Star Trek : Discovery S03E13 is the season 3 finale for this scifi space opera streaming TV drama series. Entitled “That Hope is You (Part 2)” S03E13 effectively completes the character arc for commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) in this third season of Star Trek : Discovery.
Last time out in our S03E12 review, we had cast doubt on some of the world building of this timeline demonstrated in this season of Star Trek : Discovery, specifically relating to the Emerald Chain organisation and to the revealed cause of The Burn. Nothing in S03E13 makes good any defective story telling in this regard but the season finale does go a long way to mitigate their negative impact.
This is achieved by providing strong character development for Burnham. Now, Burnham herself is a divisive character amongst hardcore Trekkers. The fact that she was written as Spock’s sister – not previously mentioned in Star Trek lore – make Burnham problematic for many fans. Although we believe that the series dealt with that issue competently enough by the end of Season 2.
Burnham is an intriguing character – orphaned at 12 and raised in Vulcan – she was almost a female version of Spock but with a recklessly headstrong self-belief that often did more harm than good. Thus, her decisions might often seem irrational, something anathema to Vulcans, she is still fundamentally human. Saddled with a burgeoning saviour complex, Burnham deems it necessary to carry the galaxy’s burden on her petite shoulders.
At the beginning of season 3, Burnham takes it upon herself to bring Starfleet and the Federation of Planets back to its former glories. The sacrifice that Burnham and the rest of the Discovery crew made in order to rescue the galaxy from annihilation seemed in vain when surveying the devastating state of the Federation in the future timeline she found herself in.
Burnham fulfils her quest in this season finale in ways that stretch incredulity at times but consistent within the confines of Star Trek lore. After all, how often have we seen Kirk or Picard perform the impossible in previous Star Trek series? Why should that artistic license not be offered to a female black character like Burnham?
Thus, if like us, you have slowly but surely grown to love Michael Burnham over the course of season 2 and now season 3, then you will find the ending of this season finale very satisfying. There is quite a lot going on thematically as well, that one can appreciate superficially or dig deeper if necessary.
But for the time being, while not up to the standards of realism found on The Expanse, Star Trek : Discovery deserves to be appreciated for taking Star Trek into contemporary serial drama making. Looking forward to Season 4!
… still there’s more …