STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Series Finale Epilogue Reveals the Fate of Captain Burnham

Spoiler Alert

After five seasons and 65 episodes, Star Trek: Discovery has landed in dry dock. The first ever Star Trek streaming series has released its final episode, “Life, Itself.” And the finale has a coda that ties off the journey of Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). What a journey it has been. In the first episode, set in the 23rd century, Burnham (Spock’s adopted sister) is a mutineer whose actions landed her in the Starfleet prison. She joins Discovery‘s crew, and serves under several captains. Then, after time-traveling 900 years into the future, Michael Burnham becomes the Captain of Discovery herself. And now, we see where her life takes her decades later.

Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin Green) in the final season of Discovery.

Michael Burnham met the man who would be the love of her life, the Kwejian Cleveland Booker (David Ajala), when she arrived in the 32nd Century. This was at the start of season three. The two became partners when Burnham became stranded in this strange future. She became a space courier with Booker, or “Book” for short. Eventually, they became romantically involved, even after she became Captain of Discovery. Over the course of the last three seasons, the pair had their ups and downs. They even split up for a time. But in the series finale, the two recommitted their love for one another. This was at the wedding of Captain Saru (Doug Jones) and the Vulcan President T’Rina (Tara Rosling).

Admiral Burnham Is Married to Booker, and They Have an Adult Son in Starfleet

The Star Trek: Discovery coda shows the Burnham family, including Michael and Book's son Captain Leto.

Then, Star Trek: Discovery drops a bombshell on us. We flash forward decades into the future. We see that Burnham and Booker are now married, living in a country home on a remote alien planet. As Michael wakes up to get her morning coffee, Book follows her, and in their conversation, it’s revealed that today is a big day for her. She’s now Admiral Burnham, and a shuttle is coming to take her to a special ceremony. When the shuttle arrives, a young man beams down, played by Sawandi Wilson. He reveals himself as the son of Burnham and Booker. He’s also in Starfleet, and is about to get his own command and starship. He appears as “Captain Leto” in the credits, although they never refer to him by name. He looks about thirty, meaning she and Booker have been married for at least three decades or more in these scenes.

Michael Burnham Takes Command of Discovery One Last Time

Admiral Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) takes command of Discovery for a final mission in the series finale.

Booker stays behind on the alien world, and mother and son go to Starfleet HQ together. In typical Trek fashion, they have a new uniform design. They talk together on the shuttle about Burnham’s friend Tilly, who is now the longest-tenured instructor at Starfleet Academy. We don’t really find out what became of the rest of Discovery’s crew, although we see a montage of them together in younger days. Once they get to Starfleet HQ, we see that they are reverting Discovery to its original 23rd-century mode, with the letter “A” removed from its registry number.

The Discovery crew in flashback in the series finale.

Michael Burnham beams aboard Discovery, now an empty ghost vessel, and talks to Zora, Discovery’s sentient AI system. They embark on one final mission together. It’s a secret “Red Directive” mission, where Discovery will await a ship of unknown origin for a thousand years. Upon reaching the coordinates, Burnham will disembark, while Zora awaits the mysterious vessel. Zora realizes that after this mission, she and Burnham won’t ever see each other again. Burnham says her famous catchphrase one last time as they go to warp — “Let’s fly.”

Will Michael Burnham Return in Star Trek: Starfleet Academy?

Admiral Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) in the flash forwards of the Star Trek: Discovery finale.

Will we follow up on this future version of Michael Burnham? It depends on exactly when the new Starfleet Academy series takes place. It might happen concurrently with the elder Michael Burnham we see in the Discovery epilogue. What we do know is that after many hardships, Admiral Michael Burnham led a fulfilled and fruitful life, something she could never have foreseen for herself in the series’ original episode, when she was an outcast mutineer, shunned by almost every member of Starfleet. Admiral Michael Burnham has had a journey unlike any Starfleet commander, or Star Trek series lead, before her.

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