Caution! Some minor spoilers for previous Discovery seasons to follow.
A major theme carried throughout most of Discovery’s run and particularly in season 3 is the bond the starship’s crew share. The upcoming season appears to be no different, as Captain Michael Burnham tells it plainly, opening up with a message of unity even as things seem to be falling apart all around her and the crew.
When we last saw Discovery’s cast of characters, they’d just managed to avoid yet another universe-ending event but were still stuck far, far in the future, finding their way within a shattered Federation. By the looks of it, starting in late 2021, we’ll be picking things up not long after that and diving straight into a new crisis.
It’s a brief, frantic reveal, but there are some things of note:
- A gravitational anomaly 5 light-years across. That sounds bad and apparently unpredictable. It also seems it’s going to wreak some havoc on Discovery and, judging by the grim looks of the crew, result in some casualties.
- Stamets delivers the summary on the anomaly and I’m reminded of how he and Burnham left things at the end of last season. It was a small detail, but I really appreciate that the producers kept that open wound exposed and didn’t neatly tie off the thread during the finale. I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ll deal with the gulf between those two core characters.
- New uniforms! It appears the Federation of the 32nd century might be trying to recapture a little magic from the glory days. Those unis definitely have a retro aesthetic and I can dig it!
- Saru is still living away from Discovery. At the end of season 3, the former captain was helping everyone’s favorite galaxy-destroyer, Su’Kal, to get up and running on their homeworld of Kaminar. Hopefully, he’ll rejoin his old crew at some point. Saru’s a comforting, grounding presence for the gang on Discovery and it sure seems like they’re going to need a lot of that sort of thing moving forward.
- We didn’t see Admiral Vance, but I’m pretty sure that was his voice paired with Tilly’s. More Oded Fehr would be a good thing!
- Book’s empathic abilities are earning some Vulcan attention. It seems a safe bet he’ll figure in prominently in whatever strategy is employed to counter the anomaly.
- Some (very) brief Sonja Sohn sightings as Burnham’s mother, Gabrielle, still decked out in Qowat Milat warrior nun garb. Excellent.
- Was that Chelah Horsdal of The Man in the High Castle appearing with Michael and the Vulcan President? Boy, I hope so! Helen was the best.
- Adira seems to be moving up the ranks of responsibility and still has Gray by their side. Those two make me smile.
- Grudge is back! Will they finally reveal the true nature of Book’s enormous cat? I’m thinking probably.
The season 3 story arc landed a little flat and didn’t feel quite as compelling as what we saw throughout the first two seasons, but we did get some wonderful new characters (namely Book and Adira) along the way. I still greatly enjoy this latest iteration of TV Trek. Visually, it’s beautiful. The actors are brilliant and are clearly passionate about the roles they’re playing in this beloved franchise. And Discovery really leans into Star Trek’s positive, hopeful themes about the future. And that’s something I appreciated a lot at the tail end of 2020.