home Discovery, Star Trek, TV Discovering Star Trek :DSC S01E04 : The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry

Discovering Star Trek :DSC S01E04 : The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry

Wikipedia description: Lorca assigns Burnham to study the creature from the Glenn to find a way to use its biology as a weapon. Starfleet orders Discovery to relieve the dilithium mining colony of Corvan II which has come under Klingon attack. Stamets is reluctant to make such a long jump using the spores, and when the drive is activated the ship nearly collides with a star. Commander Landry is sent to keep the research on track, and attempts to sedate the creature to cut off its claw, but it escapes and kills her. Burnham approaches the creature with a spore cannister and it remains calm. Noticing the creature’s reaction to the jump and its symbiotic relationship to the spores, Stamets and Burnham transport the creature to Engineering, where it connects to the drive and calculates the navigation coordinates, allowing the ship to jump to Corvan and save the colony. On T’Kuvma’s flagship, Voq and L’Rell scavenge the dilithium processor from the Shenzhou. On their return, Klingon commander Kol has convinced Voq’s crew to mutiny and exiles him to the Shenzhou to die. L’Rell transports aboard and tells him they can win the war themselves.

Thoughts as I was watching:

  • Interesting view from Inside the uniform synthesizer. The going from microscopic to macro, or the reverse fits Alice in Wonderland.
  • A box that doesn’t stop chiming until you open it seems evil.
  • A starfleet captain that studies war and tries to learn from the best.
  • It feels strange that the Klingons would leave T’Kuvmas ship for six months. Seems a waste.
  • Klingons eating their enemies heart is not new, the rest of the body is, but that’s not a huge stretch.
  • Landry reminds me of Tasha. Someone that had a harsh childhood and hides it being too tough.
  • Michael feels very Vulcan in her analysis of Ripper.
  • I enjoy Stamets interacting with Lorca.
  • Kol’s clothing is much more classic Klingon.
  • I don’t know if it makes technical sense for Discovery to rotate, but I love it.
  • “That is not Corvan 2.” – Captain Lorca understates wonderfully.
  • Lorca is a bastard for playing the audio. But I don’t know that he was wrong. It was manipulative, both of us the audience and the crew. But they needed a reminder.
  • I wonder if the Corvan audio is part of what makes Landry do stupid things. A past that triggers her. Probably never know now.
  • The visual of the debris field, the U.S.S. shenzhou floating there, very well done.
  • Voq’s gravity boots a nod to STVI?
  • Something about L’Rell reminds be of B’Etor. The eyes, or the hunger in them.
  • Still very Vulcan of Burnham. I want more of her in investigation mode.
  • I love Stamets being jealous of Ripper.
  • Where did Discovery jump to that they were able to know the Klingon ships were destroyed?
  • Was anyone else expecting Klingon makeup sex on the bridge of the U.S.S. Shenzhou?
  • Michael is struggling with a very Vulcan/Human question – does the good of the many outweigh the good of the one? And importantly to the question, does the consent of the one matter?
  • It does seem awkward that the crew retrieved the captain’s telescope on their way to the lifeboats.

Summary: So one of my observations last week was “We are meant to feel ominous about Lorca keeping Tardy, and it’s clearly dangerous, but I’m not immediately convinced it was as wrong as it feels. After all, leaving it on the ship would have destroyed it. And if it were a tiger, or any other animal like that we would feel bad.

Lorca’s motives were not the best, and we confirmed that this week, but the instinct of there being a gentleness, or something worthy about all life is still there. (And I don’t mean Ripper is worth saving because of his navigational abilities, but more because his previous actions were of self defense.)

This episode had two obvious parallels to me. One of course being The Devil in the Dark, a true classic of seeing the beauty in the beast. The other to me is Doctor Who’s The Beast Below.

The first question is “How sentient is Ripper?”, the second is “Does it matter?”.

If I had to ride a horse to beyond it’s limits to save a village of 200 humans, would I do it / order it to be done? Yes, I think I would. Human life > other animals. But that’s also a little bit of a selfish decision, and the morality of that is decidedly grayer once we include other sentient species in the mix.

I don’t have a great answer, and I’m ok with that.