The fifth and final season of Discovery sets itself up to help our characters navigate difficult changes (break-ups, loss of identity, and career shifts) as well as tie up loose ends both for our storyline, and the Star Trek Universe. I for one am excited to see where this goes. 

Star Trek Season 5 Review

Season 5 episode 1 sets the stage for our characters and the final story arc of the series. The Crew of Discovery, while questioning their future and place in this new Federation, are sent on a Red Directive (super top secret mission) to retrieve an 800-year-old Romulan artifact that was stolen by scavengers.

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery, season 5, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Marni Grossman/Paramount+

The future “Dark ” Federation has leaned heavily into the “gray” of morality. Season 5 seems to be bringing us back to Utopian Federation values. For example, in spite of being told by Dr. Kovich and Captainer Rayner that the mission takes precedence over all else (including the lives of innocent Civilians); Michael convinces them all to prioritize saving innocent civilians, even if it means letting L’ak and Moll escape. 

It Is Not All About Michael

While Michael is our focal character, she won’t be the only one evolving this season. We see Tilly wrestling with whether or not she will stay in the Academy or pursue command, Saru considering resigning his commission for an Ambassadorial role and to pursue a romantic relationship, and Stamets struggling with the loss of his life’s work (the closure of the Spore drive work) and questioning legacy (both in terms of his family and work). I love that the perspective on all of our characters (even when the change is difficult), remains hopeful. 

Elias Toufexis as L\’ak and Eve Harlow as Malinne Ravel of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Credit: Marni Grossman /Paramount+

In addition to our nods at the characters and series, the Season promises to pay homage to the broader Star Trek universe. For example, when Moll and L’ak try to hawk their goods to an “ancient” collector, we are met by a Data-esque synthetic lifeform. In fact, Stamets and Culber identify him as an “Alton Soong” model  (Alton was the son of Noonian Soong, the “father” of Data and Lore; introduced to us in Season 1 of Picard).

Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery, season 5, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Marni Grossman/Paramount+

My Final Thoughts

This was a hell of a way to kick off the final season of Discovery. I love that the writers drew back to Picard as well as weaving in Star Trek: The Next Generation content to bring the storyline to a close. The season also hints at helping our characters to continue their growth; Michael and Book learning what life looks like without one another, Stamets and Culber continuing their journey as parents with Stamets learning that legacy can take many forms, Saru is learning how to love and bond with people long-term (something that was never afforded to his people during the cullings), and the crew of Discovery on one last adventure before they shutter the spore drive technology forever. 

This was a great way to kick off the story and I cannot wait to see where it goes! Make sure to follow That Hashtag Show for reviews and breaking pop culture news.

You can watch the season 5 premiere of Star Trek: Discovery on Paramount+ April 4.