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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ – 5 Things the Show Has To Do in Its Final Season

6 Minute Read
Feb 27 2024

Star Trek: Discovery ends with its fifth and final season. There’s a lot of ground to cover. But these are the 5 endings that matter most.

A show ending before its time is nothing new, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. In the case of Star Trek: Discovery, season five is not the intended ending. Filming of the now final season was effectively done when the news was handed down. Fortunately, time was granted to at the very least provide a kind of epilogue.

But with little known about this final season of DISCO, we really don’t know how much this feels like an ending even without an epilogue. However, there are a lot of things we hope turn up. Some serve DISCO as much as “All Got Things..” serves TNG or “What We Leave Behind” serves DS9.

The perfect ending is a tall order. Even shows with 7 seasons worth of 25 episodes don’t always land on their feet. But it is possible. And so we have five things here that we believe Star Trek: Discovery needs to feel satisfying as the ship goes to warp one, last time.

What are those things? Let’s talk. Computer: initiate list protocol.

Courtesy of Paramount Plus

Let Star Trek: Discovery Be Funny

Star Trek, as a franchise, is many things. It’s dramatic, polemical, and tense. But one of Star Trek’s best traits is how funny it is. Spock and Bones have a deliciously deadpan sarcasm-off regularly. Characters like Picard, Worf, and Data find some of their best moments when their self-seriousness is undercut with humor at their expense. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a show about war that also involves playing baseball badly and goofing on James Bond.

Every Star Trek show has its own sense of humor. And Star Trek: Discovery is no exception. However, since the titular ship moved to the farthest-flung future yet, it left a lot of its humor behind. The first two seasons are funny. Harry Mudd shows up. They do a Groundhog Day. Captain Pike in general is an affable, sometimes goofy dude.

But then in seasons three and four there’s basically a little humor in the first episode of each year and then it’s all seriousness. The Burn destroys the Federation and everything is sad. And then Book’s whole planet gets wiped out. It’s Bummerville, USA especially since in season 4 Tilly, the show’s most consistent comic relief leaves the ship.

Thankfully Tilly’s back for season 5. And with her, we hope there’s also more light-hearted humor. Let these characters be silly! Give us a whole comedy episode! It’s working wonders for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.


Humor is a necessary component in the Trek formula and DISCO deserves a good dose of it in its final season.

Courtesy of Paramount Plus

Give Us Some Queer and Black Joy

Star Trek: Discovery makes a big show of having the first gay, married couple in Star Trek, but also they kill off half of that partnership in season one. In hindsight, part of why Hugh Culber’s death was so upsetting was because of the fact that his death sat alongside a lot of other popular queer characters. Seriously the bury your gays trope gets a workout in the late 2010’s. It’s gross as hell.

The good news is that Culber is alive now. He and Paul Stamets are still together and we have this cool, chosen queer family on DISCO with Jett Reno and Adira Tal. But also there’s a bit of a bury your gays repeat in DISCO season three where Adira’s partner Gray dies only to be brought back to life later.

Also, despite Michael Burnham being in the captain’s chair, there’s been a lot of focus on her suffering lately. Book’s whole planet is gone and he and Burnham fall out hard over that. Grief is complex. Conflict arises from it. I get it.

But here we are. It’s season five. And on this last lap these characters deserve joy in ample supply. Let’s see Burnham and Book in love. Let’s reunite Adira and Gray. The people who think Star Trek: Discovery is too woke for story arcs like these either hate watch no matter what or stopped watching years ago. There’s no reason to lean into those people’s interests and every reason to give the people still watching some happiness.


Courtesy of Paramount Plus

Connect to the Past (as a Treat)

In 2017, there’s no Star Trek but Star Trek: Discovery. But in 2024, there’s a lot more than one show. Star Trek is a franchise again. It’s cool that DISCO commits to sharing a whole new era for Trek. But also it’s worthwhile to connect DISCO back with the shows it spawned. At least a little. As a treat.

There’s a lot we don’t know about the 32nd century. What’s up with the Borg? Where are androids and holograms in this timeline? What’s the policy on augments? There are a lot of ways a storyline from SNW, Picard, or Lower Decks can resolve on DISCO.

While we’re at it: if DISCO wants to throw in a cameo during the epilogue, I will not complain. Let Burnham get a message back in time to Spock to let him know she is okay. Spock’s good at secrets. No timeline issues here. Or do a reverse “These are the Voyages…” and have a legacy character appear as a hologram. Doesn’t have to be anything big. Just a little shout-out that reminds us that Star Trek: Discovery isn’t just a part of the Trek world, it’s the reason there’s a Trek world right now at all.

Explain “Calypso”

There are exactly two plots on Star Trek: Discovery which, in my estimation must be resolved—this is the first one. “Calypso” is the second episode of Star Trek: Short Treks. In the story, Craft, a human from a colony on Alcor IV finds himself adrift in space, a soldier from an alien war. He awakes on the original version of the USS Discovery. There he encounters Zora, the sentient computer aboard the ship.

Zora’s been alone for millennia and in “Calypso” she falls in love with Craft before letting him leave to go home. It’s a touching story about love and loneliness—and we still have no idea when it happens. Why is Zora in the old version of Discovery? Why is she alone for a thousand years? Who is she waiting for? We don’t know.

And if Star Trek: Discovery has to end and we have to say farewell to these characters, well then Zora deserves an ending, too. Why is she alone for so long? And when someone does find her, who is it? Burnham? Craft? A completely new person with completely new adventures? No Star Trek: Discovery ending is complete without knowing Zora’s fate.

Courtesy of CBS Television

Star Trek: Discovery Redefines the Federation

When Discovery arrives in the 32nd century, there is no Federation. Starfleet is basically one guy. But thanks to Burnham and company, the Federation is back! And across seasons three and four of Star Trek: Discovery we slowly see worlds return to the fold.


Plot twist: as DISCO ends it should take a page out of Star Trek: Enterprise‘s book. Riker holodecking aside, there is something good about the ENT finale “These are the Voyages”—it shows the formation of the Federation. Earth, Vulcan, Andoria, and Tellar all stand together and begin the golden age of sentient life in the cosmos.

We deserve that again. Season five is apparently an action adventure where Discovery hunts two aliens and a mysterious artifact. And while Indiana Jones in space sounds rad as hell, let’s not forget the Federation. Whatever or wherever this hunt leads, let the finish line be a true reformation for the Federation.

Let’s see a new core group of planets committing themselves to a better future. Give us that positive mission statement. Now, more than ever, our real world needs to look to tomorrow and see hope across every face.

Lina Morgan
Author: Lina Morgan
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