The first season of Star Trek: Discovery concludes this Sunday with the final episode, “Will You Take My Hand?” As you can see in our preview analysis, we know the ship, now under the temporary command of Emperor Georgiou, undertakes a hazardous mission to map the Klingon homeworld Qo’noS in anticipation of a Federation strike. Burnham, Tilly, Tyler and Georgiou also undertake another secret mission involving an alien city and an exotic nightclub; a Klingon armada launches an assault on a planet; L’Rell has an unpleasant confrontation with the Emperor, and Burnham clashes with Cornwell over adhering to Federation principles during times of war.
But what else might happen in the finale? Let’s take a look at a few likely (and not so likely) possibilities:
There’s a last-minute twist
With Discovery’s habit of dropping a huge revelation on us just before the end credits (they don’t know where they are! Mirror Georgiou! Mirror Lorca! Mirror Georgiou again!) there’s almost no way the show is going to wrap everything up neatly and call it a day. But what will it be? Time travel? The return of Lorca? A character or ship from another series showing up? A last-minute death? All of the above?
The end of the Klingon war
We were told Discovery would tell the story of the epic war between the Klingons and the Federation, looking at the motivations and consequences from each side, which could have been great. The Dominion War gave Deep Space Nine a perspective on Trek we’d never had before, with Starfleet officers and ideals tested to their limits, and it’s something that Discovery could have done brilliantly. Somewhere, someone decided that storyline wasn’t working out and the war got quietly relegated to the background. Will the war carry on into next season? Frankly there’s more chance of Ripper returning wearing a sparkly costume and belting out show tunes.
The crew unites against Emperor Georgiou
The Emperor’s the antithesis of everything the Federation stands for, and, even though their situation’s desperate, giving her command of Starfleet’s most important starship was a bizarre decision. She’s obviously up to something nefarious (we’ll guess she’s planning to destroy Qo’noS) so it’s only a matter of time before she crosses the line with the crew. And what better way to complete Burnham’s arc for this season than to have her redeem herself by standing up to another version of Georgiou and successfully stopping the war she started?
Sylvia Tilly has been one of the unexpected delights of Discovery. While her combination of youthful exuberance and smarts could have caused a case of Wesley Crusher syndrome, she’s grown to become one of the show’s most endearing characters. Her potty mouth has proven somewhat less of a hit with certain areas of fandom though. Amongst other delights, she’s become the first onscreen character in Trek history to drop the F-bomb. Will she let out a “colorful metaphor” during a particularly tense moment? Seems likely.
The Enterprise appears
Much as we’re hopeful the greatest ship in Starfleet history will show up eventually, we’re unsure if they’ll drop it on us this season. We’ve yet to see a Constitution Class ship in Discovery, other than a wireframe diagram of the Defiant, so we’re due one. In Discovery’s timeframe, Pike’s in command of the USS Enterprise with Spock serving as science officer, meaning a potentially awkward family reunion for Burnham. The Enterprise showing up in the last scene would make for one hell of a cliffhanger.
Discovery gets a new captain
With the Federation’s survival at stake, it’s unlikely Starfleet will get to the small matter of appointing a new captain for the Discovery until next season, as we are assuming Emperor Georgiou’s time in the big chair won’t last. Should they somehow find time, there are a few potential candidates. Saru has grown as a leader over the course of a season. It’s hard to imagine the risk-averse Kelpien we met in “The Vulcan Hello” sanctioning a move as risky as the one he used to escape the mirror universe. Although it’s her likely destiny, Burnham’s probably not quite ready for the big chair yet. They could give it to Airiam; she might even get a few lines then! Or someone new?
L’Rell joins the crew
While the redesigned Klingons have been hit and miss, Mary Chieffo has been superb as L’Rell, even if she’s spent the entire second half of the season in the brig. It would be a shame if she didn’t stick around for season two. Could she join the crew as some kind of advisor? Or, if Tyler isn’t reinstated as chief of security, could she take that role? Apparently, Klingons are quite good at that.
The show hits a great big “reset button”
The current situation with the Klingons presents an interesting continuity dilemma. On one hand, there’s never been an on-screen reference to the Federation being nearly wiped out by the Klingons. One reason may be that in the course of this episode something happens – possibly another spore jump – that resets the timeline. On the other hand, the Starfleet shown in The Original Series seemed to be significantly smaller and less advanced than that in Discovery. A depleted Federation rebuilding after a devastating war would quite neatly deal with that.
A main character dies
With the high body count so far on Discovery, we’d be amazed if everyone makes it to the end credits in one piece. After losing Lorca already, we’re going to say the rest of the main cast will be fine. Supporting cast though? That’s a different matter entirely. Emperor Georgiou might as well have “dead (fake) captain walking” tattooed on her forehead. And, call us sadists, but we’d like it if they brought Ensign Connor back again, just to kill him for a third time.
Discovery has broken many Trek taboos, with swearing, graphic violence and sex scenes all having their fair share of screen time. But so far (L’Rell’s impressive prosthetic body aside) it’s shied away from nudity. The likes of Patrick Stewart and Jolene Blalock have done nude scenes in Trek previously, but they were fairly tame. That could be about to change though, as the finale sees Burnham’s team visiting what seems to be an alien strip club. Is the show about to inflict space boobs on us? We’re not ruling it out.
The seriously cool black badges appeared when Burnham first boarded the Discovery in “Context Is For Kings,” and never since. Will we find out what they represent? Are they to do with another of Discovery’s secrets? Did Lorca decide they were a little too on the nose and scrap them? Or were they just a cool merchandising idea? “Context…” was directed by executive producer Akiva Goldsman, who’s directed the finale. Will he drop them in again?
Captain Killy survived
Okay, the Mirror Discovery was destroyed by the Klingons, but does Captain Killy really seem the type to go down with the ship? While we’ve only seen Prime Tilly’s interpretation of her, Captain Killy is already a fan favorite and it’d be a shame if we never saw the real thing. We’re sure she’ll show up eventually but, unless the Klingons are holding her prisoner on Qo’noS, it’s likely we’ll have to wait.
We’ve been assured repeatedly that Culber’s death isn’t a simple “bury your gays” scenario, but so far, his posthumous appearances have been to guide Stamets through the mycelial network and to give him some closure. We don’t think we’ve seen the last of the doctor, but his spore ghost has already shown up a couple of times so maybe their next reunion is something for season two.
Everyone’s favorite tardigrade was last seen disappearing into the mycelium network, having been freed by Burnham and Tilly. And much as we’d love a reappearance, its life on the Discovery was not a happy one, so we’re doubtful it’d be tempted to pop back for a visit. We like to think he’s out there traveling the universe, perhaps looking for Mrs. Ripper.
One of the bridge crew gets a line other than ‘aye captain.’
One drawback of Discovery not focusing on the bridge crew is that they rarely get to say anything that isn’t purely functional. There’s some potentially interesting characters there (I’d happily watch an Airiam spinoff show for starters), but after an entire season, we still barely know them. We saw the most of the bridge team in “What’s Past Is Prologue,” but we’d really like to see more, a bit more characterization for them would be nice but we’re not holding our breath for the finale. Hopefully season 2 will flesh them out.
Prime Lorca appears
Lorca’s death in “What’s Past Is Prologue” seemed like a definitive end to Jason Isaacs’ time on Trek, but could the captain make a surprise return? Admiral Cornwell speculated that Prime Lorca died in the Mirror Universe as “no Starfleet officer could survive that universe alone,” but that’s just an assumption. As for the mirror version we know and love? Well, who knows what the effects of falling into a giant ball of mycelium are? Both Isaacs and the producers have been coy about whether we’ll see Lorca again in some form so, as a great man once said, there are always possibilities.
They win the war with Lorca’s tribble
What if Lorca’s pet tribble is a Chekhov’s (not that one) Gun? A loaded weapon sat in plain sight, waiting to be used at the right moment? Think about it, they travel to Qo’noS, unleash a plague of tribbles, the Klingon ecosystem is destroyed and they have to quit fighting to rebuild? It’s backed up in the episode preview – Tyler’s carrying a large bag, obviously full of tribbles. They meet a Klingon in a seedy nightclub, obviously with foreknowledge of his plan to genetically engineer glommers, and a Klingon armada destroys a planet – which is the tribble homeworld, as later recounted by Worf. It explains why Klingons hate Tribbles and, er, the famine results in some kind of Klingon genetic mutation? Oh god, we’ve cracked it haven’t we?
Saru becomes lunch
No. Just, no.
Of course, all our predictions could be way off. What are yours? Let us know in the comments below.
Star Trek: Discovery season finale will be available on CBS All Access in the USA, and air in Canada on the Space Channel, this Sunday, February 11. It will available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada on Monday, February 12.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.