Discovery S4 Premiere is a No Win: Review in 4 Slices

Julien Neaves, Sci Fi Head Writer

Star Trek: Discovery had its Season 4 premiere on November 18 (regrettably only on Paramount+) and continues the adventures of Captain Michael Burnham (still haven’t gotten used to calling her that) and the crew of the Discovery 900 years in the future.

Now I was a fan of Season 3 and I was looking forward to the new season. And while the Season 4 premiere “Kobayashi Maru” was a promising start it was not without its flaws. With a black alert SPOILER ALERT let’s break it down in four slices:

Slice #1 The Butterfly People

No. We are the White Man Group

I had fun with the opening. I loved the innovative design of the “Butterfly People”. Burnham is at her most entertaining when having shenanigans with Book and this is the case here again. It reminded me of the openings of the Kelvinverse film Into Darkness and Beyond with its alien culture clash and big action. Good stuff.

Slice #2 Another Space Phenomenon?

Holy crapballs

The main plot sees Discovery attempting to save a space station damaged by an unknown spatial phenomenon. And I was like, “Didn’t we do this last season with the Burn?” I hope this phenomenon is deliberate because Discovery needs some good villains as bad as Grudge needs her cat treats.

The rescue itself was just okay and though they tried hard to build suspense and tension I never felt it.

Slice #3 The Captain and the President

PRESIDENT INNER MONOLOGUE: Her captaining style may be loose, but that hair is tight

And now time to talk about the four pips in the room. Captain Michael Burnham. Now for the first two seasons I did not like this arrogant, inconsistent, spotlight-hogging character. But in Season 3 she came into her own as a wild, maverick character. So I have no idea why Saru (or any of the Starfleet brass) would think she is captain material. But I decided to give her a fair shake.

And I liked her speech to the cadets (shout out to the Archer Station as well). And her initial captaining of the rescue mission was solid. But then she had to go hotdogging as usual, thumbing her nose at authority and trying to save everyone because emotions. And while the Federation President (who is a Cardassian/human hybrid I belive) initially comes off as abrasive I found myself agreeing with her as she called out Burnham on her nonsense. She’s definitely not ready for command.

Slice #4 A Shocking Loss

I feel it for you man

I found the premiere focused too heavily on Burnham and the other characters did not get much room to shine. Even Saru’s scenes were a little meh, though I enjoyed seeing the different Kelpien designs. I hope we see more of an ensemble piece than a return to The Michael Burnham show.

On a positive note, I thought the ending was done very well and seeing Book react to the destruction of his home planet was an emotional gut punch. You see Thor: Ragnarok? This is how you treat a character witnessing the destruction of his world.

Anywho, Kobayashi Maru has things going for it but overall it was just okay.

Editor Jules’s Score: 6 out of 10

So how would you rate the Season 4 premiere? And you can check out more Discovery-related content below:


Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.

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