Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Is Reclaiming The Spirit Of Star Trek
It's no secret that Star Trek: Discovery season 1 was divisive for fans. The series kicked off with a disturbingly darker tone, a season-long story arc about war instead of exploration, characters who were defined by their flaws, and a controversial redesign of the Klingons. And yet, season 1 was ultimately about Star Trek: Discovery's quest for identity and it concluded with Michael Burnham's stirring speech reclaiming the noble values of Star Trek, which set the stage for season 2 to become a proper Star Trek series.
Thus far, Star Trek: Discovery season 2 has made good on its promise and embraced the rollicking spirit of adventure that fans associate with classic Star Trek while upgrading the franchise for the demands of the Peak TV era. Star Trek: Discovery is serialized and maintains a season-long arc but season 2's episodes have incorporated more aliens, moral quandaries, and seeking out new life forms (such as the dying sphere containing 100,000 years of data or exploring the ancient rivalry between the Kelpiens and the Ba'ul) while also giving centerpiece roles to franchise icons like Captain Pike and Spock.
Moreover, Star Trek: Discovery season 2 has posed intriguing questions about religion, faith, family, and friendship, and it's concurrently telling a heartbreaking story of how the marriage of Lieutenant Paul Stamets and Dr. Hugh Culber is collapsing after Culber's season 1 death and resurrection. In addition, a greater emphasis on the bridge crew has made the characters and their interactions more endearing so that the tragic loss of Commander Airiam in "Project Daedalus" is deeply felt not just by the cast but by the fans as well.
Captain Pike Should Remain On Discovery Or Get His Own Spinoff
Wherever Star Trek: Discovery season 2's journey ends, it's clear that Anson Mount's Captain Pike has been a tremendous success. Though Michael Burnham has been a groundbreaking main character for the franchise and First Officer Saru has emerged as arguably the best alien Star Trek character since Spock himself, Pike is not only an excellent character but he's a comforting bridge to the halcyon days of Star Trek's past held dear by longtime fans. It's hard to argue against Pike staying aboard as Captain of the Discovery in Star Trek: Discovery season 3 (despite the mysterious other captain the Discovery was en route to Vulcan to pick up before Pike got reassigned in the season 2 premiere). This also wouldn't necessarily violate canon - as long as no one else commands the Enterprise, it would still hold that Pike was its captain immediately preceding Kirk.
With CBS All-Access' aggressive plans to expand the Star Trek franchise in play, another possibility could be to spin off Pike and Spock in a new series aboard the Starship Enterprise, with Rebecca Romijn joining them as Number One, which could then bridge to The Original Series. Either way, fans finally have the Captain Christopher Pike they've always wanted to see and his importance to Star Trek has now been crystallized. Whether he remains in command of Star Trek: Discovery or gets back aboard the Enterprise, Captain Pike's journey simply has to continue.
Star Trek: Discovery streams Thursdays @ 8:30pm on CBS All-Access and internationally the next day on Netflix.