Home TV Season 5 of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Starts Off With a Bang

Season 5 of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Starts Off With a Bang

But will it sustain it or end with another whimper?


Welcome, Trekkers, to fifth and final season of Star Trek: Discovery. This is the show that launched Paramount+ and was the first new live-action Trek show in over a decade when it premiered in 2017. It’s been quite a ride, as the show has taken us from the start of the Klingon War and gone over 900 years into the future and introduced us to memorable new characters and brand new aliens and Anson Mount’s glorious hair.

And now we have come to the beginning of the end.

To recap and review the final season, I have joined up with Mary Fan. In the past, we ranked the Paramount+ Star Treks, and we put Discovery right in the middle. Will the new season surpass expectations? Join us as we discuss the first two episodes of the new season. (Fair warning: we will be discussing specific plot points of “Red Directive” and “Under the Twin Moons,” so if you have yet to watch the first two episodes and want to stay spoiler-free, read no further.)

The season starts off with Captain Michael Burnham being given a top secret Red Directive mission to go and retrieve some precious cargo from a long-lost Romulan science vessel. The cargo turns out to be a diary that contains clues to finding a ancient artifact of unimaginable power. However, two mysterious mercenaries / treasure hunters beat them to the punch, setting off a chase across the galaxy.

VICTOR: Overall I liked the first two episodes quite a lot! I thought they were very exciting, although the “twists” weren’t too hard to guess. While I was watching, I thought “Hmm… this ancient power thing reminds me of that episode of Next Generation where the ancient alien race hid a map in everyone’s DNA…” And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what our season’s Macguffin is all about. Now, I love heist movies and chases and treasure hunts, so I am going to be quite happy to watch the crew of Discovery race around the galaxy to find clues.

I am not entirely on board with our villains, though. Moll looks like she stole Darryl Hannah’s makeup from Blade Runner. And L’ak looks super generic.

What did you think? Did you guess the plot chase?

Image: Paramount+

MARY: I’ll admit I’m not as well-versed in Trek lore as some, so I wasn’t sure what the Romulan scientist was hiding, only figured that it would harken back to an old episode that I’d forgotten about. But when they revealed what it was, I did go, “Oh, right! The episode created to explain why aliens are all humans with funny foreheads and ears!”

VICTOR: Yes, the aliens only modded the ear chromosomes.

MARY: The treasure hunt aspect is fun, though I don’t know if I’m too keen on it sustaining an entire season? Indiana Jones meets National Treasure, but make it Star Trek!

VICTOR: To be honest, I’d be into that. Especially with the little Raiders of the Lost Ark nod at the end of Episode 2. They almost said, “They’re digging in the wrong spot!”

MARY: Hah! I’d be more into it if the villains were compelling. My first thought at Moll was, “Oh, they grabbed Shin Hati from Ahsoka!” And yeah L’ak is pretty generic.

VICTOR: Shin Hati? See, here’s where our generational differences come into play.

MARY: The drones coming out of the statue eyes was pretty cool though!

VICTOR: Agreed on the drone eyes! You know, STD has always had solid action scenes. The Klingon War in Season 1, the final battle against the evil AI in Season 2. It’s just that the last 2 seasons had SO MUCH weepily dealing with trauma.

MARY: We’re calling it STD? May I propose Disco instead?

VICTOR: Yeah, I just read that out loud…

MARY: Anyway, agree with your point about action — the visuals are always really good! And I really liked the introduction of Captain Raynor. I like that he chafes against Michael, who’s been put on a bit of a pedestal these past two seasons.

Image: Paramount+

VICTOR: Yes! Liked him as well. Although I could 1000% see that he was going to wind up as Michael’s first officer. Action Saru could not have lampshaded it any harder. “Pick someone who will stand their ground.”

MARY: Agreed. I had to google what species Raynor was, though.

VICTOR: Canadian, I believe.

MARY: I did worry for a sec that they might make Book the first officer, since he’s another one they put on a pedestal. Oh, you just violated a million Federation rules and really should be jailed forever, but you’re Michael’s main squeeze and a major character, so we’re letting you out and making you very important!

VICTOR: Yeah…. I’d hope there are regulations about making your lover your subordinate. I mean, I have to watch a video about that at work every year!

MARY: Yeah it bothered me in Star Trek: Picard that they made Raffi first officer to Captain Seven. I know they weren’t dating by then but still, they’re exes. Meanwhile, us Voyager fans never got the Janeway/Chakotay romance we so wanted because they knew it’d be inappropriate.

VICTOR: What did you think about the other predictable twist, that Moll is Book’s sister, of a sort?

MARY: I rolled my eyes at the Moll reveal. It feels like Moll and L’ak were written specifically to give Book a reason to be on Disco. I hope they go somewhere with this because so far, it’s very underwhelming. They don’t even have any motivation for going after the ancient Romulan thing!

VICTOR: Yeah, it’s very nebulous. “It’s a god machine!” Well what do you need that for?

MARY: Right?? It’d be one thing if they were religious fanatics or something, but right now they’re very generic mercenaries.

VICTOR: Are you two going to create a new planet or something? Don’t they have genesis devices in the future?

Oh… you know what? I bet they want to have babies, but their DNA won’t combine. So they’ll use the ancient alien DNA splicer.

I just thought of that, and I hate it.

MARY: Oh noooo… That had better not be it. I will be so mad. Let’s never have the female character’s motivation be “she wants a baby so badly she’s doing villainous things” (cough Yennifer cough).

VICTOR: Madder than when an angry Kelpian destroyed Starfleet because he missed his mom?

MARY: I was about to say — there are few twists as terrible as Moll wanting an alien baby would be, and “Kelpian tantrum nearly destroying the galaxy” is one of them.

VICTOR: That’s kind of my issue with Disco. I like the characters. I like their interactions. But too often, the season-long plots just fall flat. Like The Burn. Or the Dark Matter Anomaly.

MARY: Exactly. I want to like it much more than I actually do…

VICTOR: It would be a lot better if they had more one-off episodes.

MARY: I think that’s why I’m guarded about this season. We’ve been Burned before (please clap).

VICTOR: 100%. I like these episodes, but it’s hard to get behind them if you’re worried about them sticking the landing. I keep seeing that poor ski jumper from the opening of Wide World of Sports.

On a happier note, What did you think about Saru and his Vulcan fiancée?

MARY: I thought that was cute. I like Saru, and it’s nice to see him find Ms. Right. Sometimes, you just want to see characters you like happy!

Image: Michael Gibson/Paramount+

VICTOR: It is! It’s nice to see that it only took Vulcans a thousand years to be less racist. Can you imagine if Sarek had brought a lady Kelpian home to Vulcan?

MARY: I will say, for all my kvetching about Disco’s season arcs, I really like that they ended up in the far future. It gives them much more freedom to expand the universe (and tech!).

VICTOR: Yes! I do like when they actually do some Trekking.

MARY: All right, want to wrap it up with some predictions?

I think Moll is going to get a redemption arc. She’s too pretty to kill off or jail. L’ak might have to be sacrificed for that to happen. He’s an ugly alien, so it’s okay. (That was sarcasm.)

VICTOR: I predict that at some point Book will betray Michael and join up with his sister. And he will be forgiven two episodes later.

MARY: Sounds about right. I have a feeling Raynor isn’t going to survive this season, which I’m pre-bummed about.

VICTOR: Oh, I bet he’ll sacrifice himself because his time had passed. Heroically, of course, while yelling “FOR STARFLEET!”

MARY: Argh. Like I said, pre-bummed. Well if he has to go, it’d better be epic!

Join us next week when we recap Episode Three. Till then!


Rating: 4/5 stars

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