Warning: Star Trek: Discovery spoilers ahead
Season 1 of Kurtzman's sci-fi spectacle charted the early days of Starfleet and took the series where we have never gone before for the seventh Star Trek TV series. Led by The Walking Dead's Sonequa Martin-Green, the series focused on Michael Burnham and her quest to clear her name while saving Starfleet from the midst of Klingon war. With an all-star cast of Michelle Yeoh, Jason Isaacs, and Doug Jones, Discovery has settled in among the rest of the Star Trek series as a breath of fresh air to Gene Roddenberry's world, however, did anyone see that finale coming?
With the Klingons defeated (for now), Vulcan Sarek took Discovery back to his home planet to collect their next captain. That in itself is another major question hanging over season 2, but it was quickly sidelined as Discovery received a distress signal from another USS. For those up on their Star Trek lore, it was decoded as NCC-1701 - the Enterprise. Perfectly linking back to The Original Series from 1966, Kurtzman told Variety whats next for Discovery and if our screens are big enough for both ships:
“The show is called ‘Discovery.’ It’s not ‘Enterprise. So yes, the Enterprise will play a part of Season 2 but it will absolutely not overshadow Discovery. And I think with Enterprise’s arrival in the finale we recognize that the audience has a lot of questions about our synchronicity with the original series, which really means or synchronicity with canon. So the promise of the Enterprise holds the answers to a lot of those questions, including Spock’s relationship with his half-sister who he’s never mentioned. Which does not necessarily mean you’re going to see Spock, just that we owe an answer to that question.”
It is great to see that Kurtzman isn't simply discarding the expanded Star Trek universe in favor of his own vision. Season 1 has been a veritable Easter Egg hunt through the cosmos, but season 2 looks like it will delve even deeper into The Original Series and what came after it. We already saw composer Jeff Russo include the iconic Star Trek theme at the end of Discovery because he said it was "the right thing to do." As the show evolves, we can presume that we will see more and more of these elements come into play. However, Kurtzman is definitely right that we are tuning in for a new adventure, not simply to retread old ground with a reboot of what fans have seen before on TV and in cinema.
Season 2 of Discovery promises to bring us old faces and new, with the likes of Prime Universe Gabriel Lorca and Terran Phillipa Georgiou almost sure to pop up at some point. However, with Captian Pike hailing Discovery with a distress call in 'Will You Take My Hand?', expect a pretty big name to be suiting up to lead the Enterprise. Also, the arrival of Starfleet's most famous ship will also bring a certain Mr. Spock into the fold of Discovery. Although Kurtzman only teases the arrival of Spock, the fact that he is Burnham's half-brother in this world may result in some interesting family ties as the show moves forward.
Kurtzman clearly has an idea on where to take Discovery next, but he also revealed that the whole finale of season 1 worked in reverse to Burnham's mutiny at the start of the show. It also sounds like the climactic reveal of the Enterprise was always on the cards to wrap the show's freshman year:
"The whole season was reverse engineered from the ending that we know that we wanted. Really the big driver there was [Burnham’s] arc and the confusion about how and why she decided to mutiny in the pilot to the absolute certainty that it was the only way to protect the ideals of the Federation. She doesn’t literally mutiny, but she does threaten it in the finale because she understands that it’s much more important to protect those ideals than to protect herself.”
Either way, newcomers and Trekkies alike presumably can't wait to see what happens next and to keep up with all the twists and turns of the newly united Discovery crew, their new Enterprise friends, and the various plot threads that are still out there floating in space from season 1. Get ready to beam up all over again some time in the near future.