This article contains spoilers for all five seasons of Star Trek: Discovery.

Every episode of Star Trek: Discovery is now available for streaming on Paramount+. To mark the occasion, The Beat’s Trek team gathered to share thoughts on the show’s finale.

The cast and crew of Discovery outside the Star Trek Stage.
L-R David Tomlinson, Doug Jones, Rod Roddenberry, Olatunde Osunsanmi, Sonequa Martin-Green, Aaron Baiers, Orville Cummings, Tig Notaro, Mary Wiseman, Michelle Paradise, Frank Siracusa, Blu del Barrio, Emily Coutts, Anthony Rapp, Callum Keith Rennie, Alex Kurtzman and John Weber at the Star Trek: Discovery season 5 stage, 2023. Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/Paramount+

What did you think of Discovery season 5 and the show’s series finale? Be sure and let us know in the comment section.

Here’s a link to The Beat’s Disco season 5 preflight roundtable!

What did you think of “Life, Itself”?

AVERY KAPLAN: I am a big fan of the show starting at the “Battle of the Binary Stars” and ending between two black holes. I’m not sure where the twin moons fit in, but I’ll get there.

GEORGE CARMONA: The episode itself was clearly meant to be a season finale and not the end of the series, thankfully they were given the opportunity to make an epilogue to give us that series closure, and it still left room for spinoffs. Visually it was stunning/beautiful in its design. And I can’t wait for the “true” fans to complain about the Progenitor being Black. In the end it had a very Trek ending, saving the day with science guided by morals and compassion. 

D. MORRIS: I think for a Discovery finale it was fine. I really liked the fight between Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Moll (Eve Harlow) as they were going through different environments. I like the reveal for Kovich (David Cronenberg) and the “toys” in his office. I’m with George though this felt like a season finale and in comparison to other great Trek series finales, it fell short.

KELAS LLOYD: I agree that it was beautiful, and I think Michael choosing to put the Progenitor’s technology out of reach was an excellent way to wrap up her arc – she went from thinking she knew better than anyone to realizing she didn’t have all of the answers or the ability to control everything, and that it was okay. I gotta disagree about Kovich, though. The only bright spot about Discovery ending is that we’re not going to be jumping into the shadow of another legacy character.

KAPLAN: I do want to say, though: as happy as I am to have Short Treks’ “Calypso” contextualized, this is not the happy ending I had in mind for Zora (Annabelle Wallis) when I said I wanted to see Discovery brought to the Fleet Museum at the series’ conclusion.

What did you think of Discovery season 5?

LLOYD: This was my favorite season of Discovery. It felt like everyone was finally getting balanced attention. L’ak (Elias Toufexis) and Moll worked well as competition, and while the stakes were still astronomically high the season as a whole felt more grounded and in the moment.

It’s disappointing that they couldn’t have found a way to work Detmer (Emily Coutts) and Owosekun (Oyin Oladejo) in more than 2.5 seconds in the closing montage, though, and I’m also disappointed that Culber (Wilson Cruz) finally had the beginnings of a path for his character and he doesn’t get that journey. For most of the season Commander Rayner (Callum Keith Rennie) felt like an odd fit and choice but the way his experience with the Breen mirrored Burnham’s with the Klingons was a very good way to show how far she’s come since the beginning.

KAPLAN: While I am glad Discovery ignored the voices of many detractors, it does seem like they listened to one fan complaint for season 5: the lack of downtime for the crew. With only 10 episodes this season, we still didn’t get to see too much of this. But, I do feel like the scenes with drinks in the season premiere and finale, as well as a few scenes in the Disco lounge over the course of the season, were intended to remedy this somewhat.

I also found myself invested not just in the romance between Burnham and Book (David Ajala), as I had expected, but also in the romance between Moll and L’ak. And of course, who didn’t find themselves getting emotional over the marriage of Saru (Doug Jones) and T’Rina (Tara Rosling)? An unexpected pairing of characters that just made so much sense, including in their engaging romantic subplots this season.

L-R Sonequa Martin Green as Burnham, Tara Rosling as President T'Rina and Doug Jones as Saru in Star Trek: Discovery steaming on Paramount+, 2023.
Photo Credit: Gibson/Paramount+.

Finally, while I understand and respect the outcome of the storyline, I want to know what the future holds for Disco’s T4T relationship. Since Blu del Barrio, who plays Adira Tal, told me they have ideas in mind for their character’s future with Gray Tal (Ian Alexander), I have been wondering what this future might look like. Let’s hope Starfleet Academy or other future shows see the return of these (and other) beloved Disco characters!

What do you think of Discovery ending here?

KAPLAN: I am not a fan of the show being over. While it made sense to me that Picard ended after three seasons, I would have liked seven seasons from Discovery and Lower Decks, and probably Strange New Worlds (season 3 will clarify).

The silver lining I see here is that Discovery got to go out on top. But still, I would have liked to see the next mutation of the show into a time travel series, or whatever was being set up in the pre-epilogue scenes of “Life, Itself.” Can you imagine getting to see Book and Burnham going on an adventure in the future’s future with Leto (Sawandi Wilson)? Because I sure can.

The Booker fam.
Photo Credit: Gibson/Paramount+.

CARMONA: Also not a fan of the show’s cancellation. There were definitely more stories to be had in the 32nd century. We know what happened to the Romulans and Vulcans, but what about the Klingons? Are the Borg still out there, what happened to the Dominion and the Wormhole? Could we have seen the Pathfinder-class ship open up a can of worms for Discovery to close? 

MORRIS: I’m definitely not a fan of the cancellation. It was really clear that the production team had a lot more they wanted to do and parts of this season felt like a scramble to make it a final season.

I thought Rayner was a great addition to the crew and I really wanted to see more of his character. I barely feel like the show explored the 32nd century. I hope that future Star Trek shows take place in this world and follow Strange New Worlds model of a single episode structure with subplots seeded through them.

LLOYD: Adding on to the chorus here. I feel like Discovery was really hitting its stride in the new setting and there was so much that could be explored here. So much character development that seemed to have been put on the back burner for action was finally being brought to the forefront. The characters were really starting to find themselves, but many of them won’t be completing that journey, and that’s especially true of Culber and Stamets (Anthony Rapp).

Do you have a personal favorite Discovery moment, either in the show or from your personal associated experiences?

CARMONA: Anything Mirror Universe is my jam, the crazy Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) and Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) twist, the over-the-top villainy, and we can’t forget Captain Killy (Mary Wiseman). In the episode “There Is A Tide…Admiral Vance’s (Oded Fehr) conversation about apples with the Emerald Chain leader Osyraa (Janet Kidder) is pure comedic gold.

My favorite interaction with the Crew had to be the press roundtables for season 2 at New York Comic Con in 2018. Cruz’s “grab ‘em by the midterms” pin, was just amazing.

MARTOK THE CAT: p0—–o0 -=[]] o0p–0

KAPLAN: I have two episodes that I especially enjoyed. My favorite from Discovery season 1 was “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad.” Not only is it an excellent time loop episode, but I still think Rainn Wilson as Mudd was such a great comedic foil for Burnham. I’m sad this antagonist never got to return on Discovery but I’m sure he’s off sipping jippers on a beach somewhere.

And then I very much enjoyed how Discovery season 5 gave us a bookend episode in “Face the Strange.” The way this episode gave Burnham a chance to see how far she’d come, while also modeling her path of growth for the betterment of Rayner? We deserve to have more leaders like Burnham, both in media and in real life.

I did have one question, though: if the chronophage had brought them to the looping time period seen in “MtMtSMGM,” what would have happened? I maintain that we need Star Trek: What If…? to answer ridiculous questions like this.

I want to shout out the excellent reference by Jett Reno (Tig Notaro) to Hysperia in “Labyrinths,” which I got very excited about. The more the various (and varied) shows engage in conversation with one another, the better. It’s disappointing that so many of the series are ending just as the Franchise is hitting its integration stride, here.

Finally, I continue to applaud the decision to cast Stacey Abrams as President of Earth. This reveal was kept tightly under wraps and offended some of the worst people on the planet. Die mad, racists, and rot as the better world you fear comes to fruition.

What did you think of Discovery as a whole?

L-R Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham and Oyin Oladejo as Owosekun in Star Trek: Discovery episode 10, season 5 steaming on Paramount+, 2023.
Photo Credit: Gibson/Paramount+.

LLOYD: Trek suffers from the fewer-episode format, and this is most clear in Discovery. We just plain didn’t spend enough time with most of the characters, from Detmer to Culber and Gray to Rayner.

We did have some great times with this crew, though, a whole kettle of fish out of water who nonetheless became family. I wish there had been less focus on potentially galaxy-ending disasters and more on the characters, but that doesn’t change the fact that I love them. If I was to rank my favorite Trek series, it probably comes in at number three out of the ten which is still strong. 

CARMONA: Discovery like Voyager in the 90s launched a new network. Like her Burnham character, Martin-Green was the guiding light for the fledgling CBS All Access streaming service. 

It was a big gamble for the network and Star Trek to ask fans to pay for Trek, but dammit it worked. Yes, the shorter season lengths didn’t give us as much time with all the characters, but all of the characters got chances to shine and let the actors have fun. 

Unlike Voyager, Discovery was that Torchbearer from “The Vulcan Hello” leading the way for more and different Trek, from Short Treks, Lower Decks, Prodigy, Picard, to the direct spin-offs Strange New Worlds and in production Section 31 and Starfleet Academy. And it did it by remixing all the before Trek with amazing graphics, design, and story. 

And we still haven’t talked about the IDIC of it all, with a Black Woman being #1 on the call sheet, and a very diverse cast, including several prominent characters whose sexual orientation wasn’t a one-off plot point of the week. Beyond that Disco was a creatively fun, and a thoughtful ride that will be missed. Definitely in the Top 5 of the Star Trek franchise. 

KAPLAN: With its unapologetic feminist slant and more diversity than any other Star Trek series ever (which is saying something), Discovery really triggered a lot of far-right snowflakes and other CHUDs inundated by their own unexamined biases. A simple glance at social media will corroborate this, as even with the series having ended, some people who ostensibly don’t like the show have nothing better to do than send post after post about how Disco is “objectively bad” (but coincidentally, never for sexist or racist reasons – imagine that). I hope those people eventually learn that there’s a distinction between their opinions and inarguable facts.

For my part, I thoroughly enjoyed Discovery and look forward to returning to it in the years to come. I enjoyed the trans rep (which was still breaking down barriers in the fifth season), I loved and related to many of the characters and the action and science fiction each had many high points over the show’s run. 

Plus, ever since Spot on The Next Generation (I’m too young for Isis), I have had a soft spot in my heart for cats on Trek. So recurring character Grudge (Leeu and Durban) was a dream come true.

Thanks to Martin-Green and the whole cast and crew for this meaningful, groundbreaking and memorable series. Live long and prosper, friends.

The entirety of Star Trek: Discovery is currently available for streaming on Paramount+.

You can keep up with all of The Beat’s Star Trek coverage here.