Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale recap: Does the crew survive?

Blu del Barrio as Adira, Ian Alexander as Gray and Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale
Blu del Barrio as Adira, Ian Alexander as Gray and Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale /

Discovery’s been taken. The Federation is at war. Will Osyraa win? Will the crew live? All these questions are answered in the Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale.

We left the crew of Discovery in a precarious position. Michael and Book had been captured by Osyraa, but the Bridge staff had discovered that the sphere data, Zora, had downloaded herself into the ship’s DOT-7 robots. With Culber, Saru, and Adira dying of radiation in a faraway nebula, everything is at stake in the Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale.

How will Discovery save themselves, and the universe?

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale – Trust

Now that Osyraa has rejected Vance’s clauses for the amnesty, Vance has no option but to fire on her. Unfortunately, she’s on Discovery, which puts the ship’s remaining crew in jeopardy.

While Vance orders Federation ships to fire on Discovery, he tells Voyager to take down the Viridian (this is a nice little writing tactic to ensure Voyager isn’t painted in a bad light by firing on our heroes. Also, you have to love how important Voyager is in this time period).

Just as it’s looking bleak for the Federation, the Ni’Var arrive—looks like Michael’s message to her mother got through. But their arrival just makes Osyraa angrier. Michael attempts to diffuse the situation by speaking to Vance and asking him to stand down. She pleads with him to trust her. Vance agrees.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 12 recap. light. Related Story

Osyraa warps to the Nebula. Book had promised to give her the exact location of the dilithium, but when he refuses to give it up because Michael and the senior staff are in peril, Osyraa decides to torture it out of him.

She orders Aurellio (not Aurelias, as I had assumed in my previous recap) to torture Book, but he refuses. Aurellio believes the best in Osyraa, but he’s been unable to see how manipulative and evil she is. She knocks him unconscious and orders Zareh to torture Book.

Here’s an unexpected subversion for you—we’re so used to female characters being the bait, but it’s poor Book in the firing line, while Michael has to make the tough decisions.

Michael asks Osyraa to let her convince Book to help them. At this point, we’re all wondering why Michael asked Vance to stand down. It’s because she has a plan. It may be one she’s making up on the fly, but it’ll get the job done.

As soon as Michael’s close enough to Book, she wrestles a Regulator for a phaser and turns on the quarantine forcefield, allowing Book and herself an escape route.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale – One final mission?

Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Burnham and Janet Kidder as Osyraa on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale
Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Burnham and Janet Kidder as Osyraa on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale /

In the lower decks, Tilly, Bryce, Rhys, Detmer, Owosekun, and Ina (Avaah Blackwell) are wrestling to get the ship back with Zora’s help. But Osyraa’s a step ahead of them.

Remember how we mentioned Osyraa got mad at the Ni’Var’s arrival? Yeah, she pulls the life support from the lower deck, leaving the senior staff struggling to stay alive.

Tilly and the others find one oxygen mask that they pass among themselves—the only one keeping it together is Owosekun, who learned to hold her breath for 10 minutes when she was a child. The others are not coping well.

That’s when they hear a coded message from Michael. She gets through the comms using a Regulator’s badge and broadcasts a message telling Tilly to set off a bomb in the nacelle. With the nacelle out of action, the ship will drop out of warp, giving Starfleet the opportunity to catch up. At worst, the whole ship will blow up.

Michael and Book try and pip Osyraa to the data core, which holds the information about the dilithium location, but they’re met with Regulators at every step. Of course, the Regulators are no match for these two. Michael’s no-holds-barred approach knocks them out of the park, and Book makes swift work of that smarmy Zareh. Nothing’s quite as satisfying as seeing the annoying villain plummet to the painful death that he envisaged for our hero.

Meanwhile, the others try and make it to the nacelle, but with decreasing oxygen, Tilly finally orders Owosekun to take the oxygen and complete the mission herself. The others can’t get up, it’s all up to her.

Owosekun reluctantly takes the mask, turning to tell her friends that she loves them before heading to the nacelle. She barely gets there when the oxygen mask runs out. Owosekun plants the bomb, but then can’t lift herself over the ledge back into the corridor.

As she starts to lose consciousness, Zora the DOT-7 floats to her, urging her to leave, but Owosekun no longer has the energy. She collapses, and the nacelle blows up.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale – The end to evil

While Book is fighting off regulators, Michael reaches the data core. Osyraa’s already there. Michael and Osyraa fight each other, but they’re so evenly matched, it seems neither will win.

However, we forget that Osyraa is just plain evil. To prevent Discovery from escaping her grasp, she locks the ship inside the Viridian. Then she turns her attention to Michael.

She pushes Michael into a wall of programmable matter, assuming that the material will suffocate Michael. But I guess Michael can hold her breath too. Michael emerges from the wall with a phaser that she’s conjured from the matter and shoots Osyraa point-blank in the head.

One problem down, several more to go. Michael re-codes the systems and turns on the life support. Her work isn’t done yet.

Owosekun wakes up to find she’s back with her friends. Zora dragged her to safety, but the little robot is fried. It’s a seriously touching moment that feels so Star Trek. The others wake up as the life support turns on. Detmer and Owosekun’s reunion is so cute; I love their friendship and I hope we see even more of it next season.

Michael and Book re-convene on the Bridge, followed by the others. Aurellio is also conscious now and he has a plan to reach the nebula.

As we’ve seen in Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Book has a special ability to communicate with creatures. Aurellio believes Book can connect with the Mycelial network and power the Spore drive in Stamets’ stead.

Michael plans to eject Discovery’s warp core, the breach will blow up the Viridium, while Book will jump Discovery to safety. It’s tricky, but it’s the only option left.

Tilly abdicates her captaincy and offers—orders—Michael to take it. Reluctantly, Michael agrees.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale – Home

Nothing is smooth sailing in this franchise, and in the Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale, we’re at the edge of our seats wondering if Michael’s plan will work. The warp core is successfully ejected, but Book isn’t able to get the spore drive online fast enough.

While we all know that the crew makes it, it’s still a few hairy minutes wondering if they survived.

Let’s head to a whole other area of space now. Back in the Verubin Nebula, Adira brings Saru and Culber the medicine she’d hidden. In the holographic environment, Adira is a Xahean (same as Queen Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po). Surprisingly, Gray has a holographic form too, he’s a Vulcan.

Culber is so happy to see the real Gray and Gray loves being hugged. It’s adorable! While the three of them search for a way out, Saru is able to convince Su’Kal to go outside and leave his holographic home behind. It’s a tough decision for a man who’s spent decades alone.

Su’Kal has to face his fear, and that is to go through the door that separates the holographic world he lives in from the control room. In the room, there are a bunch of body bags on the floor. They belong to Su’Kal’s family. An errant garment belongs to his mother, her body is long gone, but she was the last to die and young Su’Kal obviously didn’t have the wherewithal to place her body in a bag.

Su’Kal replays the last encounter recorded in this room—his mother bid him farewell and ordered him not to touch the console till the Federation arrived. Then she died, and in his anguish, Su’Kal inadvertently unleashed the Burn.

It’s tragic that Su’Kal was born to a loving family, and that his mother thought of every contingency to keep her son safe, and yet, the reason why Su’Kal was left stranded was his own accidental scream.

Now that Su’Kal has come to terms with the truth, he turns off the holographic systems. Gray doesn’t want to go (Ian Alexander is so good at expressing Gray’s despair at facing extinction yet again), but Culber promises that they will figure out a way to bring him back so that everyone can see him again.

With the holographic system off, Su’Kal sees that he is not alone. Saru is a Kelpian, and one of Su’Kal’s mother’s message requests that the Federation return Su’Kal to Kaminar.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale – Welcome to the Federation

Janet Kidder as Osyraa on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale
Janet Kidder as Osyraa on Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale /

Discovery arrives just before the Kelpian ship disintegrates and rescues the four of them. Culber assures Su’Kal that he’s unlikely to ignite another Burn because his powers are derived from his proximity to the dilithium.

Saru and Michael initiate a revival in the Federation. The Trill join, and the Ni’Var are also in conversation about re-joining.

Saru takes his leave of Starfleet and returns to Kaminar to care for Su’Kal. How long will he be gone?

Michael heads to HQ, where she meets Aditya Sahil. He seems to have finally realised his dream of becoming a Starfleet officer. I love that he greets Michael with folded hands (the traditional Indian greeting). They thank each other for giving the Federation a new life.

Michael then meets Admiral Vance who admits that Michael’s way of doing things may not always be correct, but they get the job done. He uses the example of his daughter’s unusual approach to math to explain this to Michael.

Vance’s family lives away from him because HQ is too dangerous. This explains his earlier comment to Stamets. While the battle with Osyraa raged on, Stamets pleaded with Vance to go to the nebula. Vance turned him down, apologizing by saying that he understood the sacrifice he was asking Stamets to make. Looks like Vance knows what it means to sacrifice being with his family for the greater good.

Michael reluctantly agrees to take over the captaincy of Discovery. The crew is back together, settling in well. Zora the DOT-7 has been repaired, Stamets, Culber, and Adira are together again. But Stamets is still upset with Michael—he can’t look at her without feeling that sense of betrayal. This is going to be a juicy conflict when the show is back.

Discovery is officially inducted into the Federation with the crew now dressed in the new uniform. I am not a fan of the outfit, but who cares. The crew are together, they’re alive and Michael’s in the captain’s chair. Better still, she’s already got her catchphrase — ‘Let’s fly’.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale – Final Thoughts

The Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale was frenetic, with so much action packed into its runtime. But I’m glad the writers didn’t forget that we needed to connect with the characters as well, and we definitely did.

I love that we got to see the internal workings of the ship for the first time. I always wondered about the mechanics of the turbo lifts, and now I know how intricate it is.

I love that Michael’s finally in the captain’s chair. I do feel really bad for Tilly—she’s been poorly written this season, see-sawing according to the plot. Her first time in command saw Osyraa take the ship and the Federation was nearly destroyed. She deserved better.

Michael’s journey to the conn should have been smoother, but now that she’s in there, I hope she never leaves. Even if Saru returns, maybe he can be a consulting captain. We need his wisdom and calm, but we want Michael to command.

I’m so curious to know what the story behind Book’s mentor, Cleveland Booker, is. Perhaps we’ll find out in Season 4.

Did anybody else’s heart sore to see Aditya Sahil at Federation HQ? I still think this character would have been a valuable addition to the entire season. I doubt we’ll see him again, but we know he has much more to contribute (hint, hint, Disco writers).

We are inching closer to seeing Gray have a larger role in the upcoming fourth season of the show. He feels alive as a hologram, and you know which ship had a senior staff member who was a hologram? It was Voyager!

Voyager is obviously a big deal in the future (as she should be), so I can only imagine the Doctor and his futuristic mobile emitter are going to play a part in bringing Gray back to life.

Despite some missteps in the writing from time to time, this season of Star Trek: Discovery has been a continuation of what we love about Star Trek while also boldly going where this franchise has never been before. Season 4 can only be better!

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What did you love most about the Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale? Let us know in the comments.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 is available on CBS All Access.