It is bizarre to me that THE ORVILLE has made so little of Isaac after his betrayal and how there haven't been any storylines where the crew struggles to trust him again. They also aren't featuring Isaac that much at all; he's barely appeared, he has no character arc when he does appear -- it's almost as though a 14 episode order proved inadequate to fully explore the issue, so rather than show everyone cool with someone plotting their murders sitting at the next workstation, they're just not showing much of the relationships or lack thereof and hoping to address it next year. Maybe a subsequent episode will have Ed talking about how he issued orders that nobody discuss Isaac's betrayal and pretend all is well because he's an asset and how the crew is starting to crack under the strain.
I liked the DISCOVERY finale. I thought it was great. I loved the whole season, from Pike discovering his future and choosing to accept it to Tilly's reunion with the Queen and the Michael/Spock conflict and the whole AI plot. The only thing that really bothered me was Section 31.
Regarding continuity: I completely accepted the DISCOVERY version of the Enterprise and I liked how, the way it was presented, it's either a different artistic rendering of the ship we first saw in the 1960s -- or it's a few refits away from the pastel-and-painted-wood aesthetic that will come into style in the subsequent decade. They had the orange-red lining, the gratings in the hallways, the changeable lighting to indicate that it could resemble the pop art look of the original series if a later remodelling made it so.
During my obsession with menswear last year, I noticed how men's suits started out as very large, intricate, busy formalwear for royalty but mass production required simplifying the design and making the clothes large enough to fit multiple body shapes while draping over the body properly. In the 80s, there was a brief burst of popularity for suits that were more tightly fitted, but by the 90s - 2000s, we'd gone back to suits that were like coats compared to the tighter, closer-to-body shapes today. Pierce Brosnan's Bond suit was an outer layer of wool padding. Now the pendulum has swung to Daniel Craig's suits being cut to fit him like a second skin. "The Cage" could have happened during a pastel-popular period only for the shift to metal and lights which was briefly supplanted by a period of retro popularity the way art-deco comes and goes.
Obviously, the onscreen intention is that it's a rendering of the same ship with modern techniques. They've kept the original grating and the shape of the nacelles and the key colour lines but used 3D printing and metal composites instead of plywood and paint. But the door is open to the more literal view of the 23rd century that TNG, DS9 and ENT took when using 60s-style TOS designs.
Another idea reminiscent of my suggestion that Pike is a fan of 1960s sci-fi and remembers all his past adventures as low-budget NBC shows of the era: it's possible that the pop-art and pastels look was a popular visual style for rendering the 23rd century in records and art even if the reality was that it changed around a lot from "The Cage" to DISCOVERY to TOS to the movies.
I don't see why DISCOVERY couldn't have continued to be set in the 23rd century. I didn't take any issue with DISCOVERY trying to fit into the TOS period except that the Enterprise's uniforms should have been used on DISCOVERY from the outset. According to the costume designer, she made multiple versions of the gold/red/blue tunics and all were rejected by CBS as not fitting the aesthetic of the Discovery set (and I assume Fuller wasn't there to fight for it). Costuming them attempted a variant on the ENTERPRISE costumes and that was approved. Later, a fourth variation on her gold/red/blue costumes were approved for Season 2.
I wouldn't say they had "nothing" because I don't even think there was a continuity problem with Michael never being mentioned in TOS. I'm not entirely sure why Alex Kurtzman felt the need to explain it. The explanation has always been there.
In "I, Mudd," there's a scene where Dr. McCoy tells Spock he's suspicious of a new crewman who never smiles, whose conversation never varies from discussing his job, who won't discuss his background -- and Spock regards McCoy silently as McCoy realizes that describes Spock as well.
In "Journey to Babel," the Vulcan ambassador and his wife come aboard the Enterprise, Spock and Kirk greet them and Kirk says Spock will take them on a tour of the ship. The ambassador coldly asks that someone else be their tour guide and starts walking away without a word with his wife behind him.
Kirk, confused, sets it aside for a moment and asks Spock if he'd like to take some time to visit Vulcan and see his parents. Spock reluctantly replies that the ambassador is his father and the ambassador's wife is his mother. Spock is so recalcitrant he wouldn't acknowledge his own dad until forced to do so. Later in the episode, Spock's mother, Amanda, is telling the crew what Spock was like as a child, but then Ambassador Sarek abruptly interrupts the conversation and rudely escorts Amanda away. In private, Sarek quietly asks Amanda to never embarrass Spock (with the quiet undertone that he can't actually make her do anything). Vulcans are notably uncommunicative about personal matters.
Honestly, what really jumped out at me as bizarre was Tyler being "assigned" to Section 31 as its new leader -- what the hell is that? Section 31 is a secret cabal of black-ops agents who either manipulate actual Starfleet officers or win their loyalty based on the belief that eliminating threats to the paradise of the Federation can justify assassination, sabotage and collaborating with villains.
The TrekBBS forum has like 30 - 40 posters who defend this with ranting on about how in DS9, Sloan merely said that Section 31 was covert, not that it wasn't part of Starfleet, and that he never declared 31 outside the chain of command, but their literalism over the specific dialogue misses the obvious authorial intent that 31 is a rogue nation, an unofficial arrangement and a secret guarded through silence.
Anyway. I'm eager to see how DISCOVERY fares now that it can use the multiple-era format that Bryan Fuller envisioned for the show.