Last week’s episode, “Context is for Kings,” was the audience’s first true look at what ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ seems to be going for, big-picture-plot-wise, with the first two episodes serving as a very exposition-heavy introduction to this pre-TOS world being created.
WARNING: Spoilers for this episode of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ lie ahead, obviously. If you haven’t seen the episode and don’t wish for any of its content to be spoiled for you, the time to turn back is NOW!
RECAP: Today’s recap is a short one, kiddos. Burnham keeps working on the spore drive and thinks there’s more to the Mega-Tardigrade than the mindless killer Lorca believes it to be. Landry thinks otherwise, so she tries to sedate the beast before opening its containment field and hoping to talk it into doing what she wants it to do with a phaser – it doesn’t work, and the Mega-Tardigrade kills her. Lorca needs answers stat because there’s a colony under Klingon attack and *cue dramatic music* Discovery is the only ship that can save them in time. Burnham uses her Vulcan logic to figure out that the Mega-Tardigrade is actually the key to powering navigational effectiveness with the spore drive, due to… reasons… so they hook the creature up to the ship and arrive just in time to save the colony, hooray! But is the Mega-Tardigrade going to function as a long-term solution to the navigational issues that the new drive has?
- Am I good or what? Totally called it in last week’s review on the beast being a ginormous tardigrade. *pats self on back vigorously*
- Ugh, these Klingons are the worst, especially in context (or lack thereof) of how Star Trek has shown us that their species operates. They talk WAY too much. They also pull very non-Klingon-ish moves a lot. They see dishonor in deception, so Kol, leader of one of the most prominent Klingon houses, would never subterfuge and kneel to show fake-fealty to Voq in order to cheat his way to getting in control of T’Kuvma’s ship. And certainly, a Klingon such as Kol would never opt to leave his adversary alive, even on a derelict ship, after saying out loud “Kill him.” You all (via the writers) bring dishonor on your houses!
- Speaking of derelict ships: Starfleet is at war – they’d never leave a starship like the Shenzhou just floating on a battlefield for six months, especially with semi-functional technology still on board! The ship would be considered too valuable in resources, and there would be too big a chance that it falls into enemy hands – which it did. Also, the battle took place in Federation territory and there is still a functional Klingon ship just floating there for half a year; no one from the Fleet thought to head over there and finish killing the enemies that are in your own territory?
- Letting the Mega-Tardigrade out of containment and prodding it with a phaser was the worst on-screen decision by a Chief of Security since Yar kissed Data. #WentThere
- Let me get this straight: Discovery, a science vessel, drops out of spore drive in-atmosphere directly over Corvan II and is good enough to target and destroy two Birds of Prey in less than half a second? Yeah, no. And then, Discovery warps away (er, spores away? What’s the technical term here?) and leaves bombs behind… that’s the big plan to show the enemies who’s boss? Pardon me while my eyes roll for a few hours here.
- I thought, as most seemed to think, that Tilly showed promise as a character in last week’s episode. This week, however, she came across as annoying and superfluous, which is an unfortunate waste of screen time for a character with such potential.
- Georgiou’s “last will and testament” moment was probably meant to be very sincere and touching, but Kahless help me, I didn’t feel it. Perhaps because I’m a bitter, party of one, but it just felt like a really, really pandering moment to me.
- In The Original Series, Kirk & Spock explicitly state that inner-ship site-to-site transports are extremely hard and are rarely done because of the high degree of difficulty involved… yet there are two site-to-site transports in this episode alone. Someone help, there go my eyes on a multi-hour roll again!
- Corvan II provides 40% of the fleet’s dilithium, but Starfleet doesn’t keep a warship any closer than 84 hours away? They are not great at this whole “war tactics and intelligence” stuff, are they?
CLOSING THOUGHTS: I’m sad to report that this episode feels like a step backwards for this series. Much hullabaloo was made about ‘Discovery’ being more long-form serialized then one-off episodic, but “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry” (also, these episode titles are just terrible) feels like a jumbled mess of writers trying to mash season-long plots in with confusing and stunted standalone subplots. We here at ScienceFiction.com are going to keep watching, of course, but for me personally, this is not the Trek I was hoping for.
PRINCIPAL CAST FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE:
Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
Doug Jones as Lieutenant Saru
Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca
Anthony Rapp as Lieutenant Stamets
Mary Wiseman as Cadet Tilly
‘Star Trek: Discovery’ features new episodes Sunday nights at 8:30 pm online via CBS All Access.