Star Trek: Discovery – Season 3, Episode 13 Recap: “That Hope Is You, Part 2”

Dept. of Endings and Beginnings

Star Trek: Discovery Director | Olatunde Osunsanmi
Season 3 | Episode 13 | 101 minutesWriters | Michelle Paradise
That Hope Is You, Part 2
Discovery’s crew try to take back the ship from Osyraa’s forces while Saru, Culber, and Adira attempt to escape Su’Kal’s holo environment.

Welcome to our recap of the finale of Star Trek: Michael Burnham!

Star Trek: Discovery’s season finale leaves us wanting more, and less at the same time. Iain and Bahir share their spoiler filled feelings below!


Hailing Frequencies Open

Iain McNally: Well, after all our hopes for a Star Trek: Die Hard episode (or two), this season finale felt like a gang of exceptional thieves broke into the Discovery writers room and stole the show I was enjoying, in order to make this… thing. What did you think of the first episode of Star Trek : Everybody Loves Michael?

Bahir Yeusuff: Wait. Hasn’t this always been the Michael Burnham show? To be fair, she is the main character. I think the difference I’m starting to see is that this isn’t quite the ensemble Star Trek show that you want. This is a traditional lead character with a bunch of supporting character stories. For better or for worse.

IMN: That leads to my biggest bugbear though. Michael solves everything but nothing really feels like it was part of a plan. Have we even seen the quarantine field in sick bay before? At what point did Aurellio switch sides and have any conversation with Michael and Book about empaths and spore drives? I know that you can rely on the audience to fill in some blanks, but without any foreshadowing or set up, it feels as if everything is being made up on the spot, which makes it super unsatisfying. One or two scenes earlier in the season of Booker feeling “weird” around the spore drive room would have been enough.

Michael herself now feels like she’s got “plot armour.” She’s going to save the ship because it’s her show, no other reason. Did she even learn anything or grow this season? It would have been more satisfying if Tilly and the dirty half dozen had saved the ship or contributed more.

A Bridge Crew Too Far

IMN: That said, I got very scared for a hot minute when I thought they were going to kill off Owosekun, right after giving her what felt like the best organically developed character traits of the bridge crew. (She can hold her breath for 10 minutes! She used to dive for abalone!)

BY: Really? I thought that felt very story convenient. Running out of air? Of course one of your crew members can hold their breath for 10 minutes! Also I absolutely agree with you on Aurellio. That shock gave me whiplash.

Sure, the writers “foreshadowed” it by having him look concerned when Osyrra was angrier than he thought, but to have a discussion with Book and Michael (off screen) about how to get out of their jam just seemed a little too easy. It feels like they lost the footage of that scene and got Michael to just fill everyone in on a conversation they had that no one saw.

Also, again it was Michael that presented the idea. Could it not have been Aurellio? Everyone could then have turned to him and gone, “Who is this guy in this cool wheelchair?!” and then Michael could go, “That’s a great idea!”.

Don’t Get Cocky kid

IMN: LOL. That would have felt way more natural. As would Burnham running the console while Tilly captained the ship. I think all the Michael stuff comes off worse because when she tells the Admiral to let them go, she has no way of knowing that she would be able to take back the ship. It feels so overconfident and cocky. That her “plan” worked was bad enough, but then to be rewarded with her own captaincy for reckless behavior was just too much. It doesn’t feel like she’s had any growth this season, or if she has, it all took place off screen in her adventures with Book. 

Tilly should have received a promotion for the way she handled command! (And Owosekun a commendation!)

BY: Yeah!

IMN: Okay, enough about what went on aboard Discovery while I try and calm down. (I’m gonna get riled up again later.) I found I enjoyed the away team mission a lot more this week. Proper Starfleet-style working through a problem, both technical and emotional aspects. Although couldn’t Adira have crammed a few more packets of anti-radiation pills in her mouth before beaming down? 

BY: Wait. How did she know to stuff packets of anti-radiation pills in her mouth before beaming down?

IMN: She said it when she met Culber and Saru. She mentioned that “we could hear you talk about the holo on the ship so I thought this might work.” Foreshadowing/payoff. Feels like it was was written by someone different than the rest of the show.

BY: Right. I think I missed that. I thought the away mission was fine. Some emotional bits that just made me go: “whatever, let’s move on.”

50 Shades of ‘Gray’

IMN: And that neatly brings us to Gray. I really thought that they were going to draw some parallels between Gray and “The Monster.” Just how Gray was a part of Adira, “The Monster” was somehow a part of Su’Kal, but they threw out that concept. 

BY: I thought that was a cool thing.

IMN: Before you ask, I have no idea why the Khi’eth’s computer can see Gray as a separate sentient being from Adira. The “real” Gray should be dead, what‘s left should just be her blended memories with the Trill symbiote, or at least that’s how it used to work. I assume that they are going somewhere with this but I have no clue where.

BY: Culber and Stamets spend the next season figuring out how to download “Gray” into one of the DOT robots!

IMN: Could they “see” Gray in those final scenes of the episode? Have they cured death (again)? 

The Goggler Podcast

BY: I think you’re right. The Gray thing felt like the writers were making changes as they went along. I can’t remember there being any foreshadowing about Gray being more than just a memory in Adira’s mind. I liked the fact that the holo on Su’Kal’s ship picked Gray up as a “being,” but now that you’ve brought it up, it just raises more questions and story loopholes…

IMN: It DID look like Stamets and Culber could see Gray during the montage at the end right? Like I said, they’ve cured death, but will probably never address it again.

Stamets seems over his anger at Burnham and Vance at the end too. Handy that.

Captain Burnham

IMN: I do wonder if we could still see the show we’d like to see now that Michael’s in “the big chair.” Hopefully she’ll spend less time butting heads with her superiors who don’t like her or her ideas. It might give the rest of the cast some time in the spotlight as she files reports all day. 

BY: Yeah it looked like everyone made up (off screen). What did you think of the new uniforms? I thought they were kind of nice. A lil plain maybe. My wife immediately remarked how she thought someone in the cast must have made a comment because these uniforms are nowhere near as tight as the previous ones were!

IMN: It happens on every Trek. The uniforms got a lot looser on TNG after Season 3 too! 

The new uniforms reminded me a lot of the ones from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. A little boring perhaps.

No where as cool as the red ones with the flappy jackets that Kirk and the crew wore from the Wrath of Khan onwards, but they’ve looked good on the members of the future Federation for most of the season.

There were still quite a few tight jumpsuits on Federation HQ as well so I guess there’s a variety of uniforms for different roles? 

One thing that I really didn’t like, wasn’t Discovery in atmosphere at the end of the episode (and you know how much I hate that), but the sheer lunacy of the design of Discovery’s interior in the big action scenes this episode!

The turbo lifts hang in space!? How would that even work?

Space: The Final Frontier

IMN: I know it’s a holdover from J.J. Abrams using a brewery as the engine room for the Enterprise in his movies but I hate, hate, hate this idea that the majority of Starfleet vessels are just empty space. It just makes no sense! Why would you have all this unused, probably useless space inside your vessel? 

Why would you even need Jeffires Tubes if you have so much space to reach things!

Stacked Decks

IMN: If you look at a schematic for the Enterprise D, as they had in the background on the show all the time, you could see all the decks, neatly stacked on top of each other! They used up as much space as they could. In this episode it felt like the entire interior the ship was just empty. I hate it. 

Also I’d NEVER get in a turbolift if I knew they were just hanging in space like that. What if the power goes out?

It may look “cool” from a special effects standpoint, but it makes no sense in the universe of the show. Neither does having random sparks flying around your datacore!!!???

What did you think of all this? Did it seem odd to you at all, or are my years of poring over the Enterprise D Technical Manual showing?

BY: All that space did feel weird, and again, this goes back to the writers; it feels like it’s there JUST so they can have a “cool” fight sequence. I have to be honest, I didn’t give it much thought other than: “Huh. That is a lot of empty space just for elevators to move around.” But I moved on. Also, aren’t turbolifts redundant now THAT YOU CAN JUST TELEPORT EVERYWHERE. That’s awful lot of space to waste on old tech. 

Big Empty

IMN: If they’ve got so much free space, why aren’t the rooms bigger?

I’m also confused as to how Tilly and the bridge crew got from the bridge (middle of the saucer section) all that way to one of the nacelles (the pointy enginey bits), all while while locked on Deck 5?

BY: They opened a door and walked down some corridors without being seen, before first popping by the armoury to get some guns. Story!

IMN: I guess that’s what it says in the script so we’d better not ask any further questions.

I’d also assume that in covering so much distance they’d have passed at least a few more emergency oxygen mask caches, or even used that space suit by the window that so many characters have been staring out wistfully all season!

It all feels rushed and unplanned to me. 13 is an odd number of episodes, especially after the 14 and 15 of previous seasons. Maybe they had more planned and COVID changed that? I don’t know. 

It really did feel like I was watching the finale for the whole show at the end there. The Roddenberry quote (very apt in these isolated COVID times), the classic Star Trek theme playing during the credits, I had to double check that the show had already been renewed for Season 4. Where could they possibly go next? 

What’s Next?

BY: That’s what this episode has gotten me most excited about. What Season 4 will look like. With Burnham taking the helm, and the classic music at the end, I wonder if the show will go to a classic “adventure of the week” style format, because all the big questions have been answered. Of course they can always just introduce new ones, but it really feels like that end sequence is an introduction to our crew. This is Discovery now, just as classic Trek was Spock and Sulu and Bones. This is the gang and we’re going on an adventure.

IMN: Interestingly that original gang only got 3 seasons! And Chekov wasn’t added until Season 2! The showrunners seem enamored with the 2-4 BIG arcs per season (war with Klingons, mirror universe, Control, red flares) with smaller beats in between. Hopefully they can scale back the epic moments *slightly* next season. Maybe save a planet or two, instead of the entire universe and all life as we know it each week, and get back to world building this new future again.

I think I’ve mentioned before that we’ve not seen any Klingons or Ferengi this season. I’m not clamouring for an arc, but I think fleshing out some of those “classic” species while introducing new ones, telling stories that reflect the “now” we are all living in, could be interesting if done right. Discovery is basically the Lalamove of the Federation now.

It might also give them a chance to get more guest writers in, to spice things up a bit, although apparently Cronenberg is along for Season 4 as well.
Time to start hoping for a Kovich/Linus team up episode?

Star Trek: Linus?

BY: I’m with you on the Linus special episode. Maybe even do a Christmas episode (because Linus)? I think I’m on record somewhere saying how I like these big arc stories. I tend to feel that it gives a show focus. But Discovery is starting to wear on me a little bit because, as we’ve mentioned, it really feels like the Michael Burnham show and Michael Burnham is just constantly saving the world. 

IMN: Like everyone on Deck 5, if everything is at that scale, there’s no time to breathe.

BY: Exactly. And I think we’ve been panting for awhile now. Maybe time to kick back and have a “holodeck” episode. Or a “new planet” episode where someone can fall in love but then have to kill their love because *insert reason here.* And I’m with you, I wanna see some bloody Klingons already!

The Churn

IMN: To call back to that Javier Grillo Marxuach think piece I’ve referenced before, I’m starting to see “the churn”.

The churn, is – for both good and bad – the constant invention, reinvention, escalation, re-escalation, doubling down, and re-doubling down of concept and incident that must take place in order for long-term narratives to endure. The churn is what you get when the property makes money and there is no end in sight.

“The churn is the latest chase, abduction, or standoff, the new villain, and the new love interest. The churn is the reboot, the preboot, the prequel, the sequel and the equal.

The churn is the crucible in which a story goes from being a story to being like life: an endless series of obstacles, setbacks, repetitions of behaviors good and bad, relapses into behaviors both good and bad, deaths, births, and comings and goings, with little hope of a real resolution. The churn is what happens when a tale morphs from the legend of Odysseus – something with a defined beginning, middle, and end – to the myth of Sisyphus, a story about an endless challenge that can never be completed.” 

Javier Grillo Marxuach

These big arcs should be “big” events in everyone’s lives, but if they have no normal lives, and just these events, it starts to get ridiculous. 

BY: And honestly, a little boring. When your characters are constantly chasing and dodging and solving and fighting, the stakes are constantly at 11, and the audience just feels worn out and bored. Or at least I do.

IMN: Yeah, eject the warp core of “too intense storytelling.” (Another annoyance for me. Ejecting the warp core means you have no power except back up batteries! It sounds cool, but leaves you completely screwed, unless you ignore that altogether which they do!)

Bye Bye Baby, Baby Goodbye

To finish, So long Osyraa, we hardly knew ya.

Star Trek: Discovery, Season 3, is now streaming on CBS All Access in the U.S., as well as on Netflix internationally. You can check out all our other Star Trek content here.

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