In order to preserve the future, Star Trek: Discovery looked to the past and delivered a real treat for old and new Trekkies alike. Going bigger and bolder than ever before, the Season 2 finale, titled "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2," featured a deluge of Easter eggs and season callbacks in an emotionally charged hour that also tied up loose ends for two iconic characters.
The jam-packed episode saw the crews of both Discovery and Enterprise bracing for the battle of their lives to prevent a bleak future in which all sentient life is wiped out. Control's (Alan Van Sprang) powerful armada of Section 31 ships flanked them all sides, but in true Star Trek fashion, they didn't face this imminent threat alone and soon received backup from Xahian queen Po (Yadira Guevara-Prip) and an army of newly-empowered Kelpians, as well as a Klingon battle cruiser helmed by Chancellor L'Rell (Mary Chieffo).
In between the high stakes drama were smaller, beautiful moments that illustrated exactly what's at stake. In one of the hour's most touching moments, Culber (Wilson Cruz) reaffirmed his love to Stamets (Anthony Rapp), who'd been critically wounded by incoming debris. "I thought I could make a home on Enterprise. Then I realized you're my home so I came back," Culber said. "I'm your family. Wherever we go from here, we go together."
Meanwhile, as the federation of sentient beings stared down an army of drones, Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) braced for a dangerous one-way trip through a wormhole in order to stop the menacing AI from evolving into the unstoppable force that threatened the entire universe. It was a difficult but necessary decision, one that required both Burnham and her adoptive brother Spock (Ethan Peck) to set aside their personal feelings and do what's best for the greater good.
"For Spock, the logical solution to the situation overrode the emotional. It's necessary for the universe, for something bigger than both of them. I think it's what they signed up for," Ethan Peck told TV Guide. "[Spock is] between a rock and a hard place and he has to do what's better for those around him, not just for him. And I think that's so quintessential to what's essentially Spock."
Spock's greatest struggle since childhood has been finding that balance between logic and emotion, an internal war that will carry over to his time aboard the Enterprise as Captain Kirk's trusted voice of reason. We already knew this. However, Discovery's dug deeper into Spock's mythology, revealing a new layer to the recognizable character. Burnham not only helped him get in touch with his human side, she essentially shaped the sensible Vulcan he would become later on in canon.
"I think that Michael has passed onto Spock a lot of her strength and bravery and wisdom and I think it's incredibly beautiful because I myself have an older sister and I learned so much from her. To integrate lessons from those that are before you is no easy task and requires a lot of humility. I think it speaks a lot to the type of people persons that Spock and Michael Burnham are, that they're kind of cut from the same cloth in that way," Peck said. "I think the world of Sonequa [Martin-Green] and her performance as Michael Burnham. She brings so much strength and intelligence and veracity and certainty, and I think that, as a younger brother, Spock really absorbs that and takes it in. It's like she is so integral to his formation as the Spock in the original series, and I just never thought it would have come out that way. And so, to tie these characters together in canon in this way is so beautiful and truthful and realistic and I just feel honored to have been a part of it."
That emotional goodbye, in which Spock declared her his balance, marked a full-circle moment for the pair who began the season estranged. No longer filled with resentment, Spock saw his adoptive sister with admiration and love, a complete turnaround from the baby Vulcan who slammed the door in her face. But that sweet moment was short-lived, as Burnham still had one more thing left to do. Bravely charging into the wormhole with Discovery in tow, Burnham and her crew traveled to the future in a bold move that destroyed Control and thus saved the galaxy. The downside, though, is that she might not have a way back home. And unfortunately, her heroic act would have to go unrecognized because the series still needed to tie up one major loose end.
Spock had never before mentioned having a sister named Michael Burnham, and now we know why. In an effort to protect his big sister and prevent another threat like Control from rising, Spock persuaded the Federation to order anyone with knowledge of Burnham, Discovery, and its spore drive to never mention them again under penalty of treason. That precaution was extended to his parents, Sarek (James Frain) and Amanda (Mia Kirshner), who also agreed to remain silent about their adoptive daughter.
Burnham might be stuck in the future, but it's pretty obvious she'll be back when the show returns for Season 3 since the episode wrapped with one major hint alluding to her fate. A clean-shaven Spock and Captain Pike (Anson Mount), back in their rightful places aboard the Enterprise, finally discover the seventh red signal -- Burnham's sign that she's just fine. In a fitting sendoff for the iconic characters, Pike and his crew set course for a new moon in the beta quadrant, closing the book on their time with Discovery... at least for now. The appearance of that final red signal certainly leaves the door open for both Pike and Spock to return to their new friends for one more adventure if an opportunity presents itself. After all, Star Trek: Discovery has already been renewed for Season 3, and Peck is ready to don the pointy ears once more.
"I would like to come back, because being a part of Star Trek is like magic. It's funny, I think Star Trek is so divisive amongst people in the world that are like, "Never seen it, not interested." And those that do see it are very attached and find themselves very connected with it. To be a part of something like that is just really special. Now I feel like I've done a lot of the groundwork and Spock is very much a part of me. I'm the same but different having finished it. So would I like to continue? Yeah. I think it would be great," Peck said.
Make it so, universe!
Seasons 1 and 2 of Star Trek: Discovery are available to stream exclusively on CBS All Access.
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