Movie Reviews

I'm Confused, I Thought Star Trek: Discovery Had Already Fixed Short Treks

WARNING: Contains SPOILERS for Star Trek: Discovery’s finale, “Life, Itself”!


Summary

  • Star Trek: Discovery’s season 5 finale explains the connection to “Calypso” set in the far future, providing closure to this storyline.
  • The rushed epilogue of Star Trek: Discovery has left fans confused and feeling that the connection to “Calypso” was unnecessary.
  • Showrunner Michelle Paradise’s attempt to spell out the link to “Calypso” in the epilogue may have been insulting to the audience.


I found Star Trek: Discovery finale’s epilogue confusing because I thought they’d already made sense of Star Trek: Short Treks‘ “Calypso” earlier in season 5. Released in 2018, “Calypso” is set in the far future, at a time of conflict, and long after the crew of the USS Discovery have abandoned the ship and its computer, Zora (Annabelle Wallis). Drifting in space, Zora rescues the wounded solider, Craft (Aldis Hodge) and forms a bond with him before reuniting him with his family. For years, it was promised that Discovery would explain “Calypso” eventually, but if anything, the finale’s epilogue has only served to make things more confusing.


The ending of Star Trek: Discovery‘s series finale reveals that Admiral Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) piloted the USS Discovery to its eventual rendezvous with Craft in the far future. Showrunner Michelle Paradise has said that setting up “Calypso” would have been part of Star Trek: Discovery season 6 before it was canceled, meaning the epilogue was a rushed resolution. However, I feel Discovery‘s epilogue was unnecessary because I’m not sure how many people care about maintaining continuity with Star Trek: Short Treks, but mainly because a solid “Calypso” explanation was given in Discovery season 5, episode 4, “Face the Strange”.

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Related

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

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.


Short Treks Was Already Explained Earlier In Star Trek: Discovery Season 5

“Captain, is that you? Or is it another dream?”


Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 4, “Face the Strange” gave a perfect explanation for Star Trek: Short Treks‘ “Calypso”. Shifting through the past and future, Captain Burnham and Commander Rayner (Callum Keith Rennie) found themselves aboard an abandoned and empty USS Discovery. In this alternate future, the Breen Imperium had obtained the Progenitors’ technology and used its power to lay waste to Starfleet and the Federation. If the Breen’s devastating attack doesn’t set up a future where the universe is at war, then I don’t know what does. There’s even calypso music playing when Burnham and Rayner walk on to Discovery’s bridge!

The only explanation for
Discovery
returning to “Calypso” for the epilogue is that showrunner Michelle Paradise and the writers’ room believed the connection had to be spelled out…


There’s more than enough information given in Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 4, to join the dots between the alternative future and Star Trek: Short Treks‘ “Calypso”. Zora’s loneliness and dreams directly ties into the melancholy love story of “Calypso”, and the Breen’s destruction of the Federation sets up Craft’s backstory. The only explanation for Discovery returning to “Calypso” for the epilogue is that showrunner Michelle Paradise and the writers’ room believed the connection had to be spelled out, which I find insulting to the audience.

Star Trek: Discovery Deserved A Better Ending


Star Trek: Discovery deserved a better ending than an epilogue that asked more questions than it answered. No explanation is given for why Admiral Burnham has to leave the USS Discovery and Zora behind to rendezvous with Craft beyond it being a Red Directive mission handed down by David Cronenberg’s Doctor Kovich. The ending of Discovery should have been satisfying for the characters rather than satisfying for the handful of fans who needed overt confirmation that the show would eventually connect to a niche webisode from six years ago. I genuinely believe that Discovery‘s finale should have ended with Book and Burnham beaming off into the sunset.

The crew of the USS Discovery reunited for the wedding of Admiral Saru (Doug Jones) and President T’Rina (Tara Rosling) is the happy ending that Star Trek: Discovery should have had. Book and Burnham excusing themselves for another exciting adventure is an optimistic open-ended climax that creates narrative potential for the future. Instead, Star Trek: Discovery jumps ahead into the future to leave the USS Discovery drifting alone in space, a fan service ending that bears no meaning for the characters we’ve spent five seasons with.


All episodes of Star Trek: Discovery are streaming now on Paramount+.

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