'Star Trek: Discovery' wraps first season with promise

Sunday, 11 February 2018 09:30 PM Written by 

SPOILERS ahead for the first-season finale of "Star Trek: Discovery."

Star Trek Discovery s1 finale

It took more than three-quarters of the way through the first season to get to the optimism producers promised from the start, but the first-season finale of CBS All Access' "Star Trek: Discovery" finally delivered on that pitch with an ending effectively designed to give "Trek" fans goosebumps.

Read more, spoilers included, after the jump. ...

After an abrupt and unrealistc end to the Klingon-Federation war -- it took merely a threat of destruction to bring it to a pretty unsatisfying, unbelievable conclusion -- that saw Mirror Universe Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) and Tyler (Shazad Latif) just sort of wander off, the Discovery received a hail from the U.S.S. Enterprise under the command of Capt. Pike while en route to Vulcan to pick up Discovery's new captain.

Seeing the Enterprise swoop in after getting the hint it would be that ship from a call sign, was breathtaking and made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

While I'm sort of surprised Paramount will allow the Spock character to be on "Discovery" when there's still the prospect of Zachary Quinto playing the character in big-screen films, the timeline is such that Spock would have been on the Enterprise with Pike at this point in "Trek" history. If fans don't see Spock with his foster sister Burnham (Sonequa Martin Green) next season, there will be much discord in Trekdom.

All-in-all, the first season of "Discovery" ultimately worked and the back half of the season, in particular, redeemed my concerns at the outset when the show introduced Burnham and Georgiou, who made a great team, and then disappointed by killing off Georgiou and saddling us with the ambiguously-accented Lorca (Jason Isaacs).

But in the show's best twist -- far superior to the Tyler-is-Voq plot that fans figured out -- Lorca turned out to be the Mirror Universe, evil version of Lorca, who got killed off. Going to the Mirror Universe also allowed "Discovery" to bring back Georgiou for some necessary closure that allows the series to move forward, presumably without Georgiou, in its second season. And I'm OK with that.

At this point, showrunners Aaron Harberts and Franklin Park native Gretchen Berg proved the show is in capable hands going forward. Season one delivered. It took longer than it usually does on "Trek" but that's due to the highly-serialized, novelistic nature of this iteration and the writers' willingness to take risks that may annoy fans in the early going but ultimately pay off in the end. That's a reinvention of "Star Trek" I'll continue to follow.

Now if they could just get a budget that allows a few more lights on set in season two so viewers can see what's happening -- so often the show was not only tonally dark but literally dark -- then "Discovery" will be in ship shape.

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