The season three finale of CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery is about as satisfying as they come as far as resolutions go. It's also a new direction considering previous seasons ended in cliffhangers. This felt like it could be a happy ending er needed given the difficult times we're living in. It would also be befitting as a series finale, but it's hard to just fathom the journey ending when the crew just got their feet wet in the 32nd century. This is your minor spoilers warning for the episode.
The episode picks up as the third part of an extended arc that finds the U.S.S. Discovery determining the cause of the Burn, but are separated when Osyraa (Janet Kidder), leader of the Emerald Chain hijacks the ship with greater numbers and superior tech. When Book (David Ajala) and Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) crash land his ship into the shuttle bay, they concoct a plan to take the Federation out of danger and free the remainder of the crew. There's a bit of back and forth in terms of action that's about as quality stunt fight choreography atypical of the series especially between Martin-Green, Ajala, Kidder, Jake Weber, and the faceless regulators. I'll admit the 80s action fan in me gleed in joy from the fight between Weber's Zarah and Ajala and the one-liner afterward. I get the auxiliary crew didn't get much to do and kind of felt underused, but I'm happy for Oyin Oladejo's Owosekun, who got to have her moment to shine. On the planet's surface, we get tapped more into the emotional side with Saru (Doug Jones), Culber (Wilson Cruz), Gray (Ian Alexander), and Adira (Blu del Barrio) trying to break through to Su'Kal (Bill Irwin), who's so inexperienced in the world and hesitant for change.
The interaction on the planet's surface serves as the perfect metaphor for what the world is and by extension Star Trek. We're so accustomed to our familiarity that it becomes our security blanket. At the same time, we create convenient barriers that shield us from anything that could alter that environment. We give ourselves outs through either crawling back into our comfort zones or holes or we just escape where to where the external force can't reach us. Resistance to change is universal and we have two options: we can stay inside, wonder, and wait until the outside comes to us. Or we can meet the unknown on our own terms.
Even as the episode closes, Star Trek: Discovery became that agent of change even if it's not what you expected. As long as the message is true, who cares if it's not executed the exact way you're used to? You're not going to always have the same actors, writers, and directors dictating the content. I think it's something particular in this episode executive producer and writer Michelle Paradise and director Qlatunde Osunsanmi captured perfectly in this episode. Bonus points for the ending. Also, look forward to season four and yes, there is a new captain and it's probably what you expected.