Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 Ending Explained: What Happened With Michael And Booker

Star Trek: Discovery on Paramount+
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Season 4 finale of Star Trek: Discovery. Read at your own risk!

Star Trek: Discovery bowed for Season 4 over on Paramount+, and it was one for the books. Season 4 saw Michael face improbable odds similar to a Kobayashi Maru and even saw a brief breakup between her and longtime beau Cleveland Booker. It all culminated in a big showdown, where the fate of the world and so many other things were on the line. 

So, how did it all shake out, and what became of Michael and Booker, and did the latter of the two die like some thought he would? We have all the answers below and how Discovery’s efforts resulted in a big moment for the Federation. 

Cleveland Booker on Star Trek: Discovery

(Image credit: Paramount+)

What Happened With Michael And Booker

Michael Burnham and Cleveland Booker, the ride-or-die couple of Star Trek: Discovery as of late, spent a good chunk of Season 4 at odds. That divide started when a Dark Matter Anomaly (the DMA for short) destroyed Book’s home planet of Kwejian. The courier spent a lot of time grieving and lost, and it wasn’t until he met Ruon Tarka that he began to return to his normal self. 

Ruon Tarka had a plan to destroy the DMA, and he wasn’t going to let anything like a Federation vote in the majority to make first contact with the mysterious Species Ten-C before any alternative measures stop him. Fast forward to the finale, and Booker now realizes (with the help of Jett Reno) Tarka’s plan is a fool’s errand, and he’s liable to kill Species Ten-C, everyone aboard Discovery, and himself trying to get the power source. Booker stopped Tarka, who eventually came to his senses and allowed Booker to escape the ship. 

The Discovery got a lock on Booker’s signature, and just as his body beamed onto the bridge, it suddenly faded. Booker was dead, or so it seemed, as the Ten-C later revealed they thought Booker was a message and absorbed him into their consciousness for use later. Michael stood amazed as the Ten-C released Booker from their collective consciousness, and brought him down to her. Booker was alive. 

Unfortunately, Booker still had to answer for all his crimes against The Federation. Thankfully, President Rillak considered his reason for his crimes and decided Booker should atone by helping families displaced by the DMAs that occurred. Booker was happy to help, though we don’t know what’s next for him after that or if he and Michael will see each other again in Season 5 or anytime soon.

Star Trek: Discovery crew on Paramount+

(Image credit: Paramount+)

How Starfleet Stopped The DMA 

Once Star Trek: Discovery’s characters found a way to communicate with Species Ten-C, it only was a matter of time before they were able to convey the massive threat of the DMA on the galaxy. Species Ten-C initially seemed receptive to the conversation, but when Tarka made his move for the power source, all conversation stopped immediately. It seemed like negotiations were over, and even if they resumed, the odds of Discovery stopping the DMA before Earth, Titan, and Ni’Var saw the effects of it were slim to nil. 

Luckily, once all the Tarka stuff was settled, Michael Burnham and crew were finally able to convey the threat the DMA caused to members of the Federation and its people. Species Ten-C explained that they weren’t aware humanoids were sentient species and said they’d be more mindful where they collect energy for their hyper field in the future. That answer seemed good enough for Federation members, but the recently returned Cleveland Booker spoke up and said it wasn’t enough. 

Booker told Species Ten-C it wasn’t enough just to make better choices on where to mine for the hyper field, he wanted the hyper field gone for good. Booker explained their mining efforts, regardless of destruction, left a massive pollution cleanup once the mining finished. The Ten-C didn’t want to do that out of fear of attacks from outsiders that jeopardizes their way of life. The hyper field is what kept them safe, so there was obvious fear to throw it away. 

The courier understood the species’ fear and explained that harming others for one's own security is wrong. Whether it was his reference to his lost planet of Kwejian or the fact that he briefly joined their collective consciousness, I don’t know, but Booker’s plea to Ten-C worked. They agreed there will not be another hyper field barrier, which meant no more DMAs. It all stopped just in time for Earth and the other planets to be spared, much to the delight of Admiral Vance and Tilly, who were back near Earth trying to aid evacuation efforts. Overall, a pretty clean resolution all around!

T'Rina and Saru on Star Trek: Discovery

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Saru And T’Rina Are Dating 

Michael and Booker’s future as a couple might be up in the air, but Star Trek: Discovery did see the birth of another romance in its Season 4 finale. Saru and President T’Rina of Nivar had a bit of casual flirting going on between them for some time now, but neither one really knew how to escalate things beyond that. Both spent so much of their lives in service to others and focused on their obligations that the thought of something as personal as a relationship wasn’t something they felt capable of. 

Saru finally got brave enough to take the plunge and finally express his feelings (in a somewhat awkward way) for T’Rina. T’Rina expressed she felt the same way but originally expressed she felt a relationship wasn’t feasible given her job. Luckily, by the episode’s end, she informed Saru she reconsidered and thought that she could absolutely handle a relationship on top of her other responsibilities. The two then held hands as the scene faded out. Hey, it wasn’t as romantic as a kiss, but considering where these two started out, holding hands was about the best that we can hope for. 

Star Trek: Discovery's Michael Burnham and President Rillak

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Earth Rejoined The Federation

The Federation managed to save the galaxy from the DMA and regain the trust of a lot of nations who previously left the organization long ago. This included Earth, who actually rejoined without any negotiations. Additionally, the President of United Earth (played by noted real-life politician Stacey Abrams) thanked Michael Burnham personally and asked her if the moment meant a lot knowing Michael’s roots on Earth. Michael confirmed that it did, and the two looked on towards a bright future that will keep the Federation as united as its been in centuries. Hopefully, whatever’s coming in Season 5 (which is already confirmed) doesn’t jeopardize that!

Star Trek: Discovery is finished with Season 4, and fans can watch all previous seasons while waiting for Season 5 on Paramount+. Of course, they can also hold on to their Paramount+ subscription enjoy many of the upcoming Star Trek shows in 2022, which are sure to be just as exciting as Discovery was. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.