“A beginning is a very delicate time,” Princess Irulan once said.
Wait, why is “Dune” being invoked in a “Star Trek: Discovery” review? Because “Trek” has often struggled with the exact opposite: it’s at its most delicate whenever it comes to an ending. Some of its season finales are all-time-great episodes of television — “The Best of Both Worlds,” “Call to Arms,” “Tears of the Prophets,” “Scorpion” — and others are far, far from greatness. (Just see the “Star Trek: Picard” Season 1 finale.)
The Season 3 finale of “Star Trek: Discovery” is somewhere in between: there’s a lot of frenetic action throughout that could make one element go off the rails “Picard”-style, but it brings it home ultimately by returning to its characters and their emotional journey. “That Hope Is You Part II” — the first time in franchise history that the title of a season’s premiere episode is echoed in its finale — is about as overstuffed as it gets. Yet it mostly holds together. Director Olatunde Osunsanmi knows how to juggle a lot and do so with epic sweep. At the start of Season 3 we said Osunsanmi is a “Trek” MVP, and being able to deliver as satisfying a finale as he did from so many disparate parts reaffirms that.
But a blow-by-blow plot recap seems almost impossible here, so let’s consider this review a tricorder scan of “That Hope Is You Part II,” pulling out the best, worst, and most puzzling moments to parse:
But “Let’s fly” does capture this: “Star Trek: Discovery” is offering journeys ahead that we’re still excited to be part of.