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Star Trek Discovery Ending Explained and How the Finale Connects to “Calypso”

Exclusive: Star Trek Discovery showrunner Michelle Paradise breaks down the series finale and what the ending means for Michael Burnham and her crew.

michael byrne star trek discovery

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Star Trek Discovery Ending Explained

This Star Trek: Discovery article contains spoilers.

After five seasons, Star Trek: Discovery , the series that launched a new era of Star Trek programming on television, has come to an end with the finale “Life, Itself.” Leaning heavily on the science fiction action and prominently connecting with Star Trek elements introduced in the ‘90s, Discovery ’s fifth and final season brought the adventures of Starfleet officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) to a satisfying close. That conclusion includes a coda that was added after the creative team learned Discovery would not be renewed for a sixth season. The additional scenes were filmed to provide the finale with greater closure.

At the helm of the fifth season was Michelle Paradise, who has been an executive producer on the series since the second season and co-showrunner, with series co-creator Alex Kurtzman , since Discovery season 3. Paradise recently sat down with Den of Geek to go in full spoiler-y detail on wrapping Discovery and shares how far development on a potential sixth season had progressed before the team discovered they would not proceed with more episodes.

What Happens in the Star Trek: Discovery Series Finale

Star Trek: Discovery season 5 was largely driven by a scavenger hunt across the cosmos, with Captain Burnham and the USS Discovery following clues to recover technology from the Progenitors, a mysterious ancient race that seeded all known humanoid life in the galaxy eons ago. Unfortunately, the Discovery was not alone in this race, with the wanted criminal Moll and the Breen, a vicious alien race introduced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine , looking to recover the technology for themselves. Racing toward the finish line in the finale, Burnham and Moll (Eve Harlow) both entered a pocket dimension where Burnham spoke with a holo program of a Progenitor, not only obtaining a data drive from them but learning that the Progenitors created life from ancient technology they discovered from another unknown race.

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In the end, Burnham not only convinced Moll to stand down but her new first officer Rayner (Callum Keith Rennie) and the crew outmaneuvered the Breen warship, and though a quick analysis of the data revealed it could change all life in the galaxy, Burnham respected the Progenitors’ wishes by deciding to not share it with the Federation. Burnham’s Starfleet superior, Doctor Kovich (David Cronenberg), was understandably annoyed by this but understood and respected her reasoning. In return, Kovich revealed his real identity as Agent Daniels , a time-traveling Starfleet officer introduced in Star Trek: Enterprise .

Returning home for the coda section of the finale, the crew assembled to celebrate the wedding of Saru (Doug Jones) and Ni’Var President T’Rina (Tara Rosling) where Burnham and her paramour Cleveland “Book” Booker (David Ajala) also rekindled their romance. In an epilogue decades into the future that ties into the beloved Short Trek “Calypso,” an older Admiral Burnham sent off the Discovery and its sentient ship computer Zora (Annabelle Wallis) on an important mission. To commemorate its send-off, Zora was joined by holograms of the Discovery crew in their prime in one emotional final farewell.

Pivoting to a Series Finale After Discovery Was Canceled

Principal photography on Star Trek: Discovery season 5 wrapped in November 2022 with the initial expectation that the series would be renewed for a sixth season. However, Paramount+ and CBS Studios announced the fifth season of Discovery would be its last in March 2023, with additional scenes filmed the following month. For Paradise, this chance to wrap the story in a more satisfying way and tie up loose ends was a unique one that she and the rest of the creative team greatly appreciated.

“It’s a rare opportunity, so we remain so grateful to Paramount+ and CBS Studios for letting us do that, because it almost never happens,” Paradise says. She and Kurtzman were joined by fellow series writer Kyle Jarrow to develop a coda for the entire series, which evolved into the flash-forward of Burnham launching the Discovery for its final voyage. Paradise notes the idea of having the Discovery crew in their prime appear on the bridge for the last goodbye was something Kurtzman had in mind for a while.

“Alex pitched that scene on the bridge,” Paradise confirms. “I don’t know how long he had that in his mind, but it didn’t start this season. He’s had that in his head for I don’t know how long. It’s just so beautiful and so emotional. Getting to see everybody as they are now feels like it gives the audience an opportunity to say goodbye to all of our beloved characters.”

Paradise wanted the coda to be anchored by two characters in particular, Burnham and the Discovery itself, through the personified perspective of Zora. With Burnham as “the heart and soul” of the show, Paradise wanted to provide her with a coda that confirmed and detailed her happy ending. This extended to the closing scene on the bridge conveying to the audience that “Burnham and Book are okay, our crew is okay, and Zora and Discovery are also okay.”

Connecting to Star Trek’s Past: The Breen, the Progenitors, and Agent Daniels

The 32nd century setting of Discovery that began with the show’s third season allowed the creative team to remix familiar elements of the Star Trek mythos. For season 5, the story connected directly and prominently not only with the Breen—we finally learned what they looked like under those creepy helmets—but the Progenitors, a race only seen in a one-off sixth season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation . Although both the Breen and Progenitors appearing memorably in classic Star Trek series, Paradise felt they were relatively blank canvases to fill out creatively in writing Discovery season 5.

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“All we really knew about the Breen is that they were scary bad guys that had these really interesting suits that they wore,” Paradise reflects, noting they were simply known for being visually striking adversaries in DS9 . “We didn’t know much about them but, when you invoke the name of the Breen, you shudder a little bit. Getting to bring them into the season, just the name itself tells us that these are going to be formidable bad guys for our heroes, but didn’t want to just make them bad guys. It was also an opportunity to learn more about their culture.”

The Progenitors not only gave Discovery season 5 its MacGuffin but created a greater sense of mystery and tied into the season’s deeper existential themes of belonging and meaning. Paradise explains that the dark matter anomaly crisis in season 4 was analogous with COVID, leaving the crew searching for direction, with the theme highlighted by the Progenitor mission.

“It just felt right that all of our characters would be in that place, going on those journeys in different ways, but all exploring similar things,” Paradise observes. “It felt like having the Progenitors be a piece of that really spoke to the journey that they’re all on.”

The other big connection to past Star Trek series in Discovery season 5 was the unveiling of Kovich’s identity as Agent Daniels, a Temporal agent from the 31st century who encountered Captain Jonathan Archer in the first season of Star Trek: Enterprise . Inspired by David Cronenberg’s performance as Kovich, Paradise felt he added “layers upon layers” to the character and story and wanted to pay that off in a big way with the fifth season, even before learning that Discovery would not be renewed.

“Very early on, we knew we were going to have to answer the backstory of this character and who he is and that it had to be worthy of the character himself and the way David plays him,” Paradise recalls. “A couple of our writers who are very familiar with Star Trek: Enterprise suggested Daniels and the minute they did, all of our heads exploded a little bit because it just felt like that makes sense. We knew, coming into this season, that we wanted to answer that in what, at the time, we thought was the season finale.”

Michael Burnham

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Admiral Michael Burnham was a female 23rd century Human Starfleet officer raised on Vulcan by Ambassador Sarek and Amanda Grayson following the death of her parents.

As a commander , she served as the first officer aboard the USS Shenzhou in 2256 , under Captain Philippa Georgiou , with whom she had served since 2249 . ( DIS : " The Vulcan Hello ", " Battle at the Binary Stars ") In 2256, she was stripped of rank and sentenced to life imprisonment for mutiny , but she gained a second chance when she was assigned to the USS Discovery as a specialist . ( DIS : " Battle at the Binary Stars ", " Context Is for Kings ")

After the Battle at Pahvo , Discovery was "accidentally" transported to the mirror universe , eventually forcing Burnham to impersonate her counterpart , who had been captain of the ISS Shenzhou prior to her presumed death, taking Captain Gabriel Lorca , supposedly impersonating his own mirror counterpart, as a prisoner to the Emperor – as it turned out, the mirror Philippa Georgiou – while searching for information on the USS Defiant . However, after meeting Georgiou, Burnham realized that Lorca was his mirror universe counterpart and that she had been serving under an impostor. After warning Discovery of this, Burnham and Georgiou fought Lorca and defeated him, in the process destroying the ISS Charon and enabling Discovery to return to the prime universe, Georgiou in tow. However, difficulties with navigating the mycelial network caused Discovery to emerge at the wrong point in the timestream, at a time when the Federation was on the verge of defeat. ( DIS : " Despite Yourself ", " The Wolf Inside ", " Vaulting Ambition ", " What's Past Is Prologue ")

With no option left, Starfleet assigned Georgiou to command Discovery and ordered her to plant a hydro bomb on Qo'noS ; however, Burnham refused to abandon her principles again and prevented Georgiou from activating the bomb, instead using it to force a truce with the Klingons. For her role in ending the war, Burnham was pardoned , and her rank restored; in addition, she was awarded the Starfleet Medal of Honor . ( DIS : " Will You Take My Hand? ")

Soon after, a mysterious series of red bursts across the galaxy and the threat of the Section 31 AI Control led Burnham to reunite with both Spock and her mother Gabrielle Burnham who had actually been displaced in time rather than dying as was previously believed. Deducing that she herself, through time travel , had sent most of the red bursts as the second Red Angel , Burnham led Discovery and her crew 930 years into the future in order to keep the Sphere data out of Control's hands, having learned from her mother that in an alternate timeline , Control used the data to become sentient and destroyed all life in the galaxy. The crew of the USS Enterprise lied to Starfleet that Discovery and her crew were lost and, at Spock's recommendation, agreed to never speak of Discovery and her crew again under penalty of treason. However, Burnham managed to send a final signal back to 2558 to let Spock know that they had made it. ( DIS : " Saints of Imperfection ", " The Red Angel ", " Perpetual Infinity ", " Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2 ")

Following her displacement into the 32nd century , Burnham spent a year as a courier , working with Cleveland Booker . ( DIS : " That Hope Is You, Part 1 ", " Far From Home ", " People of Earth "

After the arrival of Discovery a year later, Burnham reunited with the crew, although she struggled to fit in again to the point that she was demoted from First Officer to Chief Science Officer. During this time, Burnham dedicated herself to solving the mystery of the Burn and had to deal with the loss of Georgiou. ( DIS : " Far From Home ", " People of Earth ", " Scavengers ", " Unification III ", " Terra Firma, Part 2 ")

Following the defeat of Osyraa and the Emerald Chain , Burnham was officially promoted to Captain of Discovery . In this role, she led a diplomatic mission past the galactic barrier to make first contact with Species 10-C , something that placed her at odds with Cleveland Booker after his homeworld was destroyed by the Dark Matter Anomaly . Although Burnham was considered for command of the USS Voyager -J during this time, she turned it down in favor of remaining aboard Discovery . ( DIS : " That Hope Is You, Part 2 ", " Kobayashi Maru ", " The Galactic Barrier ", " Coming Home ")

Burnham would eventually become a four-star Admiral , marrying Cleveland Booker and having a son together. ( DIS : " Life, Itself ")

  • 1 Early life
  • 2.1 The Vulcan Science Academy and Expeditionary Group
  • 3.1 USS Shenzhou
  • 3.2.1 The Federation-Klingon War
  • 3.2.2 The mirror universe
  • 3.2.3 End of the war
  • 3.2.4 The red bursts
  • 3.3.1 Arrival
  • 3.3.2 Back aboard Discovery
  • 3.3.3 Captain of Discovery
  • 3.4 Later career
  • 4 Alternate timelines and realities
  • 5.1.1 Philippa Georgiou
  • 5.1.2 Sarek
  • 5.1.4 Sylvia Tilly
  • 5.2.1 Ash Tyler
  • 5.2.2 Cleveland Booker
  • 5.3.1 T'Kuvma
  • 5.3.3 Gabriel Lorca
  • 6 Key dates
  • 7 Memorable quotes
  • 8.1 Appearances
  • 8.2 Reference
  • 8.3.1 Development
  • 8.3.2 Reception
  • 8.3.3 Continuity
  • 8.4 Apocrypha
  • 8.5 External links

Michael Burnham, 2230s

Michael in the 2230s with her stuffed tardigrade

Burnham was born on Earth , in 2226 . ( DIS : " The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry ") She was named after her father, Mike Burnham .

In the early 2230s , Burnham and her parents resided on a space station. The isolation of the location lead to bad dreams involving a shadow . One night, to calm her and help her to conquer her fears, her father told her the legend of the girl who made the stars . ( ST : " The Girl Who Made the Stars ")

In 2236 , Burnham's parents, Gabrielle and Mike Burnham , were stationed on Doctari Alpha ; where, unknown to her at the time, they were working on a top secret project for Section 31 – a project to create a suit capable of time travel . A young Section 31 operative, Leland acquired a time crystal for the project, which was given to the lead researchers on the projects, the Burnhams. However, the Klingons tracked the crystal to Doctari Alpha. ( DIS : " The Red Angel ", " Perpetual Infinity ")

The Burnhams originally planned a vacation to Mars , but they stayed three more days to wait for a nearby star, Alpha Lupi , to go supernova . The explosion would provide enough energy for the crystal, and they'd then be able to test the Red Angel suit. The young Burnham thought it was her begging which made the family stay longer so she could witness the star going nova. ( DIS : " Lethe ", " The Red Angel ")

Michael Burnham, 2236

Michael in 2236

Just as the family was sitting down to dinner, Burnham saw a light through a telescope – a light that turned out to be the Klingons attacking the outpost. Mike Burnham attempted to barricade the kitchen door, while Gabrielle hid Michael in a cabinet. Mike was slain by the Klingons, but Gabrielle was able to escape, using the Red Angel suit to travel forward in time. Burnham did not witness the events, but she heard everything happen, or at least she thought she had. She claimed that the Klingons killed her father quickly, but took longer with her mother, whom she believed to have died as well. The attackers then sat down at Burnham's family table and ate the dinner the family had prepared and laughed. ( DIS : " Will You Take My Hand? ", " Perpetual Infinity ")

Life on Vulcan

Young Michael Burnham

A young Michael Burnham at the Vulcan Learning Center

Michael was then raised on Vulcan by Sarek and Amanda Grayson and was the first Human to ever attend the Vulcan Learning Center . She initially struggled to adapt, having to recall the events of her parents' death in a series of questions posed by the Center. At one point she was crying alone because the Vulcan children had rejected her. Sarek assured her that when emotion brought her ghosts from the past, only logic could root her in the present. A young Burnham suggested that she learn Vulcan , but Sarek told her it was her Human heart, not her Human tongue that was the problem. ( DIS : " The Vulcan Hello ", " Battle at the Binary Stars ", " Perpetual Infinity ")

Shortly after she arrived on Vulcan, Burnham was targeted by Vulcan logic extremists who believed that Humans were a threat to their logical civilization and who launched an attack on the Learning Center. The bombing left Burnham physically dead for three minutes, forcing Sarek to initiate a mind meld with her in order to revive her. As a result of this, a portion of Sarek's katra remained inside her mind, which later allowed him to communicate with her across interstellar distances and the two to shared physical sensations such as pain. ( DIS : " Battle at the Binary Stars ", " Lethe ")

After this incident, Burnham, believing that her presence put the family in danger, attempted to run away from home. Using the Red Angel suit, her mother appeared to Spock from the future, and helped him to locate his runaway foster sister, showing him a vision of an alternate timeline in which Burnham died from an attack by a vicious predatory animal. Sarek and the authorities found Burnham at Vulcan's Forge , thus saving her from being killed by the animal. ( DIS : " If Memory Serves ")

Early in handling the loss of her parents, Burnham would sometimes run away to the Cliffs of Surak and stare out at the view of Lake Yuron . ( DIS : " Anomaly (DIS) ")

During her childhood, her foster mother often read to Michael and to her biological son, Spock, particularly Alice's Adventures in Wonderland . Even as an adult, Michael still owned a physical copy of this book , which was a gift from Amanda. ( DIS : " Context Is for Kings ")

On Burnham's tenth birthday , she and Amanda visited the seventh moon of Eridani D to attend a book exchange , an ancient Human ritual. ( DIS : " Lethe ")

On her eleventh birthday, Burnham read Alice in Wonderland out loud to herself, pretending to read it to her deceased parents. ( DIS : " Perpetual Infinity ")

The Vulcan Science Academy and Expeditionary Group

Michael Burnhams Vulcan personal effects

Burnham's personal belongings aboard the Shenzhou were influenced by her upbringing on Vulcan

In 2245 , Burnham began attending the Vulcan Science Academy , where she studied quantum physics . She graduated four years later at the top of her class and was a recipient of the Vulcan Scientific Legion of Honor . ( DIS : " The Vulcan Hello ", " Battle at the Binary Stars ", " The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry ")

After her graduation, Burnham applied to join the Vulcan Expeditionary Group . Unbeknownst to Burnham, the Group rejected her application on the basis of Burnham being Human, and forced Sarek to choose between allowing Michael to join now, or allowing Spock – who was half -Human – to join in the future. After reluctantly choosing Spock over Michael, Sarek hid the truth out of personal shame and reported her rejection as being a result of her "insufficient" abilities. This led Burnham to believe that it was her weaknesses that resulted in the decision and that Sarek was wrong to believe in her – a sentiment her foster mother dismissed. Sarek's shame ultimately only grew when, eventually, Spock unexpectedly chose to join Starfleet instead of the Expeditionary Group, rendering Sarek's sacrifice of Michael's Vulcan career pointless. ( DIS : " Lethe ")

Starfleet career

Uss shenzhou.

Sarek and Burnham

Burnham with Sarek aboard the Shenzhou

Sarek sought to find Burnham a place where she could thrive and approached Captain Philippa Georgiou to give his ward an opportunity in Starfleet. Burnham, therefore, joined the service and was assigned to the Shenzhou under the command of Georgiou in 2249, at the age of 23. Serving as a xenoanthropologist , she eventually rose to the rank of commander, and by 2256, had become Georgiou's first officer. ( DIS : " The Vulcan Hello ", " Battle at the Binary Stars ")

Just prior to the Battle of the Binary Stars , Burnham was charged with mutiny after incapacitating Captain Georgiou and taking command of the Shenzhou , preparing to attack the Klingons by firing on them first. She subsequently pleaded guilty to these charges during a court martial , and was stripped of rank and sentenced to life in prison. ( DIS : " Battle at the Binary Stars ") She thus became the first and only officer ever convicted of mutiny in the history of Starfleet to that date.

USS Discovery

The federation-klingon war.

After serving six months in prison, Burnham was transported via shuttlecraft to another facility at Tellun . The shuttle transporting them was disabled, but she and three other prisoners were rescued by the USS Discovery . Following orders by Captain Gabriel Lorca , she participated in a boarding party aboard the USS Glenn . Lorca then offered her a berth aboard Discovery , assuring her that her life sentence would not be a problem. Burnham began sharing quarters with Sylvia Tilly . ( DIS : " Context Is for Kings ")

Burnham was reassigned from the command division to the sciences division and allowed to wear a Starfleet uniform again, albeit without any rank or other insignia. Lorca assigned her to work on the tardigrade , which had been captured aboard the Glenn . Burnham named the creature "Ripper" because of its strength and ability to damage even a starship's tritanium hull. In collaboration with Tilly and Paul Stamets , she discovered the tardigrade's connection to the mycelial network , which enabled the full utilization of the spore drive in order to stop the Klingon attack on Corvan II . ( DIS : " The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry ")

In the following weeks, the Discovery used the spore drive several times; Burnham grew concerned with the effects of this usage on the tardigrade, which became weaker and seemed to be at great discomfort when utilized for the drive. After voicing her concerns to acting captain Saru , she was confined to quarters by him. Following the successful mission to rescue Captain Lorca, she and Tilly released the tardigrade into space, where it regained its strength and traveled away. ( DIS : " Choose Your Pain ")

After recovering Sarek from an assassination attempt by the same extremists who had targeted her as a young girl, Burnham was offered a position as bridge science specialist by Lorca, which she accepted. In the process, Burnham learned the truth about her rejection by the Expeditionary Group – Sarek had chosen to enable Spock to serve with the Group instead (although Spock had turned down that offer). ( DIS : " Lethe ")

Burnham then assisted Stamets in stopping Harry Mudd from stealing the Discovery and selling it to the Klingons. Burnham, Lorca, and Tyler then turned Mudd over to his fiance, Stella Grimes and her father . During this time, she and Tyler developed feelings for each other. ( DIS : " Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad ")

Burnham then went with Tyler and Saru to Pahvo . There, they hoped to use a crystal structure to act as a SONAR in order to detect cloaked Klingon ships. During this time, Burnham noticed that Saru had become fearless after making first contact with the Pahvans. However, he had become hostile toward her and Tyler. Burnham was then able to convince the Pahvans to withdraw their influence over him and allow to complete their mission. Burnham was successful and the three of them returned to Discovery . ( DIS : " Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum ")

The mirror universe

Following the Battle at Pahvo and the subsequent deception by Lorca , the Discovery found itself stranded in the mirror universe . Burnham took the place of her counterpart , long assumed to be dead, in an attempt to find a way home. While in command of the ISS Shenzhou , she was ordered to hunt down Gabriel Lorca, who was attempting a coup against the emperor. Her shuttlecraft was destroyed during this operation and she was presumed dead. Burnham was forced to disguise herself as her Terran counterpart on the Shenzhou in order to retrieve the data files on the Constitution -class USS Defiant to uncover how it crossed into the mirror universe's past. Burnham and Lorca play the part of their Terran selves. Ensign Connor, who is now Captain Connor, attempts to kill Burnham in an attempt to maintain his new position, but fails. The crew of the Shenzhou applauds Burnham for her killing as she takes the captain's chair. Later, Burnham appears exhausted keeping up the act and goes to her quarters where she and Tyler, who joined Burnham as her personal bodyguard, have sex. ( DIS : " Despite Yourself ")

Burnham becomes increasingly agitated with her facade as mirror Burnham, and questions how long someone can keep a facade up until they actually become something they initially were not. She was alarmed by mirror Saru, who was a nameless slave in this universe, and decided to name him Saru in honor of her friend. Mirror Saru was shocked by her friendly gesture.

Burnham was tasked to destroy a rebel base on the planet Harlak. Instead, she and Tyler opted to form a secret alliance with the Vulcans, Klingons, Andorians, and Tellarites, who opposed the Terran Empire. Voq appeared, the mirror universe counterpart of the Klingon she fought at the Binary Stars, and asked Mirror Sarek, known as The Prophet, to mind meld with Burnham to see if her intentions were pure. Mirror Sarek was taken aback by Burnham's memories and concluded she was a compassionate person who meant them no harm. Burnham became curious of Voq's ability to forge alliances with other alien races in order to find the solution to the Klingon war in her universe. Voq's explanation triggered Tyler, who spoke in Klingon and attacked Voq. Burnham convinces mirror Voq to spare Tyler's life. When Burnham and Tyler returnws to the Shenzhou , having faked the attack, she confronted Tyler. Tyler admitted that he didn't think he was actually Ash Tyler. It became apparent that Tyler was actually Voq and that speaking with mirror Voq set off his true nature, having been brought on the Discovery originally as a sleeper agent. Burnham was confused, but then realized that Tyler was the one she fought at the Binary Stars. Tyler, now mentally fully turned into Voq, attempted to kill her. Burnham was unable to defend herself, and mirror Saru arrived and attacked Tyler, saving her. Burnham faked Tyler's execution, actually transporting him to the Discovery together with the files from the Defiant , where he is held captive. Later, Burnham was dismayed to learn her falsities at Harlak had been uncovered by the silent emperor, who turned out to be her former captain Philippa Georgiou's mirror version. ( DIS : " The Wolf Inside ")

Burnham and Lorca were transported to the ISS Charon , as the revelation that Georgiou was the emperor weighed down on her, making her feel the situation was a reckoning for her betrayal of her own Georgiou. Lorca refused to bow to Georgiou, and was taken to an agony booth. Georgiou suspected Burnham of deception, and holding a knife to her neck asked why she came there, revealing she was aware that she conspired to kill her and take her throne with Lorca. Burnham was left shocked by this revelation of her mirror counterpart's betrayal as well. When she referred to the emperor as "Philippa", she was outraged, as she would normally have referred to her as "mother". Later, Burnham revealed prior to her execution that she was from another universe, using prime Georgiou's insignia as proof. Emperor Georgiou agreed to make a deal with Burnham to exchange the spore drive technology in exchange for her freedom to go home. Later, Burnham learned more about her mirror counterpart's history. In this universe, due to Terran supremacy, rather than Sarek and Amanda raising Michael after her parents were killed, Emperor Philippa Georgiou did instead. However, mirror Burnham's quest to hunt down Lorca appeared to be a ruse, as she was conspiring against her own adoptive mother to kill her and take her throne with Lorca, who mirror Burnham once viewed as a father figure, until she grew up and it became romantic. Georgiou told Burnham about Lorca planning to "cross time and space itself to take what was rightfully his" and Burnham put the pieces together, along with Georgiou's sensitivity to light (the single biological difference between the Terrans and Humans), that Lorca was from the mirror universe and their crossing over was not an accident. ( DIS : " Vaulting Ambition ")

Burnham worked out a plan to deliver Georgiou to Lorca in the same way she planned. Burnham told Lorca that she would stay in exchange for Discovery 's safe passage home, but it was a ruse, as Georgiou and Burnham began attacking and killing Lorca's men. Eventually, Burnham got the upper hand on Lorca with a phaser, telling him that they would've helped him get home, because that's who Starfleet was, and that was who she was, which was why she wouldn't kill him. Georgiou, however, killed him instead. She then allowed Burnham to go back home, with her reign as emperor gone given Lorca's rebellion, deciding to die killing Lorca's men. However, Burnham saved Georgiou at the last minute, holding onto her, as they were transported back to the Discovery and into the prime universe. ( DIS : " What's Past Is Prologue ")

End of the war

The Discovery jumped nine months ahead in 2257, with the Federation suffering significant losses in the war with the Klingons. Burnham revealed to Admiral Cornwell and Sarek about the arrival of their guest, Emperor Georgiou. Burnham asked Cornwell to give Emperor Georgiou political asylum, feeling sympathy for her, despite not being her Georgiou. Later, Tilly convinced Burnham to confront Ash, who was now fully recovered with dual memories, feeling deep remorse for Voq's actions. Sarek told her not to regret loving someone, encouraging her further. Burnham ultimately ended their relationship. Ash begged her, saying he couldn't make it without her, but Burnham explained she was lost after the battle of the binary stars, and having to reclaim life was punishing and solitary. ( DIS : " The War Without, The War Within ")

Michael Burnham, 2257

Burnham awarded the Medal of Honor

Emperor Georgiou posed as Prime Georgiou, enlisted by Starfleet to end the war, however she saw fit, in exchange for her freedom. Burnham, Tilly, and Tyler accompanied her to Qo'nos. Ultimately, Burnham was forced to stop Georgiou's genocidal attack on the Klingon home planet, outraged at Cornwell and Starfleet for enabling the act. Burnham manipulated Georgiou to give her the explosive device by telling her that if she didn't, she would have to watch her daughter die again. Georgiou reluctantly agreed and walked off to her freedom. Burnham offered L'Rell a peace treaty, to call off the Klingons' planned invasion on Earth in exchange for the device as a measure of peace and diplomacy in order to end the war. Ash reassuree a reluctant L'Rell to take charge. After the incident, Burnham's act of diplomacy in finishing the war ended with her, and many of the Discovery crew, decorated by Starfleet with the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions. Burnham was fully reinstated as a commander in Starfleet, her record was expunged, she was pardoned by the Federation President, and she became the chief science officer for the Discovery . Burnham and Tyler decided to go their separate ways, Tyler planning to find a union between Humans and Klingons with L'Rell, and Burnham back aboard Discovery . On their course to Vulcan to pick up the new Discovery captain, they received a transmission from Captain Christopher Pike of the USS Enterprise . ( DIS : " Will You Take My Hand? ", " Brother ")

The red bursts

Ash Tyler, Michael Burnham, and Christopher Pike

Burnham analyzing the red bursts with Ash Tyler and Christopher Pike

En route to Vulcan, the Discovery stopped to assist the USS Enterprise , which had experienced a ship-wide systems failure. Burnham was disappointed to learn from Captain Christopher Pike that her foster brother was not on board the ship, and was worried that she would not have an opportunity to patch things up with him. With the approval of Captain Pike, she went to her brother's quarters to find that he had been keeping track of the red bursts and that this might have something to do with his current condition. ( DIS : " Will You Take My Hand? ", " Brother ")

Burnham later helped cure a mentally-disabled Spock by taking him to Talos IV , where the Talosian Keeper and his people were able to cure Spock in exchange for the memory of the start of the conflict between Spock and Burnham. ( DIS : " If Memory Serves ")

Learning that Section 31 's Control was seeking to evolve so that it could become sentient and wipe out all sentient life in the galaxy, Spock helped Burnham temporarily trap The Red Angel in the 23rd century before she was pulled back in to the future. After Burnham's mother was pulled back to the 32nd century Spock and Burnham began to repair their relationship. ( DIS : " The Red Angel ")

Determining that Discovery held data that Control was looking for in order to evolve, Burnham helped take Discovery into the 32nd century. When Spock was unable to accompany them, she advised her foster brother that there was a galaxy full of people looking to reach out to him, and that he should seek the person furthest from him for guidance. After defeating Control, Burnham and the rest of the Discovery crew jumped 930 years into the future to not allow Control to be able to return. ( DIS : " Such Sweet Sorrow ", " Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2 ")

The 32nd century

Arriving through the wormhole in the year 3188 , Burnham crashed into Cleveland Booker 's ship . Both Booker and Burnham crashed on the planet Hima . An uneasy alliance was formed between the two. She learned that the United Federation of Planets had mostly been dissolved because of an event called The Burn which destroyed most of the galaxy's dilithium and killed many people. Booker took her to Requiem a large city on the planet, where she was captured and interrogated by Andorian - Orion authorities. The two were chased around the planet by them using portable transporters . The two reached Booker's ship where he revealed his cargo to Burnham, a trance worm named Molly . After escaping the authorities Burnham accompanied Booker to Sanctuary Four to deliver Molly. Booker then took her to meet Aditya Sahil at a Federation relay station. The two discussed the situation and both agreed to find the Discovery and her crew and help reform the Federation. ( DIS : " That Hope Is You, Part 1 ")

Burnham became a courier and, along with Booker, tracked down what information she could about The Burn and the whereabouts of Starfleet and the Federation. She made many connections and had gone through some changes personally while she waited for Discovery to come through the wormhole. ( DIS : " People of Earth ")

Early in her time as a courier, eagerly awaiting contact from Discovery

Back aboard Discovery

A year later, Burnham came across the Discovery as the crew was attempting to get the ship out of parasitic ice so they could leave the planet. Burnham's ship used a tractor beam to lift Discovery off the surface. Burnham contacted the ship to tell them she had waited a year for them to arrive and that she had finally found them. ( DIS : " Far From Home ")

Michael Burnham, Commander, 3189

Michael's new haircut

Upon arriving back on Discovery , she was greeted by the crew. They all hugged her and shared a moment with her. Burnham explained what had happened in the last 930 years. Burnham shares a moment with Tilly where she admits that things have changed for her during her time apart from the crew. Following a message from a Starfleet admiral sent twelve years prior, Burnham and the crew head to Earth where they encountered the United Earth Defense Force , after a confrontation, the members of the EDF beamed on board to investigate the ship. When a raider known as Wen showed up, Burnham and Booker took it upon themselves to take the ship's dilithium and distract Wen. The plan worked and Burnham and Booker beamed back to Discovery with Wen and got him, Captain Saru, and Captain Ndoye to speak. After some tension, Wen and Ndoye agree to halt hostilities and share resources. Burnham stayed on Discovery as first officer to Saru. Later, the two learned through Paul Stamnets that the Earth Defense officer known as Adira was the host for a Trill symbiont named Tal, which was the admiral that sent the message twelve years prior, but Adira was having trouble accessing the memories of the previous host so they set out for answers. ( DIS : " People of Earth ")

Burnham went with Adira to Trill so Adira could reconnect with the memories of the Tal symbiont 's previous hosts, but after the Trill Guardians saw Adira and realized they were Human, they confronted them for being a non Trill host and questioned the Federation. As Burnham and Adira walked away from the meeting, they were ambushed so the Tal symbiont could be retrieved, but Burnham protected Adira and dealt with the attackers. At that moment, Guardian Xi approached and offered to guide them. He took them to the Caves of Mak'ala where Adira could heal their lost connection with the previous hosts by entering the sacred pools, however, after being in the water for a while, her life signs began to drop and Burnham had to dive in to help. They both experienced the memories of when Gray Tal (the previous host and Adira's boyfriend) became joined and later died, passing the symbiont on to Adira. Burnham convinced Adira to face these memories because this would fully join them and that way Starfleet could get the message that Sena Tal had for them. After the ritual was finally complete the Trill apologized for their prior behavior and told Michael that when the time was right they might join the Federation again. Michael and Adira then went back to Discovery where the two shared a moment in Adira's quarters as they played cello. After finishing, Adira told Michael that they knew the coordinates for the Federation Headquarters. ( DIS : " Forget Me Not ")

Captain of Discovery

Michael Burnham, Captain, 3189

Captain Burnham

After the Discovery was captured by the Emerald Chain, Burnham helped retake the ship from the Chain's leader, Osyraa. Afterwards, Saru suggested Michael became the new captain of Discovery and temporarily left to take his fellow Kelpian Su'kal back home for the first time since Su'kal was a child. In his absence, Admiral Charles Vance promoted Burnham to Captain and named her the CO of the Discovery , realizing that Burnham was just the kind of officer needed to heal the Federation. ( DIS : " That Hope Is You, Part 2 ")

Later career

Decades later, Burnham was married to Cleveland Booker with a son and had risen to the rank of four-star admiral . She and her family settled on Sanctuary Four and lived in a large and comfortably furnished home. Book apparently maintained an interest in the care of wildlife as he presented his wife with the first sample of honey from the new beehive he built for her coffee which she playfully said was "waxie." Before leaving on a mission, she spent the morning repairing a fence. Her son arrived in a shuttle to escort her to Federation Headquarters . Burnham took command of the USS Discovery one last time. She did this to send the ship, which was returned to its 23rd century configuration, and Zora on a Red Directive mission into deep space to wait for " Craft ," although Burnham didn't know if that was a person or a vessel. As the mission was expected to take longer than the crew's lifetime, Burnham suggested that Zora could look up their descendants when Discovery was eventually recovered by Starfleet and promised the AI that there would be a new beginning waiting for her upon Zora's return. Taking Discovery 's captain's chair for the last time, Burnham reflected upon her long journey before embarking upon her old ship's final mission. ( DIS : " Life, Itself ")

Alternate timelines and realities

According to Gabrielle Burnham , she witnessed hundreds of versions of her daughter's death during her time traveling efforts to stop Control . ( DIS : " Perpetual Infinity ")

In one alternate timeline , Burnham was killed by a creature in Vulcan's Forge after running away from home. Gabrielle, as the Red Angel , warned a young Spock who alerted Sarek and Amanda Grayson who came to Burnham's rescue just in time. ( DIS : " If Memory Serves ")

In an alternate timeline shown to Burnham by the time crystal , the USS Enterprise was destroyed by an unexploded photon torpedo that breached the hull and eventually detonated while Control , in the body of Leland , stormed the bridge of the USS Discovery and slaughtered the bridge crew. After defeating Burnham, Control killed her with a point-blank phaser shot to the face. Burnham prevented this with her plan to take Discovery into the future with Control instead only having a brief skirmish with the bridge crew before moving on rather than slaughtering them and the Enterprise being saved by the sacrifice of Admiral Katrina Cornwell . Burnham and Spock surmised that the time crystal had shown Burnham this possible future so that she could avoid it. ( DIS : " Such Sweet Sorrow ", " Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2 ")

In another alternate timeline, Starfleet rescued Discovery from the time cycling too late and Moll and L'ak found the Progenitor technology, causing the Federation to fall to the Breen . Burnham and all of Discovery 's crew died as a result of this. When Burnham and Commander Rayner arrived on this Discovery in 3218 from a time jump, they found the ship covered in dust and only Zora left who had lost most of her memory who revealed what had happened. Zora helped the two figure out the pattern of the time cycling and begged them to make things right before Burnham and Rayner were sent to another time period. This future was averted when Burnham, Rayner and Paul Stamets , with the help of the Discovery crew of an alternate 2256 , stopped the time cycling six hours after it began. ( DIS : " Face the Strange ")

In another alternate timeline, a few weeks after first stepping foot onto Discovery , Burnham encountered her future self who was attempting to enlist the aid of Discovery 's crew in 2256 to break the time cycling. Burnham believed her future self to be a shapeshifter or something similar and refused to believe that it could possibly be herself as the future Burnham was a Starfleet Captain while Burnham was a mutineer. The future Burnham was forced to subdue her past self with a Vulcan neck pinch , but Burnham recovered and confronted Stamets and Rayner in engineering, demanding that Stamets shut down the warp core. Rayner recognized that Burnham didn't want to risk messing things up again and used his knowledge from her future self, namely that Burnham felt that she didn't deserve to be on Discovery after what she did, to earn her trust. Rayner revealed that Burnham did deserve to be here, and she's did a damn good job and everything that's she was going to go through was going to make her into one hell of a captain. Burnham eventually relented and allowed the group to proceed with their plan. This timeline was erased when the time bug was removed before it could reset the cycle again as the changes made in each time period wouldn't become permanent until the bug reset. ( DIS : " Face the Strange ")

Relationships

Burnham's tree

Burnham's tree of connections and memories

After returning a Akaali lalogi orb to its owner in 3190, Burnham found herself thinking a lot about family, friendships, and connections, and the impact the past had on her present. It inspired her to create a similar family tree to model those that had shaped her life. After surviving a near-death experience alongside Zora , Burnham added more of her present friendships from the Discovery crew to her tree, and inspired Zora to do the same. ( DIS : " Stormy Weather ")

Friendships

Philippa georgiou.

Burnham and Philippa first meet

Burnham's first meeting with Georgiou in 2249

Burnham and Philippa Georgiou had almost a mother–daughter relationship; after taking on Burnham as a member of her crew, Georgiou decided to take a chance on Burnham and made her first officer . From their first encounter, Philippa boosted Michael's self-esteem, telling her that her confidence was justified, much to Michael's shock and complimenting her back. Over the course of seven years, they developed an extremely close relationship. Georgiou grew to trust Burnham, and while exploring with her in 2256, said she trusted her with her life. ( DIS : " The Vulcan Hello ")

Georgiou once took Burnham to her home city of Pulau Langkawi , Malaysia , to see the beautiful beaches . ( DIS : " Will You Take My Hand? ")

On a relatively primitive planet, the duo opened a well, and enabled the planet's residents to survive a coming eighty-nine-year drought. ( DIS : " The Vulcan Hello ")

Burnham warned Georgiou of her encounter with a Klingon, and with hesitation, Georgiou believed her and locked weaponry on the object. Starfleet ordered the Shenzhou to wait until reinforcements arrived. When Burnham recommended firing first against the Klingons, Georgiou refused. Burnham disabled Georgiou with a Vulcan nerve pinch and took command of the ship, ordering an attack on the Klingon vessel. Georgiou recovered in time to stop the attack. ( DIS : " The Vulcan Hello ")

Georgiou arrested and imprisoned Burnham for mutiny. However, Burnham escaped the brig after telepathic encouragement from Sarek, and convinced Georgiou to take T'Kuvma hostage, instead of making him a martyr. Georgiou told Burnham she worried that one day her Vulcan upbringing would cloud her Human side, and was disappointed to learn that she had such an ego to believe she could rip the Vulcan shell away from Burnham. Burnham retorted that she turned against her because she believed it was the only viable option to avoid a full scale war, and to save her life as well as the crew's, which was worth going against Starfleet's principles. Georgiou did not respond to her justification, but agreed to go with her plan to infiltrate the ship together, rather than Burnham alone as she originally suggested, indicating Georgiou had not given up on her.

Georgiou and Burnham aboard T'Kuvma's flagship

Burnham prepares to fight side by side with Georgiou

Using an explosive sent to T'Kuvma's ship with a Klingon corpse as a distraction, the duo boarded the ship and attacked. Burnham fought off Voq , but Georgiou was killed during the Battle of the Binary Stars, by T'Kuvma. A moment later, Burnham shot T'Kuvma and made a martyr of him. Burnham was distraught, weeping at the loss of her friend and captain, and becoming consumed with grief. Following Georgiou's death, Burnham felt she was responsible for the death of her captain and friend, completely guilt-ridden. ( DIS : " Battle at the Binary Stars ")

Michael Burnham grieving

Burnham unable to retrieve Georgiou's body

Six months after Georgiou's death, Burnham received Georgiou's will, in which Georgiou had left Burnham her most prized possession, a telescope handed down through her family for centuries. In her will, Georgiou said she was proud of Burnham as if she were her own daughter. ( DIS : " The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry ") However, Burnham felt undeserving of the possession, believing herself to be guilty of Georgiou's death, so she gave the telescope to Saru instead. ( DIS : " Choose Your Pain ")

Burnham felt having to face Georgiou's Terran counterpart , the emperor, was a reckoning for her betrayal. She remained feeling extremely guilty for having went against her captain's wishes. After revealing her true identity, Burnham told Emperor Georgiou that their bond seemed to cross universes, as Burnham and Georgiou's mother/daughter-like bond is a literal mother/daughter bond in the mirror universe. ( DIS : " Vaulting Ambition ") Burnham's guilt over her captain's death led her to declare she would not let Emperor Georgiou die, no matter how cruel or ruthless she is. ( DIS : " What's Past Is Prologue ") When she returned to the prime universe with Georgiou, having kept her promise, she admitted she wanted to show her a place of morality and hope. Mirror Georgiou told her that she wished to save her because she couldn't save her own Georgiou and that it weakens her, to which Michael responded, " Well, I feel it every day of my life ". ( DIS : " The War Without, The War Within ")

Sarek and Burnham had a father-daughter relationship due to the fact that, after her parents were killed, Sarek took Burnham as his ward . Afterward, he helped her countless times whenever her judgment was clouded by her Human emotions. ( DIS : " The Vulcan Hello ")

Burnham and Saru

Saru tells Burnham her absence is a loss to Starfleet

Burnham served with Saru aboard the Shenzhou , though they were meanwhile in near-constant disagreement in how to read and approach situations. Georgiou noted their rare agreement for once. ( DIS : " The Vulcan Hello ") Even after Burnham's mutiny, which came as a surprise to Saru, he still considered Burnham a valuable asset and the smartest officer in Starfleet, but he was now afraid of her and considered her very dangerous. ( DIS : " Context Is for Kings ")

Burnham reported to Saru that every jump the ship made with the spore drive was negatively impacting Ripper. Saru dismissed this, while she warned that she was unsure of how many jumps the tardigrade could sustain. Later, Saru confronted Burnham upon discovering Stamets had taken the spore drive offline. Tilly, Stamets, and Burnham were looking for compatible DNA sequences, as Burnham said they could use a Human host. Saru noted that he told her to stand down earlier and she disobeyed another order. Burnham said she knew his Kelpien culture made him alert of enemies but assured him she wasn't one of them. Saru angrily fired back that she wasn't an enemy, but a predator, leaving Michael hurt. He told her that saving Ripper would not bring back nor change the fact that her behavior was exactly the kind that led to the death of Georgiou.

Burnham later asked Saru whether he was afraid of her. Saru said he was angry and jealous that he never had the chance to be the first officer under Georgiou and learn everything she had to teach. He anticipated that Burnham would get her own command and he would move up, but he never got that chance. He believed that if he had, he would have been more prepared for the events of today. Burnham assured Saru that he did very well and that Captain Georgiou would have thought so, as well. Burnham then went under her bed to get Captain Georgiou's telescope and told Saru that it is his now. Saru then told Burnham to save Ripper. ( DIS : " Choose Your Pain ")

Sylvia Tilly

Michael Burnham Meets Sylvia Tilly

Michael Burnham meets her new roommate

Burnham and Sylvia Tilly eventually grew to have an unlikely bond. She was assigned to be Cadet Tilly's roommate on the Discovery after six months of imprisonment. Tilly awkwardly admitted that Burnham was sleeping on her bed and that she suffered from chronic snoring. She then tried to make conversation with Burnham, learning her name and trying to form a "more approachable" nickname with "Mickey". Burnham rejected this, however. Tilly then noted that the only other person she had heard of with the name was the infamous mutineer, Michael Burnham, but it couldn't be her new roommate. Burnham glared at her, confirming the outlandish notion, making Tilly nervous.

Michael Burnham Sylvia Tilly Boarding Party

Tilly tells Michael it is her first boarding party

Burnham and Tilly had another awkward exchange when Tilly lied, saying the engineering officers had assigned seats. Burnham learned from Stamets later that this wasn't true and went back, next to Tilly, as she tried to ignore her. On Tilly's first boarding party with Burnham, Tilly apologized, explaining that it was important for her to make a good impression and that she didn't want to be seen with a mutineer. Burnham understood and said it was okay, but Tilly said it wasn't okay, and that she was just afraid of what other people would think of her.

Michael Burnham Softens Up to Tilly

Burnham softens up to Tilly, and explains the history behind the rare physical book copy of Alice in Wonderland she has kept

Later, Tilly was shocked to see that Burnham had not left the ship, as Lorca extended her stay to contribute to the war effort. Tilly told her she was glad and confided that she intended to be a captain someday, but there were things about command she didn't yet know. Having read everything on Georgiou – which Burnham quietly corrected to "Captain Georgiou" – she suggested that Burnham could help teach her. Tilly was surprised when Burnham unpacked an actual, physical book, which Burnham handed to her: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland . Burnham explained that her foster mother used to read it to her son and Burnham, and that it taught her that the world was not always logical. When Tilly asked her name, Burnham replied, " Amanda . " ( DIS : " Context Is for Kings ")

Tilly secretly helped Burnham, giving her spores to successfully tame and befriend Ripper. Burnham smiled, appreciating her help. Later, in her shared quarters with Tilly, the cadet congratulated Burnham on a job well done, but the tardigrade being utilized in a way that caused it to feel agony clearly weighed on Burnham, in spite of the heroic act. She then said she had another reputation growing. Tilly noticed Burnham hadn't opened the capsule containing Georgiou's will and encouraged her to open it by noting her bravery and saying she wasn't afraid of anything. ( DIS : " The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry ")

Tilly and Burnham later ate lunch together. Tilly told her roommate that she looked awful, and Burnham sarcastically thanked her. Tilly suspected something was wrong with her, but Burnham dismissed this. Tilly then assumed Burnham had made new, more interesting friends but she assured her it wasn't her. Burnham explained it is about her, having been preoccupied with Ripper's condition from the use of the spore drive that she has no job to do aboard the ship. Tilly told her that it was time to reflect upon herself, emotionally. Burnham said she didn't like that, to which Tilly responded, " Really? I love feeling feelings ". Later, they worked on helping Ripper together. Burnham and Tilly released Ripper together. ( DIS : " Choose Your Pain ")

Ash Tyler was one of the very few aboard Discovery who did not judge Burnham harshly for her earlier crimes and escaping justice. Upon meeting her, Tyler declared that he preferred to evaluate people based on their current behavior rather than their pasts. ( DIS : " Lethe ") As time went by, the two began to form a friendship which eventually blossomed into romance.

Cleveland Booker

T'Kuvma 's plan to wage war against the Federation was set in motion. Burnham committed a failed mutiny in order to stop this with the intention of firing at the Klingons first. Later, after escaping captivity, Burnham suggested capturing T'Kuvma to cause his reputation to damage. By doing so, Burnham predicted the Klingon war effort would not be successful if its leader had been quickly suppressed. However, when Burnham and Georgiou encountered T'Kuvma and Voq at the Binary Stars, T'Kuvma killed Georgiou. Burnham disregarded her previous suggestion upon seeing Georgiou being killed, and in an emotional response, she killed T'Kuvma. ( DIS : " Battle at the Binary Stars ")

Gabriel Lorca

The nature of Lorca 's relationship to Burnham was mysterious for a long time. Unknown to Burnham and the rest of Discovery at the time, Lorca was secretly his mirror universe counterpart in disguise, with a plan to get back to his universe and convince Burnham to pose as her presumed dead counterpart to rebel against Emperor Philippa Georgiou in an attempt to take the throne for himself. ( DIS : " Vaulting Ambition ") Tilly felt that Lorca "practically adopted" Burnham. ( DIS : " Lethe ") Emperor Georgiou revealed to Burnham that her mirror universe counterpart had conspired with Lorca to kill her, and that he groomed her. At one point as a child, Georgiou felt the mirror universe Burnham saw Lorca as a father figure, but when she grew up, the relationship became romantic, much to Prime Burnham's shock and disgust. ( DIS : " Vaulting Ambition ")

Upon their initial meeting, Burnham noted to Lorca that her prison shuttle changed course halfway through the journey, and assessed that Lorca had brought her to Discovery intentionally, testing her abilities. She revealed she knew about the experimental technology he had been using. Lorca told Burnham her suspicions were correct, but he didn't choose her for the reasons she thought. Lorca explained that, due to the circumstances of the war, he wanted to recruit her because her actions leading up to the Battle of the Binary Stars were predictive, and she chose to do the right thing despite it being against protocol. He believed this to be thinking that "wins wars". Lorca convinced Burnham to stay, manipulating her by suggesting that she stay to achieve atonement or redemption for Georgiou's loss. ( DIS : " Context Is for Kings ")

Lorca was hesitant to send Burnham away to find Sarek, who was in danger. Lorca told Ash Tyler to bring Burnham back in one piece or don't come back at all, to which Tyler assumed he was referring to the ship. At one point, Lorca questioned how Sarek could mind meld with her, as she was not Vulcan. In actuality, Lorca had been using information based on the mirror Burnham by mistake, who had not been raised by Vulcans. Later, Burnham told Lorca she was grateful to be serving under a captain like him. ( DIS : " Lethe ")

Tyler and Burnham transported to Kol 's ship and plant sensors that created an algorithm for detecting the cloaked Klingon ships, much to the disapproval of Lorca. Eventually Lorca agreed to let her go. Burnham explained that she needed to go, being the most qualified person having been on the same vessel and knowing the surroundings, but Lorca curiously and illogically disagreed. Due to the nature of Lorca's relationship being revealed later, it was clear Lorca did not want to face Burnham getting killed again, being vital to his plan to stop the emperor and also because of his romantic feelings for her based on her mirror counterpart. ( DIS : " Into the Forest I Go ")

When Lorca jumped Discovery to the mirror universe, Burnham revealed, based on the personnel files, she was presumed dead and his counterpart was a fugitive wanted for her murder. Lorca told Burnham to look outside and said, " A different universe and yet somehow the same people have a way of finding each other… might be the strongest argument that I've ever seen for the existence of destiny. " Burnham dismissed Lorca's destiny argument, insisting that " Destiny didn't get me out of prison, captain. You did. " At this point, Lorca relied on Burnham to take care of the crew. Burnham agreed with the plan to disguise as their Terran selves in order to retrieve the files on the USS Defiant to find a way back home. ( DIS : " Despite Yourself ")

After Tyler was revealed to be a sleeper agent Klingon, Lorca held Burnham's hand, telling her she wasn't alone. ( DIS : " The Wolf Inside ") Lorca's secret plan to lead Burnham to Emperor Georgiou was successful, as she was summoned to the ISS Charon . Burnham told Lorca it felt like having to face Georgiou again was a reckoning, but Lorca told her that Captain Georgiou was dead and Emperor Georgiou was a ghost. Burnham retorted, " Haven't you ever been afraid of a ghost? " Later, after spending time with Emperor Georgiou as Lorca went to an agonizer booth , Burnham finally realized that Lorca's sensitivity to light was a trait all Terrans possessed, and from Georgiou's words, Lorca believed destiny brought her daughter and Lorca together. Burnham pieced together that Lorca was from the mirror universe and it was not an accident they jumped there. ( DIS : " Vaulting Ambition ")

With Lorca's true nature revealed, Burnham agreed to help Emperor Georgiou due to her attachment to the prime Georgiou. She tricked Lorca the same way they intended to trick Georgiou, by handing Georgiou over to Lorca, and a bemused Lorca told Georgiou that Burnham was destined to betray her in every universe. Lorca questioned Burnham's motives, and Burnham told him that in exchange for Discovery 's safe passage home, he could have her, but only "her mind" (indicating to Lorca her awareness of his romantic feelings for her). Lorca agreed and communicated this information to Saru on Discovery . However, Burnham and Georgiou worked together to attack and kill Lorca's men. Burnham and Lorca fought, and he told her he didn't want to have to kill her. Burnham grabbed a phaser and told him that they would have brought him home had he asked, and because she was Starfleet, she wouldn't kill him. Emperor Georgiou quickly impaled Lorca instead and Lorca attempted to die holding onto Burnham, but she turned away instead. ( DIS : " What's Past Is Prologue ")

Years later, after time traveling back to a version of Discovery that was still captained by Lorca, Burnham appeared to be mostly annoyed by the news, but it didn't end up mattering as Lorca was on an away mission at the time of her, Stamets, and Commander Rayner 's visit. ( DIS : " Face the Strange ")

  • 2226 : Born on Earth
  • 2236 : Adopted by Sarek and Amanda Grayson after the death of her father and mother
  • 2245 – 2249 : Attends the Vulcan Science Academy
  • 2249: Assigned to the USS Shenzhou under the command of Captain Philippa Georgiou
  • Participates in the Battle of the Binary Stars ; abandons the Shenzhou with the remaining crew after the death of Captain Georgiou; is later court martialed on charges of dereliction of duty, assaulting a fellow officer, and mutiny , to which she pleads guilty, leading to a loss of rank and a sentence of life imprisonment
  • Is assigned to the USS Discovery on the behest of Captain Gabriel Lorca
  • Given a position of bridge science specialist by Lorca
  • Due to her efforts in ending the war she is pardoned by the Federation President and is reinstated to the rank of commander
  • Awarded the Starfleet Medal of Honor
  • Serves as science officer under the temporary command of Captain Christopher Pike
  • Reunited with her mother on Essof IV
  • Travels forward in time to the 32nd century , presumed dead by Starfleet
  • Arrives to Mercantile and befriends Cleveland Booker .
  • Becomes a courier alongside Booker, while searches for the Discovery .
  • Reconnects with the Discovery .
  • Appointed First officer of the USS Discovery
  • Demoted to Chief Science officer
  • Appointed Captain of the USS Discovery

Memorable quotes

" From my youth on Vulcan, I was raised to believe that service was my purpose. And I carried that conviction to Starfleet. I dreamed of a day when I would command my own vessel, and further the noble objectives of this great institution. That dream is over. The only ship I know in ruins. My crew … gone. My captain… my friend. I wanted to protect them from war . From the enemy. And now we are at war… and I am the enemy. "

" The real world doesn't always adhere to logic. Sometimes down is up, sometimes up is down… and sometimes when you're lost, you're found ."

" We are no longer on the eve of battle. Even so, I come to ask myself the same question that young soldier asked the general all those years ago: 'How do I defeat fear?' The general's answer? 'The only way to defeat fear is to tell it no.' No, we will NOT take shortcuts on the path to righteousness. No, we will NOT break the rules that protect us from our basest instincts. No, we will NOT allow desperation to destroy moral authority. I am guilty of all these things. Some say that in life, there are no second chances. Experience tells me this that this is true. But we can only look forward. We have to be torchbearers casting the light so we may see our path to lasting peace. We will continue exploring, discovering new worlds, new civilizations. Yes – that is the United Federation of Planets…. Yes… that is Starfleet… Yes, that is who we are… And who we will always be "

" Let's fly. "

Appearances

  • Star Trek: Discovery
  • ST : " The Girl Who Made the Stars "
  • SNW : " Memento Mori " (archive voiceover)
  • ST : " Runaway " (Picture only)

Background information

Development.

Burnham was played by Sonequa Martin-Green as an adult and Arista Arhin in flashback scenes of her childhood.

One reason the first name "Michael" was chosen for this character was that Bryan Fuller often had female protagonists who had typically male first names (such as "Chuck" and "Jaye"). " When we all sat down, of course, the idea was going to be that she was going to have a male name, or typically male name, " recalled Executive Producer/Writer Aaron Harberts . " We were just pitching around the writers' room. We had a couple on the board and I said, 'Well, how about Michael?' Because I had remembered a gossip columnist in Chicago . I used to work in Chicago in publicity, and Michael Sneed , she wrote for the Chicago Sun Times . Then, there was the bass player for The Bangles , a musician named Michael Steele . I'd always thought that the name Michael was just really cool and different. We pitched that to Bryan and he was like, 'Let me think about that.' That's how we seized on it. " [1]

Extremely contented prior to learning there was an opportunity to possibly appear regularly in a Star Trek series, actress Sonequa Martin-Green was meanwhile looking forward to her next project. " I was in such a place of contentment and peace about everything, " she related. " I was excited for what was next. I was excited to turn the page. I was just trusting what was happening […] and then Star Trek came – it felt like a snug fit. It really did. " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 190 , p. 19)

Though she watched a lot of Leonard Nimoy 's portrayal of Spock in Star Trek: The Original Series , Sonequa Martin-Green based her performance of Michael Burnham on the character's backstory. " In terms of who I modeled myself after, " the actress recalled, " it's just the story. There's a lot going on, so I just had to dig into all these different facets of who I am, as Michael Burnham, and try to make them as real as I could. " Martin-Green also imagined that Michael Burnham had been named after her biological father, which was later confirmed in DIS : " Perpetual Infinity ". Though this would make her proper name Michael Burnham Junior, she is never referred to as such.( Star Trek Magazine  issue 190 , p. 20)

In September 2016 , Bryan Fuller met with Sonequa Martin-Green to play his lead character, Michael Burnham. " Her audition was fantastic, " Fuller remarked. " I found her incredibly insightful as an actor and delightful as a Human being. " Aaron Harberts was also impressed with the actress. " We read a lot of people who either went too robotic or too emotional, " he recalled. " She was able to be aloof and logical but still warm and surrendering her emotional side to the audience. " ( Entertainment Weekly , issue 1476, p. 27) Harberts also recollected, " I'll never forget Sonequa walking in the door to read for Michael Burnham. We looked at so many actors for that part. " In agreement, Gretchen J. Berg attested, " We felt we weren't gonna find her. " Continued Harberts, " Yeah, and it was just… We were down to the wire, and to have her just walk in, and the warmth that she brought with her, and she just kind of made eye contact with all of us, and I just remember, like, looking into her eyes and just saying, 'Yeah, that's… that's Michael Burnham.' And barely even listening to her read, I mean, just kind of waiting for her to be done so that we could run out and call CBS and say, 'We've found her.' " ("Discovering Discovery : The Concepts and Casting of Star Trek: Discovery ", DIS Season 1 DVD & Blu-ray special features)

However, as Rod Roddenberry recalled, there was some initial difficulty with finalizing the casting of the Michael Burnham role. " Sonequa Martin-Green, when she came in, we loved her, but she wasn't available, " he explained. " And so, we were kinda bummed, but there were a lot of great people at that point, and so we looked down the road; there were some other people that we looked at. " [2] Martin-Green assumed that her lack of availability, which was due to commitments she had made to another project, ruled her out for anything related to Star Trek in the future. " It moved on for me because of the scheduling conflicts, " she reflected. " So, I said, 'You know what? It felt like a snug fit, but, it's gone, so that's fine. I trust what's happening. I trust what's meant to be will be.' I let it go. " However, when Discovery 's premiere date subsequently got delayed, it had a knock-on impact on the casting of the role . " Then Star Trek came around again, " Martin-Green stated. " I said, 'I knew it was a snug fit.' " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 190 , pp. 18 & 19-20) Rod Roddenberry added, " All of a sudden, she became available, and, you know, everyone felt the same way [….] She just stood out, and so we were so lucky. " Roddenberry didn't take credit himself for having found Martin-Green, an accomplishment he attributed to "the entire team." [3]

When she learned that she had won the role of Michael Burnham, Sonequa Martin-Green was with her husband at a restaurant in Buenos Aires. " My team called, and they said, 'It's happening.' My husband actually recorded it. And so, I cried, and everything, and it's forever captured, " she reminisced. " So, it was just… surreal. It was completely surreal. Like, 'Is this happening?!' My husband and I kept looking at each other, and we wouldn't say anything. We would just look at each other and go (she opened her mouth, and kept it open). " [4]

Writing staffers such as Erika Lippoldt and Bo Yeon Kim found that the casting of Sonequa Martin-Green in the role of Michael Burnham helped inform their writing of the character. " Once we saw her in the first two episodes, we were kinda like, 'Oh, okay; that's who she is,' you know, because the very early drafts, we had her much more Vulcan, " Lippoldt stated. " You know, like, she was just full on, like, completely logical, not really any emotional intonations, but Sonequa's just naturally a very empathetic person. " Kim agreed, " I think, you know, it's one thing to write and to imagine how the character would sound and look in your head, but I think once it went through the Sonequa filter and she was sort of reinterpreting what was on the page in her own beautiful way, that's when it kind of finally clicked for us. But then, even so, that was all just watching, at least for us, Erika and me, it was watching her on the dailies. " When Lippoldt and Kim got a chance to visit the set during the shooting of " Into the Forest I Go ", Kim realized she couldn't imagine anyone else playing the part. [5]

Bryan Fuller was the person who publicly revealed that the main character of DIS would be a female who wasn't a captain. He announced this news on 10 August 2016 , during an interview session with journalists at the Television Critics Association Summer Tour. [6]

In early news stories which suggested the casting of Sonequa Martin-Green in this role, the character was given the name "Rainsford". [7] Martin-Green's casting as Burnham was officially announced on 3 April 2017 . [8]

By the time 2017's San Diego Comic-Con was held, it had been publicly revealed that, in the then-forthcoming TV series Star Trek: Discovery , Burnham would serve as the Shenzhou 's first officer. During the DIS panel at the aforementioned event, the show's producers chose the occasion to drop the bombshell that Burnham would be Spock's adopted sister. ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 190 , p. 20)

Burnham is not the first character to have been depicted as being adopted by Sarek; in the first draft script of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock , Sarek adopted a Vulcan male named Galt , who had been spying for the Klingons.

Burnham's backstory, involving her parents being killed in a terror raid by Klingons and she then being raised on an alien planet (i.e. Vulcan), also shares some similarities with Worf , whose father was killed in an attack by Romulans before he himself was likewise raised on an alien planet (i.e., Earth). This was pointed out to Aaron Harberts on AT : " O Discovery, Where Art Thou? ", but he stated that he hadn't previously thought of the similarities between Burnham's backstory and that of Worf.

Apparently, Burnham never attended Starfleet Academy ; she graduated from the Vulcan Science Academy in 2249 and was immediately assigned to the USS Shenzhou .

Burnham is the second of two main characters to be canonically portrayed as being recruited aboard a series' main starship immediately after serving time in prison; Tom Paris likewise joined the crew of the USS Voyager after serving time at New Zealand Penal Settlement .

Aaron Harberts once joked that Michael Burnham doesn't ingest fluids, but then stated that he reckoned her favorite drink was tea . ( AT : " O Discovery, Where Art Thou? ")

Michael Burnham is the only character to appear in every episode of Star Trek: Discovery .

In the Gallery DIS novel Desperate Hours , Burnham became first officer in 2255 , following the promotion of the previous first officer, Sonnisar ch'Theloh ( β ), who left to accept a post as the commanding officer of the starship USS Tereshkova ( β ).

Burnham makes an appearance in Star Trek Online , with Sonequa Martin-Green providing her voice. In the two-part episode "The Measure of Morality" for the game's tenth anniversary, the player character's ship is pulled to Excalbia , where the Excalbians force them to undertake further "trials" to determine good and evil (a sequel of sorts to The Original Series episode " The Savage Curtain "). While Yarnek and President Lincoln oversee the trials, another Excalbian takes the form of Burnham, joining the player character, one of their bridge officers, and Seven of Nine in representing "good" while facing the forces of "evil", represented by enemies from some of the player's past missions (the Tal Shiar , the Borg , the Iconians ), from Burnham's Starfleet career ( Control , taking the form of the Discovery crew), and finally a Borg Queen created from Control's nanites and Seven's genetic material. After the "trials" are concluded, Burnham – who is aware she is an Excalbian duplicate – is allowed to maintain that form permanently, and returns with the player to Alliance space to reactivate her Starfleet commission. Burnham is the second Discovery -era character to be "resurrected" in the 25th century, the first being Stamets (who was recreated as a hologram with a mobile emitter ).

The novel Dead Endless depicts a parallel universe where Burnham did not mutiny against Georgiou and the Federation-Klingon War never happened. In this universe, Burnham is captain of the Discovery at the time of the story.

Burnham appears as part of Paramount+'s "Paramount Mountain Expedition" commercials. In the commercial "Ice Bridge", Burnham attempts to cross the titular bridge, only for it to crack, prompting her to tell her crew of other Paramount-related characters to lose some weight. When Lt. Dangle of Reno 911 eagerly begins stripping out of his uniform shirt, Burnham can only look in confusion before exclaiming they need to lose more weight, prompting Coach Bill Cowher to send Dangle packing. In an alternate version, "Ice Bridge 'Crack'", her attempt to cross the bridge has her telling the group that there was a giant crack in the ice from their weight, prompting Beavis and Butt-Head to immediately start laughing at "giant crack", annoying the group with Burnham trying her best to stay professional.

External links

  • Michael Burnham at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • Michael Burnham at Wikipedia
  • 1 Daniels (Crewman)
  • 3 Calypso (episode)

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Inside the ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Series Finale: The Last-Minute Coda, the Surprise Easter Eggs, and What Season 6 Would Have Been About (EXCLUSIVE)

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery steaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/Paramount+.

SPOILER WARNING: This story includes descriptions of major plot developments on the series finale of “ Star Trek : Discovery,” currently streaming on Paramount+ .

Watching the fifth and final season of “ Star Trek: Discovery ” has been an exercise in the uncanny. Paramount+ didn’t announce that the show was ending until after the Season 5 finale had wrapped filming — no one involved with the show knew it would be its concluding voyage when they were making it. And yet, the season has unfolded with a pervasive feeling of culmination. 

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“I think there’s more to it than just, ‘Oh, it was a coinkydink!’” the actor says with a laugh, before explaining that she’s thinking more about subtext than direct intent. “I’ve gotta give Michelle her flowers. She has always asked the deeper questions of this story and these characters. Those questions of meaning and purpose led to questions of origin and legacy, and, yes, that is quite culminating.”

Martin-Green and Paradise spoke exclusively with Variety about filming the finale and the coda, including the surprising revelation about the origins of one of “Discovery’s” most memorable characters and what Paradise’s plans for Season 6 would have been.

“It’s the Most Complicated Thing I’ve Ever Seen”

Once the “Discovery” writers’ room decided the season would be organized around a search for the Progenitor’s technology, they also knew that, eventually, Burnham would find it. So then they had to figure out what it would be.

“That was a discussion that evolved over the course of weeks and months,” Paradise says. Rather than focus on communicating the intricate details of how the technology works, they turned their attention to delivering a visual experience commensurate with the enormity and complexity of something that could seed life across the entire galaxy.

“We wanted a sense of a smaller exterior and an infinite interior to help with that sense of power greater than us,” Paradise says. Inspired in part by a drawing by MC Escher, the production created an environment surrounded by towering windows into a seemingly endless procession of alien planets, in which it’s just as easy to walk on the walls as on the floor. That made for a daunting challenge for the show’s producing director, Olatunde “Tunde” Osunsanmi: As Burnham battles with the season’s main antagonist, Mol (Eve Harlow), inside this volume, they fall through different windows into another world, and the laws of gravity keep shifting between their feet.

“It’s the most complicated thing I’ve ever seen, directorially,” Paradise says. “Tunde had a map, in terms of: What did the background look like? And when the cameras this way, what’s over there? It was it was incredibly complex to design and shoot.”

Two of those planets — one in perpetual darkness and rainstorms, another consumed by constant fire — were shot on different parking areas on the Pinewood Toronto studio lot.

“The fire planet was so bright that the fire department got called from someone who had seen the fire,” Paradise says. “It should not be possible to pull those kinds of things off in a television show, even on a bigger budget show, with the time limitations that you have. And yet, every episode of every season, we’re still coming in on time and on budget. The rain planet and the fire planet we shot, I believe, one day after the other.”

Martin-Green jumps in: “Michelle, I think that was actually the same day!”

“It Felt Lifted”

The last time a “Star Trek” captain talked to a being that could be (erroneously) considered God, it was William Shatner’s James T. Kirk in 1989’s “Star Trek: The Final Frontier.” The encounter did not go well.

“I had my own journey with the central storyline of Season 5, just as a believer,” Martin-Green says. “I felt a similar way that Burnham did. They’re in this sort of liminal mind space, and it almost felt that way to me. It felt lifted. It really did feel like she and I were the only two people in this moment.”

It’s in this conversation that Burnham learns that while the Progenitors did create all “humanoid” alien species in the galaxy in their image, they did not create the technology that allowed them to do so. They found it, fully formed, created by beings utterly unknown to them. The revelation was something that Martin-Green discussed with Paradise early on in the planning of Season 5, allowing “Discovery” to leave perhaps the most profound question one could ask — what, or who, came first in the cosmos? — unanswered.

“The progenitor is not be the be all end all of it,” Paradise says. “We’re not saying this is God with a capital ‘G.’”

“There’s Just This Air of Mystery About Him”

Starting on Season 3 of “Discovery,” renowned filmmaker David Cronenberg began moonlighting in a recurring role as Dr. Kovich, a shadowy Federation operative whose backstory has been heretofore undisclosed on the show.

“I love the way he plays Kovich,” Paradise says of Cronenberg. “There’s just this air of mystery about him. We’ve always wanted to know more.” When planning Season 5, one of the writers pitched revealing Kovich’s true identity in the (then-season) finale by harkening back to the “Star Trek” show that preceded “Discovery”: “Enterprise,” which ran on UPN from 2001 to 2005.

In the final episode, when Burnham debriefs her experiences with Kovich, she presses him to tell her who he really is. He reintroduces himself as Agent Daniels, a character first introduced on “Enterprise” as a young man (played by Matt Winston) and a Federation operative in the temporal cold war. 

This is, to be sure, a deep cut even for “Star Trek” fans. (Neither Cronenberg nor Martin-Green, for example, understood the reference.) But Paradise says they were laying the groundwork for the reveal from the beginning of the season. “If you watch Season 5 with that in mind, you can see the a little things that we’ve played with along the way,” she says, including Kovich/Daniels’ penchant for anachonistic throwbacks like real paper and neckties.

“I didn’t know that that was going be there,” Martin-Green says. “My whole childhood came back to me.”

“We Always Knew That We Wanted to Somehow Tie That Back Up”

Originally, Season 5 of “Discovery” ends with Burnham and Book talking on the beach outside the wedding of Saru (Doug Jones) and T’Rina (Tara Rosling) before transporting away to their next adventure. But Paradise understood that the episode needed something more conclusive once it became the series finale. The question was what.

There were some significant guardrails around what they could accomplish. The production team had only eight weeks from when Paramout+ and CBS Studios signed off on the epilogue to when they had to shoot it. Fortunately, the bridge set hadn’t been struck yet (though several standing sets already had been). And the budget allowed only for three days of production.

Then there was “Calypso.” 

To fill up the long stretches between the first three seasons of “Discovery,” CBS Studios and Paramount+ greenlit a series of 10 stand-alone episodes, dubbed “Short Treks,” that covered a wide variety of storylines and topics. The second “Short Trek” — titled “Calypso” and co-written by novelist Michael Chabon — first streamed between Season 1 and 2 in November 2018. It focuses on a single character named Craft (Aldis Hodge), who is rescued by the USS Discovery after the starship — and its now-sentient computer system, Zora (Annabelle Wallis) — has sat totally vacant for 1,000 years in the same fixed point in space. How the Discovery got there, and why it was empty for so long, were left to the viewer’s imagination. 

Still, for a show that had only just started its run, “Calypso” had already made a bold promise for “Discovery’s” endgame — one the producers had every intention of keeping.

“We always knew that we wanted to somehow tie that back up,” says Paradise, who joined the writers’ room in Season 2, and became showrunner starting with Season 3. “We never wanted ‘Calypso’ to be the dangling Chad.”

So much so, in fact, that, as the show began winding down production on Season 5, Paradise had started planning to make “Calypso” the central narrative engine for Season 6. 

“The story, nascent as it was, was eventually going to be tying that thread up and connecting ‘Discovery’ back with ‘Calypso,’” she says.

Once having a sixth season was no longer an option, Paradise knew that resolving the “Calypso” question was non-negotiable. “OK, well, we’re not going to have a season to do that,” she says. “So how do we do that elegantly in this very short period of time?”

“I Feel Like It Ends the Way It Needed to End”

Resolving “Calypso” provided the storytelling foundation for the epilogue, but everything else was about giving its characters one final goodbye.

“We want to know what’s happening to Burnham, first and foremost,” Paradise says. “And we knew we wanted to see the cast again.”

For the latter, Paradise and Jarrow devised a conceit that an older Burnham, seated in the captain’s chair on Discovery, imagines herself surrounded by her crew 30 years prior, so she (and the audience) could connect with them one final time. For the former, the makeup team designed prosthetics to age up Martin-Green and Ajala by 30 years — “I think they were tested as they were running on to the set,” Paradise says with a laugh — to illustrate Burnham and Book’s long and happy marriage together.

Most crucially, Paradise cut a few lines of Burnham’s dialogue with Book from the original Season 5 finale and moved it to a conversation she has with her son in the coda. The scene — which evokes the episode’s title, “Life Itself” — serves as both a culminating statement of purpose for “Discovery” and the overarching compassion and humanity of “Star Trek” as a whole.

To reassure her son about his first command of a starship, Burnham recalls when the ancient Progenitor asked what was most meaningful to her. “Do you know how you would answer that question now?” he asks.

“Yeah, just being here,” Burnham replies. “You know, sometimes life itself is meaning enough, how we choose to spend the time that we have, who we spend it with: You, Book, and the family I found in Starfleet, on Discovery.”

Martin-Green relished the opportunity to revisit the character she’s played for seven years when she’s reached the pinnacle of her life and career. “You just get to see this manifestation of legacy in this beautiful way,” she says. “I will also say that I look a lot like my mom, and that was that was also a gift, to be able to see her.”

Shooting the goodbye with the rest of her cast was emotional, unsurprisingly, but it led Martin-Green to an unexpected understanding. “It actually was so charged that it was probably easier that it was only those three days that we knew it was the end, and not the entirety of season,” she says.

Similarly, Paradise says she’s “not sure” what more she would’ve done had there been more time to shoot the coda. “I truly don’t feel like we missed out on something by not having one more day,” she says. “I feel like it ends the way it needed to end.”

Still, getting everything done in just three days was no small feat, either. “I mean, we worked ’round the clock,” Martin-Green says with a deep laugh. “We were delirious by the end — but man, what a way to end it.”

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Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham, standing in a yellow field with weird lights, raising her hand

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Star Trek: Discovery tore itself apart for the good of Star Trek’s future

And it helped set the tone for where Star Trek is now

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If you were to jump directly from the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery to its finale — which just debuted on Paramount Plus — the whiplash would throw you clear out of your seat like your ship had suffered an inertial damper malfunction. Since its first two chapters premiered on CBS All Access in 2017, the series has moved to a different ship and a different century, and has acquired an almost entirely different set of characters. Moreover, Discovery has received a radical tonal refit, evolving in fits and starts from a dark and violent war story to a much sunnier action-adventure serial.

Though it never won the mainstream attention or critical acclaim of its spinoff, Strange New Worlds , nor the gushing fan adulation of Picard ’s Next Gen reunion , Discovery spearheaded Star Trek’s return to television , the franchise’s maiden voyage into the frontier of premium streaming content. Like any bold pathfinder, Discovery encountered obstacles, suffered losses, and made some major course corrections. But, if you ask the cast and crew, the adventure has been more than worth the tumultuous journey.

Tacking into the wind

“We were on wobbly legs for a long time,” admits star Sonequa Martin-Green, whose character, Michael Burnham, has had the rug pulled out from under her a number of times over the course of the series. In the first season and backstory alone, Burnham lost her parents, saw her mentor murdered, was tried for mutiny, discovered that her first love is a Klingon sleeper agent, and was betrayed by not one but two Mirror Universe doppelgängers of trusted Starfleet captains.

Move over, Deep Space Nine — this was instantly the grimmest canonical depiction of the Star Trek universe on screen. Season 1 of Discovery was rated TV-MA and featured more blood and gore than the franchise had ever seen, not to mention an instance of graphic Klingon nudity. (Actor Mary Wiseman recalls seeing her co-star Mary Chieffo walking the set wearing prosthetic alien breasts and thinking, What the hell? ) The corpse of Michelle Yeoh’s character is cannibalized by Klingons off screen, and her successor, portrayed by Jason Isaacs, turns out to be a manipulative psycho from the Mirror Universe who tries to mold Burnham into his plaything.

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham, midflip as she tries to escape from someone’s hold

The bleak, adult-oriented tone was not the only sticking point with Star Trek purists, as Discovery would take place a decade before the original 1960s Star Trek but have a design aesthetic much closer to that of the 2009 movie reboot, leading to some irreconcilable clashes with continuity. The show’s serialized, season-long arcs were a far cry from the familiar “planet of the week” stories of most previous incarnations of the franchise. Then there was Burnham’s backstory as the never-before-mentioned human foster sister to Trek’s iconic Vulcan Spock , a creative decision that has “clueless studio note” written all over it. Even ahead of its debut, Discovery faced vocal opposition from the fan base for straying so far from their notion of what Star Trek was supposed to be. (Not to mention the revolting but quite vocal faction of fans who were incensed that Star Trek had “gone woke,” as if it hadn’t been that way the whole time.) Many of Discovery ’s detractors flocked toward The Orville , a Fox series starring and created by Seth MacFarlane that was essentially ’90s-style Star Trek with the occasional dick joke thrown in. The Orville offered fans alienated by Discovery ’s vastly different approach to Star Trek a more familiar (but far less ambitious) alternative.

The grim Klingon War story was the brainchild of co-creator Bryan Fuller, who had been a member of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Voyager writers rooms before creating cult series like Pushing Daisies and Hannibal . Fuller would end up departing Team Discovery before production even began, asked to resign after a string of creative differences with the studio. New showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg carried out a version of Fuller’s plans without him, and then oversaw the show’s first major pivot. Discovery ’s second season was immediately brighter, more colorful, and cozier with established Star Trek lore. (This is the arc that would introduce the versions of Pike , Spock , and Number One who now lead Strange New Worlds .) But things weren’t so sunny behind the scenes — Harberts and Berg were fired midway through the season after writers accused the duo of creating an abusive work environment.

As different as Discovery would eventually stray from the HBO-style drama of its first season, co-creator Alex Kurtzman feels that the mission of the series has never changed.

“One of the things that we set up in season 1 is that we knew that Burnham would start as a mutineer and end up a captain,” says Kurtzman. “What was exciting about that is that we knew it would take time.”

Captain on deck

Lt. Nhan (Rachael Ancheril); Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green); Captain Pike (Anson Mount); Linus (David Benjamin Tomlinson); Saru (Doug Jones); and Lt. Connolly (Sean Connolly Affleck), all standing in an elevator on the ship

It was after Harberts and Berg’s departure that Kurtzman, who had remained involved but been primarily occupied with the development of the growing television Star Trek franchise as a whole, took the helm of Discovery himself. Before long, he would promote writer and co-executive producer Michelle Paradise to the role of co-showrunner, which she would retain for the remainder of the series. Just as the late, great Michael Piller did during the third season of The Next Generation , Paradise brought a sense of stability and confidence to Discovery , which reverberated onto set.

“I commend Michelle Paradise and the rest of the writers because this show evolved ,” says Martin-Green. “Our initial showrunners, Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg, they made their impact and that’ll never be erased, but landing where we did with Michelle co-showrunning with Alex Kurtzman, jumping farther than any Trek had gone before, I feel that’s when our feet were solid on the ground and when we really established our identity.”

Season 2 fell into a steady rhythm that felt more in tune with Kurtzman’s “movie every week” philosophy, never far in tone from the reboot film trilogy on which Kurtzman served as a writer and producer. The steady presence of Michelle Yeoh’s deliciously amoral Emperor Georgiou was a major boon, essentially becoming Star Trek’s answer to Buffy ’s Spike or Dragon Ball Z ’s Vegeta. However, Discovery was also undeniably borrowing clout from legacy characters Pike and Spock, and the constant friction with established canon wasn’t sitting well with Kurtzman or the audience.

The season ended with a surprising twist that resolved the continuity problems but also changed the entire nature of the show. The titular starship and its crew would be propelled 930 years into the future, past the furthest fixed point in Star Trek’s continuity. No longer forced to tiptoe around the sacred canon, Discovery was free to sprint in a bold new direction. Once again and in a more tangible way, it was a whole new show.

“If the folks who came in had sort of taken us off the rails that would have been a very different experience,” says Anthony Rapp, who portrays the prickly Commander Paul Stamets. “But Michelle Paradise came through as such a shining light and a beautiful presence in our lives. She took the show into this territory of being able to have the heart in its center in a way that felt very grounded and meaningful, and really helped us to make that transition.”

An open sky

Anthony Rapp, Michelle Yeoh, Mary Wiseman, and Sonequa Martin-Green on the bridge of the Discovery in Star Trek: Discovery

Season 3 of Discovery offered Kurtzman, Paradise, producing director Olatunde Osunsanmi, and the rest of the creative team a rare opportunity to completely rewrite Star Trek’s galactic map . Not since the launch of The Next Generation in 1987 had a writers room been able to venture onto such “fresh snow,” as Paradise puts it. In the 32nd century, beyond the furthest point explored in the established Trek canon, the righteous United Federation of Planets has all but collapsed in the aftermath of “the Burn,” a mysterious space calamity. Some longtime friends are now adversaries, and even Earth has become an isolationist state. The USS Discovery, displaced in time, becomes the means by which to reconnect the shattered galaxy. It’s not hard to read this as a mission statement for Star Trek as a whole — a relic from another time, back to offer hope to a bleak present.

Season 3’s 13-episode arc restored a bit of Star Trek’s space Western roots, with warp drive a rare and costly luxury in the ravaged 32nd century and half the galaxy dominated by a vast criminal empire known as the Emerald Chain. Michael Burnham spent much of the season out of uniform, having found a new purpose as a more roguish freelance courier alongside the sweet and savvy Cleveland Booker (David Ajala). This is arguably the most interesting version of the show, as Michael questions whether or not Starfleet — the institution whose trust she has worked so hard to restore — is still her home.

By the end of the season (and right on schedule with Fuller and Kurtzman’s original plans), Michael Burnham finally accepts her destiny and becomes captain of Discovery. More subtly, this altered the premise of the show for a third time, as the central question of “Will Michael ever become captain?” had been answered in the affirmative. But, since she’d already been the central character and a figure of improbable cosmic import, the change was mostly cosmetic. And symbolic — Martin-Green considers her presence “being Black, and a woman, and a captain sitting in that chair” to be her greatest contribution to Star Trek. After three seasons of struggle and uncertainty, Burnham could now be as aspirational a character as Picard , Sisko, or Janeway .

The tone on which the show settled at the end of season 3 would be the one that finally stuck. Where the series had initially been bloody and brooding, it was now squarely an adventure show featuring a cast of characters with a boundless and demonstrative love for each other. The crew would face mortal danger each episode and a galactic-level threat each season, bolstered by very expensive-looking visual effects and a rousing score. At the same time, many conflicts both large and small would eventually be resolved by characters talking through their feelings and finding common ground. This was exhausting as often as it was compelling, but it was consistent. For its final two seasons, viewers could finally know what to expect from Star Trek: Discovery .

Discovering itself

This “feelings over phasers” approach was not for everyone, but it was never intended to be. Even from the outset, before Paramount began pumping out more Star Trek series to target different facets of the fan base, Discovery was never meant to be a definitive Star Trek experience that checked every box.

“You’ll never be able to be everything to everybody,” says Michelle Paradise. “The goal was always to make the best version of Discovery . It’s a different kind of Star Trek. It’s serialized, it’s fewer episodes, it’s a movie every week. That’s a thing that will appeal to many people, and for some people it won’t be their cup of tea.”

Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) sits in the captain chair in the season 3 finale of Star Trek: Discovery

Discovery has bounced up and down my personal ranking of Star Trek series a number of times during its run, more than any of its past or present siblings. I have begun each season of the show with great excitement, and that excitement is frequently exhausted by season’s end. Most Trek series have good years and bad years. To me, Discovery suffers from being simultaneously brilliant, innovative, lazy, cringe, inspiring, and eye-rolling at all times, only in different measures. It features the franchise’s strongest lead actor since Patrick Stewart, and a supporting cast that has never been leveraged to my satisfaction. In my career, I have written more words about Star Trek: Discovery than any other television series, and I still haven’t made up my mind about it. For as many cheerleaders and haters as the show must have, I imagine there are many more viewers who feel the way I do — it’s a show that I wanted to love, but never fully fell in love with.

As Discovery disappears in the aft viewport, some will bid it a fond farewell, some will be blowing it raspberries, and some will turn away with total disinterest. But regardless of how well Discovery itself is remembered in the coming years, it has already made a substantial impact on the franchise. It paved the way for every Trek series that followed, including three direct spinoffs. Its second season was the incubator for Strange New Worlds , now the most acclaimed Trek series in a generation. Michelle Yeoh had such fun in her recurring role on Discovery that, even after winning an Academy Award , she was still keen to return for the upcoming Section 31 TV movie . Discovery ’s 32nd-century setting will continue to be explored in the new Starfleet Academy series , leaving the door open for some of its characters to return.

Even the new shows that have no direct relationship to Discovery have benefitted from the precedent it set by being different from what came before. Lower Decks is an animated sitcom, Prodigy is a kid-targeted cartoon , Picard is… a bunch of different things that don’t work together , but they are all different shows. Star Trek was one thing, and beginning with Discovery , it became many things. And for Star Trek, an institution that preaches the value of infinite diversity in infinite combinations, that’s a legacy to be proud of.

Star Trek: Discovery is now streaming in full on Paramount Plus.

Star Trek: Discovery boldly goes where no Trek has gone before by saying religion is... OK, actually

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Published May 3, 2024

RECAP | Star Trek: Discovery 506 - 'Whistlespeak'

A body in motion remains in motion.

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains story details and plot points for Star Trek: Discovery.

Graphic illustration of Burnham and Tilly side by side, disguised as Helem'no natives, in 'Whistlespeak'

StarTrek.com

Previously, Dr. Hugh Culber confides in Sylvia Tilly that his experiences on Trill, inhabited by Jinaal Bix , along with their quest to find the thing that created them has been weighing heavily on him. Plus, Paul Stamets hates the unknown; they've always sought out answers together, but he doesn't know how to talk to his partner about any of this. Meanwhile, Adira feels immense guilt for bringing the time bug aboard the ship and trapping the ship in a time loop.

Following her run in with Moll and L'ak on the I.S.S. Enterprise ; Captain Michael Burnham secures the next clue, while L'ak made a bad call and ends up severely wounded. With the clue in Discovery 's possession, Stamets begins running a full chemical analysis of the vial found within the clue.

In Episode 6 of Star Trek: Discovery , " Whistlespeak ," while undercover in a pre-warp society, Captain Burnham is forced to consider breaking the Prime Directive when a local tradition threatens Tilly’s life. Meanwhile, Culber tries to connect with Stamets, and Adira steps up when Rayner assigns them a position on the bridge.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Personnel

  • Paul Stamets
  • Sylvia Tilly
  • Michael Burnham
  • Dr. Hugh Culber
  • Dr. Mikaela Suãrez (Culber's abuela)
  • Cleveland "Book" Booker
  • William Christopher

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Locations

  • U.S.S. Discovery -A
  • Halem'no

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Event Log

A polychromatic glow envelops the U.S.S. Discovery -A's Engineering section as Commander Paul Stamets places the vial retrieved from the I.S.S. Enterprise into the scanner for analysis. He is joined by Captain Michael Burnham and Lieutenant Sylvia Tilly, and they all remain frustrated that the clue has stalled them for two days. A hundred other tests have already yielded the same result — the vial's composition is generic and the water inside is pure, inert, distilled… and wet. Burnham notes a scratch on the container and wonders if the damage might indicate that a piece is missing. The modified spectral analysis is completed, but Tilly dejectedly announces that the fluid still reads as distilled water. 

The room's illumination is raised to normal levels as the captain begins to pace around the sample. The other clues had words and symbols, yet Stamets assures her that his review of scans from the Enterprise did not reveal signs that anything else was ever affixed to the vial. An attempt to fabricate the map's final two pieces also failed, so solving this clue is the key to finding the next two and reaching the Progenitors' power. Burnham suggests they pivot from chemistry and try history and anthropology — planets where distilled water had cultural or symbolic significance 800 years ago, as well as worlds with severe droughts that would have required rainwater alternatives.

Captain Burnham beams out of Engineering for a scheduled meetup with Dr. Kovich in the sterile confines of the Infinity Room. She assumes he brought her here because there is a new lead on Moll and L'ak, but Kovich sits at a desk and informs her that the U.S.S. Locherer is handling the search. Finding the Progenitors' tech is the Discovery 's mission, and Kovich appears dissatisfied with their lack of progress in tackling the most recent clue. The scientists who hid the technology's location each made their own piece of the clue trail in secret, so Kovich proposes that each individual likely employed their own expertise in the process. He slaps a 20th Century legal pad on the table, having demonstrated his resourcefulness by recovering the scientists' names. The eccentric man tears off a sheet of paper — genuine, not replicated — and hands it over to the captain.

In his office aboard Discovery , Dr. Hugh Culber converses in Spanish with a holographic representation of his abuela . He requests the recipe for their mofongo so he can make it for Paul, but his abuela laughs off the notion. The dish they made was inedible. When Culber would fall asleep, she would throw out their concoction and replicate the food instead. He asks Zora to pause the program and send a message to Dr. Pollard; they might be onto something with this grief alleviation therapeutic, as the brainwave patterning is incredible and the holo of his grandmother is exactly as he remembers her.

Culber's joyful expression fades to uncertainty, and he has Zora restart the program. He mentions his experience with the Trill zhian’tara to her and underscores an indescribable feeling that has emerged in its aftermath. She cradles his face with her hands but cannot help him understand it. They had often spoken about her spiritual practices, so her inability to answer confuses Culber. His abuela speaks up, clarifying that she trained him to be a doctor — a man of science. She questions how he can consider the soul when he has not examined the body, and Culber's features light up with inspiration and comprehension.

Burnham looks over at Tilly as Stamets analyzes a piece of paper with a list of names in 'Whistlespeak'

"Whistlespeak"

Captain Burnham presents Kovich's list of the scientists' identities and homeworlds to Tilly and Stamets in Engineering. Three names are crossed off — Vellek of Romulus , Jinaal Bix of Trill , and the Terran defector Carmen Cho — leaving Marina Derex of Betazed and Hitoroshi Kreel of Denobula. Burnham bets that the vial is related to Dr. Kreel, whose specialty was designing weather modification towers to generate rain. Denobulan weather towers seed clouds with silver iodide, but the vial's water is free of contaminants. Kreel also did work for other worlds, and especially arid planets would need to extract water from the air at a molecular level. Zora relays that there were 15 M-class worlds on Denobulan trade routes in Kreel's lifetime, but only one — Halem'no — had needed to harvest water in that way. The breakthrough earns a smile from the captain.

Discovery jumps into orbit around Halem'no, where a lush green region stands out from the rest of the planet's bare surface. Long-range scans show a Denobulan weather tower that manufactures rain and emits a low-grade force field to shield the lone habitable region from dust storms. On the Bridge, Commander Rayner is curious as to why Kreel would make such a tower look like a mountain, so the captain turns to Ensign Adira Tal at their science station. Nervous to be assigned to such a prestigious duty, Adira reports that pre-warp and pre-industrial humanoids inhabit the protected area. Given the lack of an electrical grid and surveys which show the storms have increased in severity over the years, they posit that Kreel hid the tower so as not to violate the Prime Directive.

Burnham and Rayner are pleased by Adira's response, and the first officer tells the captain that he honored the ensign's request for more time on the Bridge because he felt they were ready. Adira isn't so sure, but Rayner declares that there's no time like the present. Burnham emphasizes the need to abide by the Prime Directive and conceal their technological capabilities from the locals. An unusual energy field around the tower prevents beaming in or scanning for the next clue, so Burnham states that she'll head to the surface with Tilly while Rayner commands the ship.

A soothing whistle fills Discovery ’s Science Lab, where the captain researches the "whistlespeak" component of the Halem’nite language. Tilly enters, and both officers are now dressed in attire that will allow them to fit in on the planet. Zora can convert the whistlespeak into Federation Standard, but the Halem'nites don't always whistle. They have a phonetic language for day-to-day interactions, but the whistlespeak lets them communicate across great distances. The ability to learn about a society by how its individuals speak sparks enthusiasm from the captain’s inner xenoanthropologist. The Halem'nites don't have any terms to denote societal status or class, but they do recognize three distinct gender identities and prize connection with one another. Amazement washes over her and evokes memories of her time in Dr. T’Prasi's xenolinguistics seminar on Vulcan.

Close-up of Burnham dressed as a Halem'no native on the surface of the planet in 'Whistlespeak'

Tilly is thrilled by Burnham;s happiness and comments that they could really use her at Starfleet Academy. The captain asks her friend how things are going there, but their chat is postponed by an update from Rayner. Subcutaneous comms have been loaded into the transport system, and Ensign Tal has included Starfleet's latest retinal tricorder mod. Burnham thanks the commander and beams down alongside Tilly. They materialize in a quiet forest under the cover of night and marvel at the size of the tower constructed by Kreel, which the locals refer to as the High Summit and visit in an effort to commune with their gods.

The two officers begin walking to their destination, and Michael revisits the chat about Starfleet Academy. Tilly just received a message from Cadet Ross, one of her students who had served drinks at the Millennium Celebration. Ross is considering leaving the Academy to accept a position on a cargo vessel, so she wanted Tilly's advice on the matter. Aware that Ross isn't the first cadet to be confronted with this dilemma, the lieutenant is unsure how to respond. Tilly voices her concern that the Academy isn't providing what the cadets need, but she turns her attention to the sound of whistlespeak resonating through the woods. The universal translator deciphers the exchange — travelers from the dust storms are being greeted with hospitality in the direction of Burnham and Tilly's destination.

Back on Discovery , Cleveland "Book" Booker catches up with Dr. Culber in a corridor and expresses his desire to contact the ship's counselor on the Locherer . While Book wants to brief them on Moll and L'ak's full background, Culber insists he must accept there's nothing for him to do right now. The doctor urges Book to focus on something that will allow him to recharge himself, and the former courier playfully ponders whether Culber ever gets tired of having all the answers.

Culber approaches Stamets in the Engineering lab and places his hand on Paul's arm with the pieces of clues between them  in 'Whistlespeak'

Culber continues to Engineering, where he discovers Stamets toying with the three interlocking clues that have already been recovered. He consults his partner about his desire to do a full neural scan on himself, a revelation which instantly generates a worried look on Paul's face. Culber guarantees that everything is fine and he merely wishes to collect data on the neurological aftereffects of zhian’tara . Stamets realizes Hugh's interest likely stems from real-world symptoms, and the doctor reluctantly confesses that aftereffects might be present. Optimistic about the opportunity to work together — "nothing as romantic as a neural scan" — they express their love through a kiss and resolve to get to work in the morning.

On the surface below, Burnham and Tilly introduce themselves to the group of compeers they had heard from afar. They're greeted warmly, though an elder compeer, Anorah, suffers from a severe cough caused by a dust storm in the drylands. Those gathered proceed toward the High Summit and listen as the elder shares her selfless story of risking time in the storms so that another would not have to take her place. A lengthy drought has been upon them, but the elder points out that only the chosen devout may enter the High Summit's temple to pray for rain. The captain claims that she has come from the east and lived too far away to have witnessed the Summit before.

A friendly voice calls out to the travelers, and a young compeer named Ravah approaches them bearing a smile and holding a lantern. As they welcome the group, their cordiality transforms into concern for the elder, who has begun coughing once again. They head to the healing grove and rest the elder on a wooden bed, but her medicine is nowhere to be found. Alone for the moment, Burnham and Tilly quietly analyze the situation — a sonic percussion wave would easily dislodge the dust in the elder's lungs, but breaking the Prime Directive is not an option. They roll their patient onto her side and administer compressions to her back.

Ravah's father rushes over, and Ravah distributes metal bowls to everyone present. They form a tight circle around the elder and use pestle-like tools on the dishes to generate a high-pitched sound wave. The vibrations rattle nearby surfaces and permit Anorah to cough up dust, but their power overwhelms the captain and renders her unconscious. Burnham awakes a short time later on a bed of her own, pleased to see that the elder has survived. Ravah's father is seated by her side and apologizes for not warning her about the intensity of the sound cure.

Tilly and Ravah join them, and the young compeer shares that their father Ohvahz — the Priest of the Summit — brought them to this settlement after their mother died. They are eager to take their turn and clear dust on the frontlines, though their father is less enthusiastic about the prospect. He is perplexed by Burnham's desire to enter the temple and proclaims that she does not need to do so in order to give thanks to the gods. Ravah eagerly chimes in, stating that one can get in by completing the Journey of the Mother Compeer — a grueling race and test of devotion which makes the gods happy. Only the victor is worthy of going inside the temple and asking for the gods' blessing. To the priest's chagrin, Burnham makes a formal request to partake in the Journey.

Ohvoz leans back and lifts his arms up towards the gods to signal the start of the race on the surface of Helem'no  in 'Whistlespeak'

The next morning, numerous participants assemble at the base of the Summit. The atmosphere is festive, and Ravah lightheartedly teases that they are destined to win the race. Their father is clearly concerned about their decision to partake in the event, arguing that they are too young to take the journey. Ravah wears their mother's bracelet in the hopes that she will watch over them, but the priest remains distressed. Tilly steps forward, noting that Ravah's voracity is reminiscent of one of her students "back east." As a teacher, it can be difficult to step back, and she can't imagine how arduous it would be as a parent. Ravah heeds the advice and admires their father, but wants to show him that they can be great too.

Burnham approaches and asks to speak to Tilly for a moment, and the two officers move away to discreetly communicate with Discovery 's Bridge. Rayner gives the stage to Adira, whose scans led them to believe that Halem'no might have had other weather towers in the past. A team of DOTs scoured the surface and located four more towers — over time, their energy distribution matrices fell out of alignment. The High Summit is experiencing the same effect, and that failure is producing the energy field surrounding the tower. Finding the auxiliary control panel would allow them to correct the problem by resetting the components. If they don't fix the technology, those living near the High Summit will perish — just as the settlements surrounding the other towers had. Burnham resigns herself to the truth that one mission has become two.

In Discovery 's Sickbay, Culber sits up on a biobed as Stamets divulges that no biological, chemical, or genetic anomalies appear in the doctor's brain scan. The astromycologist quips that his partner has a perfectly typical, healthy, and — glimpsing the holo of Culber's results — rather handsome human brain. No lasting neurological effects of the zhian'tara are detected, yet Hugh is disappointed that the scans have not provided a physiological cause for what he's feeling. Ever since Trill, he has felt more connected and attuned to something greater than himself. Paul reasons that it's a spiritual quandary, and the doctor nods. Stamets looks on the bright side by highlighting Culber's health and suggests he just enjoy the sensation. He pronounces that the human brain is one of the most complex things in the known universe and places a reassuring hand on the doctor's arm.

Dressed as native, Michael Burnham turns towards  and smiles at Anorah bundled in a blanket on the surface of Halem'no in 'Whistlespeak'

On Halem'no, Captain Burnham approaches Anorah who she helped save the previous night. Unlike those excited by the prospect of the race, this compeer reflects on the journey she and her friend Vohrahli had participated in during their youth. Vohrahli won, but the compeer wonders what it’d be like if she and her friend could be wrinkled old elders together. She shares a laugh with Burnham then observes that one doesn't need to go to the High Summit to be with the gods — they are with them when they do good for each other, just as Burnham saved her — though she accepts Burnham's determination to run.

The captain makes her way over to Tilly at the starting line, and the priest regales the runners with the legend of the Mother Compeer as they are each given a cube to consume. In ancient times, warring Halem'nites lost the favor of the gods and were punished with the dust storms. The Great Mother Compeer rescued her people from thirst by showing the gods the Halem'nites' true selves and venturing out into the storms to find water — as he speaks, several competitors begin coughing and grasping at their throats. The Mother Compeer's lungs filled with dust on her journey home, but she resisted the urge to drink, saved the precious liquid for her children, and died in the process. The gods were so moved that they brought back the rains.

Dressed as natives, Michael Burnham and Sylvia Tilly stand on the surface of Halem'no in 'Whistlespeak'

The cube's deleterious effects take hold of Burnham and Tilly, a dry cough and terrible thirst manifesting as compeers fill bowls of temptingly refreshing water on pedestals. The Journey replicates the trial the Mother Compeer endured in a bid to earn the gods' merciful rain. Two compeers can't bear their discomfort any longer and drink from the nearby bowls. Ravah taunts their friends, and the two Starfleet officers take off as the competition begins. The runners jog through the Summit's trails, and several are disqualified when they imbibe from the water dishes they pass along their route.

Slightly winded, Captain Burnham pauses to rest as Tilly circles around her. They press forward, but Michael notices some of the blue moss on the side of the trail has turned yellow. Aware that such a genetic mutation could be caused by radiation leaking out of the tower's malfunctioning control panel, Burnham expects the path of yellow moss to guide her to the controls. In case she's wrong, Tilly — the Queen of Endurance — will stay in the race. The lieutenant is emboldened by the mantra "a body in motion remains in motion," while the captain refreshes herself on the nearest bowl of water.

Further up the Summit, Tilly's exhaustion almost leads to her collapse, but Ravah hurries back to motivate their friend. As the only two runners left, they volley competitive banter back and forth before resuming their jog. Meanwhile, Burnham pursues the yellow moss to a boulder, her retinal tricorder glowing blue as it scans the object's surface. There is a mechanism inside, and pressing the large rock's exterior opens an access panel. The captain alerts Discovery and transmits a holo schematic of the controls to Adira, who informs her that she'll need to rebuild the motherboard without shutting it down. The ensign directs Burnham to a red isolinear chip among a sea of others, and she commences swapping them out.

Creeping ever closer to the finish line, Ravah and Tilly are forced to carry bowls of water to symbolize the relief that tempted the Mother Compeer. They resist the tantalizing liquid, but Ravah is disqualified when they stumble and spill their dish. The priest pleads with them to drink, but Tilly retreats and fills Ravah's bowl with some of her own water. They stand and lock arms, completing the race together as the other compeers clap and cheer them on. 

Adira and Discovery 's Bridge crew listen to their captain's updates from orbit, and Rayner addresses the ensign's lingering doubts. He affirms that the time bug was not their fault, encouraging them to tell Burnham the last step in the repair process and "bring it home." The panel's lights shut off when Burnham yanks out the auxiliary power circuit, but the controls hum to life moments later. Adira is elated, and the captain is able to contact Tilly, who has entered the temple with Ravah. There are no signs of the clue, but with the energy field now gone, Discovery can beam a team over.

In a temple on Halem'no, Ohvahz grasps his daughter Ravah's hands in his grip in 'Whistlespeak'

Tilly's attention is drawn to the voice of Ravah's father, Ohvahz, who comments that their sacrifice will bless Halem'no for many seasons to come. The phrasing startles Tilly, and the young compeer returns their mother's ornate bracelet to their father. As he strains to hold back his tears, Burnham orders Tilly to get out of there. However, when the priest departs the room, the door is sealed and prevents the lieutenant from being transported out. Thick stone walls descend around the Summit's windows, trapping them both inside the temple.

Burnham, Tilly, and Discovery 's Bridge crew attempt to find a workaround, but the walls are solid tritanium and too dense for a transport lock. Rayner pulls up a temple schematic — Tilly is in the vacuum chamber where chemicals rise to mix with air and be shot into the atmosphere. The reaction produces rain, but all the oxygen will be sucked out of the room. Ravah overhears Tilly coordinating with the ship, but the lieutenant remarks that she is praying to the gods. More stone slabs cover the light shining in from above, draping the chamber in darkness. Although Ravah expresses gratitude for Tilly's help in getting here, the Starfleet officer is distressed by her role in the young compeer's impending sacrifice.

Inside a temple, Tilly as a Halem'nite looks up towards a source of a light in 'Whistlespeak'

As Ravah takes Tilly to pray by the serenity wall, Captain Burnam has Discovery beam her as close to the temple as possible. A lifesign — Ohvahz — is detected in the control room next to the vacuum chamber, and Rayner raises concern about the Prime Directive. Burnham repeats her order to transport her over. Weakened by the lack of air, Tilly asks Ravah about the symbols carved into the temple's wall. They are numbers which represent the five serenity prayers. Ravah translates the ancient Halem'nese, stroking their hand across the symbols for "one," "two," and "three" — they are in the third Summit. Tilly turns to the markings for "four" and "five," suddenly realizing that the fifth symbol looks very familiar.

Ravah continues to speak about sacrifice, but they withdraw from the wall to kneel on the floor. They cry to themselves, overcome by the reality of death. They admit they do not wish to die, and Tilly moves to comfort them by cradling them in her lap. Tears also pour from the eyes of the priest, who prays to Ravah's mother in the control room and apologizes for failing to protect their child. Burnham materializes behind him, her unorthodox entrance inspiring confusion and fear in the Halem'nite. Urgently needing him to open the door to the chamber, the captain tries to reach him by explaining that they are standing inside of a machine. This gains his attention, and Burnham clarifies that the sacrifices don't bring the rain, the technology does.

Burnham places a grip on Ohvahz's shoulder as he leans against the wall in 'Whistlespeak'

The momentary connection between them evaporates into disbelief, prompting Burnham to hurry to the door and frantically search for the mechanism to activate it. Tilly overhears their discussion through the comm channel and asks Ravah what they remember about their mother. The young compeer hums a song their mother sang to help them sleep. The captain seizes the chance and hums the tune to Ohvahz, who instantly recognizes it. Shocked, he listens to Burnham's words once again — technology allows her to hear his daughter in the other room, and they don’t want to die.

Burnham makes it clear that she is a person, not a god, and she has come from far away to help. The rains will come whether or not Ravah perishes, and she requires his assistance to ensure they live. Ohvahz springs into action, extracting a control handle from the floor and rotating it. The temple is filled with the rumble of stone in motion, and air streams into the vacuum chamber. Burnham and the priest scramble over to their unconscious companions, and Dr. Culber beams in to resuscitate Ravah.

Culber and a medical assistant rush over to an unconscious Tilly and Ravah in the Helem'no  in 'Whistlespeak'

Soon after, Ohvahz marvels at a holographic depiction of Halem'no and is struck by its beauty. Crouching by Ravah, Culber signals that the young compeer will recover. Though relieved, the priest must now confront the Summit's true origins. Burnham details the value the Denobulans place on one another, and much like Halem'no, the massive storms of Denobula required them to build weather towers in order to survive. She supposes the Denobulans felt a connection to the Halem'nites during their travels. The tower will stop functioning eventually, but Burnham will teach them how to maintain it.

The priest is appreciative, but questions whether or not his gods are actually real. The captain counters, stating that nothing she has shown him proves that gods do not exist or that the Journey of the Mother Compeer did not occur. It simply means there are also people from other worlds. Concerned about what to tell his people, Ohvahz is uncertain how they can find a common purpose without the sacrifices. Burnham references Anorah, the woman he healed, who appeared ready to move beyond the sacrifices. Beliefs can evolve, and maybe more Halem'nites are prepared to understand that. Dr. Culber informs them that Ravah will wake soon, and their father moves to put their mother's bracelet back on his child before they stir.

In a temple on Halem'no, Ohvahz sits next to a Michael Burnham lost in thought with her hands clasped in 'Whistlespeak'

Burnham converses with Tilly about her Prime Directive violation, but the lieutenant has insight that will improve the captain's mood — the symbol for "five" on the temple's Serenity Wall matches the scratch mark on the vial of distilled water. The next clue must be in Tower Five! They turn as Ravah calls for their father, who settles their concern about defying their faith by saying, "Perhaps devotion means being able to hear when the gods tell us something new." He boasts about the pride he feels for them, and they embrace. A roar of thunder clatters above them, and a wealth of rain falls on the entire region.

Parked in a shuttle aboard Discovery , Book tests his piloting skills in a flight simulation. The program ends when Culber enters carrying two covered dishes, the doctor having brought his grandmother's mofongo con pollo al ajillo — replicator fresh. They take a seat to dine, and Book savors the delicious smell. Culber brings up Book's joke that the doctor has all the answers and vows that he does not. As they both enjoy the food, Culber notes that he's either having a "spiritual awakening" or seeing a truth he's always known. Book believes it sounds kind of wonderful and asks why Hugh is upset that Paul may never understand this feeling. Humans have an odd quirk — a tendency to consider something to be less meaningful if it's just for yourself. Book recalls Michael dealing with a similar struggle, and Culber can see that the former courier misses what he had with the captain. It's unknown whether the two can get their relationship back.

Having recovered the next clue from Tower Five, Burnham and Tilly lock it into the map alongside the three previous pieces. The latest device had a metal card attached featuring a Betazoid text inscription. Stamets is currently analyzing the writing, so the two officers take a breather in Engineering and theorize about what Dr. Kreel had intended to teach them with his clue. The scientists couldn't have known the weather tower would lead the Halem'nites to sacrifices, but the lesson may reside within the notion that technology is a massive responsibility. When Discovery finds the Progenitors ' creation, its crew will need to be incredibly careful. Lieutenant Christopher contacts them over the comm system, relaying that the U.S.S. Locherer just found Moll and L'ak. Admiral Vance wants Discovery to jump there immediately. As the starship leaves orbit and activates its spore drive, the serene sound of whistlespeak echoes out from the planet.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Section Banner - Log Credits

  • Written by Kenneth Lin & Brandon Schultz
  • Directed by Chris Byrne

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Jay Stobie (he/him) is a freelance writer, author, and consultant who has contributed articles to StarTrek.com, Star Trek Explorer, and Star Trek Magazine, as well as to Star Wars Insider and StarWars.com. Learn more about Jay by visiting JayStobie.com or finding him on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms at @StobiesGalaxy.

Star Trek: Discovery Seasons 1-4 are streaming exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., the UK, Canada, Switzerland, South Korea, Latin America, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and Austria. Seasons 2 and 3 also are available on the Pluto TV “Star Trek” channel in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The series streams on Super Drama in Japan, TVNZ in New Zealand, and SkyShowtime in Spain, Portugal, Poland, The Nordics, The Netherlands, and Central and Eastern Europe and also airs on Cosmote TV in Greece. The series is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

Graphic illustration of sometime in the future, Admiral Burnham prepares Discovery and Zora for its final mission in 'Life, Itself'

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 6 Ending Explained

WARNING: Contains SPOILERS for Star Trek: Discovery, season 5, episode 6, "Whistlespeak".

  • Burnham's decision to break the Prime Directive saved Tilly and the Halem'nites from certain death.
  • Tilly's struggles with Starfleet Academy students hint at a future storyline for Star Trek: Starfleet Academy.
  • Culber's spiritual awakening challenges Star Trek's rationalism, leading to a deeper exploration of his character.

By the end of Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 6, "Whistlespeak", Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the crew are one step closer to the Progenitors' technology, following a mission to a pre-warp society that risked the life of Lt. Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman). After last week's big revelations about the Mirror Universe, Moll (Eve Harlow), L'ak (Elias Toufexis), and the Breen Imperium, "Whistlespeak", written by Kenneth Lin and Brandon Schultz, and directed by Chris Byrne, is a more traditional Star Trek adventure. Seeking the next clue on the planet Halem'no, Burnham and Tilly join the Journey of the Mother Compeer.

This religious pilgrimage takes the form of a race to prove devotion to Halem'no's gods, in the hope of making it rain again. However, this religious pilgrimage has life-threatening consequences for Tilly , providing Burnham with a dilemma over whether she breaks Star Trek 's Prime Directive to save her friend. Elsewhere, on the USS Discovery, Ensign Adira Tal (Blu del Barrio) is struggling to settle into their new role as science officer on the bridge, while Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz) gets closer to coming to terms with his spiritual awakening, courtesy of some wise words from Cleveland Booker (David Ajala).

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Returning Cast & New Character Guide

Captain burnham broke the prime directive to save tilly, the halem'nites and tilly would have died without burnham..

Believing that the next clue to the Progenitors' treasure was hidden in the High Summit, a weather tower disguised as a mountain, Burnham and Tilly joined the pilgrimage in the hope of making it inside. However, it quickly transpired that once inside the tower, there was no way out. Designed by Denobulan scientist Hitoroshi Kreel , the towers were designed to protect the Halem'nites from the punishing dust storms that take place on their planet. Tilly and young initiate Ravah (June Laporte) became trapped inside the vacuum chamber, meaning that they would suffocate to death unless they were rescued.

The Denobulans were introduced in Star Trek: Enterprise via the Enterprise NX-01's Denobulan Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley).

Discovery was unable to beam Tilly and Ravah out of the weather tower due to the walls being made of tritanium, making it impossible to get a transporter lock . Which is why Burnham made the difficult decision break the Prime Directive by beaming into the weather tower's control room to reveal the truth to Ohvaz (Alfredo Narciso). Burnham was right to break the Prime Directive , because the Denobulan weather towers were failing, and in drastic need of repair. Without Burnham's intervention, Tilly and Ravah would have died for no reason, and the Halem'nites would have eventually been driven to extinction .

While it's definitely a breach of the Prime Directive, Burnham is still very careful not to destroy Ohvaz's beliefs , telling him that " Nothing we have shown you means gods don't exist ". Indeed, Burnham's quest for life itself is proof of some higher power in the Star Trek universe . While Commander Rayner (Callum Keith Rennie), Tilly, and Burnham all lament the inevitable ramifications, it seems likely that Dr. Kovich (David Cronenberg) will brush off this breach of the Prime Directive in favor of Discovery's Red Directive mission .

There is a Prime Directive exception to allow repairs to existing "contamination" as long as it doesn't interfere with the natural growth of the populace, which is effectively what Burnham did on Halem'no.

Tilly's Away Mission Sets Up Star Trek: Starfleet Academy

Starfleet academy is failing its new students..

Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 6, "Whistlespeak" appears to set up Star Trek: Starfleet Academy by revealing more about Tilly's struggles to get through to her students . Discussing her new career with Burnham, Tilly reveals that one of her students wants to quit the Academy to take a position aboard a cargo freighter. Later, when they meet Ravah, Tilly notes the similarities between the young woman keen to prove herself to her gods and the Starfleet Academy cadet who wants to get out into the stars as soon as possible.

Star Trek: Discovery Proves Starfleet Academy Show Doesnt Make Sense Without Tilly

Tilly and Ravah's instant connection is a welcome reminder of why Tilly's such a good fit for Starfleet Academy . Tilly's empathy for Ravah, and the gut-wrenching guilt when she realizes that she's signed her death warrant demonstrates the huge responsibility involved in training new Starfleet officers. Confiding in Michael, Tilly reveals that she thinks Starfleet Academy is failing their students, perhaps focusing more on the theoretical than the practical. Tilly's final mission on the USS Discovery, and interactions with characters like Ravah could help her to reform the institution when she returns to Starfleet Academy.

The Meaning of Denobulan's Progenitors Clue Explained

"...we need to be so careful.".

In Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 5 , "Mirrors", Burnham and Book realized that each of the clues to the Progenitors' treasure contained important lessons. For example, the clue hidden on Trill, in the heart of an Itronok nest, was designed to test whether Book and Burnham valued life-forms different from their own. As with all the previous clues, the one left behind by Denobulan scientist Kreel contains a message, which is discussed by Burnham and Tilly, after they secure it from the dormant fifth weather tower.

It transpires that the cultural impact of the technology installed on Halem'no by the Denobulans was the lesson . When the towers began failing, the Halem'nites began sacrificing themselves to make it rain, something that the Denobulans could never have predicted. It's a reminder to Burnham and Tilly that when they eventually find the Progenitors' technology they have to be very careful with how they use it. The fifth and final clue, located in the fifth weather tower, is written in Betazoid text, left behind by the fifth and final scientist, Marina Derex.

Dr. Culber Is Coming To Terms With His Experience On Trill

Culber's had a "thrilling" spiritual awakening..

Dr. Culber's spiritual awakening has been one of the most interesting storylines in Star Trek: Discovery season 5, as it challenges the franchise's stance on religion . The clash between Star Trek 's rationalism and Culber's spiritualism is exemplified by his discussions with a hologram of his Abuela (Maria del Mar), a spiritual woman who raised Hugh to be a man of science. However, after spending the episode trying to find a scientific explanation, Culber instead realizes that there isn't one , and that his mind is instead opened up to new possibilities and something larger than himself.

At the end of Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 6, Dr. Culber discusses his new awakening with Book, who acknowledges that it " sounds kind of wonderful ". Book advises Culber not to be so concerned that his husband, Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) doesn't quite understand Hugh's new perspective . Reflecting on Culber's situation as a Kwejian, Book helps Hugh come to terms with it by sharing an observation of human relationships, and the obsession with sharing a personal passion with a partner:

"It's an odd quirk, really, this human tendency to consider something less meaningful if it's just for yourself."

Wilson Cruz Killed It Playing Star Trek: Discovery's Trill

Will book and michael get back together in star trek: discovery season 5, "one answer at a time, doc".

To return the favor, Dr. Culber tries to get Book to open up about his break-up with Michael at the end of Star Trek: Discovery season 4 . It's been clear throughout Discovery season 5 that Book and Burnham still have feelings for one another, but they're yet to act upon them . Michael got a reminder of how happy they were in "Face the Strange" when she time traveled back to an earlier point in their relationship. In "Mirrors", their relationship was a reflection of that between Moll and L'ak, and there was a strong sense of Burnham and Book still being a great team.

Dr. Culber quizzes Book about Burnham at the end of Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 6, seeing through Booker's front. Asked whether he thinks he can get back what he once had with Michael, Book simply replied " One question at a time, Doc ", proving that affairs of the heart can be even more complex than the search for the Progenitors' treasure. As Book is still determined to get through to Moll after the events of "Mirrors", his "sister" could still provide a major stumbling block for a romantic reunion between Burnham and Booker in Discovery season 5.

Discovery Is Taking A Detour To Deal With Moll And L'ak

The uss locherer just found moll and l'ak..

At the start of Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 6, "Whistlespeak", Burnham is ordered by Dr. Kovich to forget about Moll and L'ak and focus on the next clue. By the end of the episode, Federation Headquarters informs the USS Discovery that Moll and L'ak have been located by the USS Locherer . This feels suspicious given Kovich's insistence that Burnham focus on her Red Directive mission and forget all about tracking Moll and L'ak. It remains to be seen if the USS Discovery is about to enter a trap or instead engage in another desperate attempt to bring Moll and L'ak on side.

T he title of Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 7, "Erigah", is a reference to the Breen blood bounty placed on Moll and L'ak by Primarch Ruhn (Tony Nappo) . It's likely, therefore, that the translation of the Betazoid clue will be taking a backseat in the next episode, as Burnham and the crew reckon with the ramifications of a Breen blood bounty. As the Discovery crew is so close to the finish line with the Progenitors' treasure there could be no worse time to engage the Breen as Star Trek: Discovery season 5 continues.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery is an entry in the legendary Sci-Fi franchise, set ten years before the original Star Trek series events. The show centers around Commander Michael Burnham, assigned to the USS Discovery, where the crew attempts to prevent a Klingon war while traveling through the vast reaches of space.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 6 Ending Explained

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Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Goes On A Spiritual Journey In “Whistlespeak”

michael byrne star trek discovery

| May 2, 2024 | By: Anthony Pascale 105 comments so far

“Whistlespeak”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5, Episode 6 – Debuted Thursday, May 2, 2024 Written by Kenneth Lin & Brandon Schultz Directed by Chris Byrne

A classic Trek setup delivers a solid episode exploring character arcs and big ideas.

michael byrne star trek discovery

Hey, I’m in this episode too!

WARNING: Spoilers below!

“The most important thing is to work in harmony”

Picking up on the clue they nabbed in the previous episode, Paul and the geek squad run into a science wall deciphering the simple vial of water so the captain suggests they try cultural analysis instead before she pops off to the mysterious Infinity Room. Kovich tells her that another ship is tracking Moll and L’ak, and the Disco has to stay on task for the Progenitor Tech. He does offer a bit of help, providing a list (on actual paper!) of all the scientists from Vellek’s team. Returning to the science lab the team quickly sorts out which scientist left the water clue, it was a Denobulan named Dr. Kreel who designed rain-making weather towers. A bit more detective work narrows things down to an arid world on an old Denobulan trade route and presto shroomo, they arrive at Planet Helem’no. The good news is they found one of Kreel’s weather towers. The bad news: the tower is surrounded by some “weird energy” preventing scans… and a pre-warp society. The captain flexes her xenoanthropology, revealing Helem’nites have three gender identities and no concept of class status; sounds like just the kind of place a Denobulan would party. Tilly is tagged to join on the field trip and so it’s good ol’ alien disguise time!

On the planet, they have a bit of a hike to get to the tower so they walk and talk about Tilly’s new life as a teacher at Starfleet Academy, where she is concerned one of her students is thinking of leaving. Soon enough they follow some “whistlepseak” (title alert!) leading to a group of pilgrims, only to witness one collapse due to spending too much time in the dust storms. Michael and Tilly struggle over that old Prime Directive, but the local woman ends up being saved by High Priest Ohvahz and his cool “sound cure,” which has the surprise side effect of knocking Michael out. She wakes up to find Tilly making friends with the priest’s kid Ravah who is super excited to get to the temple at the high summit, which is actually an 8-century-old Denobulan weather machine. Shhh. There is a traditional “Journey” race with the winner getting the honor to enter the temple and so Michael and Tilly sign up as a way in to search for the clue. Ravah signs up too, but priest dad is suspiciously not into the idea. Tilly encourages them, seeing the same kind of ambition she admires in her cadets. Michael takes a surreptitious sidebar to talk to Rayner and the gang on the Disco. Adira discovered more old (and broken down) weather towers and this last one is about to fritz out too. This fun day trip just turned into one of those “everyone is going to die if we don’t fix it” kind of things.

michael byrne star trek discovery

Why am I getting a sense this is no “fun run.”

“Let’s go meet the gods together”

Meanwhile on Discovery, Culber is still feeling a bit off. He decides to get counseling from a holo grief program based on his own abuela, who was known to dabble in the spiritual. He is looking for answers to what’s been happening to him since he merged with a Trill , but grandmother reminds him she was also a doctor, suggesting he stop trying to examine his soul before examining his body. So he grabs his hubby and they head to sickbay because “nothing is as romantic as a neural scan.” Aww. All Paul can detect is Hugh’s brain is normal, and of course “handsome.” Adorable. Culber was hoping for more, revealing ever since Trill he feels “more connected” to something big, but he just doesn’t know what to do it about. Is someone about to meet a Koala ?

Michael has a curious chat with the cured woman from earlier talking about how she really misses her old friend who won the last big race. Like priest dad, she suggests there are other ways to show devotion besides participating in the Journey ritual. Hmm. The race begins with the sucking of a cube that parches the competitors as they head up a course lined with water bowls, which they can’t drink without being disqualified. After spotting some mutated moss, Michael leaves the race to find the radiation-leaking control panel. Eventually, Tilly and Ravah are the only two left, both tripping big-time with dehydration. The ritual now calls for carrying water bowls, which seems particularly cruel. Ravah drops theirs and Dad is elated, but Tilly steps up and shares her water with her new little protégé, and they continue to the high summit together. Teamwork! They tie up and both get to enter the temple. As Ravah takes in the spiritual moment, Tilly uses her cool new retinal tricorder but isn’t finding any clue. Priest dad shows up looking miserable, telling the winners their sacrifice will bless Helem’No for many seasons. Sacri-whatnow?

michael byrne star trek discovery

Upon reflection, fire was not a good call for the vacuum chamber.

“Beliefs can evolve”

As the walls are about to literally close in on Tilly, Michael gets some tech support from Adira to fix the weather system’s control panel, which is in the middle of the forest for some reason. The ensign is still feeling out of sorts since letting the time spider on board (not their fault) but Rayner rallies them so after some technobabble, the system is fixed. Tilly is now trapped in a vacuum chamber and can’t be beamed out so Michael breaks the Prime Directive and beams into the room right next door where Priest Dad is hanging out. With the air escaping, Ravah is now having second thoughts as Michael goes all in with their father, revealing his whole world is a lie so he should just open the door. Yeah, that didn’t work so Michael makes contact through the impenetrable wall using her subcutaneous communicator and starts humming a song she hears from Ravah that their mother used to sing. That gets Ohvahz’s attention and with “I am not a god but maybe I was sent here by one,” he opens his mind to a new reality… and the door. By this time Ravah has collapsed but Culber’s medical team can now beam in for the save. Heisenberg be praised!

As Culber and his team work everyday miracles, Ohvahz takes in the wonder of a hologram of his planet as he learns aliens called Denobulans saved them centuries ago. Now it’s his job to keep their technology working… no prayer required. Michael plays agnostic on whether this big reveal disproves the divine, leaving him with the thorny issue of getting his society to stop the pointless (yet popular) sacrifices. As Dad and Ravah reunite, Tilly has big news, showing Michael wall markings matching those on that persnickety water vial clue. They are in the wrong tower, but the next map piece and clue is in tower #5. Back on the ship, Book is sulking for not getting picked for the fun away mission, doing what dudes do… playing video games – technically shuttle combat simulation, but it looked just like Asteroids . Culber joins to cheer him up with a snack and to find a new outlet to talk about his burgeoning “spiritual awakening.” The former courier offers solace saying it’s okay for Hugh to have a part of his life he doesn’t share with Paul, while Book inadvertently shares how much he misses what he had with Michael. As the boys share a nice moment, Tilly and Michael have one too as they put the fourth piece of the map in place and ponder the big picture, and how each of the scientists seems to be sending them a message through time, warning of the “massive responsibility” of the Progenitor tech. Before they work all that out, the word comes that Moll and L’ak have been found. Black Alert!

michael byrne star trek discovery

Wait ’till I tell you about Denobulan marriages, it’s going to blow your mind.

Faith of the heart

“Whistlespeak” is a decent mid-season episode that takes a moment to pause and reflect on the season’s themes and impact on the characters. The pacing was slower by design, giving time to take in the location, performances, and character development. And they threw in the world-ending stakes to keep it interesting. Like other season 5 entries, the premise is classic Trek with an actual visit to a strange new world. Exploring a pre-warp society and coming into conflict with the Prime Directive, evokes episodes like “Who Watches the Watchers,” “The Paradise Syndrome,” and many others. You may not even notice it but the facial markings and even Tilly’s hairstyle were added as they beamed down, a subtle 32nd transporter tech upgrade to having the doctor handle alien disguises. It’s always hard to come up with a new culture on Star Trek but keeping it simple worked for “Whistlespeak.” The events on Helem’No were also a bit of a microcosm of the season itself, a race to receive the grace of the gods is not so different than the USS Discovery’s race to find the Progenitor’s tech. Like the Progenitors, the Denobulans played God with this planet but there is a warning about even good intentions can have unintended consequences. Confronting the Prime Directive — one of the core tenets of Federation philosophy — isn’t so different than how the High Priest had to evolve his worldview. The season’s focus on connection was nicely woven throughout the various plots and stories with a strong emphasis on the recurring theme of exploring spirituality without getting too heavy-handed, showing respect, and learning lessons from different points of view, which is all very Star Trek.

This was a great episode for Mary Wiseman as she showed off all the familiar aspects of Tilly from her dry wit to her whip smarts, with the season’s added layer of her growing into a mentor figure, such as how she immediately bonded with Ravah, ably played by guest star June LaPorte. And once again this final season reminds us where it all started, bringing back some of the Michael/Tilly bonding seen in the first couple of seasons, including a bit of running together as they used to do around the USS Discovery. Extended scenes with Wiseman and Sonequa Martin-Green have been missed. But as this was a Tilly-focused episode, the show could have held back some of its tendencies, giving her more of the “aha” moments to move the plot along. Burnham will also be the hero, but share the character wealth. Wilson Cruz also stood out as we explored his character’s spiritual awakening. This storyline has been playing along nicely and seems to be setting something up. Simple things like paying off namedrops of his abuela show how much Discovery has improved on layering in these season-long character arcs.

michael byrne star trek discovery

Tilly is concerned about her listing on ratemyprofessor.com.

Reach for any star

While the intriguing big Breen reveal from the previous episode was set aside for this week, the search for clues structure continues to allow for these nice little episodic adventures. It’s always great to meet a new culture and expand on the canon. Once again the season doesn’t shy away from utilizing franchise lore, in this case bringing in a few bits of Denobulan society through Dr. Kreel. However, after we got to (sort of) meet the first two Progenitor research scientists in episodes 1 and 3, the show is missing an opportunity to continue that by introducing the others. Instead of just talking about Denobulans, it would have been a treat to actually get to see Dr. Kreel (and Dr. Cho in the last episode, too), and that could have also helped sell some of the episode’s themes. On the other hand, it’s always great to get to learn more about the enigmatic Dr. Kovich, with David Cronenberg continuing to intrigue us with more tidbits about his character who has a penchant for old legal pads. This and his “Infinity Room,” all feel like it is leading somewhere and hopefully this series doesn’t wrap up without finally explaining what is his deal.

Of course, the episode also has some of the usual frustrations. Discovery needs to find some more creative ways to explain away when and how and where the 32nd technology doesn’t work. It seems every episode has some weird energy field preventing the transporters from working so that the episode can progress at the desired pace, specifically a walking pace. That being said, the retinal tricorders were a nice new bit of tech, although perhaps not discreet enough if someone checks out what’s happening with one of your eyes. And while it may only be the “Prime Suggestion” to many Trek captains, it still isn’t clear if the season plot “Red Directive” supersedes the Prime Directive, but for obvious reasons, it’s not likely Burnham will face the same kind of tribunal as (formerly) Captain Rayner. The disruption to this society was pretty profound and they probably should have noted that Starfleet would be back to check in to make sure they didn’t just kick off a religious war. By the way, why didn’t the Denobulans ever check in after leaving all their tech running? These quibbles are not episode breakers but are the usual kinds of things that Discovery doesn’t seem interested in tying up, and perhaps they are a bit nitpicky, but that too is a Trek tradition. Finally, this may not be a nitpick, but the crew seems a bit blasé in how they treat the slowly-assembling map, which seems to be left around various parts of the Discovery. Like every hero ship before, the USS Discovery has been boarded by the bad guys on several occasions, so maybe this is setting up for a coming heist.

michael byrne star trek discovery

The most important thing in the Federation makes for a nice conversation piece.

Final thoughts

This (dare I say) “filler” episode was a solid outing that delivered some classic Star Trek to Discovery . With four out of five pieces of the map assembled in six episodes, it feels like we are making progress without getting sidetracked. The pivot in Season 5 continues to be finally finding the sweet spot in episodic adventures, serialized plot, and character development.

michael byrne star trek discovery

Only four more, y’all.

  • For the third episode in a row, Doug Jones is not credited. Saru is confirmed to appear in at least the finale episode, so he will be back.
  • The actual whistlespeak heard in the episode was performed by professional whistler Molly Lewis .
  • Michael studied xenolinguistics on Vulcun under a Dr. T’Prasi.
  • Denobulans use silver iodine to make it rain on Denobula, which is used today in cloud seeding .
  • The walls of the Denobulan vacuum chamber were made of solid Tritanium , which was commonly used by Starfleet in the 24th century, but perhaps the thickness prevented beaming.
  • The (replicated) Culber family Mofongo con pollo al ajillo is a traditional Puerto Rican dish with rice, chicken, and garlic.
  • The “sound cure” bowls used by the Hilem’No are like so-called Tibetan “ singing bowls ” which have been used in the modern era for “ music therapy .”
  • The sound wave pattern shown during the “sound cure” is a real phenomenon called cymatics .
  • The weather control interface was in the Denobulan language , first seen on  Star Trek: Enterprise .
  • If Kovich’s 21st century legal pad is made of acid-free paper, then it could indeed survive for centuries .
  • Vellek (Romulan)
  • Jinaal Bix (Trill)
  • Carmen Cho (Terran)
  • Hitoroshi Kreel (Denobulan)
  • Marina Derex (Betazoid)… obviously named in honor of Marina Sirtis .

michael byrne star trek discovery

Four more?… for you maybe.

More to come

Every Friday, the TrekMovie.com All Access Star Trek Podcast  covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe and discusses the latest episode. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts ,  Spotify ,  Pocket Casts ,  Stitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.

The fifth and final season of  Discovery debuted with two episodes on Thursday, April 4 exclusively on Paramount+  in the U.S., the UK, Switzerland, South Korea, Latin America, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, and Austria.  Discovery  will also premiere on April 4 on Paramount+ in Canada and will be broadcast on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada. The rest of the 10-episode final season will be available to stream weekly on Thursdays. Season 5 debuts on SkyShowtime in select European countries on April 5.

Keep up with news about the  Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com .

michael byrne star trek discovery

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It’s a good stand-alone ep. It proves you don’t need bad guys chasing for the same relics. I realized how unnecessary they are.

I echo that sentiment, big-time!

The best Trek is without “bad guys”. Always has been. Too bad modern writers don’t get it. This was a gem of an episode.

Great episode i really enjoyed the slow pacing of it and i always like a episode involving a trip to a pre warp society.

It’s great that they have gotten 4 of the 5 pieces of the puzzle already and not leaving it to the penultimate episode.

I do agree with the review that it would be nice to see the rest of the scientists and i hope when they do find the Progenitor Tech we find get some form of flashback with the scientists finding the tech.

I really like it when NuTrek references Enterprise.

What do you mean, exactly? I didn’t get get it

Possibly he’s referring to the Denobulans.

This is like the trill episode. A lot of other stuff happens with a minimal plot advancement. I’m ok with that, if it’s interesting. If you’re going to recycle and re-use tropes, it needs to be interesting. This was largely, not. I found it more interesting than the Trill episode, and I loved the delivery of the message Burnham gives at the end. That why I found this episode better than that one. But still wasn’t all that great.

I was bored rigid. This is what happens when you take 45 minutes of plot and stretch it out over 10 episodes.

I finally started watching Slow Horses on the weekend – and ended up binging all three seasons this week.

Six 40ish-minute episodes a season, no filler, complex plots and solid characters, writing and acting.

I wish Trek could pull that off.

Great show.

This is my main problem with it, yes. I loved episodes 1 and 2, but from after that it started going downhill for precisely that reason: because there’s not much of a story here. So we get a whole lot of filler scenes, scenes about people being unsure of themselves (this must be the most emotionally fragile crew in the history of Starfleet–it’s getting kind of ridiculous at this point), and minimal plot advancement. Meanwhile, all the focus is on Action Hero Michael every single episode, with Saru, Stamets, the entire bridge crew, and Reno doing almost nothing all season. Tilly has had more to do this season, which is great. But other than Michael, Book, Culber, and Saru, everyone else has done almost nothing since season two. I really wanted to like this season, and when it started I very much did. But it’s going nowhere fast.

You nailed it.

Wow you said everything I been thinking too. The season is feeling more and more flat and the characters outside a few of them just has nothing to do.

Started off great but halfway through now and I’m getting bored again because it doesn’t feel compelling enough.

Yeah, they took what might have been a solid four-hour story and turned it into ten hours, and they gave us two entirely lackluster villains. One thing that has been a big problem on Trek for a while now–on Discovery, as well as on Picard–has been utterly forgettable and boring villains. Not one of them has really stood out to me on either show, other than Lorca.

This has been the problem with almost all of these. I go back to, if you’re going to deviate a bit, it’s ok.. but it better be engaging.. better be interesting. With Star Trek, you really have to make the theme feel original. None of that happens here. I don’t have a problem with what they’re trying to do.. I have a problem with the execution of it. And that’s the same problem with most of Discovery for me.

agree. I wonder what the financial upside would be if they had the courage to write the main story they want to tell and film it. This should be the benefit of the streaming platform model. If it’s 5 episodes, it’s five episodes but – if they are a great five episodes, wouldn’t that be better for the franchise than 10 of mediocre quality?

Pssst… not sure if you are aware of this or not. But that was the whole premise of the show from the start. It was… and is… about Michael. It was never going to be a cast show. It is a show about Michael. And that is why she is predominately the focus in the episodes.

Bit behind on this series and just watched episodes 2 and 3 this evening., but Culber had a big part in episode 3 in my opinion. Also it seems to me that Captain Rayner has a big part. It isn’t just the Kirk, Bone, Spock show to me with Discovery this season.

This sounds lovely and wonderful! I think I’ll finally break down and join Paramount+ instead of waiting for the DVD release! (And I’m a Tilly fan, too :)

My least liked episode of the season. It was a filler episode without any meaningful filler.

Yeah they found the next clue in the end but it went sideways at times with Tilly and Culber having some kind of personal crisis that went nowhere. .In my opinion, it wouldn’t be noticed if this episode were accidentally skipped. It is a standalone episode that stands still.

Maybe this show is better if the seasons are watched in one sitting?

Hopefully the next episode will advance the plot more than this one did.

To my happy surprise, I enjoyed Tilly’s involvement a lot. I don’t always like her. But here, I thought she worked well. The rest of the episode? Pointless.

So Betazed is the location for both a red herring AND a real clue? Moll and L’ak are going to be pissed they missed it. I mean, they had to have missed it or they would have had no motivation whatsoever to return to Lyrek.

I think that’s more because the clues left for the Trill episode pointed toward the Trill and not the Betazed clue though too. Although, yeah I’d be irritated too.

Anyone else find it interesting though that whatever they’re making they are finding the pieces right in the order they appear in the circular puzzle?

Seems intentional in-universe; the only way to not start at the beginning would be to luck into a random clue and somehow see it for what it is without the Romulan journal providing context and the official starting point.

Does anybody know why Doug Jones is absent for so much of this season? Was he off making a movie or something? It seems odd that he is not actually in the series that he is one of the main stars of…

This season is peculiar because of the missing regular cast, hard to believe they couldn’t get commitments from the actors unless the show simply couldn’t use them or didn’t want them. I suspect it has something to do with controlling the budget or other contractual issues.

It’s peculiar, I agree. Discovery has become the Michael-Book-Culber show, with most of the characters under-utilized and ignored. That, for me, has been its greatest failing in the past couple seasons, but especially in this one.

Tilly was similarly absent for most of last season. It’s keenly felt because it’s a small cast to begin with. That’s part of my frustration with how they never really promoted any of the bridge crew to be a more impactful and fleshed-out character. There’s been plenty of time to do it.

Doug Jones posted that he was out for most of this season due to Hocus Pocus 2.

Thanks for the information, William. I was going to say it was weird that he chose to be absent from a big chunk of the last season of his show, but then remembered that he did not know it was the last season.

Seems like Hocus Pocus 2 came out waaay before this and that wouldn’t have been filming anywhere close to each other – dates in Wikipedia indicates HP2 was done filming by the time Disco 5 was even ordered

But – time is an illusion. Tea time, doubly so.

This is his Twitter post: https://twitter.com/actordougjones/status/1784136793753042992

He was promoting Hocus Pocus 2 while S5 was being filmed.

That’s not how contracts work, though. If they wanted him for episodes of Trek, he’d have had to skip the press tour. This means they let him out of any contract he had, presumably; which in turn likely means they were find with paying him for fewer episodes.

I agree on the statement about how contracts work and it probably was a cost saving measure for them. There’s also the possibility that Doug Jones original contract for Hocus Pocus included sequel clauses and promotional requirements.

This current era of Trek though does seem willing to let their players go do other things. Saru in Season 5 with Hocus Pocus, Tilly in Season 4 with her play, Bryce for his BET show.

It was a descent episode. And since you guys were discussing what a ‘filler’ episode is on you and Laurie’s (amazing) podcast, I too wanted to say: this is a classic filler episode. Nothing really happened but it was injoyable on its own. Funny enough, I give this one an enjoyable 7, where last week was a frustrating 7.

Some of the repeating things are getting annoying:

  • Michael headlining EVERY episode.
  • Transporters not working.
  • Talking about characters but not showing them (at least here it was an unknown).

I still don’t understand what they’re trying to do with Culber and his so-called spiritual awakening. Like you said, it must be going somewheren, because, what else is the point. I’m juist not seeing (or getting) it yet.

I’m shocked you didn’t mention the perfectly machine-made wooden water bowls by the way. That one bugged me, for such a primitive people.

And I cringed at the Marina tribute, because it was just too on the nose as a literal first name of a person.

By the way, regarding Kovich: there might be a chance he’s from the department of temporal whatsit. Although not the same suit as temporal agents on SNW season 2, it is about the same color.

Yeah, I’ve always assumed Kovich could time-travel, so that’s how he gets the paper.

Correction: The episode happened in and around tower #3, the clue was in tower #5

I only mention that because I read somewhere how nitpicking is part of Trek … :)

I guess the fact that the winner of the race was sacrificed was supposed to be a surprise? When the priest tried to talk his child out of it, and the person Burnham saved talked about how the friend who’d won the race she ran when she was young was dead, I was sure that the winner would be sacrificed. If it was obvious to ME, how did Burnham and Tilly miss it?

I know Burnham decided to break the Prime Directive for what she thought was a good reason, but I’m amazed that she decided to show the priest his planet from space. Wait, once it’s broken, you can go whole hog? There’s no attempt to maybe limit the damage?

I’m an atheist because of Occam’s Razor, and I’m always uncomfortable when Star Trek tries to get spiritual. I grew up on Kirk’s unmasking false gods and tearing down computers who pretend to be gods, so NuTrek’s careful tiptoeing around gods always makes me long for a little Jim Kirk. Apollo’s just an alien with an extra organ in his chest, damn it! :-)

I didn’t even like it when DS9 turned the franchise more toward a distinctly non-Roddenberrian spirituality, much less when Discovery does it. That said, I enjoyed this episode.

The extended impact of Culber’s experience on Trill could have played out in a very cliche way, so at least this is different. I suspect his “new outlook” will have a place in the resolution of the Progenitor tech. It’s also sort of retcon of his rebirth, which never really was “used” properly. So far, I am liking this… and I definitely come to Trek to should down alien gods!

Mankind has no need for gods we find the one quite adequate Captain Kirk

McCOY: We were speculating …’Is God really out there?’ KIRK: Maybe He’s not out there, Bones. Maybe He’s right here …in the human heart. …Spock?

SPOCK: I wish we could have examined that belief of his more closely. It seems illogical for a sun worshiper to develop a philosophy of total brotherhood. Sun worship is usually a primitive superstition religion.

UHURA: I’m afraid you have it all wrong, Mister Spock, all of you. I’ve been monitoring some of their old-style radio waves, the empire spokesman trying to ridicule their religion. But he couldn’t. Don’t you understand? It’s not the sun up in the sky. It’s the Son of God.

KIRK: Caesar and Christ. They had them both. And the word is spreading only now.

MCCOY: A philosophy of total love and total brotherhood.

Kirk or Sisko wouldn’t have asked the dad to open the door. They would have blasted it with their phaser.

Could Kovich be a Supervisor ala Gary Seven and Tallinn?

I was wondering – or a Q?

I think he’s a time agent. His suit is different than the time agent in SNW but basically the same dark grey.

Technically he can’t be a time agent. They said in Season 3 that there were temporal accords that prevented those types of personnel in Starfleet.

Future Guy from ENT

He managed a staples in 2004.

Two ‘meh’ ones in a row. Who Watches the Watchers this is NOT!

Sure, It’s great to see a pre-warp prime directive story again and I liked that Burnham revealed herself in the end to save Tilly and the girl. That’s always a Trek trope and I’m trying to think of any episode where they managed to stay completely hidden the whole time. Anyone have any examples?

But this episode just really lacked for me. Not awful just not very interesting either. It tried but just felt pretty flat overall.

As for finding pieces of the progenitor tech, it’s become pretty formulaic now and very little of a challenge. The clues are all easily found and it’s literally like putting together a Jinga puzzle. It just feels too easy. And Moll and Lak doesn’t feel threatening at all. They are just there so they can have some conflict in the story but it also feels so meh, similar to the Book and Tarka’s ‘chase’ last season.

I know they are trying and want to give us this grand adventure story but it’s still Discovery falling back to the same issues again and again. And this show keeps stretching five minutes of plot into an hour story. I wish I could care more about Culber’s ‘spiritual journey’ but yeah I just don’t.

Anyway four more episodes. Trying to stay positive but sadly I think I’m just back for the show to end. Hopefully things will finally start to ramp up and the Breen becomes a bigger part of the story.

Some great acting and character moments happened throughout this episode. But I was amused that violating the Prime Directive is just a matter of paperwork now.

I also always wonder how Michael and Tilly communicated with the people on the planet. Of course they had their universal translators and could understand them, but the people they were talking to didn’t have them.

I was surprised by the Prime Directive being paperwork too, especially after Rayner seemed to lose his command over what they were considering a Prime Directive issue.

yeah, the prime directive stuff is eye rollingly bad. It’s really there for the exact reasons they violate it in this episode. It’s stupid.

That has always been a problem with the universal translator on Trek. The concept works fine over a comms channel. But as soon as people are in direct communication the concept (as presented on all the shows) kind of falls apart, especially if only one side of the conversation even has such a technology.

I rewatched the Enterprise Incident a few weeks ago where Kirk sneaks onto the Romulan ship and fully disguise as a Romulan but oddly talks to everyone in English. Seems like that would be the biggest giveaway he’s really not a Romulan lol.

Yeah it’s always been a problem from the very beginning. The later shows have tried to find ways to explain it a little better but I don’t remotely buy you can just pretend you sound like a native speaker when A. You just met a race for the first time and B. That they wouldn’t know you’re speaking through some device.

Forget pretending it can just deduce an an entire new language after hearing a couple of words. I don’t buy that regardless the century they are in and it happens on every show.

Sure it’s a stretch that a computer can decipher an unknown language after a few words. But at least it’s technically easy to swap out audio during the transmission. It falls apart when people talk to each other directly. Unless you assume they have a chip implanted in their brains that intercepts the nerve signals from the ears. Plus another chip in their vocal chords that translates outgoing speech. The universal translator exists so that we as the audience don’t need to read subtitles, the actors don’t need to learn made-up languages and the plot doesn’t have to come to a grinding halt each episode while the characters learn how to communicate. Having the universal translator fail and dedicating an episode to showing how people actually figure out how to communicate is interesting from time to time but the majority of the audience would probably grow tired very quickly if this took up substantial time in every single episode.

Of course I get all of that. I was just agreeing how it sometimes make no sense in the story itself. But it’s all fiction and most of us just accepted it at this point.

I am thoroughly enjoying this season of Disco. Possibly because I am not hunting for anything and everything to criticize. Among other things, I think it is nicely balancing the slower pace of a serialized format while also having more episodic stories. It reminds me a lot of DS9 in this regard without having as many episodes per season to work with.

I am also interested in how well they will explore the topic of spirituality, another commonality with DS9. Although in the end I don’t think DS9 quite succeeded in this because the viewers could just dismiss Bajoran Faith as ignorance of the “true” nature of “The Prophets” as “wormhole aliens.”

Looking forward to see how it all turns out, though I wish this were not the final season as the series really seems to have hit its stride. But all good things…

I thought it was “ok.” Definitely tried to be a more traditional Star Trek episode, but I often feel when Discovery, and to a lesser degree Strange New Worlds, tries to do traditional Trek it just feels shallow. Like they are following a recipe to the letter but not adding any of the zest that really makes it stand out. I was also confused why they made such a big deal of the “whistle speak,” and then have it play almost zero role in the plot. Finally, it was really convenient that Michael and Tilly just happened to arrive at the exact perfect time to join the race to enter the temple. I wish I could master the art of perfect timing so well :-)

I though it was pretty clear that the young woman wanted to become and adult and requested the race because she thought she could beat “foreigners” in the race.

But I also thought it was going to become a battle to the death. They never went that far – only starving their competitors!

Ah, could be. I plan to watch it a second time and will look for that… thanks!

Making the race a battle to the death doesn’t really make sense because the winner of the race was actually going to be sacrificed.

I would like some Saru, Owosekun and Detmer now please.

I’m sure they’ll show back up at the end with a refitted ISS Enterprise.

The music in this episode was outstanding.

Is it now a Star Trek trope to show a member of a pre-warp society a view of their planet from space?

Whistlespeak is about caretaking.

Did this week’s episode begin a deeper, exploration of what this all could really mean? Power? Responsibility? Her trepidation is a nice way to end the episode.

I’m in love with the whole idea of sound as language. I wanted SNW’s musical episode to be totally like what we see in this episode – so it was a nice kick for me to get a taste .

That Denobulan’s name Hitoroshi Kreel….Hoshi Sato. Why do I feel like that might be another Enterprise reference?

47 comments so far. Discovery is quite the barn-burner! ; )

Maybe people are just annoyed by all the whining that people post in here.

People keep saying this and yet so far this has been generally a very positive season so what are we missing??

Even this episode, while more divided there are just as many people who liked it as many who didn’t (and unfortunately I am in the latter personally). Actually I would probably say more liked it than didn’t.

This idea that its been nothing but constant hate this season is not remotely any basis in reality. Most people seems to be more positive than negative over it. The real possibility seems to be many have just stopped caring in general as there is a lack of discussions everywhere online besides here and probably why the lack of postings this season.

I’m not sure what you’re reading, but it’s been nothing but negative comments from season one. People are sick and tired of the same comments over and over again. I know many people have stopped commenting due to this. But would be interesting to see what the site traffic numbers are and to see if the site traffic is gone down or just the comment section. It’s honestly the same people saying the same thing over and over and over… Yawn.

The real strength of this season so far is that they have not teased something they cannot deliver. I have really enjoyed each episode without worrying that the characters were going to do something stupid just for the sake of stuffing the plot with action. Seems pretty sad that they are largely “getting it right” and no one wants to celebrate that.

I literally counted the number of positive vs negative posts in the episode 4 thread when someone suggested this and it was 24 positive posts about an episode vs 3 negative ones.

Go back to the first two episodes of the season. Again it was overwhelmingly positive. Nearly everyone liked those. The outliers were the people who didn’t.

I just counted the number of people who were positive about this episode vs the people who weren’t. And I only counted the ones who directly said they liked or hated it.

The people who said they liked it are 13 people. Now some some of those were mixed feelings for sure but if they said they ultimately liked it then it counts. But half of those considered it outstanding. As for the ones, like me, who didn’t like it are 7 people. So again that’s more people here saying they liked it than didn’t correct? So what am I missing?

Every episode this season there has been way more positive posts than negative overall. Yes I get your bigger point people have been putting down the show since the first season which is definitely true lol but it didn’t stop people from talking about the show in droves for YEARS. And your argument doesn’t hold water this season because most people who are commenting seems to LIKE it, right? The minority comments so far are the people who still thinks the show sucks.

And even the people who don’t they are just giving their opinions about it and not attacking or challenging anyone who DID like it. That’s actually one thing I have been noticing about this season and there isn’t a lot of infighting about the show. Again look at this thread, besides me and you lol, who is arguing about it? There is no big debates or people being triggered. The people who said they liked it aren’t being challenged over it no more than the people who said they hated it.

Isn’t this is what we want on a message board? People being civil and not attacking others? And one such troll was finally banned here a month ago who IRONICALLY kept attacking anyone who was being negative about the show and turning everything into a ridiculous fight in every thread; so that probably has helped the civility here a great deal now he’s gone regardless of your personal thoughts about the show.

So I don’t remotely buy this argument. The reality seems to be a lot of people have just moved on from the show in general. When you look at the level of discussion about the show in its first three seasons vs the last two the gap is very obvious.

Again maybe many people are still watching the show. Unfortunately we don’t have any data on that. But we know how this works when people are passionate for a show on the Internet it’s very very easy to see everywhere.

Picard season 3 is the perfect example. I went and checked how many posts its episode 6 got here (since this episode 6 of this season) and it was 450 posts and that was just a year ago. And people slammed season 2 like no one’s business lol.

I don’t think this season has even gotten that many posts if you combined all the episodes.

I’ve also said this before as well and the show had been off the air for two years now. Yes we’re used to seasons having longer gaps these days but that’s still very long even for today and a lot of people could’ve just moved on or lost interest.

“Again maybe many people are still watching the show. Unfortunately we don’t have any data on that.”

Actually I have to correct myself on that because I forgot Paramount+ is part of the Nielsen ratings for streaming. But I have no idea exactly how in-depth they make it publicly. I only know how well a show is doing here when this site reports it.

And maybe Discovery will enter the top 10 this season. Now let me make this very very very clear, even if it doesn’t it doesn’t mean the show is failing in terms of views obviously. When there are 200 streaming shows these days and many on much bigger sites to boot it’s a miracle for any Trek show to be in the top 10 lol. And those listings are very skewed in my opinion since the only ‘top 10’ list we ever see are original shows. So while I’m happy to see Trek on any top 10 lists it still doesn’t tell us the whole picture just much these shows are truly being viewed.

And Paramount+ still avoids releasing any numbers independently unless a show is huge like some of the Yellowstone spin offs.

“Every episode this season there has been way more positive posts than negative overall.”

Hmm, maybe that’s the real problem and it’s all the negative and bitter haters that just finally left haha.

But don’t worry I still show up as much as possible! 😁

I’m teasing I’m actually enjoying the season for the most part but agree I think most people just lost interest. Obviously the people who always loved it are probably still devotely watching but it is probably the fence sitters and the people who always hated it who ultimately moved on which would make sense.

And I have seen people say they just have no interest to watch the show week to week anymore after being burned every season and just plan to binge it when this season was over. I even remember reading you were thinking of doing that so that could be another issue.

“Isn’t this is what we want on a message board? People being civil and not attacking others? And one such troll was finally banned here a month ago who IRONICALLY kept attacking anyone who was being negative about the show and turning everything into a ridiculous fight in every thread; so that probably has helped the civility here a great deal now he’s gone regardless of your personal thoughts about the show.”

This is really is the biggest irony out of all of this. A lot of these comments section does get inflated when you had people like that guy being triggered all the time, making the same 20 posts a day over anything he didn’t like (how many times did he utter the phrase ‘ROTJ’ in every Picard post 🙄) and literally went on constant tangents how people here were just coming here to drown the boards in hatefests?

Instead that lunatic was removed and ironically this place has been the most relaxing in years lol. The very fact as you pointed out no one is spending time arguing with others over their opinions is another reason there are fewer posts because no one cares anymore lol.

I think everyone just resigned to the fact the show is now done and everyone’s views are baked in so what’s the point arguing over it anymore?

And when you remove the disruptive people who wants to act like insullen babies like that guy and Alpha Predator, REGARDLESS how they feel about a show, good or bad, surprise surprise you get a more civil and balanced discussion and board now.

Yeah … shocking! 😉

“And I have seen people say they just have no interest to watch the show week to week anymore after being burned every season and just plan to binge it when this season was over. I even remember reading you were thinking of doing that so that could be another issue.”

Yes this is possible as well. In fact another member here said they were thinking to do just that after they watched the first episode of the season but didn’t like it.

And yes I too was considering it because of just how bad season 4 felt by the end. I was even thinking of doing the same thing with Picard season 3. But once I heard it was the final season (and Picard was bringing back the TNG cast) it’s no way that would happen. And I don’t know if I would’ve done it regardless because I have zero willpower lol.

I guess I’m just surprised because I really expected the opposite for three big reasons. A. Being the final season of course. B. Being so closely connected to a big and popular TNG episode and C. The early reviews were solid.

So I just thought it was going to be a big party lol. Not at the level of Picard season 3 but at least at the level of SNW.

But instead of a party it feels more like a funeral. Or maybe someone on their death bed is a better morbid term lol. Just sorta here waiting for it to end and not really hyped up about the season.

As far as your last point, agreed. No matter what these boards have been a lot more fun and relaxing to write on.

I have said it before in the past it is really strange the lack of discussion around this season. Outside of this site I also post on TrekCre as you know and Reddit (but under a different handle there) and it’s obvious how much the discussions have fallen off at those places too. It’s not a lot of people at TrekCre so the posts were already less but the more popular stuff like Picard and SNW still got decent traction. It just doesn’t feel the same way with Discovery this year and I post there a few times a week as I do here.

Reddit it’s very obvious though. There are times you can’t even view all the responses because there was so many especially the first few seasons. Now it’s much more manageable.

It is a little disappointing because this will probably be my favorite season (that’s not really hard though lol) and like you I expected to see a lot more debate and discussion considering we’re dealing with such a big storyline.

But I imagine the audience has peaked for this show years ago and it’s just the hardcore mostly watching. There is no hype for it outside the usual places like here.

Good for you. You counted the comments the last couple of episodes. What about all the past seasons? Have you gone back and counted all that? People just don’t want to bother with all that negativity. It’s like the movie BEYOND, a far better movie than INTO DARKNESS. But less people went to see because they felt it would be bad like ID. Same thing here. Because of all the negativity last season in the posts, less people are reading and posting comments. Like I said, would be interesting to see if the traffic on this website reflects the comments. My guess, the same amount are hitting the page but less commenting. And the ones that are commenting, are the same usual suspects. People can’t be bothered reading the toxic comments spewed towards the actors, the writers and the producers. Same old blah blah from the same old people. Yawn.

I’m going to say it again.

A. This is NOT the only place that has less discussions. I keep saying this and it keeps getting ignored lol. This is across the board. A great example is Reddit. It’s easily the biggest Trek board. Until this season most Discovery threads had 600+ posts when an episode review was posted. Now most of them are under 500 which is not horrible but it already tells you a huge gap Discovery has when you compare it to the bigger shows like Picard and SNW which easily goes into the thousands. It’s the same with TrekCre, Trek BBS, etc. The show has less people talking about it these days.

B. Your logic doesn’t make sense because if the more negative posts drove away the more positive posts then why are there still more positive posts?? And literally on every review thread. How do you derive at that conclusion if more people are actually saying nice things about it? Wouldn’t it be the opposite then? Or at least a bigger subset of those posts? Help me out here?

C. I have been saying these boards have been negative since 2009. You just made the point for me with STID. That time was brutal lol. Way worse IMO because there were so many more people at the time.

People go on and on about how much hate Discovery gets here but very few threads ever went into the THOUSANDS of people fighting over it like what happened with STID… for years after it came out.

But you’re also right yes less people discussed Beyond when that came around but I don’t think you can blame that all on STID either. I think people grew tired of those movies in general and Beyond just didn’t grab people on its own (and had a HORRIBLE marketing campaign), hence a big reason why it bombed. I don’t think you can blame this board for that lol. In fact I think less postings was simply an reflection that less people had interest in the movie in general and its box office indicated that.

I’m saying the same thing has happened with Discovery. It’s not just ONE thing. I do agree that the negativity has maybe driven some people away. I also think the show itself has driven people away too for those people really unhappy with the last few seasons. It CAN be both right? Just like what happened with the Kelvin movies.

D. How is it any different than all the derision Picard got in it’s first two seasons? And yet season 3 had the highest number of people posting probably simce STID. And most people seem to think season 2 wasn’t just the worst season of that show or even NuTrek but one of the worst Trek seasons ever.

It didn’t stop anyone talking up season 3 to death and not everyone loved that season either.

You can repeat it until you’re blue in the face. Whether it is hear or on other boards… The same repetitive negative people here are the same repetitive negative people on other boards. People are tired of hearing the same drivel no matter where you go because it’s all the same people.

Do you actually believe that people don’t go to multiple platforms? Come on. People are mean. People are arrogant. People are negative. It’s repetitive drivel.

My logic makes perfect sense. And I would put money on that the traffic on the site hasn’t dropped. The articles are still good. Fans want to read them. But people just don’t want to deal with the same crap all the time. How many times does Emily have to say how much she hates nostalgia and legacy before you are sick of hearing it. How many time does Lorna have to slam Martin-Green’s acting and “whisper speaking” before you get sick of it? And the list goes on. Blah blah blah over and over.

I’m going to repeat myself. How come the last season of Picard didn’t get the same problem? You can admit season 2 was blasted as much as season 4 of Discovery was right? I think even worse. It didn’t stop anyone from talking about season 3 in droves.

And I seem to recall others still repeating themselves who still hated that show too.

As far as Discovery It’s probably a show that has been falling in the ratings awhile, hence it’s cancellation before season 5 even aired. My guess has always been by the end of season four a lot of people had simply stopped watching it because there were people, some on this very board, said they stopped watching it lol.

Again it CAN be both things right? Yes you can be right but what’s weird is you seem to acknowledge a lot of the negative feedback but you don’t acknowledge that maybe many of those same people have simply stopped posting or watching on their own as well.

It IS possible right?

I mean the show is now halfway over. There has not been a single article ANYWHERE discussing the metrics of the show. Not one press release by Paramount that the show is hitting any admirable numbers even if they don’t tell us what they are. This is the one frustrating thing about the streaming era.

And maybe it’s really doing great but the deafening silence is telling.

So I’m going to say it again could you be right, yes. Is that the ONLY reason though, no I don’t think so. Not by a long shot.

But listen if you really feel that way fine. But I’m also the SAME guy who has been begging for an IGNORE BUTTON more times than I can count. I get accused of saying the same things over and over again too and believe me I have said that the most out of everything else lol.

Personally I don’t have an issue what people say here but yes I am sadly more on the negative side of Discovery. I don’t WANT to be but sadly yes although I am still liking this season, but it’s starting to lose me.

I’m not just talking the negativity about Discovery… I’m talking about the negativity towards Trek in general ever since Discovery debuted…all all the shows thereafter. It’s too much dude. Way too much negativity towards Trek in general now. It’s fine to dislike a show regardless if it Discovery, SNW or lower decks… But coming on and slagging the shows ENDLESSLY is tiresome. You even have people PRE-hating the academy series before it’s even shot! Mention section 31 and you get the “space Hitler” people coming out of the woodwork. So no, it’s not just the hate of Discovery, it’s the constant hate of everything new. So that’s why people don’t bother. Enough already.

Which I LITERALLY said has been happening here since 2009 did I not?

Look I don’t know what you want me to say but this isn’t a new thing. We obviously agree on that lol.

Same time though we just have different philosophies on it. I have no problem of people saying whatever they want AS LONG AS they don’t attack others for their opinions or try to argue with them over everything because they don’t like their opinions and trying to shut them down.

And yes that has happened PLENTY of times here but thankfully those people have mostly been banned.

But outside of that this is how message boards operate. People are abandoning this site NOW after nearly 15 years of negativity? What took them so long lol.

And dude I’ve asked you this three times now if that’s the case then why did season 3 of Picard get so much fanfare then? Or season 1 of SNW?

Again I get what you’re saying but you seem to discount all the times fans are generally excited and positive about things here. It’s not all bad all the time INCLUDING with Discovery. Whenever they like something about it people shout it from the rooftops. Remind me how we got SNW again?

I remember having this SAME discussion with TG47 (another guy who looks like took off for good and yes probably due to the negativity) when he complained about people being too negative over SNW. I didn’t see that at all because the MAJORITY of people liked the show, but they still pointed out some of its flaws as they should.

I guess I just don’t know what people expect? Do you seriously just want to come to a board where everyone loves every show only say glowing things about it? OR are you saying that these shows don’t have any flaws for people to be that critical about? I don’t think the answer is yes to either of these questions, so what is the answer.

All I can say is I remembered waaay back in the 90s when fans were crucifying Berman and Braga saying that Voyager and Enterprise were horrible shows, DS9 was a slap in the face to Gene’s ‘vision’ and Nemesis were so bad it killed the franchise.

I didn’t see any of that on this board because it didn’t exist then. But I saw it in plenty of places. And it went on and on until Enterprise was cancelled. Doesn’t mean everyone felt that way(I personally loved DS9 and VOY from the start; no comment on Enterprise or Nemesis;)) but none of this is new bro. It’s been going literally since TNG first aired to be honest. We just didn’t have the Internet then to wallow in the hate lol.

Oh there was a lot of hate going on for Picard season 3. All the people complaining about it being nothing more than nostalgia. Saying the writing was crap and so on. And there were a lot of criticism about SNW and how it doesn’t look like it’s before TOS and how come the Enterprise looks like potato peeler. And so on. Yes, people are finally tired of it. Frankly, so am I. I have actually stopped going to other boards for that very reason. Why wait until now? Well it’s because there were literally years… YEARS… between Trek 2009, ID and Beyond. Barely anything happened on the boards. I actually thought the site would close. Now, with so much continuous Trek and Trek news, you see the whiners and complainers and haters so much more. Back during TNG and the TNG movies, DS9, etc… the internet was as it is now. You would barely hear anything from the fans unless you were at a convention. People were buying magazines and read those articles. So you didn’t see the hate and negativity like you do now. It’s so easily accessible. Anthony, if you are reading, what are the site traffic numbers like? Is there a decline like in the comments? Or are the numbers stable with only the comments dwindling?

Ok I get your point. I guess I’m just decencitize to it lol. But as I said I’m not as bothered. For example I loved season 3 of Picard. It’s my favorite season in NuTrek in terms of live action at least. It brought me back to a time where Trek was very special for me.

But same time I read all the same criticisms as well it was too much nostalgia, a lot of memberberries etc. And I didn’t really disagree with that sentiment but didn’t have any real issues either. I understand people just have issues with the show and I had a few as well but more minor.

Same with SNW, I generally think it’s a good show but I get the criticisms for that one too especially the canon ones which drives me crazy lol. But that’s why we come to places like this, to hash out stuff out with fellow fans. If others are getting triggered over it because some of is just want to discuss these things then OK but this isn’t the place for them obviously.

And no maybe it wasn’t as in your face in the 90s because obviously the Internet as big as it is now. Social media didn’t exist. I always remind people YouTube started the last year Enterprise was on. But still there were PLENTY of places to talk Star Trek and by the late 90s it became very negative by then. It’s worst now in terms of much is out there but the vitriol was still pretty bad. Type in Berman’s name on this site and you will see it here circa 2007 and on.

But if you need a break for awhile certainly understandable.

See, this kind of back and forth is what gets the comment count over 100. I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

Even if there was hate for Picard season 3 it wasn’t the majority who felt that way, far from it and tons of people still discussed it. In fact the sole reason I joined this board was to just discuss that season. I really planned to stop posting here once it was over. But hardly anyone is discussing this show this season which is odd since most who is watching it at least seems to like it.

And I used to be a huge NuTrek hater. Guilty as charged lol. I had no problems being cynical about it because we are now paying for these shows full time and the Internet is the place to vent and debate this stuff. No one I know in real life outside 1 or 2 people knows these shows exist much less watch them. Oddly Star Trek feels more niche today even though there is so much of it on right now.

But anyway these sites are the places fans come to be honest about their thoughts. I was very disappointed with JJ verse, Discovery and especially Picard and have no problem saying so. But I didn’t want to hate any of them but overall they all been mostly disappointments. Obviously not just to me but a lot of people. I will say the JJ movies were more popular with newbies but clearly not enough cared after awhile and why Beyond ultimately failed but that’s a different thread.

As far as the shows themselves I have been open-minded about all of them and oddly they always started off strong but end in a winper.

But even that has changed since I love he animated shows out the gate and SNW finally feels like 90s Star Trek again which a lot of people like me was missing.

Now oddly I’m on the other side of it and considers myself a NuTrek lover. Who knew that was possible lol. But it proves I was never out to hate anything; it just sucked IMO.

Like I said I’m even enjoying Discovery now, my worst show in the entire franchise. But I understand if others still think they are bad and just want to vent. I can’t be a hypocrite about it. If I could get online and spew why I thought shows like Discovery and Picard were total trash then I have to allow others say that about shows I truly like like SNW or LDS.

That’s how it works right? I believe message boards are here to hash everything out regardless my personal feelings about it. Some people oddly can’t seem to understand this basic reality when they decide to join a board and that’s why they get banned or everyone hates them; not for their opinions but constantly trying to censor others over theirs.

Sure you may be right and people are sick of the negativity. But we’re Star Trek fans, this is how we usually roll! 😂

But yeah I get it it can feel too much at times but I’m actually with Tiger2 on this one most people seems to be a lot more positive lately. The last year has been really fun to talk about Star Trek thanks to LDS, Prodigy, Picard season 3, SNW and now even this show. Of course there will always be naysayers but they don’t overrun these boards either. It’s not YouTube lol.

Amazing episode again. This season the show is just knocking it outta the park! Wish it wasn’t the last season.

Admittedly this is kind of a paint-by-numbers Star Trek episode, but I enjoyed it quite a bit if largely for Tilly’s charisma. I do find the ongoing Culber existential crisis a little off balance, feels like we’ve already been here before with him after a far more significant event. But I do like aspects of his crisis, especially the tug between the scientific and the spiritual and how that’s expressed in his conversation with the analytical (yet caring) Stamets. Like much of Discovery’s writing, the story does take some logic shortcuts that I find distractingly convenient, but at least it fills in most of the gaps. On a side note, although I have a very high end sound system that sounds phenomenal with most streaming content, Discovery has uniquely terrible onset audio, it’s been a constant problem for the show (and seemingly all Toronto-based productions), but this season is by far the worst. It’s making it really hard to understand every word being spoken, I’m constantly rewinding to listen again and I just straight-up miss things all the time because the voices are often garbled.

While I certainly did not dislike this episode, I still found its resolution to be kinda lacking. It left me wondering whether they couldn’t have found a way to bend the Prime Directive instead of outright breaking it (even though, arguably the DISCO-crew weren’t the first to do so but rather the Denobulan scientist who installed those weather towers in the first place). It seemed like they just took the easiest possible route there… Also: Why was the episode even called “Whistlespeak”? Was there any sense in introducing that culture’s whistle language at all? I was honestly flabbergasted that there was no mention of such means of communication actually existing on Earth (on the Canary Island of La Gomera) and it existing on that planet could’ve been a nice setup for another linguistics-centered episode (not necessarily another “Darmok”, but maybe something akin to SNW’s “Children of the Comet” – you know like, a linguistic problem interwoven with a bunch of other problems). However, upon closer inspection, the whole introduction of that concept just went absolutely nowhere. A bit of a pity if you ask me.

Thank you! The titular “whistlespeak” was completely irrelevant to the plot or theme of the episode. I kept waiting for it to at least play a function in the third act. The writing of Disco can be so maddeningly sloppy.

Loved this episode. Very smart writing and continued with a great pacing. It had quite the TNG feel to it as well as feeling like a really Star Trek-y episode.

Really loving this season. The writing has been very solid as has been the acting.

For how much I dislike this season, I must admit this was actually a good episode to watch. As usual too many shared emotions, but the plot and the story was enjoyable for once.

I know I have mentioned this before but the dearth of posts this season is really surprising.. It’s the middle episode of the final season and its barely gotten 60 posts so far after a day. And again this is not TM alone. The show has lacked discussion everywhere and nowhere close to the kinds of discussions SNW season 2 and especially Picard season 3 got.

Maybe its getting more viewings than the discussions themselves are suggesting but if not it’s probably was a good idea to end the show after this season. I think a large part of the fanbase have simply moved on.

Yeah, I was curious about this and went back to check. Each recap/review article for SNW and Picard got hundreds of comments.

Yeah! And to be more fair I went and checked how many views those shows previous seasons got in the seasons run to correlate with the current episode of this season and for episode 6 Picard season 3 had 450 posts (which is pretty insane lol). For SNW season 2 it had around 240 posts which to be fair is the more common number for most live action shows.

Picard was more of an outlier for the obvious reasons. But then again it’s also PROOF when people are excited or passionate about a show or season you see it reflected.

It’s not nearly the same for this season. Many seem to like it overall and I include myself in that even if I’m starting to feel more mixed about it, but no one is really jumping up and down about it either.

I noticed this as well, engagement is very low which I suspect is reflected in the viewership. Part of this is probably the long 2-year hiatus and the cancellation, not to mention lack of promotion. This season also seems to lack a hook like the previous season, I know my interest was very low because I felt this story had been told and there really was nothing noteworthy this time. However, this season has been significantly more interesting than I expected because it’s so smart about its canon, for once! I’m really enjoying the work put into building this world and telling a story within the Star Trek mythos.

I think you nailed it. Viewership is just probably much lower these days which shouldn’t be surprising since they cancelled the show lol.

But ironically this is the most I have enjoyed the show so far and that’s probably because they are really embracing canon these days. I love we have the Breen back finally and I have loved how they dived into stuff like the Dominion war, Trill mythology, and the Progenitors. Every episode has been a link to old school Trek connections like how this episode linked the Denobulans (would’ve been cool if we saw actual Denobulans though).

It hasn’t all been winners like the Mirror universe stuff and the ISS Enterprise connections felt really weak and shoehorned like many have said; but I still applaud them for the effort. But overall it sadly doesn’t feel like many people care anymore. I remember how much fun it was here and other places to talk about Picard season 3. There was real excitement about it.

Oddly there is none of that here this season. People seem to like it, comment what they like but no real exchanges about any of it. I think the two year wait including how disappointed people were with last season just made the reception to this season feel very ho hum so far. I can’t believe it’s already passed the halfway mark.

It actually reminds me how Beyond was received. It came out, most people, at least old school fans, seem to at least like it (it’s my favorite of the three) but it was obvious the hype was over because no one really talked about it much after the first few weeks after it came out. And of course it bombed which was more odd because it was a decent movie but a lot of Trekkies and newbies had moved on.

This feels very similar.

That’s a good comparison. I liked Beyond too, but sometimes even I forget it exists.

Also, I wonder if Culber’s holo-Grandma is going to be the medical-holo on Academy. This seems like a perfect set up.

This one reminded me of first couple seasons of Enterprise. Not because of the Denobulan references but because it was uninspired, pointless, and painfully boring.

i’m sorry but i really can’t stand Tilly. she is like the opposite of Ensign Kim, who spent 7 years overachieving as an ensign where as Tilly is now a wise old sage full of nervous / frantic confidence. i hope she’s not a series regular on Starfleet Academy, the way she’s written and performed is so offsetting. meanwhile lets sideline Saru, IMO the only true ST style character on DSC.

Very Star Trek and it had some good performances, notably Mary Wiseman and SMG’s. This was certainly nothing we haven’t seen before from other Trek shows, they just added the detail about their language and some connection buzzwords and Culber’s less than compelling spiritual crisis.

But a solid double all the same.

  • Cast & crew
  • User reviews

Choose to Live

  • Episode aired Dec 2, 2021

Oded Fehr, Tara Rosling, and Sonequa Martin-Green in Choose to Live (2021)

Burnham and Tilly hunt the killer of a Starfleet officer as Stamets and the science team race against the clock to prevent the anomaly from killing anyone else. Burnham and Tilly hunt the killer of a Starfleet officer as Stamets and the science team race against the clock to prevent the anomaly from killing anyone else. Burnham and Tilly hunt the killer of a Starfleet officer as Stamets and the science team race against the clock to prevent the anomaly from killing anyone else.

  • Christopher J. Byrne
  • Gene Roddenberry
  • Bryan Fuller
  • Alex Kurtzman
  • Sonequa Martin-Green
  • Anthony Rapp
  • 40 User reviews
  • 4 Critic reviews

Choose to Live (2021)

  • Michael Burnham

Doug Jones

  • Lt. Cmdr. Paul Stamets

Mary Wiseman

  • Lt. Sylvia Tilly

Wilson Cruz

  • Dr. Hugh Culber

Blu del Barrio

  • Cleveland Booker

Oded Fehr

  • Admiral Charles Vance

Ian Alexander

  • Federation President Laira Rillak

Ayesha Mansur Gonsalves

  • J'Vini

Tara Rosling

  • President T'Rina

Sonja Sohn

  • Dr. Gabrielle Burnham

Emily Coutts

  • Lt. Cmdr. Keyla Detmer

Ronnie Rowe

  • Lt. Cmdr. R.A. Bryce
  • (as Ronnie Rowe Jr.)

David Benjamin Tomlinson

  • Lt. J.G. Linus

Khalil Abdul-Malik

  • Credence First Officer

Andreas Apergis

  • Guardian Xi
  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

Did you know

  • Trivia There are no scenes in this episode that take place on the Discovery bridge.
  • Goofs When the Vulcan woman dies in the sword fight, she bleeds blue blood, yet it has been long established that Vulcan blood is green.

User reviews 40

  • praxus-32057
  • Dec 3, 2021
  • December 2, 2021 (United States)
  • United States
  • Official Site
  • Pinewood Toronto Studios, Port Lands, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Studio)
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro

Technical specs

  • Runtime 55 minutes

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Oded Fehr, Tara Rosling, and Sonequa Martin-Green in Choose to Live (2021)

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Star Trek: Discovery Season 6 Or Movie - Everything We Know

Star trek: discovery season 5 returning cast & new character guide, star trek: discovery season 5 finale ending & shocking epilogue explained.

  • Star Trek" Discovery season 5 delivers 10 top episodes, answering big existential questions and resolving character storylines satisfyingly.
  • Discovery season 5 is a tonal shift into a quest adventure, introducing fan-favorite new characters.
  • Here is how Star Trek: Discovery's episodes rank against each other.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5 was also its final season and delivered 10 of the best episodes of the series. Discovery season 5 wasn't produced to be the final season, but after Paramount+ chose to end the series, it was fortuitous that Star Trek: Discovery season 5 already felt like a natural conclusion . Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the crew of the USS Discovery asked big, existential questions in pursuit of the ancient treasure of the Progenitors, and many characters' storylines were resolved satisfyingly.

A sequel to the Star Trek: The Next Generation season 6 episode, "The Chase", Star Trek: Discovery season 5 enjoyed a tonal shift into a quest adventure, as the USS Discovery pursued the literal power of creation via a series of elaborate clues that tested Captain Burnham 's intelligence and heroic qualities. Discovery season 5 also introduced instant fan-favorite new characters in First Officer Commander Rayner (Callum Keith Rennie) and the villainous couple Moll (Eve Harlow) and L'ak (Elias Toufexis). Discovery season 5 revamped the Breen for the 32nd century and concluded with poignant romance and a flash forward to the ultimate destiny of the USS Discovery. Here's how Star Trek: Discovery season 5's episodes stack up against each other.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5 is the final season, but will Captain Burnham and the USS Discovery be back for season 6 or a Paramount+ movie?

10 "Whistlespeak"

Star trek: discovery season 5, episode 6.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 6, "Whistlespeak", is a throwback to a classic Star Trek: The Original Serie s and Star Trek: The Next Generation -style story . Captain Burnham and Lt. Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) infiltrate the planet Halem'no for the fourth Progenitors' treasure clue hidden in a weather tower built by Denobulan scientist Dr. Hitoroshi Creel . Tilly nearly dies in a ritual sacrifice before Burnham reveals herself to be an offworlder, challenging the Halem'nites to balance their religious beliefs with the knowledge they're not alone in the universe.

Written by Kenneth Lyn and Brandon Schutz, and directed by Chris Byrne, "Whistlespeak" was a welcome exploration of a new culture by Star Trek: Discovery . Balancing Tilly and Burnham's exploits on Halem'no, Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz) struggled with his newfound spiritual awakening, and begins to form a bond with Cleveland Booker (David Ajala). There are more exciting hours of S tar Trek: Discovery season 5 than the introspective "Whistlespeak", but it's also, pleasingly, one of the most fundamentally Star Trek episodes of Star Trek: Discovery.

9 "Under The Twin Moons"

Star trek: discovery season 5, episode 2.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 2, "Under the Twin Moons", sends Captain Burnham and Captain Saru (Doug Jones) to the planet Lyrek in search of the first Progenitors clue hidden by Romulan scientist Dr. Vellek (Michael Copeman). The array of ancient defensive weapons on the graveyard planet calls back to Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes like "The Arsenal of Freedom" , and brings out the action hero in Saru , appropriately dubbing the Kelpien "Action Saru" .

The joy of "Under the Twin Moons" is the final team-up of Burnham and Saru.

Written by Alan McElroy and directed by Doug Aarniokoski, "Under the Twin Moons" turns out to be the last hurrah of Saru as a member of the USS Discovery's crew. Saru becomes a Federation Ambassador in Star Trek: Discovery season 5 and becomes betrothed to hs love, President T'Rina (Tara Rosling). The joy of "Under the Twin Moons" is the final team-up of Burnham and Saru as Michael would end Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 2 by naming Commander Rayner as the USS Discovery's new First Officer.

8 "Jinaal"

Star trek: discovery season 5, episode 3.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 3, "Jinaal" is the series' final voyage to Trill in search of the second Progenitors clue hidden on his homeworld by Trill scientist Dr. Jinaal Bix (Wilson Cruz). As Captain Burnham and Cleveland Booker endure Jinaal's dangerous test for his clue, Ensign Adira Tal (Blu del Barrio) says goodbye to their romance with Gray Tal (Ian Alexander). Meanwhile, Commander Rayner meets with the USS Discovery's personnel , with discouraging results.

"Jinaal" is a showcase for the talents of Wilson Cruz.

Written by Kyle Jarrow and Lauren Wilkinson, and directed by Andi Armaganian, "Jinaal" is a showcase for the talents of Wilson Cruz, who relishes portraying a character very different from the compassionate Dr. Hugh Culber. Saru also struggles with his new position as Ambassador and learns the perils of mixing politics with his personal life. "Jinaal" has multiple fascinating and entertaining character beats and deepens the audience's understanding of several Star Trek: Discovery characters.

7 "Erigah"

Star trek: discovery season 5, episode 7.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 7, "Erigah" , balances the tensions of a captured Moll and L'ak seeking to escape the USS Discovery with the arrival of the Breen, led by Primarch Ruhn (Tony Nappo), to Federation HQ. Commander Rayner's revelation of the Breen's invasion of his Kellerun homeworld turns out to be key in negotiating with the fearsome aliens. However, L'ak tragically dies in an ill-fated attempt to help Moll escape , and Moll, in turn, allies with the Breen to set up Star Trek: Discovery 's endgame.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 7, "Erigah", brought back fan-favorite Rachael Ancheril as Commander Nhan.

Written by M. Raven Metzner and directed by Jon Dudkowski, "Erigah" is the final appearance of Elias Toufexis as L'ak , who is revealed to be the Breen Scion and crucial to the Breen civil war to determine a new emperor. Both a political thriller and a heartbreaking tragedy for Moll and L'ak's love story ,"Erigah" firmly establishes the Breen as an existential threat to the United Federation of Planets, and one of Star Trek: Discovery 's best adversaries.

As Burnham seeks the universe's greatest treasure in Star Trek: Discovery season 5, she'll need help from a host of new and returning characters.

6 "Mirrors"

Star trek: discovery season 5, episode 5.

Whe n Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 5, "Mirrors", sends Captain Burnham and Cleveland Booker into interdimensional space in pursuit of Moll and L'ak and the third Progenitors clue, they find more than they bargain for - namely the ISS Enterprise from the Mirror Universe . "Mirrors" features vital confrontations between Burnham, Book, Moll, and L'ak, establishing exactly what's at stake for the ill-fated lovers. "Mirrors" also depicts how Moll and L'ak met in intriguing flashbacks that are also a revelatory download of information about the mysterious Breen.

"Mirrors" makes history by establishing L'ak as the first Breen to remove his helmet.

Written by Johanna Le and Carlos Cisco, and directed by Jen McGowan, Star Trek: Discovery 's "Mirrors" cleverly utilizes Star Trek: Strange New Worlds ' sets to bring the ISS Enterprise to life, and lays down new canon about the happenings of the 23rd century Mirror Universe. "Mirrors" also makes history by establishing L'ak as the first Breen to remove his helmet, showing us the true face of the aliens, at last. Crucially, Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 5 , ingeniously holds a mirror up to Burnham and Book, showing that they're not destined for the same tragic fate as Moll and L'ak.

5 "Red Directive"

Star trek: discovery season 5, episode 1.

Star Trek: Discovery 's season 5 premiere, "Red Directive", sees the USS Discovery team up with Captain Rayner's USS Antares in pursuit of Moll and L'ak, who seek the ancient technology of the Progenitors. Captain Burnham and Rayner's uneasy team-up leads them and Cleveland Booker to the desert planet of Q'Mau. Following a thrilling sand bike chase, "Red Directive" culminates with the awesome sight of the USS Discovery and the USS Antares protecting a settlement from an avalanche of sand.

As a Star Trek: Discovery season premiere, the narrative heavy lifting of "Red Directive" feels effortless.

Written by Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Michelle Paradise and directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi, "Red Directive" masterfully establishes the high stakes of Discovery season 5 and fist-pumpingly weaves in the canon of Star Trek: The Next Generation , name-dropping Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). As a Star Trek: Discovery season premiere, the narrative heavy lifting of "Red Directive" feels effortless and propulsively sets the table for the adventures to come in Star Trek: Discovery season 5.

4 "Labyrinths"

Star trek: discovery season 5, episode 8.

For the final clue to the Progenitors' treasure, Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 8, "Labyrinths" , introduces one of the series' most memorable locations: The Eternal Gallery and Archive. When Captain Burnham enters the massive intergalactic library hidden in the dangerous badlands, she becomes trapped in her own mindscape. With an avatar of Cleveland Booker as her guide, Michael must delve into her deepest fears and regrets to prove worthy of the final clue as the Breen seek to destroy the Archive.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 8, "Labyrinths", introduces Hy'Rell (Elena Juatco), who is only the third Efrosian (and first female) canonically seen in Star Trek.

Written by Lauren Wilkinson & Eric J. Robbins, and directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, "Labyrinths" is a feast for the eyes, mind, and heart. Burnham's inner journey showcases a powerhouse performance by Sonequa Martin-Green. Meanwhile, the confrontation with the Breen, with Lt. Commander Gen Rhys (Patrick Kwok-Choon) in command of the USS Discovery, ratchets up the tension effectively. Star Trek: Discovery 's voyage to the final clue of season 5 is an all-time great journey within for Captain Burnham.

3 "Lagrange Point"

Star trek: discovery season 5, episode 9.

"Lagrange Point" sees Star Trek: Discovery tackling the heist genre with spectacular results. Captain Michael Burnham leads an away team disguised as Breen to infiltrate the Breen dreadnought and steal the portal to the Progenitors' technology. Meanwhile, Commander Rayner takes command of the USS Discovery, which is outmatched by the Breen's massive starship. Rayner proves exactly why he was once a decorated starship Captain as he executes Burnham's last-ditch effort to snatch the portal from the Breen.

"Lagrange Point" sets up Moll and Captain Burnam as the ultimate competitors for the Progenitors' technology.

Written by Sean Cochran and Ari Friedman, and the final Star Trek: Discovery episode directed by Jonathan Frakes , "Lagrange Point" sets up Moll and Captain Burnam as the ultimate competitors for the Progenitors' technology, and it also marks the welcome return of Ambassador Saru, who was absent from several Star Trek: Discovery season 5 episodes. "Lagrange Point" is a fantastic infiltration gambit containing action, tension, and even a pleasing amount of humor, and is a top-tier hour of Star Trek: Discovery .

Star Trek: Discovery comes to an end with season 5's finale wrapping up the Progenitors treasure hunt and an epilogue concluding the entire series.

2 "Face The Strange"

Star trek: discovery season 5, episode 4.

When Moll plants a Krenim time bug aboard the USS Discovery, Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 4, "Face the Strange", sends Captain Burnham, Commander Rayner, and Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) careening through the USS Discovery's past and future. "Face the Strange" is the first real test of Burnham and Rayner as Captain and First Officer, and they establish trust as they work together to solve their temporal dilemma. "Face the Strange" evocatively touches upon several important Star Trek: Discovery milestones to show how far the series has come.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 4 teased the possible future for Zora (Annabelle Wallis) seen in Star Trek: Short Treks ' "Calypso", foreshadowing what was to come in Discovery 's series finale epilogue.

Written by Sean Cochran and directed by Lee Rose, "Face the Strange" joyfully calls back to crucial characters and events throughout Star Trek: Discovery , like the late Lt. Commander Airiam (Hannah Cheesman). Best of all, Captain Burnham confronts her past self from season 1, making it clear just how much Michael has bettered herself throughout Star Trek: Discovery 's 5 seasons. "Face the Strange" is a rip-roaring and deeply satisfying Star Trek: Discovery time travel yarn, and it's one of the best episodes of the series.

1 "Life, Itself"

Star trek: discovery season 5, episode 10.

Star Trek: Discovery 's series finale, "Life, Itself", is filled with vaulting ambition, and meets it in grand fashion. "Life, Itself" concludes Captain Burnham's quest for the power of creation as she outclasses Moll to access the Progenitors' technology. Meanwhile, the USS Discovery beats the Breen with the help of Ambassador Saru. Matching its awe-inspiring revelations and emotional high-points, Star Trek: Discovery 's series finale has multiple touching endings , including the reveal of Dr. Kovich's (David Cronenberg) true identity, the wedding of Saru and T'Rina, and the romantic reunion of Michael Burnham and Cleveland Booker.

Captain Burnham chooses to banish the power of creation in a decision that's a bit pat and too abrupt, but ultimately feels right.

Written by Kyle Jarrow and Michelle Paradise, and directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi, "Life, Itself" delivered on the awe and wonder the hunt for the Progenitors demanded. To wrap up Star Trek: Discovery , the finale's resonant coda flashes forward 30+ years to show an elderly Admiral Burnham and Cleveland Booker had a happy life together before Michael sends the USS Discovery on its final destiny, synching the saga up with Star Trek: Short Treks ' "Calypso". Filled with grandeur, heart, and as a celebration of Star Trek: Discovery 's characters, "Life, Itself" is one of the best series finales in Star Trek , and an evocative and worthy ending to Star Trek: Discovery .

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Star Trek: Discovery (2017)

COMMENTS

  1. Michael Burnham

    Michael Burnham is the protagonist of Star Trek: Discovery, portrayed by American actress Sonequa Martin-Green. She originally appears as the First Officer of USS Shenzhou under Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) until she commits mutiny, for which she is stripped of rank and sent to prison for life.Burnham is later recruited by Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) on USS Discovery as a science ...

  2. Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Finale Ending & Shocking Epilogue Explained

    Star Trek: Discovery's stunning season 5 and series finale concludes the hunt for the greatest treasure in the galaxy, and the extended finale's emotional epilogue finally answers one of Discovery's biggest questions as it says goodbye to Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and her crew. Written by Kyle Jarrow and Michelle Paradise and directed by Olatunde Osunname, Star Trek ...

  3. Why Star Trek: Discovery's Series Finale Mainly Focuses On Michael

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  4. Star Trek: Discovery (TV Series 2017-2024)

    Star Trek: Discovery: Created by Bryan Fuller, Alex Kurtzman. With Sonequa Martin-Green, Anthony Rapp, Doug Jones, Mary Wiseman. Ten years before Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise, the USS Discovery discovers new worlds and lifeforms as one Starfleet officer learns to understand all things alien.

  5. Star Trek Discovery Ending Explained and How the Finale Connects to

    What Happens in the Star Trek: Discovery Series Finale. Star Trek: Discovery season 5 was largely driven by a scavenger hunt across the cosmos, with Captain Burnham and the USS Discovery following ...

  6. Michael Burnham

    Michael in the 2230s with her stuffed tardigrade. Burnham was born on Earth, in 2226.(DIS: "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry") She was named after her father, Mike Burnham.In the early 2230s, Burnham and her parents resided on a space station.The isolation of the location lead to bad dreams involving a shadow.One night, to calm her and help her to conquer her fears, her father ...

  7. Star Trek: Discovery Season Finale, Epilogue Explained

    The 16-minute epilogue reveals that Burnham has risen to the rank of admiral and built a family with her great love, Cleveland "Book" Booker (David Ajala); then their son, Leto (Sawandi Wilson ...

  8. The Story of Michael Burnham and Cleveland Booker

    This video contains story details and plot points for Star Trek: Discovery's series finale, "Life, Itself." Star Trek: Discovery 's Sonequa Martin-Green and David Ajala looks back at the course of Michael Burnham and Cleveland "Book" Booker's relationship from their start, throughout the fifth and final season, and beyond. Star Trek: Discovery ...

  9. WARP FIVE: Sonequa Martin-Green on the Gift of Michael Burnham

    With the conclusion of Star Trek: Discovery, the series star has had ample time to reflect on the journey these past seven years.As Michael Burnham took us to the 32nd Century, Sonequa Martin-Green took Star Trek to uncharted territory ushering a new modern era for the franchise when Star Trek: Discovery debuted in 2017, 12 years after Star Trek: Enterprise went off air.

  10. Star Trek: Discovery

    Watch how Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) has grown from an inexperienced captain to the fearless leader fans love over Star Trek: Discovery's last fi...

  11. Discovery could never find itself, but it did find Star Trek's future

    Season 3 of Discovery offered Kurtzman, Paradise, producing director Olatunde Osunsanmi, and the rest of the creative team a rare opportunity to completely rewrite Star Trek's galactic map. Not ...

  12. RECAP

    In Episode 6 of Star Trek: Discovery, " Whistlespeak ," while undercover in a pre-warp society, Captain Burnham is forced to consider breaking the Prime Directive when a local tradition threatens Tilly's life. Meanwhile, Culber tries to connect with Stamets, and Adira steps up when Rayner assigns them a position on the bridge.

  13. Discovery Season 3 Finale Makes Michael Burnham Star Trek's New Kirk

    Michael's checkered Starfleet career curtailed her original trajectory towards the Captain's chair but the seeds for Burnham's newfound promotion were planted earlier in Star Trek: Discovery season 3.Burnham questioned her future in Starfleet just as Kirk did at the start of Star Trek 2009, and Emperor Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) flat out told Michael she deserved to be Captain, similar ...

  14. Burnham & Tilly's Star Trek: Discovery Away Mission Is A Brilliant

    There's a brilliant callback to Star Trek: Discovery season 1 in the away mission to pre-warp planet Halem'no in Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 6, "Whistlespeak", written by Kenneth Lin and Brandon Schultz, and directed by Chris Byrne.Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) selects Lieutenant Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) to join her in retrieving the next clue in Star Trek ...

  15. Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 6 Ending Explained

    By the end of Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 6, "Whistlespeak", Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the crew are one step closer to the Progenitors' technology, following a ...

  16. Star Trek: Discovery season 1

    The first season of the American television series Star Trek: Discovery is set a decade before Star Trek: The Original Series in the 23rd century and follows the crew of the starship Discovery during the Federation-Klingon war. The season was produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Secret Hideout, Roddenberry Entertainment, and Living Dead Guy Productions, with Gretchen J ...

  17. "Star Trek: Discovery" All In (TV Episode 2022)

    All In: Directed by Christopher J. Byrne, Jen McGowan. With Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Wilson Cruz. Following a hunch, Captain Burnham tracks Book to an old haunt from their courier days and gets drawn into a high-stakes competition for a powerful weapon.

  18. Star Trek: Discovery's TNG Era Scientists & Progenitors Clues Meanings

    Star Trek: Discovery season 5 revealed the identities of the 24th century scientists who hid the clues to the ancient treasure of the Progenitors, and here are the dots that Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the USS Discovery have connected and what they mean. Written by Kenneth Lin and Brandon Schultz and directed by Chris Byrne, Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 6 ...

  19. Recap/Review: 'Star Trek: Discovery' Goes On A Spiritual Journey In

    "Whistlespeak" Star Trek: Discovery Season 5, Episode 6 - Debuted Thursday, May 2, 2024 Written by Kenneth Lin & Brandon Schultz Directed by Chris Byrne. A classic Trek setup delivers a ...

  20. Star Trek: Discovery season 5

    In the 32nd century, Captain Michael Burnham and the crew of the USS Discovery are assigned a top-secret "red directive" mission by the mysterious Dr. Kovich to investigate an 800-year-old Romulan science vessel. Before they get there, couriers Moll and L'ak take something from the vessel. Kovich asks Cleveland "Book" Booker—formerly a courier and Burnham's romantic partner who is serving ...

  21. "Star Trek: Discovery" Choose to Live (TV Episode 2021)

    Choose to Live: Directed by Christopher J. Byrne. With Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman. Burnham and Tilly hunt the killer of a Starfleet officer as Stamets and the science team race against the clock to prevent the anomaly from killing anyone else.

  22. Star Trek: Discovery Season 5

    Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 2, "Under the Twin Moons", sends Captain Burnham and Captain Saru (Doug Jones) to the planet Lyerk in search of the first Progenitors clue hidden by Romulan scientist Dr. Vellek (Michael Copeman).The array of ancient defensive weapons on the graveyard planet calls back to Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes like "The Arsenal of Freedom", and brings ...

  23. List of Star Trek: Discovery episodes

    Star Trek: Discovery is an American science fiction television series created by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman for the streaming service CBS All Access (later rebranded as Paramount+).It is the seventh Star Trek series and was released from 2017 to 2024. The series follows the crew of the starship Discovery beginning a decade before Star Trek: The Original Series in the 23rd century.