Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 12 recap: What does Osyraa want?

Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Burnham on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 12
Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Burnham on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 12 /

Discovery has been captured by Osyraa. In Star Trek Discovery Season 3 Episode 12 she lays down her terms. Are they too good to be true?

Discovery has been invaded by Osyraa and the Emerald Chain. In Star Trek Discovery Season 3 Episode 12, she captures the crew and infiltrates the Federation’s headquarters. But what does Osyraa want?

The Bridge crew has to work in secret if they’re to re-take the ship. Meanwhile, Michael Burnham and Book have to reach Discovery and find a way to get her safe and back to the Verubin nebula so that the away team and Adira don’t die of radiation poisoning.

It’s an intense and suspenseful ride in Star Trek Discovery Season 3 Episode 12.

Star Trek Discovery Season 3 Episode 12 – Returning to Discovery

Book and Michael had been stranded near the nebula when Osyraa jumped Discovery back to Federation space. Now Book uses the last vestiges of energy on his ship to fly them back. It’s a bit of a stretch to imagine they make it in the nick of time, but they do.

But they’re cutting their return close. Osyraa’s put on a whole charade to get into the Federation bubble. She’s ordered her ship, the Viridian, to fire at Discovery. The ruse works—Admiral Vance is hesitant to let Discovery in, but at the very last instance, he opens a small enough portal to let only Discovery in.

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As Discovery’s cruising in, Michael and Book crash-land into the docking bay. They’re the only ones who can protect the crew and save Discovery, so they need to get on the ship.

Book and Michael split up. He stays with his ship so that Osyraa’s Regulators believe he was the only one onboard. Michael tries to reach the crew, but as she’s taking down a Regulator, she’s stabbed in the leg. The injury slows her down, but she’s able to get a coded message out to her mother—maybe we’ll see Gabrielle Burnham return in the finale to save her daughter.

Star Trek Discovery Season 3 Episode 12 – Unification

Once Discovery is inside the bubble, Vance realizes Osyraa’s waiting game means that she’s on Discovery and already in Federation space. Now he has to talk terms.

Osyraa and Vance meet with Eli the EMH acting as a lie detector. Osyraa explains that she wants the Chain to join the Federation—both parties want the same thing, a universe without dilithium, and the end to their war.

Osyraa wants what’s best for the galaxy and she’s even willing to shut down her slave camps, remove her hold over pre-warp civilizations and share her knowledge.

She’s got an ace scientist on her side. Aurelias (Kenneth Mitchell, who makes his annual appearance as a new character on Star Trek: Discovery) has been tasked with finding a way to expand the spore drive beyond Discovery.

He has restrained Stamets in the hopes of working with a fellow scientist to investigate how the spore drive can be activated. But Stamets is unwilling to help him. More than that, Stamets is worried about Culber, who is still stuck in the nebula.

Star Trek Discovery Season 3 Episode 12 – Armistice

David Ajala as Book on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 12
David Ajala as Book on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 12 /

Back in Federation headquarters, Osyraa shares her armistice plan with Vance. It’s hard to believe anything she says, but the EMH assures Vance that she’s telling the truth.

Vance is pleased with her armistice agreements, but there’s one last matter to attend to. There has to be a face to this new deal, and it can’t be Osyraa since she’s pretty much the galaxy’s most wanted. She suggests a scientist as the new leader (most likely hinting at Aurelias), but Vance believes they need to make a much more powerful move.

Not only will the Chain need a new leader, but Osyraa must be brought to justice. I really don’t know why Vance scuppers this great plan. It’s understandable that Osyraa has to face the music, but with the end of the war in sight, it seems short-sighted to get on the high horse. Osyraa hands him the truce on a platter, and Vance brings up her trial now?

He could have waited or pretended that the elusive President of the Federation has added this clause to the armistice. Anything to ensure the safety of the people of the Federation.

Instead, Osyraa returns to Discovery, re-doubling her efforts to get the spore drive and kill the crew.

She starts by vaporising Ryn after Book offers to help her get to the precise location in the nebula where she can obtain dilithium.

While Tilly and the Bridge crew start taking over the ship, Michael finds Stamets and tries to get him off the ship. He’s the key to the spore drive, and Osyraa cannot get her hands on him. But Stamets refuses to leave. He needs to activate the drive and return to the nebula, because Stamets cannot afford to lose Culber again.

When Michael mentions that Adira is in the nebula too, Stamets is horrifed. His entire world is in that nebula, and he can’t leave them there. Michael uses the Vulcan nerve pinch to incapacitate him, and then prepare him to be ejected off the ship in a forcefield.

Stamets wakes up just as Michael is about to eject him and he is incensed. He sees Michael’s actions as a betrayal. He and Hugh gave up everything to follow her into the future so that Michael wouldn’t be alone. Now, she’s destroying his chance to reunite with his family.

They’re harsh words, but true ones, and Michael is so terribly sorry for what she has to do. Stamets is safely tractored into Federation headquarters, as Discovery prepares to leave for the nebula.

Star Trek Discovery Season 3 Episode 12 – Final Thoughts

I was surprised to see Zareh return after being introduced in Episode 2. He’s a displeasing character and does little to redeem himself in this episode. He’s little more than Osyraa’s assistant.

Osyraa herself is quite compelling. She’s villainous, but she’s hard to read, which makes you want to see what else she’s up to. I don’t really believe Osyraa is as benevolent as her treaty makes her out to be. She’s manipulative at best, and downright evil at worst.

What I enjoyed is seeing how devious Osyraa is. The way she’s got her claws in Aurelias was brilliant to see. He is so focused on achieving Osyraa’s goals, that nothing, even Stamets’ attempts to connect with him as a human being, can stop him.

I love that Kenneth Mitchell returned to Star Trek: Discovery once again. He played Kol and Tenavik in previous seasons, and this is the first time he’s played a human. Not only that, but he is also seen in a futuristic wheelchair because of his real-life ALS diagnosis. We almost never have characters with disabilities on Star Trek, so I’m glad that this show continues to expand the boundaries of representation.

Was anyone shocked that Stamets sees Adira as his child? I know that they have a really special connection, but it still took me by surprise. Had they been given more screen time together I may not have been taken aback. But it’s not contrived and it’s really, really sweet. I hope the three of them are reunited again.

Let’s end by talking about how heartbreaking it is to see Stamets and Michael fight. Stamets referred to Michael as his ‘friend’ in an earlier scene, and now I fear that their relationship is shattered.

I hope they patch things up in the finale because I would hate for any of these characters to leave the show. Or to hate each other forever.

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After watching Star Trek Discovery Season 3 Episode 12, how do you think the season will end? Let us know in the comments.

New episodes of Star Trek Discovery Season 3 are available every Thursday on CBS All Access.