We’re at the end of an exciting season. This episode, “That Hope Is You, Part 2,” was certainly thrilling, but there were some big let downs as well. Not every story can wrap up in just 12 or 13 episodes — especially when you take some time out to go back to the Mirror Universe.
I detailed some of what might be in store for the crew of the Discovery in this article, as well as some of the storylines that did not get resolved in this third season.
Please check out my final thoughts at the end of this review.
We rejoin the story as Culber enjoys some of the learning holo’s records. This one happened to be about the gormagander (which is sort of funny because this creature seems to pop up frequently). You can see the radiation burns on Culber’s face.
Saru is with Su’Kal, who noticed that Saru (in human form) was starting to suffer radiation burns. Culber tells Saru that he cannot find the controls to turn off the holo. Saru thought Su’Kal might know more than he was sharing. Culber said that Su’Kal’s outburst earlier (the mini-burn which happened in the last episode) also damaged the ship’s hull.
Culber said that Saru should talk to Su’Kal about “himself.” They are both Kelpian. Just then, Adira showed up with some medications from the Discovery. Interestingly, Adira’s alien holo species was Xahean (like Queen Po from Season 2).
Adira gave them some meds. Then Gray appeared… in person! The holo program recognized his consciousness and made Gray a Vulcan.
NOTE: I think Gray looked great as a Vulcan. A blue-haired Vulcan.
They all hugged. Very nice. But the holo looked like it was starting to break down further. Saru told them to keep looking for a way to exit the holo. And that foul creature appeared again (this was a representation of evil and scary things to Su’Kal).
Meanwhile, the Viridian was firing away at the exterior of the Federation HQ bubble. At the same time, Admiral Vance ordered the Voyager to attack the Discovery. He was just about to send all other ships after the Discovery, but Kovich (played by David Cronenberg) asked Vance about the “message” it would send.
“That spore drive is how we reconnect with all the worlds we’ve lost,” said Kovich.
“If Osyraa reaches them first… the Federation is done for,” said Vance.
NOTE: These scenes inside the HQ bubble were just great. The ship-to-ship battles with Discovery, Voyager, and more were fun… I wish we had more time here.
Aboard the Discovery, Osyraa was in command. Book was all beat up and standing in the corner with an Emerald Chain regulator watching him. Osyraa ordered that they fire on the shield emitter. Vance reacted by asking his ships to intensify.
Osyraa then asked Aurellio (Kenneth Mitchell) to get the truth serum ready for Book, so they could learn the location of the dilithium planet. The regulators then brought Michael to the bridge as well.
“I want the Federation obliterated,” said Osyraa. Then she slapped Michael, who mentioned that Stamets was no longer on the ship. Osyraa said they’d figure out how to get the spore drive working. The regulators reported that there was a “firefight” on Deck 7.
Osyraa ordered Book to sickbay, where Aurellio was to crack him.
On Deck 7, the bridge crew of Tilly, Rhys, Detmer, Owosekun, Ina, and Bryce were fighting their way through the ship’s corridors. The DOT-23 robots (which held the spore data) were there as well. Suddenly, the regulators turned off the life support from Decks 6-18.
At the Federation HQ, Stamets burst in, asking them to stop shooting. He tried to talk Vance into letting him back on the Discovery. Vance said that Michael did the right thing (sending Stamets away), and he put Stamets on a civilian transport, which was scheduled to leave the HQ.
Just as the HQ shields failed, the fleet from Ni’Var appeared.
NOTE: Remember that last episode, Michael called her mom to tell her what was going on. Her mom is a part of the Qowat Milat, warrior nuns who operate on the ideal of “Absolute Candor.” Also, Ni’Var is now what they call Vulcan, which is composed of both Vulcans and Romulans.
Osyraa ordered the Viridian to deploy its cache of pesticides at shuttle bays, intakes, and airlocks. Michael started to negotiate with Osyraa upon hearing that.
NOTE: I don’t see why the pesticides thing would be a threat. If the ships are designed to operate in the vacuum of space, then the pesticides could not affect them. Even if Osyraa did deploy the pesticides, an army of DOTs could easily clean up such a mess. Even the shrapnel from these pesticide containers would not have been a threat… that’s why starships use energy weapons and not solids like lead. They just don’t work. But OK…
Michael said that Vance trusted her, and the fleet from Ni’Var was there because of her. Osyraa agreed and hailed the Federation. She told Vance to let the Discovery go. Vance said no because the ship was too valuable. Michael said that he could trust her.
Vance stood for a moment in silence, then ended communications. The Federation ended their attack.
NOTE: Come on! This is ridiculous. No commander would ever let their best piece of weaponry or hardware go like this… unless it was rigged to explode. I realize that this episode’s writer (Michelle Paradise) was trying to set things up for maximum drama. Still, this move by Vance was not believable. Heck, Starfleet wouldn’t allow Kirk to take the Enterprise back to the Genesis planet in Star Trek III — and that was James T. Kirk! But OK…
Michael tried to get Osyraa to turn on the life support for Tilly and the rest, but Osyraa refused. She ordered Michael off the bridge. The Discovery and the Viridian warped away.
Back on Su’Kal’s ship, Saru kept working with the young Kelpian. Saru offered to make the traditional meal of Kelpians, and Su’Kal was interested. Saru tried to explain that he was Kelpian too.
Aboard the Discovery, Aurellio argued with Zarah over how much serum to give to Book. Zarah eventually asked for the neural lock (which was the device that Osyraa’s goons use to control Stamets).
In sickbay, Osyraa told Michael to give her the dilithium planet’s location, so they would not have to torture Book. Michael refused. Osyraa ordered that Book get the neural lock, but Aurellio refused.
“Violence is not necessary,” said Aurellio. “Mr. Booker’s empathic nature would make it excruciating.”
“Now is not the time for soft hearts,” said Osyraa.
“You saved me… you saved the others,” said Aurellio. “I know your heart.”
“Orion hearts have six valves,” said Osyraa. “Blood flows in both directions. They are so much more complex than human hearts.”
“I won’t let it happen, Osyraa,” said Aurellio. She then grabbed him by the throat.
“I am genuinely fond of you,” said Osyraa. “But make no mistake… I saved you because you are useful to me.”
She threatened him and his family, and she choked him out of consciousness. They put the neural lock on Book and turned it on. Oysraa told Michael to make the smart choice — tell them where the planet was, and they wouldn’t torture Book. She looked at Book.
“Book listen to me — I’ve got you,” she whispered to him.
“No, you don’t,” said Zarah. “This is what’s called a ‘no-win situation’.”
“I don’t believe in those!” said Michael with a snarky look in her eye.
NOTE: As I wrote a few weeks back, Michael is acting like a female Kirk. She shoots from the hip and makes gut-judgments. Some on social media pushed back, but now that Michael revealed that she doesn’t believe in a “no-win scenario” either, I think we’ve sealed it up. That’s exactly what Kirk said in Star Trek II.
They turned the device on, and Book was in severe agony.
On the Kelpian ship, Saru worked to convince Su’Kal that he was like him. Saru asked Su’Kal about the “outside” world (beyond the ship and the holo-generated world). Su’Kal started getting upset again. He said that the Federation was supposed to come from the “outside,” but they never did. Saru said that the reason was complicated… Su’Kal yelled, “tell me!” and the whole place shook. Saru explained The Burn.
“The important thing is that we are here now,” said Saru. “We are here because your mother reached out.”
Saru explained that Su’Kal’s mother created this world for Su’Kal to be safe in. But not to live in forever. Su’Kal told Saru to “wait” and he walked off.
On Discovery, they paused torturing Book for a second. Osyraa tried to persuade Michael to get Book to give up the location of the dilithium planet. Michael agreed. She walked over to Book, who was strapped into a medical bed.
She pushed the regulators aside and turned on a medical quarantine containment field. She shot the regulators with one of their phasers, took the neural lock off of Book, gave him a stimulation shot, and they ran off. Osyraa growled.
On Deck 7, the crew found an emergency air mask. Owo said she could hold her breath for 10 minutes like she used to do as a kid. Bryce announced that they could not bypass the Emerald Chain’s computers. Lt. Ina said they’d have to go to the data core in person to reset the system. They heard over the PA system that there was a problem on Deck 5.
“It’s Michael,” said Tilly.
On Deck 5, Michael and Book crept through the corridors. She accessed the Chain’s communications systems (thanks to a Chain badge she stole from one of the guys she shot). She opened a ship-wide channel to give a cryptic message about “fireworks” to everyone on board. Only Tilly understood. They left the badge on the floor and started moving toward the datacore.
Tilly explained the message — a memory of a birthday Michael shared with her in one of the nacelles. Tilly realized that Michael wanted them to go to a nacelle.
“If we could set off a thermo-chemical bomb in between the superconductors holding Discovery to its nacelles,” said Tilly.
“It would temporarily break the magnetic seal,” said Detmer. “Yeah, that would knock us out of warp.”
“But the magnetic field could destroy the DOTs before they could even set the bombs,” said Rhys.
“That’s why we have to do it ourselves,” said Tilly.
They agreed to make a bomb.
On the Kelpian ship, Su’Kal noticed that the holo world was starting to break down. Saru told him that he was “sentient.” Saru also said that everything Su’Kal learned inside the holo program prepared him for life outside.
Then the creature from the Kelpian folk tale appeared again. Su’Kal got scared and ran off to find the elder Kelpian.
Elsewhere, Culber, Gray, and Adira kept looking for the holo controls. They noticed a room with flickering pixels. Culber said it was the edge of the program, but it was full of radiation. They could not enter safely. Gray went in (as he explained, he is not corporeal).
While Gray was in the room, Adira asked Culber how Su’Kal caused The Burn. Culber said that he figured Su’Kal was a polyploidy (more on that here), he is somehow connected to dilithium, and his scream went into subspace and caused The Burn.
NOTE: I must say that this has to be the most disappointing explanation they could have possibly come up with. No matter how much technobabble they added in, essentially, a scared child caused this galaxy-wide event. Sigh… it doesn’t make any sense and sounds exceptionally unscientific. On the Gold Derby post-finale chat, Paradise said that this season was all about “connection.” On Star Trek, the theme ought to be exploration, adventure, increasing scientific knowledge or understanding. Leave “connection” for This Is Us, or other shows about emotion, feelings, hugging, and crying.
Gray came out of the room and reported that the Kelpian ship was falling apart. They walked out, and Su’Kal was whining about the elder not being there. Saru told Su’Kal to take him to the room where he got scared… they must see what scared him.
Back on the DISCO, the bridge crew was running out of air. Tilly told Owo to finish the mission by herself. She looked back at her comrades, nearly dying.
“I love you all,” said Owo, with a sad look on her face. Then she slowly climbed the ladder to the access hatch.
NOTE: If I was trying to save my friends’ lives, I would be hustling out of there with incredible intensity. Not moseying and saying goodbye. I feel like this episode tried to smash as much emotion as possible while sacrificing any sort of realism.
Meanwhile, Michael was fiddling around with some circuits to open the turbolift. Book held off the bad guys with his phaser, and they got through. Seconds after they got into the turbolift, the regulators got the door open.
Instead of catching Michael and Book inside the “elevator,” they found an empty cell. Book was hiding outside the turbolift carriage, while Michael was on top of it. The camera pulled back to reveal a huuuuuuge open space where the turbolift operates.
A few regulators walked into the turbolift, and Michael shot them through the “skylight.” She then jumped down through the glass (and fell on her behind). She and Book fired at Zarah and his goons, and then she jumped out of the turbolift carriage, and free fell several stories onto a different turbolift car.
NOTE: What is this? The turbolift is supposed to be like an advanced elevator. The way the turbolift was shown here is more like a scene from Attack of the Clones, where Anakin jumps off one flying car to ride on another. There is no space inside the Discovery large enough to house this type of thing. It’s just ridiculous. What bothers me the most is that Star Trek has always been about what is scientifically possible, feasible, or what might come in the future if technology moves forward in a certain way. This throws all of that out the window. It’s just terrible. I think it’s time for Discovery writers to take a tour at Naval Base San Diego and look at what a naval vessel looks like. This is our modern-day equivalent to a large spaceship. There’s not a lot of space in these ships, even an aircraft carrier. A tour like that might give the writers a bit of perspective of the room and compartments available on a vessel.
I will summarize: Book and Michael fight the bad guys on separate turbolift cars. They were interesting but reminded me of Spock’s battle with Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness (where they were also jumping and fighting on flying cars). The turbolift cars run in shafts, like modern-day elevators.
Michael arrived at the data core, and Osyraa was there waiting for her. A regulator fought Michael first, while Osyraa shot him from the other side of the data core. Eventually, they started fighting without phasers, in hand-to-hand combat.
Meanwhile, Book fought a regulator and Zarah in his own turbolift flight over a vast chasm that was impossibly inside the Discovery.
At the same time, Owo got to the place she needed to get to. She set the charge, and a DOT arrived to chit-chat. Owo set the charge and blew up the thing that she needed to blow up. The DOT stopped working because of the magnetism. This is a pain because it was the last one working, and it contained the spore data.
The DISCO fell out of warp. The ship announced it, and Osyraa ordered that the Viridian swallow up the Discovery and keep on going. So, in just a few seconds, the Viridian did just that — like a giant space shark.
Book kicked Zarah out of the turbolift, where he fell to his death. Zarah must have fallen 40 or 50 feet in a wide-open space.
Back in the core, Michael and Osyraa fought some more. Eventually, Osyraa smashed Michael into some programmable matter. Michael shot her way out and actually Osyraa with one of these blasts.
NOTE: This was a really cool effect. It looked like Michael was drowning in LEGOs. When she got out, she even spit out some of them too.
Michael reprogrammed the system and got rid of the Emerald Chain operating system. She beamed all the regulators off Discovery, she restored life support and announced that all crew meet her on the bridge.
Owo and the rest of the crew got some air and came to. There was lots of hugging and crying. They all got to the bridge, where Michael, Book, and Aurellio were there waiting.
NOTE: Why, Aurellio? Why do we trust him now? Not sure. It’s never explained, he’s just there. Maybe they will release a Short Trek or an IDW comic book, which fills in the gaps.
Michael explained that Osyraa was dead, but they were stuck inside the Viridian, using anti-proton cannons against them. Tilly ordered that Michael become captain. Michael resisted at first but then agreed.
They used warp core as a weapon and ejected it. Aurellio figured that Book could use his empath powers to control the spore drive. It worked, and they jumped to the nebula. Right after they jumped, the Viridian exploded.
On the Kelpian ship, they went into the “room where it happened” and learned that young Su’Kal watched his mom die. Then he screamed, which was what caused The Burn. She left him a holo message, and after he heard it, the program ended. He looked at Saru and saw a fell Kelpian.
They all hugged. Then the Discovery arrived and beamed them out just before the ship collapsed.
Epilogue: Here’s what happened after the fall of the Emerald Chain:
- Planets started returning to the Federation, including the Trill and maybe Ni’Var
- Jett Reno fixed the DOT with the sphere data. Yay!
- Saru went to Kaminar to be with Su’Kal
- Aditya Sahil (remember him from Episode 1?) got a real job with the Federation
- Vance offered Michael the job as captain of the Discovery. She accepted
The final scene showed Michael sitting in the captain’s chair aboard her ship. Everyone was in the new, gray Starfleet uniforms, including Adira. Notably, Book was not in a uniform, but he was on the bridge.
“Everybody ready?” said Captain Michael Burnham. “Let’s fly!” The Discovery then left the HQ bubble and jumped to warp to the sounds of Alexander Courage’s original Star Trek theme.
NOTE: We got one last slide with a message from the late, great Gene Roddenberry:
“In a very real sense, we are all aliens on a strange planet. We spend most of our lives reaching out and trying to communicate. If during our whole lifetime, we could reach out and really communicate with just two people, we are indeed very fortunate.”
TREK REPORT SUPPLEMENTAL:
Again, I cannot express how disappointing this episode was. So many things were off and didn’t make sense. It seemed rushed and sloppy. The explanation for The Burn was just terrible. There was too much emotion and hugging and crying and … all of that stuff. Like I said earlier, put that in a different show — not Star Trek. And the whole turbolift thing. I expect that sort of thing from Star Wars, not Star Trek. This third season was a breakthrough for Discovery. They deserved a better finale.
RATING: 2 out of 5