I say wait for the last episode before pronouncing on that matter. “Holding onto the Star Trek/Gene Roddenberry ideology” is exactly what the whole arc of the season is about, as last week’s episode and the finale preview strongly suggest.
I’ll confess that my considerable enthusiasm for the show cratered with the shallow plot-twist events of episode 12 and 13, as well expressed in this article, which frankly really shook my faith in the writers and intentions of the showrunners. All the Lorca and Tyler subterfuge has really seemed to be without a point—that the writers didn’t really have anything to say with all that stuff, beyond roping us in with shallow plot convolutions.
However, the last episode (“The War Without, The War Within”) was a good-old contemplative, thoughtful, well-written, idealistic, barely-anything-happens episode in the style of “Family,” which has renewed my hopes or the finale. Along with “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” I think it was one of the strongest episodes of the series—and certainly the best-written and best-acted.
As I’ve always argued, the theme and message of the season won’t definitively be known until we’ve seen all of it because it’s a “season-long episode,” so I’m reserving judgment until the very end. It has been a somewhat rough and uneven ride getting to this point, but I find myself drawn back to the show eagerly each week, sometimes in spite of myself.