, mostly watchable, sometimes enjoyable, and at least had its heart in the right place. See you, Discovery. You probably should have been better. But maybe you were good enough.
posted by Alex404 at 2:04 PM on June 6 [1 favorite]

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