Star Trek: Discovery Discussion – Life, Itself (Series Finale)

The series, controversial at times, wraps after five seasons and sixty-five episodes. The episode was not written as a finale, but reshoots were granted by Paramount to wrap the series up.

7 replies on “Star Trek: Discovery Discussion – Life, Itself (Series Finale)”

  1. I’ll put together a Discovery retrospective after I’ve had a chance to process it all. For the moment, I’ll just say it was fun letting Michael Burnam “fly”.

    As series finales go, I’ve seen worse in Star Trek (looking at you Enterprise). As a season finale, it was solid. The reveal about Kovach’s identity was cool, unfortunately, we won’t see a payoff (unless they pick it up with the Starfleet Academy show).

    The final solution being (effectively) a tangram puzzle was dumb. We all saw the fate of the Progenitor’s tech a mile away.

    Action Saru was bad ass. The solution to the Breen dreadnaught was not something I expected.

    The extra half-hour to say goodbye to Burnam and company was nice. I tip my hat to Paramount for not screwing that up (see the Enterprise finale above). Discovery and Zora’s final fate is going to eat at me until we get an answer. I really hope we get an answer. It seems borderline sadistic to send a sentient being off and just “wait” for who knows how long.

    All-in-all, a good send off. With Holly Hunter attached to the next series, I have hope. SNW is still excellent and Lower Decks will (hopefully) have a good send off as well.

    • The way they set up for Calypso bugged me. I am glad they wanted to keep the canon intact, but there are better ways to do that than have the writers tell the the higher ups in Starfleet that they just have to do it for no other good reason.

      I did like that they didn’t actually get the answer where the tech came from, in a very “This is science!” kinda way. We can ask questions, and we might get some answers, but getting answers just leads us to more questions every time. It’s questions all the way down!

      I was not happy with what they did with the Progenitor’s tech. Yes, it’s powerful and dangerous though seems to mostly be a improved Genesis Torpedo hanging out inside a proto-TARDIS. If the tech exists, that means it is possible and it can be figured out. If it can be figured out, it should be studied and figured out. If you just throw it away and try to pretend it doesn’t exist, you are avoiding learning. If you are worried that it creates an unfair balance of power, then study it and share it so everyone can benefit.

      • Either I never watched Calypso or I don’t remember it. I’ll rectify that oversight shortly.

        The uber-powerful tech painted them into a corner from the get-go. I get diving back into the lore to try and answer left over questions, but with these short seasons, they should have the whole arc mapped out better.

        • I did miss the one main point: That the diversity of the universe was intentional. With diversity being one of Discovery’s hallmarks (and probably their best contribution to the history of Trek), it was fitting.

      • Not having watched the shorts the Calypso setup was a bit random for me, so thanks for the clarification of what that was about. Not getting the answer smacked of “storyline setup” to me, although it’s anyone’s guess now whether that was for a potential future Discovery season that now won’t happen, will be used in another series – Academy, perhaps? – or just quietly forgotten about.

        The solution for the tech, while predictable, bugged me too. They go through all those adventure game style hoops to get there, then it felt like we were just given one out of several possible endgame cutscenes. I was left wondering if you were to poll viewers with several possible alternatives in a “choose your own adventure” style which they’d mostly go for. I suspect it’s probably not that one.

        Also, given “AI” is the hot topic du jour IRL, they kind of missed an opportunity for some social commentry there and dealt with it in a way that I thought was quite dismissive. Firstly, they take a Progenitor memory imprint, arguably some kind of self-aware AI, and chuck it over the event horizon of a blackhole (very friendly of them!), then they tell Zora, absolutely a self-aware AI, to go and spend a few hundred years alone in deep space because reasons. Don’t all the lessons learnt while finding the Progenitor’s tech apply to AIs as well?

  2. For the record, the last 20-30 minutes with future Michael Burnham was the bit added just to wrap up the series. It was directed by Jonathan Frakes, and not the episode’s credited director, and seems to be the only appearances of Olu and Detmer this entire season.

    The concept worked well in a single episode of TNG. I find Discovery seasons feel padded. I intellectually understand that it’s because Discovery is trying to capture a younger market that wants a lot more open discussion of emotion, but I still want the plot-driven adventure to come first in my Star Trek and have the character moments as the garnish instead of the focus.

    All that said, Rayner is a welcome addition to Trek lore.

  3. I was actually expecting the Federation to take the tech and seed the next billion years of species. It would be a nice turnaround on the Prime Directive. But of course, it was another missed opportunity, and instead we get the most bland solution possible. Typical Discovery.

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