Star Trek Discovery has finally reached the end of its highly uneven first season (for my episode by episode musing, go here). The season finale was not as bad as I feared – no one died, for starters, which is a good thing – but it still offered a wildly uneven conclusion to a messy and uneven season.
Warning! Spoilers underneath the cut!
When we last left the Discovery crew, they found themselves under the command of yet another genocidal tyrant and mirror universe imposter, namely Empress Philippa the Merciless posing as Captain Georgiou miraculously returned from the dead. Because the Discovery writers have never met a plot twist they didn’t like so much they weren’t willing to use it twice.
Unlike Lorca, Mirror Georgiou doesn’t even try to fit in. Instead, all her worst qualities are on full display. She mistreats non-human crewmembers and taunts Saru both about his ever-present anxiety and about the fact that his people are considered a tasty snack in her universe. Saru dryly tells Mirror Georgiou that he has become so tough that many find him unpalatable, which is a great comeback. Saru has truly improved a lot as a character, considering I didn’t like him at all to mid point of the season.
Mirror Georgiou also proceeds to beat the shit out of L’Rell, who is still imprisoned in the Discovery‘s brig in order to get L’Rell to divulge the location and layout of some caves on the Klingon homeworld Qo’noS (or “the enemy planet”, as Mirror Georgiou calls it). I suspect I should be more upset by Georgiou engaging in Starfleet sanctioned prisoner torture, but then we already know that this version of Starfleet and the Federation consist of horrible people and besides, L’Rell is so unlikable that I don’t particularly care what happens to her. Though L’Rell not only refuses to talk, she also can’t resist informing Mirror Georgiou that she and her fellow Klingons ate the body of the regular universe Philippa Georgiou, just in case viewers had forgotten that disgusting detail. If there was an award for the Star Trek show most obsessed with cannibalism, Star Trek Discovery would win it by a mile. In fact, I can’t recall any mention of cannibalism ever in any Star Trek show. And indeed no TV show with the possible exception of Hannibal (another Bryan Fuller show – I am beginning to sense a pattern here) has ever been so obsessed with cannibalism.
Michael eventually suggests to Mirror Georgiou that maybe she should talk to Ash Tyler, since he has access to Voq’s memories and his knowledge of the geography of Qo’noS and unlike L’Rell is actually willing to help. At least, Michael thinks that Ash would be willing to help. She has no way to know for sure, since she abandoned him last episode to suffer on his own and achieve redemption. And yes, I still can’t get over how shittily Michael treated the only person aboard the Discovery who only ever treated her well. Meanwhile, Ash is making sailor’s knots to remind himself of his human identity (he did mention that he liked to go sailing and trout fishing a couple of episodes ago), when Michael and Mirror Georgiou walk in on him. Mirror Georgiou immediately treats Ash horribly and refer to him as “it”, but Ash nonetheless tells them that the caves they want to access are part of a Klingon shrine located underneath land the Klingons have granted to the Orions. The Orions, so long term Star Trek fans will remember, are the green-skinned aliens who run a crime syndicate and who mainly appear in the form of scantily clad slave girls and dancers. Now I would have no problem believing that there would be a district/quarter populated mainly by Orions and other non-Klingons and given over to gambling, drugs and prostitution on the version of Qo’noS populated by the Klingons as portrayed in Next Generation and beyond. But considering how xenophobic and isolationist the Klingons have been portrayed in Star Trek Discovery so far, it makes no sense that they would tolerate any non-Klingons on their homeworld, let alone give them land on which they can pursue their less than savoury business. Whatever happened to “Klingons must remain pure” and “Make the Klingon Empire great again”?
The answer is that the Discovery writers decided that they wanted to send some of their characters on an undercover mission to Qo’noS. And so they came up with the idea of having a whole neighbourhood on Qo’noS where non-Klingons and even humans are able to walk around unmolested. Who cares that none of this fits with the way the Klingons have been portrayed in this series so far? Besides, the Orion neighbourhood on Qo’noS is an excuse to feature some scantily clad green-skinned women (and – pleasantly – a few men). And we all know that sex sells TV subscriptions in the US.
Mirror Georgiou immediately decides to lead an undercover mission to the Orion neighbourhood on Qo’noS in order to deploy a “drone” to map the caves or some such thing. The away team consists of – no, not a bunch of expendable redshirts (and indeed, away teams in Discovery no longer seem to include redshirts in general, killing off a noxious trope like so many poor redshirts in Star Trek history), but of Mirror Georgiou, Michael, Ash Tyler and Tilly. Ash Tyler at least has an in-story reason for being there, since he is the one who knows where the caves are and how to access them. Michael is merely there for maximum emotional drama, though you could also make a case for the fact that Georgiou wants her around because of the connection they shared in both universes. As for Tilly, I guess the writers simply thought it would be fun to plunge her into a sleazy alien gambling den and brothel. Coincidentally, it takes Tilly all of two minutes to figure out that the Georgiou currently serving as captain of the Discovery is the mirror universe version.
Together, Mirror Georgiou, Michael, Ash and Tilly make an even more awkward undercover team than Michael, Ash and Lorca did a couple of episodes ago. Nonetheless, off they go to pose as human arms dealers, dressed in some really cool leather outfits. And indeed, the costumes are one aspect of Star Trek Discovery that has been consistently great. Gavia Baker-Whitelaw has an insightful interview with costume designer Gersha Phillips here.
I’ve seem some complaints that the sleazy Orion neighbourhood is a science fiction cliché and that the green-skinned Orions are a problematic Orientalist stereotype (because it’s not as if Star Trek, particularly the original series, hasn’t been full of all sorts of problematic stereotypes and the Orions have never been the worst of the bunch), while others are offended by the fact that the world’s oldest profession will still be a thing in the far future. Now I agree that sleazy neighbourhoods are a science fiction cliché, though one that does not stem from Star Trek, but can instead be traced back to the cantina scene of Star Wars and beyond into written science fiction.
However, like many clichés the sleazy science fiction neighbourhood contains more than a kernel of truth. Because every decent-sized city will have a redlight district full of strip clubs, sleazy bars, more or less visible prostitution and clubs where drugs are as easily available as sugar water masquerading as champagne. Mostly, this redlight district will be near a major transport hub, either the central train station or the harbour, if there is one. It doesn’t even need to be a big city – the small village where I grew up had two brothels with a third halfway between our and the neighbouring village. And everybody knew where they were. Just as I bet you know where the redlight district in your city is. And you probably know the names of at least a few of the establishments. You may know the name of the coolest club or the dodgiest dive bar and maybe you can even name drop a strip joint or a brothel. So the reason we have so many redlight districts in science fiction is because we have so many of them in real life – near every harbour or train station, in every city and every town. And whatever your personal stand on sex work, it will always be with us in some form. But why do we take such delight in describing these places in our fiction (and not just science fiction either – crime fiction and thrillers quite often takes us to the sleazy underbelly of society as well)? Because it offers us a safe way to take a peek inside those places, to venture where we would or could never go in real life (women are still banned from the prostitution streets that exist in many German cities). There is a reason why Hamburg’s famous red light district in St. Pauli has been the setting of so many German novels and movies (and some foreign ones, too, e.g. one of the Jack Reacher novels is set there), which usually make it look so much more interesting than the underwhelming reality. At any rate, I love writing scenes set in dodgy spaceport bars (I just wrote one based on what is supposedly the second-roughest bar in all of Hamburg St. Pauli), sleazy gambling dens and the like. I always have, all the way back to early stories written as a teen which will never see the light of day. For me, these scenes were a way of putting into fiction what I saw in the real world (my Dad works in the shipping industry, so I have seen a lot of harbour cities and they all have redlight districts, including open ones like in Amsterdam or Antwerp), taking a peek behind the walls that hide Herbertstraße and Helenenstraße from public view without gawking at the very real women who work there and sending my characters where I cannot go myself. And coincidentally, I’d love to see an SF take on Große Freiheit Nr. 7 or Polizeirevier Davidswache which move the setting from St. Pauli into outer space. Though I guess I’ll have to write that one myself.
And so I did enjoy the detour Star Trek Discovery took into the Klingon answer to Hamburg St. Pauli. Nonetheless, I feel that a side trip like this would be far more suitable to a mid season episode rather than the season finale. In fact, it is as if the Canto Bight sequences in The Last Jedi had been the climax of the film rather than something that happened in the middle. Fun sequence, but the pacing is off. Just as the stakes – will a bomb destroy all of Qu’noS and wipe out the Klingons? – never felt as dramatic as they should have and not just because we know that Qo’noS and the Klingons will survive. Indeed, given how awfully the Klingons were portrayed in Discovery, I found it hard to care about them in general. Except for L’Rell and Voq, I can’t even remember their names. And I only remember Voq’s name, because he’s the one who becae Ash Tyler.
Though at least the characters enjoyed themselves – more or less. Mirror Georgiou drags everybody to a brothel, where she has a threesome with a young green-skinned man and woman, implying that at least the mirror universe version of Philippa Georgiou is bisexual. Coincidentally, Tilly initially assumes that the female prostitute Georgiou orders is intended for her and politely tries to decline. So does this mean that Tilly is lesbian or bi?
While Mirror Georgiou has fun (and interrogates her sex partners at gun point afterwards), Michael and Ash get to spend some awkward moments together. Ash sits down to gamble with some Klingons to get some information out of them and actually seems to enjoy himself for once. When Michael wonders why the Klingons, who are supposed to hate humans after all, accept him so easily, Ash tells her that to the Klingons, a human speaking Klingon is a curiosity, like a waterskiing dog. I guess I know a lot of waterskiing dogs then. Though there are quite a few humans running around the Orion redlight district and none of the Klingons bat an eyelash, which doesn’t fit at all with their supposes insistence on racial purity and their rampant xenophobia. Okay, so maybe L’Rell, Voq and the rest of the gang were extremists (which would also explain why they were so unlike any Klingons we have ever seen) and the rest of the Klingons don’t particularly mind humans or indeed any non-Klingons at all. But none of this is actually explained, the plot simply dumps our heroes into a neighbourhood on a supposedly hyper-xenophobic planet where they can walk around unmolested in the middle of a war.
While Ash actually seems to be loosening up a little, Michael experiences a PTSD flashback triggered by sound of Klingons laughing, which reminds her of the night her parents were murdered. This moment was a good reminder that Michael is a very damaged young woman and was so long before we met her and that she has a legitimate reason to dislike Klingons. I kind of hoped that Michael’s PTSD episode would be a precursor to her and Ash getting back together – after all, Ash is just as damaged as Michael is and both Ash and Michael could use some help and support in overcoming their respective traumata. Besides, I loved the supportive relationship they had before the stupid Voq reveal – and indeed, Ash is still incredibly supportive once Michael tells him about the death of her parents, even though Michael dumped him last episode when he needed help and support. Nonetheless, I hoped that they’d get back together, but no such luck, because the writers believe that trauma is best overcome by suffering in solitude. And of course, they also believe that romantic relationships that work have no place in Star Trek Discovery, since they managed to destroy the two good romantic relationships in their show, and indeed two of the best in all of Star Trek, since believable romantic relationships were never one of Star Trek‘s strengths.
While Mirror Georgiou and Ash are enjoying themselves and Michael has a PTSD episode, Tilly is stuck guarding the “drone”. She also manages to eat some endangered space whale meat and accidentally gets high by wandering into the Klingon equivalent of an opium den. But of course, the “drone” is not a drone at all, but a bomb, as pretty much everybody realised already. Tilly eventually catches on and immediately informs Michael. But when they return to defuse the bomb drone, Georgiou has already taken it to plant it in the caves, the location of which the team was trying to discover. At this point, Michael finally realises that Mirror Georgiou isn’t acting on her own, but with the tacit approval of Starfleet. She confronts Admiral Cornwell about this and tells her that she will not have any part in a plan that involves genocide, because even in desperate times, Starfleet still has ideals that should not be abandoned. Finally, Michael also threatens to stage another mutiny – because that worked so well the first time. And this time, Saru and the rest of the bridge crew even support Michael.
It is clear that the entire arc of this season has been pushed towards this moment. The series started off with Michael committing mutiny for the wrong reasons because she disagreed with the real Georgiou’s insistence on keeping true to Starfleet’s ideals even when faced with a clearly dangerous opponent and now it ends with Michael threatening to commit mutiny again for the right reasons, because Starfleet is about to betray its own ideals in dealing with a dangerous opponent. It’s pretty much a textbook redemption arc, but it still doesn’t work. For starters, because I still don’t believe that Michael needs any redeeming. Okay, so she probably shouldn’t have been let anywhere near a starship bridge with her massive untreated PTSD, but beyond nerve-pinching her captain (something Spock did several times in the original series and the movies without repercussions), she actually never did anything. Michael’s mutiny failed before it had barely started and she never got the chance to fire at the Klingon vessel. And Michael’s completely disproportionate punishment for her “crime” as well as Starfleet using her as a scapegoat for its own incompetence already demonstrated that Starfleet and the Federation abandoned their supposed ideals a long time ago. Of course, it was nice to see Saru and the bridge crew remembering what Starfleet is supposed to stand for, but we already saw that two weeks ago. And besides, the second mutiny just sort of fizzles out. Michael never gets to nerve-pinch Admiral Cornwell nor is the Admiral arrested and thrown into the brig. No, Michael holds her little inspirational speech and the Admiral agrees to give up her plan just like that. As conclusions go, that’s rather anti-climactic.
But of course, Mirror Georgiou still has the bomb drone. Michael eventually tracks her down and informs her that Admiral Cornwell called the mission off. Mirror Georgiou, however, isn’t willing to just abandon the mission so easily. Instead, she plans to use the bomb as leverage over the Klingons to gain personal power. And she asks Michael to join her. Michael, of course, refuses and tells Georgiou that she will have to kill Michael, if she wants to escape with the bomb trigger. However, killing Michael will bring down the might of all of Starfleet onto Mirror Georgiou’s head. Personally, I doubt that Starfleet command gives a fuck about what happens to Michael – if anything they’ll probably be happy to be rid of an embarrassment. However, Mirror Georgiou believes her and hands over the bomb trigger to live and fight another day. Coincidentally, I like the fact that unlike Lorca, Mirror Georgiou isn’t just evil for the sake of being evil, but that she’s mainly a power-hungry opportunist. And so she gets to walk away and will probably have taken over the entire Orion crime syndicate within a matter of months.
However, there is still a bomb to dispose of and a war to end and only a few minutes of the episode left. And so Michael does both in one sweep. She frees L’Rell from the Discovery‘s brig, beams her onto a Klingon vessel and hands her the bomb trigger. Because if you have just retrieved the trigger for a planet destroying bomb from one genocidal maniac, it of course makes sense to give it to another genocidal maniac. But then, this is standard for the level of plotting in this show, considering that Cornwell and Sarek retrieved the Discovery from one murderous mirror universe impersonator, only to promptly hand it over to another (and once more, Discovery repeats its own plot points and twists). L’Rell takes the bomb detonator and uses it as a threat to unite the Klingon houses under her leadership or else… Of course, the Klingon Empire is now under the control of a political and religious extremist, but hey, at least she’s stopping the war with the Federation, so all is well, at least until next season.
That still leaves Ash Tyler as a loose end to be tied off. And so Ash inexplicably announces that he wants to stay on Qo’noS with L’Rell, because his unique status as a human/Klingon hybrid allows him to promote understanding and peace between humans and Klingons (yeah, we know how well that will go). Of course, only a few episodes ago Ash was so traumatised by the mere sight of L’Rell that he became catatonic. And even if the rape and sexual abuse he remembers were actually consensual sex between Voq and L’Rell (which is a real slap in the face of rape survivors everywhere), Ash still basically goes off to follow the person he believes raped him (and we still don’t know if L’Rell didn’t force herself on him, while Ash’s personality was dominant) to live on a planet full of purity-obsessed Klingons who hate people who look like Ash and will hate him even more for having once been one of them. It’s a truly shitty ending for a character who was one of my favourites in this show.
There is an emotional good-bye and one more kiss between Ash and Michael, but I still don’t buy why these two can’t be together, especially since they clearly care about each other and were good for each other. Even if Starfleet is not willing to take back Ash – and remember that they were willing to take back Picard, after he was Locutus and wiped out half of Starfleet, and Scotty, after he killed a couple of women, while possessed by a malevolent entity in “Wolf in the Fold” – he and Michael could still have a future together. But I suspect the production team wanted to get rid of the Ash Tyler character, because he would always serve as a reminder of the stupid Klingon war storyline and the even stupider Voq subplot that I suspect everybody would rather forget. Not to mention that having a Klingon, albeit a human looking one, serving aboard a Starfleet ship ten years before the original series would contradict the claim that Worf was the first. But then, Star Trek Discovery never cared about canon before, so why here? Or maybe Shazad Latif wanted to leave, especially since he has indicated in interviews that he wasn’t happy with the way his character was written. Of course, there is always the possibility that Ash will be back next season, which would be great, though I for one wouldn’t bet on it. In short, the Star Trek Discovery ruined two of their most likeable characters (let’s not forget poor Dr. Culber who met his demise at the hands of Ash while Voq) and destroyed two of best romantic relationships in all of Star Trek for the sake of a cheap twist, which had zero impact on the overall plot at the end.
The episode ends with the Discovery crew back on Earth. Michael is finally pardoned, gets her rank back and is also reunited with her foster parents, Sarek and Amanda, who tell her how proud they are of her. Nice of them to remember, considering that neither Sarek nor Amanda nor Spock were anywhere in sight, when Michael was sentenced to life in prison. Michael and the whole Discovery crew also get commendations and Michael gets to hold a speech about the values of Starfleet. It should be an elating moment, much like the medal ceremony at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope, and indeed quite a few people reported that they got misty-eyed at the final speech. And if I hadn’t actually watched what came before, I might well have reacted similarly. However, while Michael gives her “Starfleet and its values” speech, I can’t help but notice that Admiral Cornwell and Sarek, both of whom were fully willing to commit genocide, are standing right there and that neither of them has experienced any repercussions, though Sarek is at least very sorry for what he was willing to do. Nor can I forget that the very Starfleet whose values Michael extolls totally and utterly screwed her over. And indeed part of me hoped that Michael would end her speech with, “Screw you all, I quit” and go off with Ash or maybe even that Michael, Saru and the entire Discovery crew would go rogue and decide to fight the good fight independently of Starfleet, as Katharine Trendacosta suggests here. It would have been a bold move, allowing the show to move forward into new territory without tying itself too much to (or interfering too closely with) established Star Trek canon. And indeed, I just read the third novel in a science fiction series (not naming the title here because of spoilers), which not only did the “dark Starfleet” thing much better then Discovery, but also came to that very conclusion and had the main not-Starfleet vessel go independent at the end.
However, the producers of Star Trek Discovery apparently finally remembered that the show they are making is called Star Trek and not Game of Thrones in space and so they decided that they want to make proper Star Trek from now on. Indeed, two of the many producers promise as much in this interview and say that in season 2, they will do more of the things that Star Trek does well. This is a reason to be cautiously optimistic, but nonetheless it’s telling that two of the producers basically admit that while Discovery was many things in its short first season (grimdark new Battlestar Galactica wannabe, Game of Thrones in space, Flash Gordon-esque high octane space opera), it only very rarely was Star Trek. The season finale did feel more like Star Trek than much of what has gone before and the overly neat ending gives them a chance for a clean start next season. Even the magic mushroom drive has been shelved, as Stamets declares in one of the very few lines he gets in this episode that it is too dangerous to use. So Star Trek Discovery brought its overly messy first season to as clean an ending as possible. Though I still want Dr. Culber and Ash Tyler back. With Ash, we at least have the chance to see him again. As for Dr. Culber, the actor and the producers still insist that we haven’t seen the last of the character, but then the production team has said a lot this season, much of which did not turn out to be true.
And just in order to remind us that yes, Discovery is a lot more committed to being Star Trek from now on, they drop a massive reference to the original series in its final few minutes. For after the commendation ceremony on Earth, the Discovery with Sarek on board (Amanda apparently decided to go shopping or something) is en route to Vulcan to pick up the ship’s new captain. And talking of which, why can’t Saru stay captain, since he did a surprisingly good job these past few episodes, with Michael as his first officer or vice versa? But maybe Starfleet has discovered another mirror universe refugee and wants to promote them to captain of the Discovery, because that worked so well the last two times. But whoever is going to be captain of the Discovery from now on, we and the crew have to wait to find out, because en route to Vulcan, the Discovery receives a distress signal from another Starfleet ship. Surprise, it’s the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain Christopher Pike.
Okay, so I have to admit that I felt a little shiver down my spine at seeing the Enterprise at the end. And yes, it doesn’t look like the Enterprise we remember, but then special effects have improved a whole lot since 1966. Nonetheless, having the Enterprise itself show up not quite into Discovery‘s second season smells of desperation. For while all Star Trek shows had callbacks (or call-forwards, in the case of Enterprise) to the original series, few of them deployed so many of them in a single season, let alone their first. This season alone, we’ve had Sarek and Amanda, Harry Mudd and an extended sidetrip into the mirror universe, not to mention easter eggs like Lorca’s tribble or the Gorn skeleton in his weapons room. And now, at the end of its first season, Discovery goes for nuclear and gives us the Enterprise itself. It’s telling that the least Star Trek like of all Star Trek shows is also the one with the most references to the original. Almost as if they’re desperately trying to convince themselves and us that Discovery really is Star Trek.
This doesn’t mean that an encounter with the Enterprise under the command of Captain Pike couldn’t be interesting (and indeed, one of the Discovery tie-in novels apparently featured such as meeting). For unlike Kirk’s crew, we don’t know a whole lot about Captain Pike and his crew. Apart from Spock, the most recognisable member of Pike’s crew is his first officer, Number One (does the character even have a name?). And she is recognisable mainly because she was played by Majel Barrett and not for anything the character ever did. So Pike’s crew doesn’t carry all the ballast that Kirk’s does with one exception. Because there is still the Vulcan science officer Mr. Spock, who also happens to be Sarek’s son and Michael’s adoptive brother. Now Spock has always been one of my favourite Star Trek characters. Nonetheless, I don’t particularly want to see him in Discovery (and indeed, I would have preferred if Michael had been the adoptive daughter of some other Vulcan rather than Sarek). First of all, I’m not a fan of recasting iconic characters who don’t have a history of recasting such as the Doctor or James Bond. To me, Spock is Leonard Nimoy and not Zachary Quinto. Kirk is William Shatner and not Chris Pine and indeed, I don’t consider the J.J. Abrams movies proper Star Trek at all. And coincidentally, Harrison Ford is Han Solo, not Alden Ehrenreich or whatever the actor is called.
Besides, if Michael were to encounter Spock on the Enterprise, that would beget the question why the hell Spock never came to her aid, while she was put on trial and given a life sentence? Because I don’t believe for a second that the Spock whose adventures we have followed for 51 years now would let his sister languish in prison. Cause the Spock we know is the sort of person who risks everything for the people he cares about. Spock is the sort of person who hijacked the Enterprise and risked execution to help Christopher Pike in “The Cage” and who actually did die (though he got better) to save the Enterprise crew in The Wrath of Khan. So if his sister had ended up in prison and unfairly at that, Spock would hijack the Enterprise to break her out and afterwards he would explain why it was the perfectly logical thing to do. Because this is the kind of person that Spock is. So unless he spent the past year in a coma or so, any explanation why he did not rush to Michael’s aid will inevitably make the character come across like an arsehole and Spock is no arsehole. And considering that Discovery has already managed to damage the character of Sarek – for while Sarek was never a good father, he clearly did care about his children and he also was a committed Federation diplomat who would never have consented to go along with genocide – I’d prefer if they didn’t damage the character of Spock, too.
So can Star Trek Discovery become a good Star Trek show after all? It’s certainly possible and the production team have done their best to tie up the messy first season to give themselves as clean a start as possible. And Star Trek is rather infamous for weak first seasons. However, this is one area where Discovery‘s serialised structure really harms the show. For while it is perfectly possible to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation and skip over dreadful early episodes like “Justice” and pretend they never happened, it’s not nearly so easy to ignore the bad episodes of Discovery‘s first season and watch only the handful of good ones, because the serialised structure means that the episodes don’t stand alone well. Of course, it might be possible to just skip the entire first season altogether, especially if none of the crap that happened this season is ever mentioned again.
But nonetheless, looking at Star Trek Discovery‘s first season, I can’t help but see a huge waste of potential. For even though I have been pretty harsh on Discovery, there were things the show did well. They had a great cast, interesting characters and two of the best romantic relationships in all of Star Trek. And they threw much of that away for the sake of shocking twists (TM) and cheap emotional drama. Discarding the characters of Ash Tyler and Dr. Culber for the sake of a stupid twist is the most grating example (though at least Ash could still be back), but the unceremonious deaths of the real Philippa Georgiou and Gabriel Lorca seem like a massive waste of two fine actors and intriguing characters as well. Particularly, Lorca’s end was a let-down after all that build-up and they could have done so much more with his character rather than turn him into a one-note villain and kill him off. Not to mention that it would have been interesting to meet the real Gabriel Lorca, no matter how briefly. And while Mirror Georgiou is still vamping it up somewhere out there, I still wish we would have seen more of the real Captain Georgiou. Hell, we’ve had more episodes of evil Mirror Georgiou than of the good Philippa Georgiou, caring mentor and highly decorated Starfleet captain.
So in short, Star Trek Discovery is not entirely irredeemable, but it will need one heck of a redemption arc (but hey, the show seems to love them) to become the fine show it could have been.