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Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale leaves 5 unanswered questions for Season 4

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Jan 8, 2021, 3:49 PM EST (Updated)

Unlike the massive cliffhanger of Season 2, the ending of Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 didn't shove the crew into a wormhole and leave us wondering what would happen when they came out on the other side. This time, Discovery's season finale ends with boundless optimism and a renewed sense of purpose. If DISCO has spent the last few years being something that feels like "not your parents' Star Trek," the last few moments of the Season 3 finale will make you think, well, maybe this is a little bit like my parents' Star Trek after all.

There's a classic Next Generation-esque vibe to the episode "That Hope Is You Part 2," with a touch of the open-ended adventure of The Original Series. If anyone was ever in doubt that Discovery was "real" Star Trek, this season, and this finale of Discovery should give the haters some pause.

But, that doesn't mean there aren't still a few loose ends floating around in the DISCO-verse. "That Hope Is You Part 2," wrapped-up some pretty big stuff — from the mystery of the Burn, to the fate of the Emerald Chain — but some character-oriented plot points are still fairly huge question marks for Season 4. Here are the five biggest questions created by the Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 finale, and how Season 4 might address them! Let's fly!

**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, specifically the finale, "That Hope Is You Part 2"**

Doug Jones

What's up with Saru?

After vowing to take care of Su'Kal — the Kelpien refugee who inadvertently caused the Burn — Saru ends the finale on his home planet of Kaminar. Apparently, he's taken a leave of absence from Starfleet, which could be indefinite. This led to Burnham (finally) becoming the Captain of the USS Discovery. That said, actor Doug Jones is very much a part of Discovery Season 4 (which is currently filming), so it's not like Saru has been written out of the series.

So, the question is, how and why will Saru return to the USS Discovery? Will he stay in Starfleet? If we had to take a wild guess, we think Saru should become the new President of the United Federation of Planets. Why not?

Book and Michael

Will Book's name be explained? (And will he join Starfleet?)

In the finale, Book not only operates the Spore Drive successfully but also tells Michael that his name, "Cleveland Booker," has a secret origin. Presumably, Season 4 could tell us a little bit more about Book's background after he left his home planet of Kwejian. In "People of Earth," Book made it clear he would never be a part of Starfleet, but by "Sanctuary," he actively wants to be part of the crew.

When Burnham accepts her role as captain of the USS Discovery in the last scene of the finale, Book is there on the bridge, but he's not in a uniform. What is his job? Other than being Burnham's boyfriend? Season 4 can tell us!

Earth reps

Will Earth rejoin the Federation? What about Ni'Var?

Michael's voiceover in "That Hope Is You Part 2" tells us that the planet Trill has decided to rejoin the Federation, despite the fact that things didn't go so great initially in "Forget Me Not." Michael also mentions that Ni'Var, formerly the planet Vulcan, is also considering becoming a part of the Federation again, which makes a little bit of sense since they sent a fleet to assist Starfleet in the finale.

But, Earth is the tricky one. "People of Earth," really made it seem like Earth had a bunch of problems to work out before they could become part of the UFP again. But, if Earth did rejoin the Federation, then suddenly, the old status quo of classic Star Trek would shift back and good old Starfleet HQ could move back to terra firma. (See what we did there.)

Star Trek: Discovery

Seriously, what is going on with Kovich?

One of the biggest surprises hidden in Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 was the sudden appearance of legendary film director David Cronenberg. First appearing in the episode "Die Trying," Cronenberg played a character known as Kovich, who, to date, has not actually revealed what his job is within the Federation.

Some fans have speculated he's secretly the Federation President. Others have long-maintained he runs the new version of Section 31 in the 32nd Century. Either way, we didn't get a lot of info about this new character, but he does know a lot about the history not only of the Prime Trek timeline but also of alternate timelines, too –– including both the Mirror Universe and the Kelvin Universe. Cronenberg is set to return on Season 4 of Discovery, so hopefully, not only will his job be explained, but also, he can tell us more cool stuff about what's going on out there in the multiverse.

Star Trek: Discovery

How will Gray fully return?

With all respect to Captain Michael Burnham's big new job (hooray!), the biggest news in the Discovery Season 3 finale was the sudden return of Gray (Ian Alexander) with the new revelation that certain holographic technology could allow Gray's consciousness to be "seen." When Adira beamed down to the surface of the dilithium planet, they were shocked to see Gray again, but even more shocked that Saru and Culber could see him, too!

The intelligent holographic system on the crashed Kelpien ship somehow recognized the consciousness of Gray, even though, in theory, Gray only exists inside the memory of the Tal symbiont. This seems to mean two things that could happen in Season 4. First, we might learn a lot more about how the Tal symbiont is different from other Trill we have known (like Dax). But, the second, and much more compelling plot point will surely be the full return of Gray.

Will Gray be a fully holographic character? If so, it wouldn't be the first time Star Trek has had an intelligent (and brilliant!) hologram as a full member of the crew. If there's one huge plot point to watch in Discovery Season 4, it's almost certainly the return of Gray. A Trill hologram in Starfleet? Sounds amazing.