6 Ups & 3 Downs From Star Trek: Discovery 5.10 — Life, Itself

The Progenitors come full circle; a series comes to a coda; life goes on but without Discovery.

Star Trek Discovery Tilly and Burnham
CBS Media Ventures

"This is the end, my friend," as that one character said in the final season of another series. We've come to the very last episode of Star Trek: Discovery. In the words of Michael Burnham, "It's been a hell of a ride". To say there's a sadness would be an understatement. I already feel bereft of the characters, most of whom we've known since 2017. From then to now, when life itself changed so drastically, there was always the next dance at the Disco.

"The Federation has so many wonderful possibilities ahead because of you and your crew," Zora tells Burnham in the coda, in what is, no doubt, not just a testament within universe, but a knowing nod without to the show and all those who made it. It remains a truism, but a good one, that Discovery was responsible for the contemporary revival of Star Trek. Zora's 'possibilities for the Federation' are the possibilities for us all to enjoy breadth and bounty of Trek like never before. After all, life itself is also to beget it.

Discovery is the first Trek series to come to an end after cancellation since Star Trek: Enterprise, and without Riker too. The inevitable comparisons will be made. Life, Itself is not These Are The Voyages…, however; there are no holographic hijinks to be had. Discovery — and the Discovery — is allowed to stand on its own. Life, Itself deftly succeeds in being both a fitting conclusion to a fantastic season and a fine ending to an unforgettable series.

10. UP — Shape Of The Many

Star Trek Discovery Tilly and Burnham
CBS Media Ventures

Burnham's beginning to Life, Itself, as the virtual camera descends down into the Progenitors' portal through a tesseract/hypercube-esque structure, might not have been entirely novel, but it was just as stellar. Arguably, it might have better served as a cliff-hanger for last week than an opener for this, and debates were had at TrekCulture over the look of the 'lobby' that came next.

A 'health and safety nightmare,' the Progenitors might have thought to put up a couple of railings, at least! ("Fence for a reason, Alice.") More generally, the CGI visuals are also likely to divide fans down the middle, some liking the use of the AR wall, others thinking it's the worst thing since sliced Breen. For those of you who play Cyberpunk — Konpeki Plaza vibes?

On the whole, this is an UP from me for the idea, the concept of it. It's not easy to encapsulate the sheer magnitude of the endeavour that is seeding life across the galaxy. To manage to inspire such awe, as they did, in the physics and the physical of the place is another great achievement entirely. It could only ever have been grandiose!

Then, there were the planets below, up, and to the sides. We reckon Sha Ka Ree (in purple) for sure, and Galorndon Core (rocks and wind speeds), then Rura Penthe/Andoria for the ice, Veridian III or (appropriately) Vilmor II for the rocky, cloudy world beneath the walkway, and perhaps even Risa just before the credits!

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Jack Kiely is a writer with a PhD in French and almost certainly an unhealthy obsession with Star Trek.