“The Hope That Is You Part 2” wants to be able to tie things up nicely and firmly transition “Discovery” into its new 32nd Century home. In doing so, some loose ends are likely to be forgotten forever, unfortunately, because the characters involved really could have used the signal boost. At some point in time, hopefully, the writers will decide if names like Detmer, Owosekun, Reece, and Bryce are worth development or not.
A Missing Year
As far as the plot goes, the central theme of the season does get an agreeable resolution. Michael Burnham spent the season questioning whether she wanted to stay with Starfleet. In the end, she’s made her decision and gets the Captain’s chair on Discovery due to her actions. What is missing in the middle is much time spent examining Michael’s non-Starfleet moments in the 32nd Century. “The Hope That Is You, Part I” covers her arrival but can’t show us the year she had between then and the late appearance of Discovery. She and Cleveland Booker have a friendly budding relationship, but we don’t look at enough detail to develop a bigger picture.
What Happened To Detmer?
Burnham has always, for obvious reasons, faired better when it comes to development. She is, after all, the main character of the show. Saru, mostly because of his complicated relationship with Burnham, has also been well defined. Now, in the third season, there was some glimmering that maybe we’d see more from other crew members. Detmer especially seemed to have a story that wanted exploring this season. She was gravely injured during Discovery’s arrival in the 32nd Century, but something more seemed to be going on. The only conclusion we end up with is Dr. Culber telling her that they should discuss it further. I applaud the mental health needs recognition, but it felt like an easy sweep under the rug of a complicated issue.
The Hope That Is You?
Georgiou’s exit from Discovery further complicated an overstuffed season. In retrospect, I’m not sure why the writers decided to bring her to the future in the first place. It would have been unobtrusive to strand her in “Discovery”s original timeline. Did the writers send her forward as an excuse to reintroduce the Guardian of Forever? Or, more likely, did they decide her goodbye to Michael in the second season would have overlapped Spock’s goodbye? Either way, Georgiou ends up simultaneously over and underserved in both seasons. I’m glad she’s departed prior to “The Hope That Is You Part 2”, both for the sake of her character and room to develop others on “Discovery.”
Osyraa We’ll Miss Ya
All of that said, the biggest miss this season was the dispatching of Osyraa. Janet Kidder has quite the presence throughout the season. Even if she wasn’t onscreen, you felt the threat she presented. Osyraa also offered an alternate take on the story of Georgiou. Unencumbered by the entanglement with Burnham, she could have had an exciting redemption arc. Admiral Vance planted the seeds in the negotiations to end hostilities with the Emerald Chain. It is “Star Trek,” and I suppose we cannot say never, but I still think “Discovery” should have left Osyraa alive.
The Faint Warmth
The burn could have helped pull the season together more, but it never really gets the chance either. Instead of week by week untangling of the mystery, we revisit it in fits and starts. The final ‘solution’ to the burn was, to quote Spock, shall we say unique. The producers would likely reply, quoting Kirk, saying it had the virtue of never having been tried. The idea that Su’Kal became somehow linked to the dilithium, well, is one of the more out-there ideas the show has tried. Perhaps it’s in the spirit of trying to become more like the Star Trek before it. From the suggestion that Burnham was fighting a Kobyashi Maru scenario, which she didn’t believe in, to the inclusion of Alexander Courage’s central theme from the original show, “Discovery” this year wanted more than ever to prove it’s tied to “Star Trek.” Maybe sentient dilithium is just what we needed to do it.
Where Should We Have Been Looking?
I know that this sounds like I thought the season was not good overall. That isn’t the case. It felt unfocused in parts, though to be fair, each plotline gets a satisfactory resolution. It felt overburdened with character arcs, though no one character is left entirely in the cold. “The Hope That is Part 2” just doesn’t have enough time to solve them all. Hopefully, season four will let some of the names slip more into the background. There’s nothing wrong with any of them, and I would be happy to know more about all of their stories. I don’t want that to be the reason why the overall plot gets muddled, though.