After Commander Burnham and the Discovery crew jump 930 years into the future, Star Trek: Discovery has more room to play in season 3.
The time jump is the single best thing about the third season. In taking the crew out of the pre-TOS timeline, it means no longer being restrained by the continuity. By going nearly 1000 years into the future, we’re now in a period that has never before been explored in Star Trek. What this means is that we’re going to go on new adventures without worrying about the ramifications. But also, they are in a world that is unknown to them. The United Federation of Planets is a shell of its former self. The Burn, the main mystery this season, poses more questions than answers. What caused the destruction of warp drives across the galaxy?
Finding out the cause of The Burn drives Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) throughout the entire season. She’s gone on quite the journey in the year since she first arrived in the future. Discovery may have followed her into a wormhole but it takes them a full year later to arrive. In that time, Burnham becomes friends with Book (David Ajala). The Emerald Chain, led by Osyraa (Janet Kidder), causes all sorts of chaos for Discovery and the remains of the Federation. Where the first two seasons were a prequel series, we’re officially in sequel territory now. The Voyager name still exists in this new era. Meanwhile, Burnham lives to see the results of Spock’s (Ethan Peck/Leonard Nimoy) work in his later days as an ambassador. The Vulcans and Romulans have reunited, thus naming their planet Ni’Var.
Speaking as a transgender woman, I love the addition of Adira (Blu del Barrio) and Gray (Ian Alexander) to the cast. It would be nice if Gray were alive and not dead but I’m curious to see if things change in the fourth season. Having proper transgender representation in the franchise is also long overdue. With the trans tipping point coming back in 2014, it should have happened sooner. Regardless, I’m grateful for the representation. When you look at the ideals and such that Star Trek represents, it’s something to be happy about.
One question going into the season: How will Michelle Yeoh be starring in a Section 31 spinoff? It turns out that they properly write her out of the season. I’m not going to lie in that it is emotional saying goodbye. We barely got to know Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) before she got killed early in the first season. Yeoh is too great of an actress is just write her off of the show. Burnham saves Georgiou’s life in the Mirror Universe but it isn’t without a cost. It turns out the Prime Universe and Mirror Universe are drifting further apart to where her molecules are going to kill her. The solution is to bring her back to another point in time. We’ll certainly see how things play out in due time. But in the meantime, it is sad to see the character go.
It’s fascinating to see just how relevant the third season was upon its premiere in late 2020. Connection is a big theme of the season and its importance couldn’t be more true. We’ll see how things develop in the fourth season. One big change coming into next season is that Burnham is finally achieving the rank of Captain.
While some storylines are still serialized, there’s more of an episodic feel to Star Trek: Discovery‘s third season. In this way, the series comes closer to the feel of how Star Trek should be. That’s not to take anything away from the serialized format. Even with the episodic approach, everything still connects to the Burn mystery. And yet, I’m still finding myself wanting to get to the next episode as soon as each episode comes to an end! With a jump into the distant future, Star Trek: Discovery is truly going where no one has gone before.
CREATORS: Bryan Fuller & Alex Kurtzman
SHOWRUNNERS: Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Alex Kurtzman, Michelle Paradise, Heather Kadin, Jenny Lumet, Frank Siracusa, John Weber, Olatunde Osunsanmi, Rod Roddenberry, and Trevor Roth
CAST: Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Wilson Cruz, Rachael Ancheril, and David Ajala
GUEST STARRING: Blu del Bario, Ian Alexander
SPECIAL GUEST STAR: Michelle Yeoh
Star Trek: Discovery is streaming on Paramount+. Grade: 4/5
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