(written from a Production point of view)
With Mirror Georgiou at the helm of the plan to end the Klingon war once and for all, the USS Discovery crew struggles to fathom and tolerate her hostile tactics. Memories of past hardships are rekindled within Burnham. (Season finale)
As Klingon forces bear down on the Sol system, the USS Discovery mirrors their approach as it closes in on the Klingon homeworld, Qo'noS. Specialist Michael Burnham muses on fear and how to defeat it, as Emperor Georgiou gathers status updates from the bridge crew, the crew (who are still under the impression that she is her counterpart) reacting with surprise at the hostile and belligerent attitude the Terran puts forward – declaring the Klingons to be animals, and uncaring as to what the ship's sensors are detecting.
Saru asks Burnham to assist him with an issue, before exclaiming unease at having to follow the orders of someone with such ideals, which Burnham responds to by noting that this was at the request of the Federation. Georgiou orders Burnham back to her station and challenges Saru, making reference to the fact that, in her universe, his species is a Terran delicacy. Burnham then attempts to expose Georgiou's origins by commenting on that remark and quizzing her on her counterpart's birthplace in Malaysia. The former emperor deflects the questioning easily, ordering the specialist to walk with her.
Out in the corridor, Georgiou warns Burnham not to attempt such an action again, or she will find herself in the brig. Burnham comments on the Federation's desperation in agreeing to give the Terran command of the mission, which Georgiou notes is in exchange for her freedom. She comments on Burnham's actions at the Battle of the Binary Stars, suggesting that her failure was a lack of following through on her intentions. The specialist grabs Georgiou by the arm, and demands to know the real plan. Georgiou tells her that the Federation is losing the war, and that Burnham must decided whether she will stand with or against her, before walking away. Burnham resignedly agrees that she is with her.
Georgiou and Burnham visit L'Rell in the brig. L'Rell is surprised to see Georgiou, since she and other Klingons, had consumed her corpse but Georgiou explains that she is not that Philippa Georgiou. Georgiou displays a map of Qo'noS and explains that there are seven entry points to a dormant volcano system on the planet, and that she wants L'Rell to tell her the best place for a landing party to start a trip there on foot. After L'Rell refuses to, even after an additional plea from Burnham, Georgiou shocks L'Rell through her restraints and enters the cell to torture her for the information, but L'Rell does not break. Burnham screams for Georgiou to stop, and says there is another way to obtain the information.
The two visit Ash Tyler who has the memories of Voq, and he agrees to help. At a briefing, Burham explains that the plan is to release a drone to map the surface of the planet for military targets that can be attacked by Starfleet. Tyler tells the briefing that the best place to do that is a location with a shrine to Molor that is now on land that was given to the Orions for an embassy and outpost. Georgiou decides that Tyler will accompany Burnham and Georgiou, as well as Sylvia Tilly. Tilly is initially under the impression that the Emperor is the Philippa Georgiou from her universe, but the Emperor quickly makes it clear who she is by telling Tilly she had fun with Tilly's counterpart subjugating the Betazoids and wiping out Mintaka III. Tilly is assigned the task of carrying the drone. The Discovery then jumps to Qo'noS and beams down the landing party.
The party arrives at the outpost, and offers to trade Nausicaan weapons for two thousand darseks. Tilly feigns hunger to pull Burnham to a food booth and ask if she knows what the Emperor is up to. Burnham does not, but Tilly tells Burnham she has her back. Georgiou and Tyler then arrive, and after informing Tilly that she was eating gormagander meat, they all enter a bar. Georgiou gives Tyler some darseks and tells him and Burnham to go elsewhere and buy information needed to find the shrine. Georgiou remains and purchases some time with a male and female Orion, while Tilly waits in the bar.
Tyler and Burnham visit a cabaret where a game is being played that Tyler is familiar with, through Voq's memories. Tyler plays the game and wins some money, while Burnham is clearly upset by the Klingons' laughter. Tilly, moves about the bar and sits near an Orion who offers her the chance to inhale some volcanic vapor. After initially refusing, Tilly agrees to do so and subsequently faints.
Tyler returns from the game and tells Burnham none of the Klingons he played with were aware of the shrine. He wonders why she left the game so quickly, and she tells him the story of how her parents were killed by Klingons at Doctari Alpha. Burnham had begged her parents to put off a family vacation to Mars so she could witness a nearby supernova, which resulted in them being present for the attack. As they killed her parents, they laughed, which she was reminded of during the game. She is now seeing the planet as an actual home for people and not just the enemy. Tyler then observes some Klingons who appear to be followers of Molor, and he goes to ask them about the shrine.
Georgiou, after the two Orions are finished, attacks them to get the information about the shrine's location. Meanwhile, Tilly is woken up by the Orion attempting to open her case. He explains about the volcanic vapors she inhaled, and tells her that they are fresh from the source and that Tilly's information about the volcanoes being extinct is incorrect. Tilly then realizes that a drone could not do its work as it would be destroyed by the volcanoes, and then opens the case to examine the drone. She then sees a hydro bomb instead of a drone in the case. She calls Burnham on her communicator to explain, but is knocked out by Georgiou.
Tyler and Burnham meet with Tilly who explains that detonating a hydro bomb in an active volcano would lead to an apocalyptic explosion that would render the planet uninhabitable, which was Georgiou's plan all along. Burnham calls Saru on Discovery to have Georgiou beamed up, but the shrine is shielded. The bomb cannot be beamed up either, and Saru wants to contact Starfleet, but Burnham believes Georgiou is following Starfleet's orders. She requests a conversation with Admiral Cornwell.
After viewing a simulation of what the hydro bomb will do to Qo'noS, Burnham pleads with Cornwell that genocide is not the way to end the war. Cornwell responds by saying that the Federation is close to defeat and that they do not have the luxury of principles. Burnham says that principles are all that they have, and that Cornwell sent the Emperor on the mission because she knew that the Terran could do what Starfleet officers could not. Burnham then notes that a year ago, prior to the Battle of the Binary Stars, she thought survival was more important than principles, but that she now knows that she was wrong. She threatens another mutiny to prove who they are as Starfleet officers, and unlike her last mutiny, the crew stands to support her. Cornwell then asks what Burnham is suggesting as an alternative.
Burnham visits Georgiou in the shrine and tells her to stop her plan, though her freedom is still guaranteed. Georgiou says that when she did the same thing in her universe, it did not wipe out the Klingons, and that it will not do so now. She offers Burnham the chance to join her, but Burnham again demands the detonator and Georgiou pulls a weapon on her. Burnham tells Georgiou that she can either turn over the detonator and leave with her freedom, or kill her and escape with the Federation hunting her down as long as she is alive. Georgiou cannot kill Burnham, and agrees to turn over the detonator to Burnham. However, Burnham does not want it, and calls in Tyler and L'Rell. As an alternative to her home planet being destroyed, Burnham offers L'Rell the detonator, which she can then use to unify the Great Houses under her rule. Upon L'Rell taking the detonator, Georgiou then leaves the shrine.
Tyler tells Burnham outside the shrine that he is going to go with L'Rell and try to help both sides, as he is no good to either side alone. They share a kiss and he departs. L'Rell then addresses the Klingon Great Houses and tells them that she is the leader to fulfill T'Kuvma call of unity for the Klingon Empire. The Klingons present scoff at her claim until she shows them the detonator. She then orders them to lay down their arms, and the Klingon fleet headed towards Earth veers off.
Burnham is in Paris outside a Federation building. Her foster mother, Amanda Grayson, approaches her. Burnham is grateful to Amanda's advice when growing up about not forgetting her Humanity, something which Burnham did not appreciate until now. Sarek then arrives and tells Burnham how he is disturbed that he had nearly played a part in genocide, but Burnham says that he was desperate to save the Federation and that she understands. Sarek is grateful that she found an alternative, and he informs her that the President of the United Federation of Planets is as well. Sarek asked to be the one to inform Burnham of their decision to pardon her for her crimes, expunge her record, and restore her to her former rank of commander. He presents her with her Starfleet insignia.Burnham and several members of the Discovery crew are presented with the Starfleet Medal of Honor, including Hugh Culber posthumously. Paul Stamets is promoted to lieutenant commander and Tilly is given the rank of ensign and accepted into the Starfleet Command training program. Discovery then leaves with Saru in command as acting captain to take Sarek to Vulcan, as well as to pick up their new commanding officer. Stamets tells Burnham and Tilly that Starfleet wants to find a non-Human interface with the spore drive and as such it will not be used.
In transit, the Discovery receives a priority one distress call. After some initial difficulty, the call is identified by communications officer R.A. Bryce as being from Captain Pike, the commander of the USS Enterprise. The Constitution-class starship drops out of warp and slows in front of the Discovery.
"On the eve of battle, on a cold windless night, an old general turned to a young soldier. “Tomorrow”, said the master, “You will know fear.” The young soldier, who has not yet experienced the agony of war, looked at the general with quizzical eyes. “How will I know fear if I do not know what it looks like?” The general replied, “You will know fear because it speaks very fast and it speaks very loud.” If that is how fear acts, recognizing it is easy. But as the young soldier considered the general’s advice, she asked the question facing us now. “Once I know fear, how do I defeat it?” "
- -Michael Burnham
"What's wrong? Are you scared, number one? Where I'm from, there's a saying: 'Scared Kelpien makes for tough Kelpien.' Have you gotten tough since we served together on the Shenzhou, Mr. Saru?"
"Affirmative, captain. Very tough. So much so that many find me simply unpalatable."
- - Philippa Georgiou and Saru
"Your Federation is losing. The Klingon armada is already headed toward your homeworld. My knowledge is giving you a fighting chance. Are you with me, or against me?"
- - Philippa Georgiou
"You? How? Our Lord pierced your heart. House T'Kuvma feasted on your flesh."
"You have the wrong Philippa Georgiou."
"Either way, I can tell you require seasoning."
- - L'Rell and Philippa Georgiou
"What is that?"
"It's a space whale."
- - Philippa Georgiou, Sylvia Tilly, and Ash Tyler, on the mysterious food Tilly is eating
"Oh, shit! That is not a drone!"
- - Sylvia Tilly, upon discovering that the "drone" she is carrying is in fact a hydro bomb
"First of all, um, so I'm very high, uh... but you need to listen to me."
- - Tilly, contacting Burnham after inhaling volcanic smoke
"A hydro bomb? What kind of damage can it do?"
"Detonated into an active volcanic system, it's just apocalyptic."
"A phreatic eruption. Water flashes into steam and triggers a massive explosion."
"Landmasses directly over the reaction center will be vaporized. Ash will fill the atmosphere. Within weeks, Qo'noS will be uninhabitable."
- - Tilly and Burnham, describing the catastrophic consequences of Georgiou's plan to Tyler
"A year ago, I stood alone. I believed that our survival was more important than our principles. I was wrong. Do we need a mutiny today to prove who we are?"
- - Michael Burnham
"You talked them out of it, didn't you?"
"Of planetary slaughter? Yes."
"Oh, don't be so dramatic. When I did this in my universe, it didn't wipe out the Klingons. A decent number should be able to save themselves, plus they'll have an advantage; no Terran ships firing on them as they try to escape."
- - Philippa Georgiou and Michael Burnham
"You really are nothing like my Georgiou, are you?"
"No, and I never have been."
- -Michael Burnham and Philippa Georgiou
"We are no longer on the eve of battle. Even so, I come to ask myself the same question that young soldier asked the general all those years ago: 'How do I defeat fear?' The general's answer? 'The only way to defeat fear is to tell it no.' No, we will NOT take shortcuts on the path to righteousness. No, we will NOT break the rules that protect us from our basest instincts. No, we will NOT allow desperation to destroy moral authority. I am guilty of all these things."
- - Burnham, during her speech at the award ceremony
"Hail from Captain Pike, sir."
"It's the USS Enterprise."
- - Bryce and Burnham, identifying the source of the distress call
Story and script
- Even from the start of DIS Season 1, the writing staff of Star Trek: Discovery knew they wanted to feature the USS Enterprise in the last shot of the season. They felt strongly that they owed the audience some answers as to why, prior to DIS, Spock had never mentioned his half-sister. "Obviously, the Enterprise promises answers to that question," stated Co-Creator and Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman. (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- In the planning of Discovery's first season, one of many signposts that the show's writing staff had, at least by the time they got to devising the tenth episode, was to resolve the Federation-Klingon War by the end of the season.  The writing staffers were also cognizant that they wanted the end of the war to come through morally difficult means. "We understood that the burden here," explained Executive Producer Akiva Goldsman, "was to push Starfleet and the Federation to the edge of what we would find acceptable, and then over it; allow Burnham and the crew to shine a light on that and ultimately be successful at creating and reaffirming the ideas of Starfleet and the Federation that we know and love." ("Star Trek: Discovery: The Voyage of Season 1", DIS Season 1 DVD & Blu-ray special features)
- Regarding the decision to depict an Orion settlement on Qo'noS, Alex Kurtzman remarked, "It just felt like the Orions would have an outpost there, that the Klingons would allow them to have an outpost there, and it would be very debaucherous." (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?") The way that Star Trek: Discovery's writing staff wrote the Orion outpost into this episode was inspired by how the show's art department, under the aegis of Production Designer Tamara Deverell, could make the environment look. "We decided to go to Qo'noS, but not just the average Klingon Qo'noS, but the Orion embassy within the planets," she remembered. "I think I suggested to them, 'Let's make it a market, let's make it a black market, because it gives us something to dress to and a little more exciting.' And so, the story sort of evolved together with us sort of suggesting what we could offer up in the timeframe and the writers going, 'Yes, we love that, we love that, let's do a cabaret, let's make it a little sexy.'" Deverell also imagined that the cabaret had been a Klingon building that the Orions had taken over and made their embassy before it became their cabaret, though this concept wasn't directly established in the episode. ("Designing Discovery", DIS Season 1 DVD & Blu-ray special features)
- On 24 September 2017, when AT: "O Discovery, Where Art Thou?" was produced, and the series premiere two-parter "The Vulcan Hello" and "Battle at the Binary Stars" was released, Aaron Harberts was working on the writing of this first season finale. (AT: "O Discovery, Where Art Thou?")
- The scene in which Burnham converses with Admiral Cornwell and opposes her agenda of destroying Qo'noS, even to the point of threatening to lead a mutiny, was added to emphasize Burnham's character arc since the beginning of the first season. "That scene with Cornwell was designed to illustrate how far she's come from the standpoint of not acting unilaterally," explained Aaron Harberts. (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
Cast and characters
- Clint Howard previously appeared as Balok in TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", Grady in DS9: "Past Tense, Part II", and Muk in ENT: "Acquisition". Howard has the distinction of being the actor whose appearances span the longest time interval in the franchise – fifty-one years, having filmed "The Corbomite Maneuver" in early-June 1966 and "Will You Take My Hand?" in October 2017.
- Sonequa Martin-Green was excited when she first read the final pages of this episode's script, so much so that she felt like squealing with anticipation, delighted by the arrival of her character's brother. Martin-Green was extremely proud of the installment in general, enthusing, "I love the way that Aaron and Gretchen […] wrote this episode." (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- Stamets actor Anthony Rapp, when he first read the final pages of the episode's script, felt "some goosebumps." (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- L'Rell actress Mary Chieffo was enthusiastic about a specific line of dialogue said by her character towards the end of this episode. "I love that one of her last lines of [the first] season, to Burnham, was, 'But I am no-one,'" Chieffo enthused. "You know, she really does not see herself as significant within the Klingon culture because her society has told her that she is not worthy." (TRR: "Point of Light")
- Despite being credited, Jason Isaacs (Gabriel Lorca) does not appear in this episode.
- To create the look of the Orion outpost on Qo'noS, the art department produced a series of illustrations and created many different stalls.  Tamara Deverell reflected, "I couldn't have done it without the set dressers, because there are so many layers. We had very little time to do the cabaret." Her concept that it had originally been a Klingon building enabled the creative staff to reuse many Klingon set pieces in the cabaret's design. ("Designing Discovery", DIS Season 1 DVD & Blu-ray special features) "We were trying to use what we had because this was the last episode," she noted.  In particular, they reused the set of the graveyard chamber from the Klingon Sarcophagus ship as well as the throne room from the ISS Charon. Deverell explained, "[It] just evolved that way out of the desperate need to reuse things but also, 'Wow, this could be something really cool.'" ("Designing Discovery", DIS Season 1 DVD & Blu-ray special features) To create some of the set's Orion architectural aspects, Deverell took cues from Star Trek: The Original Series. Inspiration also came from the real designs of various Eastern cultures. Deverell recalled, "We used Indian carved room dividers and Moroccan tapestry, and Far east fabrics [….] We were allowed to go crazy." 
- Akiva Goldsman, who grew up in New York City during the 1970s, based the sleazy look of Qo'noS in this episode on "a 42nd Street vibe," in Alex Kurtzman's words. (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- A particular type of food had to be prepared for the scene in which Tilly buys herself and Burnham meat that she eats and, moments later, is disgusted to find out is Gormagander meat. The scene called for Tilly actress Mary Wiseman to eat some culinary concoction that looked convincing. However, because neither she nor Sonequa Martin-Green were actually meat-eaters, the "meat" had to be created out of coconut wafers and other vegan ingredients that gave it a gooey appearance. (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- This episode was scheduled to start filming on 25 September 2017. (AT: "O Discovery, Where Art Thou?")
- On the set, Sonequa Martin-Green and Mary Wiseman found that the portions of faux Gormagander meat were tasty. As a result, the actresses enjoyed eating them. (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- The scenes in Paris were shot in Vaughan City Hall, north of Toronto.
- This episode was still being shot on 7 October 2017, though production on the episode (as well as the first season in general) wrapped five days later, on 12 October. 
- By the time it appeared in this episode, the Klingon Bird-of-Prey had gained a familiar Klingon symbol on its wings. (Star Trek: Discovery Designing Starships, p. 177)
- The background for a shot of L'Rell addressing the Klingon High Council was created using visual effects. The Klingon High Council Chamber was temporarily represented in wireframe before being digitally textured and lit. CGI Klingon figures were then added to complete the artificially generated environment. ("Creating Space", DIS Season 1 DVD & Blu-ray special features)
- The task of designing a DIS version of the TOS Enterprise was issued by then-departing Production Designer Todd Cherniawsky to the DIS art department, which by that point consisted of three men: concept designer John Eaves, 3D modeler Scott Schneider, and William Budge, who often contributed the final level of detail and texturing to the 3D models. Recalling Cherniawsky's words, Eaves related, "He goes, 'We have an Enterprise coming up and that's your next task.'" When all three of the art department members began to work on the design, they had no script to proceed from, with only an outline of the episode to guide them. They imagined that the DIS Enterprise, despite being the same vessel that Kirk later commanded, was at an earlier stage of its lifespan, prior to several refits that would replace various components, such as the warp nacelles or the impulse engines. The design process continued when Tamara Deverell joined the series as production designer, replacing Cherniawsky. The art department had an unusually long time to work on the design. Schneider started working on it in April 2017, at which time Eaves produced two consecutive series of drawings. The first demonstrated multiple different layouts for how the Enterprise could be modified to make it look more similar to other ships in Star Trek: Discovery and, after Cherniawsky selected one of the illustrations, Eaves produced the second series, which proceeded from this design and displayed exactly how he imagined the Enterprise could be changed. As the month of April continued, Eaves passed the second series on to Schneider, who then began his work on the design. He effectively had the model finished within a month, though they didn't submit it yet, instead opting to explore various possible additions and refinements in the meantime. On 15 June 2017, Eaves and Schneider produced a set of illustrations that showed the ship from a top/rear 3/4 view and contrasted two different exterior finish styles, with a bare metal look (inspired by Enterprise NX-01) versus a painted finish. In the same month, Schneider produced a render that exhibited a bottom 3/4 view of the paint scheme. The team immensely enjoyed the design process. (p. 203) They didn't submit the ship design until October 2017. At that point, the art department passed their wireframe model on to the DIS visual effects team, who produced a higher-spec model and made numerous changes. The art department only got to see the VFX version of the Enterprise a couple of weeks before this installment was released. (Star Trek: Discovery Designing Starships, pp. 190-194, 196-198, 202 & 203)
- The visual effects staff were delivering this episode when production design on Season 2 opener "Brother" was in its initial stages of development. 
Music and sound
- When Composer Jeff Russo first began writing music for Star Trek: Discovery, what would happen in this episode was one aspect he didn't yet know, because the installment hadn't been scripted yet. Ultimately, he featured the sound of the duduk, an unusual musical instrument in Western musical styles, for some of the scenes on Qo'noS. Russo had previously used the same instrument for "The Vulcan Hello".  He recorded the score for this episode in early 2018, after the first of that year. 
- A few musical cues from this episode were released in the soundtrack collections Star Trek: Discovery - Season 1, Chapter 2 and Star Trek: Discovery - Season 1, Chapters 1 & 2. The first, "Not a Lot of Humans Here", provides the soundtrack for the away team's arrival in the Orion outpost; the second, "Qo'noS Bar Source", was for use in the bar scenes; the third, "I'm No Good", accompanies the farewell conversation between Burnham and Tyler; the fourth, "War is Over", provides the soundtrack as a fleet of Klingon ships leaves Earth, followed by Burnham talking with her mother and father, and then the speech she gives combined with the medal-giving to Discovery's crew members; the fifth, "I've Never Been to Vulcan", accompanies the ship's transit out of the Sol system; and the sixth, "Incoming Transmission", is the final cue of both this episode and DIS Season 1, serving as musical accompaniment for Discovery's reception of the distress call from the Enterprise as well as the meeting of the two vessels. Both soundtrack collections additionally included the DIS version of the TOS main theme tune, which is used in the end credits of this season finale.
- A deleted scene from this episode, described as a "bonus scene" and a "secret scene" when it was shown on 23 March 2018 at WonderCon, was released online the same day.  
Continuity and trivia
- This is the first episode of Discovery to show Earth.
- This episode shows the construction of the Earth spacedock that appears in four of the original series films, beginning with Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
- Terran Emperor Georgiou's references to Betazed and Mintaka III in the mirror universe link to Star Trek: The Next Generation. Both planets, albeit their prime universe versions, were first introduced in that series and appear only in a single TNG episode each ("Ménage à Troi" and "Who Watches The Watchers" respectively).
- This installment marks the first time that urination was shown on screen in the franchise.
- This episode incorporates backstory information from the Discovery tie-in novel Desperate Hours, by David Mack. The novel was the first to mention Burnham's desire to watch a star go supernova, which compelled her parents to delay their departure from Doctari Alpha and eventually led to their deaths.
- The actions of the mirror Philippa Georgiou in the Molor shrine reflect those of her prime counterpart in the first episode. In "The Vulcan Hello", the prime-universe Georgiou goes to a well and uses a weapon to bring life, by firing a phaser to open an underground reservoir of water for a drought-stricken people, while the mirror-universe Georgiou goes to a well and uses a weapon to bring death, by deploying a bomb to trigger catastrophic volcanic eruptions.
- This is the third DIS episode to incorporate an event-based simulation aboard the Discovery. Previous simulations were featured in "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry" and "Lethe". Whereas the simulations in those two installments were interactive combat simulations, the one in this episode depicts the destruction of Qo'noS via hydro bomb.
- L'Rell and Tyler are shown being beamed from a location on a planet's surface by a Klingon transporter while walking, a visual effect that was originated with Spock in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
- In this episode, L'Rell becomes chronologically the earliest female Chancellor of the Klingon High Council and the second female in Star Trek history to be portrayed as holding that position, following Azetbur in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
- The moment Burnham affirms that the identity of she and her companions will always be Federation Starfleet was foreshadowed in "What's Past Is Prologue", in which Burnham tells Lorca that she won't kill him because she is Starfleet. (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- Gretchen J. Berg observed that a landmark moment in continuity is when Burnham delivers her speech in Paris and then smiles. "We really see, I think, for the first time, that character smile and really express what she has learned about fear, what she has learned about being Human, but also to be able to take in this community around her," said Berg. ("Star Trek: Discovery: The Voyage of Season 1", DIS Season 1 DVD & Blu-ray special features)
- The passing by of the planets in the solar system at sublight speed before the Discovery can safely go to warp at the end of the episode is very reminiscent of a similar scene in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
- The last exterior shot of the Discovery before its rendezvous with the Enterprise features a camera zoom through the bridge dome. This is similar to the first shot of the Enterprise in "The Cage", in which the camera likewise zooms through the ship's bridge dome.
- The Discovery's season-ending course to Vulcan for a change of personnel before being confronted by another starship is similar to the end of ENT Season 2 finale "The Expanse". In that installment, Enterprise NX-01 is about to return Sub-Commander T'Pol to her homeworld of Vulcan until she changes her mind, and the ship is later briefly confronted by a pursuing fleet of three Klingon Birds-of-Prey prior to entering the Delphic Expanse.
- This was the first time since the epilogue of ENT: "These Are the Voyages..." in 2005 that the original prime universe Constitution-class USS Enterprise was shown on screen.
- This is the first appearance of a redesigned CGI Enterprise intended to be a retcon of the original ship within the prime timeline. Previous CGI Enterprises were either intentionally unchanged from the original design – like in the remastered episodes, in which the recreation was so faithful that it used caliper measurements of the original studio model to create the most accurate CGI model possible – or explicitly in alternate timelines, like the alternate reality.
Reception and aftermath
- AT: "Will You Take My Hand?" discusses the making of, and events in, this episode. This is the last episode of Discovery to have a companion After Trek episode. The week prior to the release of this installment, AT: "The War Without, The War Within" debuted a clip from the teaser of this episode, showing Saru privately express to Burnham concerns about being under the command of Emperor Georgiou before she splits them up and asks Saru if he has become tough, dismissing his reply that he has. The same week, Director Olatunde Osunsanmi deadpanned that this installment would feature the death of Sarek but then admitted he was only joking. (AT: "The War Without, The War Within")
- There were some fan theories, during the course of the first season, that the Discovery would somehow encounter the Enterprise. These wishes were evident to Anthony Rapp, who noted, "I hope the people who felt that way feel good about it." (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- Alex Kurtzman remarked that Akiva Goldsman did "a fantastic job" with directing this installment. Kurtzman also commented, "I'm very proud that L'Rell became the Klingon leader at the end." (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- Regarding the scene where Burnham opposes Cornwell's plan to destroy Qo'noS, Aaron Harberts commented, "I think it's a lovely bookend between the pilot and the final episode." (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- Tamara Deverell admitted, "I don't know what all the Trekkies will say about us making an Orion embassy on Qo'noS, but I think it's an interesting departure from canon a little bit." ("Designing Discovery", DIS Season 1 DVD & Blu-ray special features)
- The DIS art department was delighted with the reception that the new version of the TOS Enterprise received. (Star Trek: Discovery Designing Starships, p. 203)
- After Trek host Matt Mira commented that he enjoyed the way Michael Burnham came back to Earth and was redeemed by Starfleet in this installment. He found that, since he believed her season-long character arc was successful, he was rooting for Burnham by the time this episode concluded. "By the end of this, when she's given her commission back and takes that delta," he said, "I'm like, 'Yes! You put that delta back on her. She is Starfleet.'" He remarked about the portrayal of the Orion outpost, "I loved it." Mira also opined that Tyler going with L'Rell to a place where Mira believed he could best serve both the Klingon and Human cultures was "a beautiful place for him to end up for the season finale." (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- The After Trek audience thoroughly enjoyed this installment, cheering and applauding it. (AT: "Will You Take My Hand?")
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special.
- Having been a lifelong Star Trek fan, Jeff Russo was thrilled by the final scene of this episode. "When I was scoring [Episode] 15 […] and, you know, for the very first time heard him say, 'It's Captain Pike,' I, you know, I practically lost my mind," he reminisced, with a laugh.  Russo also remarked, "I'm super excited that we left off with the Enterprise and Captain Pike, and what that's going to mean in terms of how it'll affect music."  Indeed, the final shot in this episode inspired Russo to start imagining music he might be requested to compose in the future. "When we ended with the Enterprise and knowing that it was Captain Pike," he said, "I was like, 'Oh, canon says that Pike and Spock must be together.' This is in my mind, not being talked about with producers and writers, so I thought, 'At some point we'll probably see Spock, right?' I started thinking about it then and what a Spock theme might be…" 
- 15 June 2017: The DIS art department produce a group of illustrations demonstrating exterior surface textures for the new version of the USS Enterprise (Star Trek: Discovery Designing Starships, p. 196)
- 13 December 2017: Title publicly revealed 
- 11 February 2018: Premiere airdate on CBS All Access
- 12 February 2018: International release date (outside Canada and the USA)
Video and DVD releases
Links and references
- Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
- Doug Jones as Saru
- Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler
- Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets
- Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly
Special guest star
- Mia Kirshner as Amanda Grayson
- Jayne Brook as Katrina Cornwell
- Mary Chieffo as L'Rell
- James Frain as Sarek
- Clint Howard as an Orion
- Michael Ayres as Transport Officer
- Matthew Binkley as Shavo
- Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer
- Riley Gilchrist as Rear Admiral Shukar
- Anthony Grant as Er'Toom
- Julianne Grossman as Discovery Computer
- Harry Judge as Admiral Gorch
- Morgan Kohan as Weapons Trader
- Patrick Kwok-Choon as Rhys
- Crystal Leger as Klingon Player #2
- Clare McConnell as Dennas
- Damon Runyan as Ujilli
- Sara Mitich as Airiam
- Oyin Oladejo as Joann Owosekun
- Ronnie Rowe Jr. as Bryce
- David Benjamin Tomlinson as Klingon Player #1
- Bree Wasylenko as Shava
- Ilan Rosenberg
- Adam Winlove-Smith as Klingon
- Unknown performers as
aircar; Amanda's mother; Andor; arms dealer; ash; automobiles; Betazoids; bioprint; black alert; boat; BortaS bir-class; bowline; bread and circuses; brig; Ceti eel; Command Training Program; crew manifest; Culber, Hugh; darsek; distress call; Doctari Alpha; Earth; Eiffel Tower; embassy; Enterprise, USS; esophagus; Federation President (individual); Federation President (title); Followers of Molor; genocide; Georgiou, Philippa; gormagander; half-breed; hawk; hydro bomb; isik; Jupiter; Lorca, Gabriel; Luna; Malaysia; Mars; mapping drone; Mintaka III; Mo'Kai; Molor; mutiny; Nausicaan disruptor pistol; Neptune; optical data network; Orion; Orion language; outpost; paralithium; paralithium cell; pardon; Paris; phreatic eruption; Pike, Christopher; pirate; polyalloy; Praxis; priority one; prostitution; Pulau Langkawi; Qo'noS; railroad; seasoning; security scanner; Shenzhou, USS; shrine; space whale; Spacedock; stabilizer beam; Starfleet Medal of Honor; sulfur; supernova; tattoo; T'Kuvma; Tellar; Terran; Terran Empire; train; tranya; Trill; t'Sang; urination; volcanic vapor; volcano; Voq; Vulcan; Vulcan cruiser (cruiser); water skiing
- "Will You Take My Hand?" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Will You Take My Hand?" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Discovering the War's End" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
| Previous episode:|
"The War Without, The War Within"
| Star Trek: Discovery|
| Next episode:|